Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Rumblings

Mar 6, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) dunks the ball against Toronto Raptors in the second quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) dunks the ball against Toronto Raptors in the second quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

And so it begins… with Dwight Howard remaining on the Houston Rockets past the trade deadline it was only a matter of time before talk of which team he’d suit up for next season began.

Most assuredly there will be rumors, conjecture and news leaks will inevitably appear coming out of Howard’s camp, the Rockets camp or from the  infamous “NBA insiders”.

The first of these stories has hit the airwaves via Ian Begley of ESPN whose article on how Phil Jackson intends to approach free agency this summer included the following:

". The big question is whether the Knicks, under Jackson, have a chance at landing one of the elite players on the market.Along those lines, one name to keep in mind this summer is . Some of Howard’s friends have let it be known recently that the center would be interested in coming to New York as a free agent if he opts out of his current contract, league sources say Dwight Howard"

On the court Dwight Howard continues to mix it up and despite coach J.B Bickerstaff’s objections the league has reviewed and upheld the flagrant foul assessed to Howard for his elbow to Kyle Lowry’s face.  Jonathan Feigen of the  Houston Chronicle updated:

"Howard and Rockets teammate James Harden are among four players, along with Matthew Dellavedova and Matt Barnes, that lead the league with three flagrant fouls. Players are suspended when they reach six flagrant foul points."

In truth since I cover both squads (Rockets and Raptors) I have to admit I thought the Rockets got a very friendly whistle. I went back after the game to inspect the tape and look at the data which proved me correct. The Rockets went to the line 10 additional times, DeMar DeRozan (who sits directly behind James Harden for free throw attempts) only got to the line once in the first half on a technical foul free throw despite getting hammered in the paint on at least 3 or 4 occasions which should have sent him to the line.

The real head scratcher however comes via the technical foul assessed to Duane Casey for what the refs cited as him taking a step or two onto the court. Casey said after the fact, he has never seen that foul assessed and was confused given Bickerstaff had been doing it the entire game right in front of the official who assessed the Technical to Casey.  In the video below Casey discusses the situation starting at 3:30.

Raptors Post-Game: Dwane Casey – March 6, 2016 https://t.co/OafvAXH9ze via @raptors

— Tamberlyn's Tip-Off (@TTOTambz) March 9, 2016

We’ll just need to check this one off in the we got the benefit of the doubt box since that T did seem to be the pivotal turning point in the game.

And as for James Harden, he didn’t need the refs giving the Raptors help by calling real fouls because he was personally assisting them by not bothering to defend at all as ESPN sarcastically pointed out in their video (shown in the tweet below) which includes some rather indictable footage showcasing multiple examples of the Rockets guard getting caught not even bothering to defend.

Not a great look for Harden! Check out this video #espn https://t.co/wrffMrbqmk

— Space City Scoop (@SpaceCity_Scoop) March 9, 2016

So, that’s your Daily Rocket Science. Check out the pregame report for the Philly game later followed by player grades and be sure to stay with us for all things Houston Rockets as we cover all the news beginning each day with the Daily Rocket Science.

Next: Are these Rockets choke city 2.0?

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