Everyone was buzzing around James Harden’s 48 points Saturday night in the 109-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Although Harden played his best game of the season so far, his outstanding play overshadowed another great Rocket that same night.
Dwight Howard became the all-time leader in NBA history with his 48th, 20-20 game of his career. Even though Howard ended the game with 20 points and 20 rebounds, it felt like no one gave him the respect he deserved.
Now in the midst of his 12th NBA season, it kind of sad that Howard has never received credit for all of his accomplishments. For some this might be a foolish statement, but Dwight Howard is one of the best big men to ever play in the league.
Since the start of the season, everyone has wondered why have the Rockets gotten off to a sluggish start. From the lack of team chemistry and defensive intensity, the Rockets have become one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. However, no one is talking about how great Howard has played.
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So far, he has been the only consistent player for the Rockets. Although it is still early, Howard is playing like the only player who is on a mission to bring a NBA title to Clutch City. Appearing in five of eight games, Howard is currently playing his best basketball since his departure from the Orlando Magic four years ago.
With 17.6 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game, Howard is reclaiming his throne as the NBA’s best center. While other big men tend to shoot more 3-point shots, Howard seems like the only big man in the association who still plays a physical game down in the low post.
The only knock against Howard now is that he cannot play every game, especially on back-to-back nights. However, if taking nights off keeps the 39 year-old Tim Duncan fresh throughout the season, expect Howard’s dominance on the floor to last throughout the season.
Hopefully the rest of the Rockets can become more consistent to help Howard before it’s too late. It will be a tragic season if the rest of the Rockets waste Howard’s great play with the nonsense they keep playing on the floor.
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