By: John Eby
All That Power - The Houston Rockets rose to no. 2 behind the Pacers in Marc Stein's ESPN Power Rankings on the strength of a 3-0 start. Stein writes:
They were supposed to be good, so there's little Philly-style shock value in the Rockets' 3-0 launch. Yet you have to say that Saturday night's big rally in Utah was impressive. Ditto for the Dwight-led defense in general that has Houston on the brink of its first 4-0 mark since way back in 1996-97.
John Schuhmann's NBA.com rankings have Houston one spot lower thanks to a generous no. 1 ranking given to Philly. While Schuhmann gives Philly first place, his NetRtg (a combination of a team's offensive and defensive ratings) shows Houston as tops in the league with a +13.8. He writes:
It remains to be seen if the twin tower combination is ever going to work (Dwight Howard and Omer Asik are a minus-1 in 34 minutes together), but the Rockets' single-tower lineups are functioning just fine thanks to Francisco Garcia's hot shooting (10-for-20 from 3-point range) off the bench and that James Harden guy. Two games against the Clips this week could be telling for both teams.
"Funky" - Kevin McHale revealed just how much risk was involved in the Dwight Howard signing when he revealed that the big man's first physical with the team revealed some shaky stuff.
"His health is 100 percent different," McHale said. "When we did a physical after we signed him, I sat down with our training staff and they were all like, 'Oh boy.' He had a huge discrepancy in his strength in his right leg and his left leg. His glutes and his hamstrings were really weak and his flexibility was completely ... funky.
"He really spent a lot of time this summer getting right. He's getting closer."
Funk is usually a good thing, but not when you're talking about the physical condition of a human being/multi-million dollar investment. Glad the training staff has him back on track.
Beyonce Is The Solution - After stinking it up from the line against the Mavericks, Dwight Howard promised to sing a different song in his head during his free throws against the Jazz. And it worked. On Monday he revealed whose music got him going, per the Houston Chronicle:
“The playlist was some Tank, some Tyrese and some Usher and some Beyonce,” Howard said. “And on the Beyonces I hit all net so I might have to keep singing Beyonce.”
Told he might have to expand his playlist if teams continue to send him to the line so often, Howard said, “That’s good, that’s good. Keep fouling.”
He's got a point. I started singing "Halo" in my head a few minutes ago, and I'd say I've nailed every sentence in this column so far. Thanks, Beyonce! Where were you against the Clippers?
Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to [email protected] or message @EbyNews on Twitter.