With big wins over the Raptors and Celtics and a drubbing of the ailing Grizzlies the Houston Rockets are ending the season the way we expected them to start it. Have the players finally rediscovered their chemistry or just simply a result of fear?
From Sports Illustrated “The Caldron” Liam Green looks at the dysfunction of the Rockets roster and highlights the fact they were never going to work given the dislike of it’s two stars Dwight Howard and James Harden.
"Oh, right. Teammates should probably like one other. Or at least care enough for reasons either personal (contract years) or altruistic (buying into a coach’s system) to play well in the absence of genuine camaraderie. And yet, NBA beat writers and columnists have expounded seven-figures worth of words wondering what the hell the underlying problem is. Is Bickerstaff in over his head? Had McHale already lost the locker room in training camp? Dwight Howard entering the decline phase that all big men eventually reach? All of the above? Or is it something deeper and more nefarious — the simple, sordid fact that these knuckleheads just don’t like each other, and wouldn’t buy into $50 Costa Rican timeshare, let alone a common basketball philosophy. To quote , the excellent Fastbreak Breakfast NBA podcast it’s a roster full of “all the dudes nobody wants to play basketball with,” and it had a stable shelf life of exactly two seasons."
To that end, it’s a given Dwight Howard will opt of the final year of his contract in order to land a long term deal (his last most likely) with the new TV contract money. That is what we know, what we don’t know and will be fodder through the rest of this season, and summer will be whether the Rockets and the big man can come to terms on a new deal – – or whether they even want to. Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer wrote about it in his article and noted Daryl Morey’s “uh-oh” response to that very question:
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"Though Morey is able to speak freely when discussing his starting center’s options (and, jokes aside, none of us should be reading anything into a flippant comment regarding a free agency turn that is three and a half months away), there is considerable reason to believe that the Rox might pass on re-signing the center at what will be the market rate. Even if the Rockets were cruising their way toward home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, this consternation would still be in place."
Harden and Howard have been embroiled this entire disappointing season in articles dissecting their game play, leadership and chemistry, so it begs the question why all of a sudden have things changed? The Houston Rockets recent 5 game Eastern Conference road trip sure looked a lot more like last season’s team. Have H & H finally accepted the fact they can’t lose any more? OR perhaps they’ve figured out the injury riddled Grizzlies are suddenly within reach and a date with their favorite dance partner The Los Angeles Clippers! Tonight they’ll get the chance to measure the “newly gelling” line-up against the Clippers and try to move up again on the Blazers and Grizzlies. We’ll have the Game Day Preview here later today.
And while there is so much controversy surrounding Howard and Harden’s apparent inability to get along, Kayline of the Dream Shake reminds us that not everyone is having a hard time getting along:
— The Dream Shake (@DreamShakeSBN) March 16, 2016
So, that’s your Daily Rocket Science. Check out the pregame report for the Clippers 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.
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