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Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science – The Dwilight Zone

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The Houston Rockets are shrouded by smoke and mirrors, but not on the court.

Yesterday a nuclear reactor or trade rumors blew up in Houston and rained stories about Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones all over the internet. Dwight to the Miami Heat? Jones to the Phoenix Suns? Who knows?

When it seemed like the Rockets were going to blow everything up, now the implosion seems less imminent. Howard is now denying he said anything about being unhappy and there are conflicting reports rising about Ty Lawson‘s movability.

Alas, we fall back to one report saying Dwight will opt out of his final year at the end of the season. So… Dwight playing in a contract year? Maybe he plays better now?

There are a lot of questions marks here because I have no idea what’s going on with this team – so much so I don’t even know if Houston will beat the Los Angeles Lakers tonight.

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

First, to the report of Dwight’s impending free agency. Literally as I was typing this up, the alert came across my phone. Howard is quoted in the piece as “wanting to make this thing work”, but wanting to opt out makes that a conflicting statement. A potential silver lining is a “contract-year” Dwight who plays his ass off to make himself more valuable to potential buyers. Either way, it’s another turd in the toilet bowl of a season.

Dwight Howard on Houston: ‘I want to make this thing work’ [USA Today Sports – Sam Amick]

"What he also knows, and what is so often lost in stories like these, is that context is everything. The Rockets, indisputably, are a team that has gone from reaching theWestern Conference Finals for the first time in 18 years to a group that – having already had their coach, Kevin McHale, fired 11 games into the season – is now 12-14. Given the circumstances, unhappiness in some form is to be expected. Add in the fact that Howard is averaging 8.3 field goal attempts per game (the same as his rookie season in Orlando in 2004-05) to go with 12.6 points per game (second lowest of his career), and no one should be surprised that there’s an unsettled feeling to this whole thing."

Hey! Let’s point out the obvious: firing Kevin McHale changed nothing. J.B. Bickerstaff seems to be a competent NBA coach, but the chemistry issues the team is immersed in are too much to overcome right now. Poor Bickerstaff – I hope someone pays attention to his on-court demeanor and not the silly team he has to deal with. But let’s face it – he’s no miracle worker, and he can’t change things if the players don’t want to.

Four Weeks After McHale’s Ouster, Nothing’s Changed [CBS Houston – Adam Spolane]

"This brings us to Bickerstaff who has more win than he does losses in 15 games, but the Rockets are still getting outscored and have yet to play a top-4 team in either conference. In the coming weeks, the quality of the Rockets competition only rises, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll rise with it. Bickerstaff is a good coach with a bright future in the NBA, but I’m not sure he’s going to work in Houston. The players, led by Harden, know him too well and like him too much for him to be effective. When he lifted the starters 132 seconds into the third quarter Tuesday night, he brought Harden and Trevor Ariza back in the game less than 90 seconds later after the Kings built on their lead. If you’re going to enact some discipline, you have to see it through. Bickerstaff didn’t."

Now for something that’s isn’t totally negative – sneakers. I’ll be up front, I think shoes and shoes. You wear them and you move on. When I walk up to a person, the last thing I notice about them is their feet and that’s if I’m with them long enough to look down. People who are sneaker heads always have to point out they’re wearing a 200 dollar pair a Jordan’s – rarely does anyone ever take the time out to point out the bodacious kicks. Point being – I don’t understand the obsession with sneakers. Why did I bring up shoes again? Oh right, James Harden’s new shoe came out. Yay.

Houston Rockets: James Harden’s First Sneaker [Space City Scoop – Joshua Van Horn]

"If you have caught any of the Rockets’ games so far this season, chances are you have seen Harden wearing some all-white Crazylight Boost PE Sneakers. Fans of the sneaker have so far been unable to cop a pair, but that will change come Thursday as Adidas goes public with the shoe."

So you’ll never guess which rapper was at the game last ni…

It was Drake. It’s always Drake. They guy is all over the place. The only surprise is he wasn’t repping either teams gear.

Drake tonight at the Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets game. pic.twitter.com/mdTrF83f5H

— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) December 16, 2015

Next: NBA Sideline Chirps: Surprises, Shocks and Expectations

Who knows what drama tomorrow will bring? Will Houston lose to the Lakers? Will Dwight be traded mid-game? Will Kobe actually shoot over 50 percent? Well, the last one is actually less probably than a mid-game trade – but I digress. No one knows anything about this team.

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