Jan 3, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) shoots during the second quarter against the Miami Heat at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dwight Howard finally got some touches. I’ve been calling for his offensive inclusion for several games and last night we saw the result of how strong the Rockets can be when both their stars are functioning at a full level. Recalling Howard’s time with Orlando the Magic were the most successful when they gave him the ball in the post and spread the floor with shooters.
Howard makes good game decisions on whether he should attempt the shot himself or throw it out to a perimeter player who gets open when the opposition collapses on him. What was interesting was he didn’t start to receive the ball with any regularity until the second quarter playing with the reserves. Consequently it was his best quarter, he scored 19 of his 23 points. In addition he finished the game with 13 rebounds (4 offensive) to garner a double-double and was a team high +/- of +35.
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Of note, post game Howard said he spoke to McHale about putting him into the game in three to five minute spurts while he gets back to game shape. I found that telling as prior to last hearing this there had been no mention of Howard struggling with extended minutes. Howard and McHale both touched on the fact with three bigs (Motiejunas, Howard and Smith) available they can feature any two at all times in the game depending on which players the opponent puts on the floor. Once Terrence Jones returns from injury they’ll have even more options at their disposal.