Rockets News

Houston Rockets Game Summary: Dwight Howard Beasts in Win Over Cleveland

By Tamberlyn Richardson
5 of 5

Jan 7, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Rockets forward Josh Smith (5) drives on Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith (5) during the fourth quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. The Rockets won 105-93. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

X Factor:

When General Manager Daryl Morey picked up Josh Smith this was the type of performance he was hoping to see from the enigmatic power forward on a nightly basis. Smith has been dealing with trying to catch up on the fly without the benefit of training camp or many practice sessions given the Rockets hectic schedule since his arrival.

Adding stress to his new job is the fact the Detroit Pistons have been on a terror, having won 7 games in a row since releasing him. In fact the Pistons haven’t lost since his departure which could be the result of his team functioning better without him.  More likely the team is now aware anyone is disposable and have all picked up their effort defensively. Though most of those 7 wins came against sub .500 teams their last 2 wins were against San Antonio and Dallas making their success more tangible given the quality of those 2 teams.

For his part Smith is hearing all of the talk about the rise of the Pistons while also dealing with the Rockets inconsistency lately and a drop down the Western ladder. Losing a battle late in Chicago didn’t help matters, but his performance Wednesday showed signs of him beginning to gel with the bench as well as the starters. His final stat line was 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. He even hit a three late in the game courtesy of a Harden pass who found him open in the corner which put the game out of reach for the Cavaliers.

Moving forward the Rockets face the worst team in the league tonight: the New York Knicks. Lets see if Smith can register back to back productive nights.