“Watching our team play offense was like a trip to the dentist.” – Kevin McHale summing up Houston’s opening night performance, a 13-point win despite atrocious shooting. McHale acting like his dog died after a double-digit win is the coachiest thing ever.Coming of Age– ESPN.com zeroed in on Houston’s franchise cornerstones with a pair of insightful pieces on Wednesday. Kevin Arnovitz looked at how Dwight Howard the personality has tainted the view of Dwight Howard the player. He begins with an anecdote that really nails why Howard is widely maligned:
My friend has met Howard a few times in the past year or so. He finds him friendly, polite to more or less everyone, goofy in an inoffensive way and, above all, eager to be funny.“But he’s not funny,” my friend said dispassionately. “It doesn’t work.”
He goes on to explore the truth that personalities aren’t static, especially when you’re talking about men below the age of 30, and then apply it to Howard.
Howard has given no certain indication that he’ll ever be Mr. Gravitas, but he should be given some breathing room — not because we owe him a thing. This isn’t about a fresh start.It’s about affording someone the opportunity to excise his frustrations and become better at who he is and what he does.
And when a man can pull down 26 rebounds in a game, he can tell as many lame jokes as he wants.As for the other pillar in H-Town, James Harden, Ethan Sherwood Strauss reexamines his decision to seek a max contract with a fascinating comparison to Manu Ginobili. First he compares the legacy of Manu to the legacy of Kobe Bryant, who had similar levels of per-minute production but different roles, then he turns the question to Harden:
I actually suspect that Harden will receive more renown than Manu ever did while never being quite as good as Manu was. This is amusing to consider when, just a year ago, Harden was being chided for ignoring legacy considerations. The framing was that, by leaving a contender, the league’s best sixth man was consigning himself to a kind of ringless obscurity.Instead, it’s the opposite. Even after getting bounced from the playoffs by his old team, Harden is more famous and more highly thought of than ever before.
He’s also higher paid, and deservedly so. In the words of Jalen Rose, “keep gettin’ dem checks,” James.Rave Reviews – The Point Forward analyzed some of last night’s big debuts with a positive assessment of Howard’s effort:
The ball didn’t fall in his lap; Howard made it his mission to be first to the ball as often as possible, and succeeded to the point of grabbing nearly half of his team’s rebounds. Toss in 17 points on 14 attempts, along with enthused defensive play, and that’s a hell of a night’s work.
Tweet That – Dork Elvis stands at the crossroads of sports and geekery and lives up to his nickname:
all your rebound are belong to us— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) October 31, 2013
Clutchfans for the win:
17 points, career-high tying 26 rebounds, 2 blocks. Hey Lakers, maybe Dwight Howard wasn’t the problem.— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) October 31, 2013
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