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The Rockets Daily – November 14, 2013

Disappointment – In a recent NBA.com blogtable, several writers listed the Houston Rockets as their most disappointing contender. A few excerpts:

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Hello, Brooklyn. But while I wait for Deron Williams to revert to his Utah days, allow me to suggest that Dwight’s Rockets already give me a headache. I know Dwight’s put up some monster rebounding games, but he’s only averaging 17.7 ppg and is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor, which just two weeks in would go down as his worst since his second season. I watch him in the low block and marvel at the bricks he puts up from 5-feet and in. There’s nothing close to a Dream Shake going on there.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: I’m not sure if anyone picked Houston to be a title contender, but of all the teams that people talked so much about over the summer and felt were in that upper echelon, to me the Rockets have several issues to address. Dwight Howard is either still bothered by the injuries that slowed him the last two seasons, or he’s just not the player he used to be. Houston’s poor perimeter defense wouldn’t bother me so much if Dwight was back there erasing shots, but he hasn’t been (he’s averaging his lowest blocks per game since 2006). Meanwhile Dwight’s shooting a career low at the free throw line, 47.1 percent, so Hack-A-Dwight is an obvious and effective strategy for teams to go to.

Philipp Dornhegge, NBA.com Germany: The easy choices might be Brooklyn and Chicago, but I’m not really worried about either team. The Nets will need a while to really develop some chemistry, and they’re not particularly interested in the regular season. The Bulls’ offense heavily depends on Derrick Rose, and he hasn’t been able to find his rhythm yet. The Grizzlies have been kind of underwhelming, but if we count Houston among contenders, the Rockets are my choice. Dwight Howard and Ömer Asik don’t fit together yet, they don’t have an NBA starting power forward and their defense has been awful. Lots of question marks in the loaded West.

And that was all before Houston’s loss to the Sixers last night. Le sigh.

 StatCheck – Congrats to Jeremy Lin.

Exhilarating Orthodoxy – If you lost your sanctification while watching Houston blow the game to the Sixers, maybe you can get it back by reading this theology-based NBA preview from On Pop Theology (thanks to a reader, Drew, for the link). Their take on the Rockets:

Orthodox/Heretical: Orthodox, in an exhilarating way. Representative Biblical Book: Song of Solomon – Sexy, sexy, sexy. Also, Donatas Motiejunas has a neck like an ivory tower. Patron Saint: James Harden – The patron saint of Beards, Bored Stares, and Even Larger Beards. Summary: The Rockets signed star center Dwight Howard (aka The Hamlet of Candyland) in the offseason which begs the question: Are the Rockets ready for lift-off? I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. In other news, Chandler Parsons is a sexy man with a spray tan.
Don’t AskVia Ball Don’t Lie, where Kelly Dwyer discusses the topic at length, Dwight Howard told the Houston Chronicle that he doesn’t want to talk about his free throws and that he’s overthinking:

 

“I get in the game and I think so much that I tend to miss,” Howard said. “The best thing to do is to let it go. If I make it, I make it. If I don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Even if I do miss, I will be out on the other end, playing defense, getting rebounds, blocking shots and paying back for fouling in that way.”
I wish he could get over his mental hurdles and start making them, if only so we can stop watching him shoot them. And so we can watch his defenders play basketball rather than tackle football.

Programming Note – Jeremy Lin will be playing the Knicks Thursday night. So, you know, no big deal. It’s not like Lin is amped up for it or anyth–

Ok, maybe he is a little bit motivated.

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About the author: John Eby got on the Rockets bandwagon in 1994 and never got off. He is a public relations guy and recovering TV journalist living in South Carolina.