Even after providing both Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis with a clinic in offensive efficiency, Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets barely edged the New Orleans Pelicans in a close game. When Howard is able to make 83 percent of his field goal attempts, it would seem that the Rockets would be on their way to an easy victory. Unfortunately, Houston has struggled to find a way to get any production from their bench players to help give the starters time to rest.
When the Rockets landed Howard in free agency this off-season, everyone expected for Houston to contend for a championship immediately, but the Rockets aren’t ready to fulfill those lofty expectations. Coach Kevin McHale was only able to utilize four players of his bench against the Pelicans, and those four players only produced 17 points combined for the game.
After a game where the Rockets would normally feel great about the way Howard was able to dominate offensively, they should be very concerned with their lack of bench production instead. Four out of five of the Rockets’ starters each totaled as many points or more than the bench produced combined, which will likely prove to be the Rockets’ downfall come playoff time.
Houston is currently dealing with injuries to Patrick Beverly and Omer Asik, but those players aren’t exactly going to light up the scoreboard. With no real backup for Howard available, he was forced to play 42 minutes against New Orleans, but the Rockets can not afford to play him that much every game. At this rate, by the time this season is over Howard won’t have anything left for the postseason.