Found September 27, 2013 on
San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder
It's no secret that the Houston Rockets pulled off some big moves in recent years.
Last year it was the trade that landed the team an All-Star guard, James Harden, from the Oklahoma City Thunder. This summer, the Rockets followed that up by landing the biggest name in free agency, Dwight Howard.
And now on the eve of training camp, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale will be busy trying to make the adjustments necessary to best incorporate his shiny new weapon known as "D 12." Coach McHale had this to say about the issues he's now faced with.
Via Houston Chronicle:
Q. When you look at all that has changed since last season, what are the things you consider the priorities for the start of training camp?
A. We've got to fit in the new guys. We got Dwight. We have to fit him in. We have a different team than we had last year. We're trying to get roles. We have young guys that are still trying to establish themselves in this league. I'm excited about the changes we made. I think we have a good opportunity to get better. That's what it's all about. I'm looking forward to working with Dwight, but there's a lot of unknowns right now.
Q. What are the unknowns related to the changes you mentioned?
A. Carlos (Delfino) had a huge role on our team last year. Carlos played 20 to 30 minutes a game, and he's not here. We have to find out who is going to get those minutes. Can we play Omer (Asik) and Dwight together, and how much? D-Mo (Donatas Motiejunas), Terrence Jones - one of those guys is going to have to step up and be more consistent. We're going to have to count on one of those guys. We have Omri Casspi in. We have (Robert) Covington. We have different guys. Those are always issues.
Q. A lot of last season's success was based on the team's clearly understanding how it needed to play. Can there be carryover, or do you have to change how this team needs to play?
A. I think we're going to play basically the same style. We have to get better defensively, and with Dwight we have to have more of an emphasis on trying to get the ball in the post. Through Dwight running and Dwight doing different things, I think we can do that without really having to change our identity. We still want to get the ball up and down the floor. We still want to be aggressive and run and attack offensively. I think we have two of the top rim protectors in Dwight and Omer, so we have to use those guys. I'd like to use them together. It gives us a chance to have a defensive presence and run off our defense a little more. Our style will change a little bit because our personnel changes, but it won't change dramatically. At least I hope it doesn't.
So, how would the Spurs match up against the new look Rockets?
Many may simply point to the last games the Spurs played against Howard when he was helping to lead the Lakers charge into the most recent NBA playoffs. Then, the Spurs fared quite well employing their stable of bigs to counter the tandem of Howard and Gasol. Even the seldom called upon Aron Baynes managed to bother Howard down low enough to help tip the scales to the Spurs' favor.
It will be interesting to see if another incarnation of the "twin towers" can work with the Rockets' Howard and Asik. If it does, what will the Spurs do to try to successfully counter that?
Splitter improved defensively last season but with Dwight having guards like Jeremy Lin and Harden, perhaps that duo would break down the Spurs' defense, leaving Splitter (and the other bigs of San Antonio) to be at the mercy of Howard in the paint.
Then again, Tim Duncan seems to be in the head of Howard and if TD gets going, Dwight might be a non-factor.
I leave it to you, Spurs fans. What is your take on what promises to be some heavyweight match ups this year between the Rockets and Spurs?
BEST OF MAXIM
Dwight Howard has yet to play a game for the Rockets, but the new Houston center is fitting right in to his new Texas lifestyle after attending a high school football game on Thursday night.
In a Houston-area high school student's Hail Mary attempt of a tweet, he invited Howard to attend George Ranch High School's white out game against Foster High School in the Houston...
Thanks to the realm of Twitter, people can request things from their favorite actors and athletes and sometimes those dreams can come true.
Recently, a George Ranch high school football player from Richmond, Texas requested that Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons attend his game against Foster High School in person over the Twitterverse:
@21bcross where’s that at. I might show...
New Rocket Dwight Howard is healthy and talking about bringing a championship to Houston.
Howard says: ''We have an opportunity to do something special if we stay together and stay focused.''
He was slowed last year after offseason back surgery, which played a part in a disappointing and difficult season with the Lakers. The center's signing propelled the James...
Dwight Howard has steadily worsened as a free throw shooter in his NBA career, shooting just 49 percent last season.
Now with the Houston Rockets, Howard is aiming to have a career season at the foul line. His career high at the free throw line came as a rookie, when he shot 67 percent.
"This season, I want to win a championship," Howard said. "I want to shoot 75...
Dwight Howard left guaranteed money on the table when he left the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this off-season, but he also left a winning franchise; a franchise that has won sixteen NBA championships with five of those rings coming in the 2000s.
Yet Dwight says that he left the purple and gold in order “to win”, to which I have the following reaction:
Here’s the video of Dwight...
You think Kobe Bryant is sick of talking about Dwight Howard yet? Speaking at Los Angeles Lakers Media Day Saturday, Bryant was surrounded by reporters and asked questions about Howard’s choice to leave the Lakers for the Houston Rockets. They were the same questions Bryant answered all summer, so no doubt he was tired of […]
The fine folks over at Reddit NBA find some pretty cool NBA-related stuff on a daily basis and earlier today, a Redditor by the name of Redskyy03 posted an image of the Houston Rockets opening game tickets.
Check out Dwight Howard and James Harden screaming tickets for their season opener against the Charlotte Bobcats:
Dwight Howard image courtesy of Getty Images
Omer Asik quickly declared that the Rockets have “the best center in the league.” He was not talking about Omer Asik.
The addition of Dwight Howard could most immediately impact Asik the Rockets’ incumbent at the position. But Asik said he would be ready for whatever should come when the Rockets begin practices today. The famously reticent fourth-year center said he is prepared...
In case you thought that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant had any positive feelings about former teammate Dwight Howard, those can all be dispelled in the below tweet.
Check out Kobe’s thoughts from the Lakers media day as reporter by the Sporting News Sean Deveney:
Kobe Bryant was asked about his surprise level when Dwight Howard left: "Honestly, man, I don't really...
Kobe Bryant is nothing if not brutally honest.
The Lakers may be trying to gear up for the 2014 campaign, but before they can focus on the upcoming season, they were forced to face some blemishes from the past. During their annual media day on Saturday, Bryant was asked about his feelings regarding Dwight Howard‘s departure from the team.
Kobe Bryant was asked about his surprise...
Omer Asik signed a three year $25 million deal with the Houston Rockets last summer on the premise that he would get the chance to display his skills as the teams starting center.
So you’ll have to excuse the change in Asik’s disposition when talk of him and Dwight Howard playing together come up. Asik has reportedly asked for a trade only to have the Rockets assure him that...
I recently wrote about what the biggest story lines will be in the Eastern Conference throughout the upcoming season. Don’t worry though, the Western Conference can throw down some drama too. For those who haven’t had enough Dwight Howard in their news-feed, fret not for he will be in here. He may even show up ...The post 5 Biggest Story Lines in the Western Conference appeared...
A new Lakers season is about to begin. Dwight Howard is gone, the team has no expectations and it’s a fresh start for everyone – even Mike D’Antoni. However, thanks to the release of Jeanie Buss‘ new book, the events of last November have been brought up once again.
In an excerpt of Jeanie’s updated book “Laker Girl” – which was published by the Los Angeles Times...
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/Zimbio
The Magic's defense was a mess last year.
After years of relying on Dwight Howard to anchor one of the league's top defenses, the young Magic squad predictably did not do as well. According to Basketball-Reference, the Magic posted a defensive rating of 109.1, good for 25th in the league. Again, this was expected with a young squad...
EL SEGUNDO, CA The heat is on the Lakers as basketball's most popular franchise tries to recover from a devastating injury to one of the game's all-time greats, and the not-so-surprising defection of a potential Hall of Famer who was thought to be the next face of the franchise.
Nobody's seat is toastier than that of General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who met with reporters...