Houston is the right place for Dwight Howard
Now amidst the second coming of the Dwight Howard Saga, the question remains – which team best suits Dwight?
Out of the major contenders for the league’s best centre’s talents – the Los Angeles Lakers or Clippers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, and of course the longshot always average Atlanta Hawks – it seems as if the Rockets have emerged as the most realistic option. However, a repeat showing of the Dwight Howard show in the Lakers uniform for next season would be highly unlikely, and not a smart move for the All Star centre.
Despite the golden aurora surrounding the Lakers, last season proves that LA is the worst possible destination for this superstar, especially considering the further development of Mike D’Antoni’s sped up pick-and-roll offense. Unrelated to basketball, it also seemed the pressure of the Los Angeles spotlight was too much for Dwight which seemed to crippled this fun-loving centre with unnecessary pressure to acquire even more championships for this storied franchise.
In my opinion, it may be a team just a few hours north which makes the second most sense for Dwight Howard.
The Golden State Warriors, last season’s playoffs Cinderella story, have emerged late as a very plausible option for Dwight. Also, the pursuit of the possible franchise centre speaks volumes about the intent of this Golden State team to improve on last season’s impressive playoff showing.
The basketball reasons behind the Warriors’ decision to chase Dwight would lead to a greatly improved offensive unit that has lived and died by the jump shooting of Curry and Thomson. Imagine being able to feed Howard the ball in the low post as a backup plan for when the jump shooting inevitably falls short. Or the addition of this All Star centre to the Warrior roster could see him partnered with impressive but injury prone Australian Andrew Bogut (if he wasn’t involved in the acquisition of Dwight), adding another element that would allow the offense to further stretch the floor and provide better looks for the dynamic shooting duo of Curry and Thomson.
If I was in Dwight’s enormous size 18 shoes, I would utilise the Golden State option as a backup if the preferred Houston opportunity falls through.
The Houston Rockets last hoisted the NBA championship trophy in back to back seasons in 1994 and 1995, although the addition of Howard to an already strong roster could see them reach the next level as serious championship contenders. The addition of a realistic franchise centre to the developing pieces of Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons and the team’s current best player James Harden would make this dangerous side a much more formidable one, capable of going to at least the Conference Semi-finals with the promise of venturing further into the playoffs as the team develops a better chemistry.
Another key advantage of a smaller market franchise is the benefits come with it for such an eccentric player like Dwight Howard. The pressure to deliver championship after championship is diminished in a place like Houston, a factor which appeared to overshadow Dwight’s on-court performances in Los Angeles.
As the 2nd Dwight Saga draws to a close (we can only hope), Houston should prove to be the best destination for the superstar centre, for basketball reasons or otherwise. The addition of his excellent post up offensive talents, defensive energy and shot blocking ability would bolster a franchise already on the up, and have the potential to make them into a serious championship contender.