With weeks of speculation that the Houston Rockets would trade Omer Asik, and rumors of his unhappiness with the Dwight Howard signing, Omer is still a Rocket, and will start alongside Howard against the Dallas Mavericks Monday night. Dwight Howard who played a substantial amount of minutes at the power forward position while in Orlando will start at the PF, and be assigned the task of guarding All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.
McHale said he would start Asik with Dwight Howard against the Mavericks on Monday, in part to see how well either defends the perimeter game of Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki.
“We’ll start big with Omer and Dwight, see how that looks,” McHale said. “It will be a really good test because Dirk is such a good spread four. Both Omer and Dwight haven’t done that that much. If that’s going to work, they’ll have to play against those type of guys. I want to look at that.
“They’re working their way through stuff. They both have the same instincts to protect the rim and protect the paint. When one is down there the other is going to have to pick up a trailing shooter. There’s some little things they’re working on.”
“Both of them have defensive instincts to get back to the paint and cover the paint, both of them want to kind of stay back,” McHale said. “They don’t want to show high (on screens.) They are both a little bit uncomfortable playing out on the floor and one of the two against the Dirk Nowitzkis of the world is going to have to come out there and be a presence against them. In the game of basketball, contrary to what everybody else might think, you do go back to your instincts.”
The Rockets have been synonymous with the nickname Twin Towers since 1984 when Hakeem Olajuwon was drafted and joined Ralph Sampson, the two would make the All-Star game together in 85′ and lead the Rockets to the Finals. The second installment of Twin Towers, featured Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo. Though not as impactful as the Sampson-Olajuwon Towers, Yao and Dikembe were present for the Rockets 22-game winning streak, the third longest winning streak in NBA History. The question now is, what impact will the Dwight Howard-Omer Asik duo have on the Rockets?