McHale’s Navy?

By Jason Graham

February 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale (right) instructs shooting guard James Harden (13) during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Rockets defeated the Warriors 116-107. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets might be a hilarious circus by the time the season is over… or they might be a playoff success.

Everyone proclaims the Rockets as offseason winners for bringing in Dwight Howard and teaming him up with James Harden. You won’t get any argument from me that this is a great young tandem to have under contract for a few years. Chandler Parsons is a great third wheel to give them a semi-Big 3. However, Omer Asik doesn’t want to be in Houston anymore, Jeremy Lin is an overpaid turnover waiting to happen, and Marcus Camby is like… 80 years old.

Which Dwight Howard did the Houston Rockets get? The one that has fun playing the game of basketball and able to leap over other centers in a single bound? Or the one that sulks from not being the center of attention and center of the offense and wants out of Houston by midseason? Will he take instruction from two of the best post players ever in Kevin McHale and Hakeem Olajuwan and elevate his game? Or will he spurn the Hall of Fame advice and do things his own way? Good luck, Houston, with your version of “Sybil”… hopefully, you get the Superman personality, and not the locker room disease personality.

Kevin McHale has done a very good job with the Rockets so far. He has a good offensive system and he has put a lot of faith in James Harden and reaped the benefits. However, they don’t play championship defense, so I don’t think they will make the West Finals or the NBA Finals, but they should be regular players in the top 5 playoff seeds for years to come.

They still have to get through the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs to win the Southwest, and then other teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers to win the West. I don’t think they are quite there yet… but, you never know what could happen with a few key injuries and a few upsets, right?

I hope for NBA fans that Dwight Howard puts together a 2008-09 type season with 20+ pts and 13-14 rebounds per game. That’s the Dwight we enjoy watching. As a Spurs fan, I hate to see him in a Rockets uniform… but it’s much better than a Los Angeles Lakers uniform… or a Miami Heat uniform… or a Dallas Mavericks uniform… or… well, you get my point.