It is no secret that the Houston Rockets have been a mess all season. A couple of a months removed from their Western Conference Finals appearance and after a 4-7 start to the season, management fired head coach Kevin McHale. Chemistry issues with James Harden and Dwight Howard were rumored, signs of lackluster defense and the Ty Lawson fiasco have left Houston barley hanging on for a playoff spot (currently 7th in the Western Conference).
But that did not stop Dwight Howard from talking about making a deep playoff run. From Sam Amick of USA Today sports.
“Regardless of how our season is going so far, regardless of the fact that we haven’t played up to our expectations, I really believe that we have a championship caliber team,” Howard said. “Nobody else has to believe it, and that’s fine. The whole world can be against us. But if those 15 guys in the locker room believe that we can win, then we will win. There’s no doubt about it. We had a great season last year, and the reason why we were able to come in the playoffs and do what we did is because we believed.”
Yes you read that right. Howard believes that the struggling Rockets can win a championship in 2016. Talk about confidence.
It is obvious that both Harden and Howard at times have not really clicked, but other times they play like the best duo in the league.
More from Sam Amick:
“People feel … like we hate each other,” Howard said. “I have no hate in my blood for this man, you know? For what? He came from nothing. We both came from nothing. And we’re doing something that we love. We grew up playing this game for fun, and we had big dreams of making it to the NBA. So I would never hate this man because I know what it took for me to get here, and he made it. So I want him to succeed. I want us to succeed. I just – before coming here – I watched endless hours of YouTube videos on James Harden, before he had the beard. I watched all that stuff, because I’m like, ‘Dang, this boy, he’s got so much talent.’
Despite the issues they have the Rockets on paper look like a low seed team that can potentially make a run in the playoffs. The problem is that at times Harden and Howard play differently which can cause issues when running the offense. It also does not help that if they stay at the 7th or 8th spot they have to play the Warriors or Spurs in the first round.
But hey maybe the two can set aside their alleged differences and make a statement come playoff time. People doubted the Rockets last season and look how far they made it. Dwight Howard still has the ability to rebound and protect the paint and James Harden is a nightly scorer, two things you do not want to face at the same time.