Yesterday I wrote a column wanting Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard to just disappear, which is still true today. However, there is a team that could use him and he might finally (who am I kidding?) be happy. That team is the Houston Rockets because Howard would be a great fit there, and that team could become a playoff contender once Howard returns to form.
The Rockets brought in a cornerstone player for their franchise by trading for James Harden, who has been nothing short of a superstar in Houston, living up to his new max contract. He can’t do everything alone, obviously, so it’s important for the Rockets to build around him.
The current trend in the NBA is to create “big threes”–trios of star players to carry the weight of a team while filling in role players around them. The Rockets already have Jeremy Lin and Harden, who are working really hard to play well together, but they need a presence down low to allow their chemistry to improve.
Bringing in a huge body like Howard could be exactly the key to making that happen. Obviously, he hasn’t been the dominating force he once was this year in Los Angeles, but he’s still recovering from back surgery, which isn’t easy for anyone, but especially a seven-foot professional athlete.
If Lin is able to just focus on his part of the game, which is handling the ball, then Harden can start moving more without the ball, which is where scorers like him are most dangerous. If opposing teams have to start paying attention to Howard down low, then that make those jobs easier for Lin and Harden. Imagine the Rockets better than they were when Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady were running things in the early 2000s. It’s a real possibility and bringing in Howard could be the key.