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[SI] With move to Houston, all pressure squarely on Dwight Howard

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Xerobull, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!

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    SI.COM: With move to Houston, all pressure squarely on Dwight Howard

    Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nb...-rockets-championship-pressure/#ixzz2YNvEytPS

    Dwight Howard finally got what he wanted, though he may wake up tomorrow morning and wonder what it is. Then he'll do something goofy and probably tweet about it.

    It's all in good fun. Just about everything Howard does seems to be in good fun. But from here on, Howard has to be heavy on the good and light on the fun.

    Howard is out of excuses. More importantly, he is out of leverage.

    JENKINS: Howard describes decision to join Rockets

    The Rockets don't have to kiss up to him the way Orlando did for a while. They also won't tiptoe around his immaturity, like the Lakers did for one awkward season. The Rockets need him, but they don't need to please him. For the first time since Howard became a superstar, his employer holds the hammer.

    Howard chose his team. Now he has to show he was worth the fuss.
    The next time his camp leaks a story about Howard being unhappy with his coach, we'll all point at Howard and laugh. He knew Kevin McHale was the Rockets coach when he agreed to this deal. (At least, I think he did.)

    If Houston loses, it won't be the coach's fault, the offense's fault, or even James Harden's fault. It will be Howard's fault. You can be sure Rockets fans will turn on Howard before they turn on Harden or general manager Daryl Morey.

    Howard is about to discover what LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and many others have learned painfully: Free agency seems like the end of a process, but it isn't. Howard can't ride off into the sunset. He has to produce.

    THOMSEN: Even with Howard signing, Rockets still have long way to go

    His choice was wise. Of all the teams wooing him, the Rockets are the most likely to build a champion around him. The Lakers were selling the past and future, but not the present. The Mavericks and Hawks were promising they would make more promises.

    This was a sensible decision by a man who hasn't made many of those in the last two years. Howard has always been part superstar and part cartoon, even before he wore a cape in the NBA slam-dunk contest. He is easy to mock but hard to truly dislike. He is like the Tom Hanks character in "Big" -- giddy that he is larger than he ever imagined, but not quite prepared to act like an adult.

    In an era when players try to force trades and act like free agents long before they actually are free agents, Howard seems like the worst of the breed. But he is actually a breed of his own. Other players are too calculating. Howard isn't calculating enough. He could have saved us all a lot of annoying headlines if he had a goal in mind all this time. Instead, he has spent two years on a career hamster wheel.

    In 2011-12, while the Magic were paying him an eight-figure salary to play basketball, he demanded a trade. Then he changed his mind and opted into his contract, saying, "I'm very loyal and I've always put loyalty above anything." Then he demanded a trade again. He ended up in Los Angeles. He was extremely happy there until practice started. Then, not so much.

    GOLLIVER: Winners and losers in Howard signing

    In Orlando, he wanted Stan Van Gundy fired but denied it. In Los Angeles, his people leaked stories about unhappiness with coach Mike D'Antoni. A player can only sound that bell so many times before fans get a headache. Howard has to get along with McHale. He has no choice.

    He also has to show he is a true superstar. I think he is, but there are legitimate questions. Howard's ability slipped last season. He used to be the most dominant defensive force in the league, and a man you could build an offense around -- even though his offensive game is unpolished, he was so strong and athletic he forced defenses to adjust to him, creating space for shooters.

    Last year, he was not the same force. He was 36th in the league in player efficiency rating -- just behind J.J. Hickson, Marc Gasol and Greg Monroe, and barely ahead of Serge Ibaka, Kevin Garnett and David Lee. Those are not max-contract players. (Garnett was, of course, but no longer is.)

    There were two good reason for the decline: Howard was recovering from a back injury and playing for a new team, with an offense and teammates that did not seem to suit him.

    He is only 27, and can be a dominant player for several more years. But he has to want to dominate. That means changing his diet so he can stay healthy. It means acting like a champion instead of a clown. And it means refining his offensive game, so he doesn't rely so much on athleticism, which will inevitably fade as he ages. It also means finally growing up.

    Some players want to carry a team to a championship. Kobe Bryant is like that. Kevin Durant, too. LeBron James took a while to get there, but he got there.

    Kobe reacts to Howard news via Instagram

    Other players want to be carried to a championship. They have the mental makeup and personality to help others. They believe in the mission, but they don't want to lead it.

    Howard thinks he is the kind who wants to carry a team, but he really wants to be carried. This has been problematic for the two teams that have employed him. The Magic treated him like a cornerstone, but Howard didn't act like one. The Lakers thought they landed a superstar to go with Kobe Bryant, but this particular superstar didn't seem to want to go with Kobe Bryant.

    The second half of Dwight Howard's career starts now. The comedy should be over. It's time for a thriller.

    (I did a short search for this, but please lock if posted)​
     
  2. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    I still don't know why everyone likes to take shots at Howard. I wouldn't want to play for the Magic or with Kobe either.
     
  3. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    Where ever Dwight is, people will say the pressure is on him. Whats new?
     
  4. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

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    Not all on Howard, there's pressure on McHale now.
     
  5. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    If he fails rockets fans will turn on him like tmac.
     
  6. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    We turned on tmac because he quit and lied. He also felt entitled to minutes to get back into shape.
     
  7. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    And because he could never get out of the first round.
     
  8. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    The fans didn't turn on TMac his attitude started turning people off. There's a reason why he virtually disappeared after Houston.
     
  9. deshen

    deshen Member

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    My expectation is to win a first round of playoffs in the first year.
     
  10. Raven

    Raven Member

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    Winning cures everything, and winning will shut up his critics.
     
  11. haydenfisher342

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    no. its. not. /thread P.S see James Harden
     
  12. Samdogg36

    Samdogg36 Member

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    Howard did the smart thing and he went with the team that was more suited for him. No one should blame a guy who is 27 or 28 with no rings for going to a team that can challenge now instead of waiting and hoping that the lakers can assemble the right pieces. The media is going to take up for the lakers while dogging the rockets until we have major success. Fortunately for us I believe the success is going to come sooner than later. I think this move will look brilliant on both sides in time and Howard will be praised by the media for this decision when all is said and done.
     
  13. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    because they know he won't reply back and make them look like ****.

    just look at phil jackson's tweets.....no doubt howard will turn the other cheek and just ignore them, instead of rubbing phil's schnauzer face in the fakers impending race for the top draft pick the next few lotteries
     
  14. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    yes, SI and ESPN and national hacks. Only NOW that he's in Houston is the pressure finally on Dwight. It never was before. And had he signed with the Lakers he could have relaxed and taken up some hobbies like birdwatching with no pressure whatsoever.

    I swear to God, I have no idea how some of these guys have jobs.
     
  15. SPBR

    SPBR Member

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    Professional trolls that get people retweeting their drivel because scorned fans have a bit of Schadenfreude in them.
     
  16. Brandyon

    Brandyon Member

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    I'm actually enjoying the constant stream of writers showing their true colors. Petty, childish, etc. They embody everything they accuse Howard of being.

    Calling people out on their apparent belief that banners in the rafters hold some sort of super power instilled within their team Space Jam style is entertaining.

    Walking away from the popular choice takes more balls than bending to the will of a majority.
     
  17. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

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    A lo of the Dwight articles have gotten downright ridiculous, most of them clearly written by laker nutswingers like JA Adande. If he had left Milwaukee to go to LA or NY people would be gushing about their potential.

    LA people not dealing with rejection well. Feels good :cool:

    The Lakers were on their way to an extended period of mediocrity until Shaq single handedly changed that, hopefully players like LeBron and Durant make it stick this time so the Lakers can be humbled and realize the reality of being an NBA fan.
     
  18. TJ VS TR

    TJ VS TR Member

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    No worries now, Harden, Parsons and Lin are all good leaders who aren't jerks. Just play hard and PnR Dwight, you'll be fine.
     
  19. Star

    Star Member

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    All pressure is on McHale now, and he would probably be the next Mike D'antoni.
     
  20. tzou88

    tzou88 Member

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    Don't worry Lakers going to tank next year and magically get Wiggins.
     

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