Dwight Howard may have escaped the stickum issue, but he has grown weary of the plays are given to him that he questions the direction of the Houston Rockets, who are logging behind the team standings in the Western Conference.
Normally, if one sees the six-foot-11 Howard guarding the paint, they will have to think twice or more if they would want to attack the paint as they will surely get blocked. However, Howard tells USA Today that games in the NBA nowadays have been locked into three-points and outside shots. He even laments how the Rockets orchestrates its offense, which sees the ball staying longer on the hands of James Harden rather than doing pick-and-rolls to ease the pressure on the ball handler.
It’s not only Howard who notices this kind of trend with the Rockets since they acquired Harden from the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2013. Harden has been holding on to the ball too long that their offensive set up could not react that quickly.
“Since I’ve been in the NBA, especially when we (were) in Orlando and (then-coach) Stan (Van Gundy) got there, he made a big emphasis on playing inside-out, and really just playing a bully-type style of basketball. And we did pick and rolls too, so it was kind of like a mixture. That’s what threw teams off. It wasn’t (just) me getting post-ups so I can always score, but it was doing that to free up our shooters, to give them more space (and) to really shoot the ball. I feel like that’s a very successful way of playing. I know (the Rockets) have their opinions or whatever. (But) for the rest of the season, I’m going to make it an effort just to do what they need me to do offensively and defensively, and not focus on what happened back in Orlando (and) what happened in LA (with the Lakers) and just put my mind to finishing this season on a real high note,” Howard said.
With the way Howard is taking in everything, he is frustrated with the way things are being run within their squad even to the point of turning down his $23.2 million player option for next season to become a free agent. He is airing out that he would want to land in a team that knows how to distribute the ball and have everyone involved in both offense and defense.
“The way the (NBA) game is played (now), it’s all outside-in, it’s threes, it’s super-fast. It’s really like we’re dinosaurs, and they’re trying to extinct us. But the Ice Age will not come, and we will not be extinct. You watch a guy like Shaq (O’Neal) or Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and all these guys, and I don’t know if they would want to just play with guys shooting threes and stuff like that. They want to be fed, but it’s the evolution of the game. And the way you stay relevant is trying to find ways to play without focusing on not getting the ball … I think it’s all just a mindset. Some teams are better at it than others,” Howard added.
Now with that said, teams such as the Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat can start filling up an application if they would want to get a shot at getting Howard into their respective line up.
Photo Courtesy: Jose Garcia/Flickr