Superman’s return(?) lifts Rockets


VIDEO: Dwight Howard goes alley-oop crazy on the Spurs

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We haven’t seen him in a couple of years, the smiling big guy who wore the cape and leaped over all things.

The dominant Dwight Howard we all grew accustomed to seeing while he starred in Orlando, the one who disappeared two years ago in Los Angeles and struggled a bit adjusting early on in Houston last season, was back on the floor Thursday night in Houston.  Howard crushed the (Tim Duncan-less) San Antonio Spurs, executing a series of alley-oop dunks early against the reigning world champs in the Rockets’ 98-81 demolition job.

Howard finished with 32 points and 16 rebounds and was unstoppable inside. The Rockets are 6-0 with James Harden and Howard leading the way.

Harden was splendid last season, a first-team All-NBA pick on a good team that couldn’t get out of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Could Superman’s return lift them up to that next level this season?

I don’t see  why not.

If this is the Howard we’re going to see all season, maybe I need to take another look at the landscape in the West and put the Rockets in their proper position among the elite teams. Originally I saw them as a team capable of chasing that fourth spot behind San Antonio, the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

But early on it’s the undefeated Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors who are leading the pack. The Grizzlies have their own dominant big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. They’d be hard-pressed to look any better than Howard did against the Spurs.

28 Comments

  1. MT says:

    Easy schedule. Only a matter of time until we see Dwight’s true colors and he throws his teammates/coach under the bus. Combine that with Harden’s flopping/non existent defense and we’ll see another early playoff exit. Most overrated team in the league.

    • Another Cavs Fan says:

      Why do you hate on Howard? Lets not forget this is a guy who very early on his career carried a pretty bad Orlando Magic team to the finals. That was all Dwight Howard + Van Gundy.

  2. dreadyjun says:

    Super what? That was Shaq. Dwight is nothing but super wimp.

  3. verysadokcfan says:

    This game tonight between Houston and GSW and is going to be the best game/matchup so far this season. Who will win? I say the Rockets.

    • Jeremy says:

      Im a die hard rockets fan so im pulling for the rockets. Im really concernded about T Jones and P Beverly being out though. We have gotten away with it because of the teams weve been playing but tonight will be a big test for cannan, and D’mo just isnt very impressive so the most we can hope for from that position is just not a lot of mistakes. Ive been impressed with how mchale has gotten the rotation going even though there slightly short handed.

  4. troy says:

    the beast is back plz believe it BEST CENTER IN THE GAME!!

  5. MrBasketball says:

    hey folks. D12is finally healthy and ready to rock and roll. Harden is the best two guard in the league – now that he is playing a little defense. the other teammates are also playing well. The trailblazers got lucky. Looking forward to the Houston vs warriors game this weekend.

    • MR J says:

      i agree bro. james harden is the best 2 way guard in the league. d12 is the best center. they got some great defense and an occasional fire from ariza. a great off the bench shooter in terry. and some great young players in cannan an jones an bev. this is gona b a fun season to watch this team. cant wait

  6. Mike says:

    I can’t remember anyone at TNT or the article above mention that the Rockets were playing without two of their starters in Beverly and T Jones and still dominated the Spurs. I can agree the trade-off still favors the Rockets, but we still need to keep things in perspective,

  7. NoWhat says:

    No Defense? They’ve held every team they’ve played to fewer than 95 points and won every game by an average of 15. Pull starters out every fourth quarter minus 1 game plus 2 of 6 were back to backs. Haters gonna Hate.

  8. Billy says:

    The Rockets don’t play defense? If you’ve actually watched a game of theirs this year, you’d know that they are one of the best defensive teams in the league. The Spurs sat two starters, and the Rockets did as well (Beverley and Jones, due to injury). Give credit where credit is due

  9. Mateo says:

    steppx you have got to be kidding. Have you watch any of the six games Houston has played so far? Defense is defense. It doesn’t matter if it’s a against a great team or the worst team in the NBA. The Rockets have been playing GREAT defense. I was so used to cringing last year with every easy bucket they’d give up and marveled at how good they could be if only they played defense. Well guess what, this year they do. I could tell you that just by watching them, but don’t take it from me look up some STATS on their defense so far.

  10. j_p says:

    Diwght is one dimensional player ….

  11. J.Wall says:

    I smell Player of the Month award..
    I hope the Rockets maintain this momentum.. I know they will take a hit sooner or later,
    but a good start will always have a positive impact, it makes a good cushion during tough times.

  12. Scott says:

    All these comments about San Antonio’s bench, but no mention to the fact that Houston was without their starting point guard and starting Power Forward. Houston also swept San Antonio last season. Trevor Ariza is a much better defender than Chandler Parsons. Dwight Howard is playing better this year. I guess Miami must not count as a good team too according to the comments here about a weak schedule.

  13. Bird33 says:

    And Pop is chuckling this morning because everyone is surprised that D12 beat his bench. I’ll count SAS out when they lose the last game of the season, but not before then. McHale is a great coach and HOFer but D12 doesn’t have the “heart of a champion” that Rudy T told us about so long ago.

  14. still won’t win a championship….just wait until they face Memphis

  15. Tom says:

    He beat up a starting lineup of Baynes and Bonner. Sekou, try a little harder next time.

  16. steppx says:

    Well, first off, its five or six games into the season. WHy are the clippers elite? WHY? Thats a bad roster right now. Where is portalnd among the elite?? Houston has had a very easy schedule. They just beat a spurs team that was taking a night off. They have two quality wins. But leave it to sekou to LEAP on the bandwagon. Houston cant defend. They remain a bad defensive team. Same as the Cavs. Memphis might be tougher than expected…..but thats defense. GS for sure. Portland for sure. But is houston at the top? Not until they play better team D.

    • Jeremy says:

      Naw..Rockets game is more balanced this year, they have a commitment towards Defense, which is slowing there offense down a bit in pace, but I think its a good trade off, since good D leads to more efficient Offense. Rockets have definately had a easy schedule but they have also had 2 of there starters out for a couple of those games. Again, watch the rockets/warriors game and you will see a rockets defense and chemistry that they didnt have last year.

  17. John Doe says:

    32 and 16 against the bench lmao.

    • Michael says:

      Parker + Leonard + Green = Bench? LMFAO….

    • Rake Yohn says:

      John, you must be some Spurs, Lakers or Magic Fan. Just appreciate the lift bro.

    • Tucker says:

      This is what I’ve wanted to see for a long time. James Harden needs to shoot less and Dwight Howard needs to shoot more. Howard is the best Center in the NBA, can get you 20 points a night on 57% shooting and Kobe and Harden kept him to like 10 attempts per game while they take close to 20 shots and make about 43% of them. If they keep playing this way then the Rockets are going to be really scary. If James Harden has Kobe Bryant syndrome then the Rockets will be make the second round at best. You gotta play through your bigs! Keep it up Rockets!

      • aa says:

        Howard does take alot more shots than it seems like, he just gets fouled on most attempts, and as everyone knows, he cant make em. even tho he didnt do to bad last night.

    • HO says:

      against bench, yeah. but it doesn’t change the fact that SAS we’re routed, so shut your f*cking mouth kid.

      • Matt Jacob says:

        Pop is smart . He knows even if Ducan and Ginobily plays, Houston is going to pound them. He just wanted to rest them and make excuse. Back to back games are part of NBA and teams have to play those. San Antonio only played 4 games and well rested while Houston played 6 games. They hardly survived in Atlanta by 2 points the day before.