The Houston Rockets have been enjoying fantastic play from their prized free-agent signing, center Dwight Howard, recently in the 2013-14 NBA season. Over his last five games, Howard has notched four double-doubles and has averaged 21.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game on 68.9 percent shooting. However, the Rockets are just 3-2 over that span.
A big part of the Rockets issues has been the fact that they haven’t been fully healthy. Leading scorer James Harden has been dealing with a sprained ankle, which kept him out on Saturday and will also keep him on the sidelines on Monday against the Dallas Mavericks. However, the Rockets will get a key piece back in the lineup on Monday.
Point guard Jeremy Lin will return to the lineup on Monday after missing 10 of the last 12 games due to back spasms. Though this team will still be without Harden, having Lin back in the lineup at presumably near full-health will be a huge lift for the Rockets.
One of the dilemmas that this Rockets team faces is at the point guard position. While they have two solid options in Lin and Patrick Beverley, both guards have their shortcomings. Beverley is a phenomenal perimeter defender, but struggles to be a consistent offensive weapon. Contrarily, Lin can provide great spurts of offense, but struggles to be effective as a defender.
With Harden out of the lineup, though, having an offensive-minded point guard in the lineup becomes a bit more pivotal to this team’s success. Though Howard has been fantastic, it’s hard for him to carry an offense at all times, especially against another potent offensive team like Dallas. Lin will help alleviate some of that pressure on Howard Monday night and, most likely, will give Houston a better shot to succeed.