It’s hard to consider Hakeem Olajuwon as someone really objective when it comes to the Houston Rockets, but it’s also difficult not to take him seriously when he speaks of the prospect of having Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard doing some great things together next season for the suddenly turned-into-title-contenders team.
Olajuwon is a man the Rockets are counting on to give them an improved Dwight Howard, which will hopefully bring out the best out of Jeremy Lin, who had too many ups and downs during his first year on the team.
After his record of improving the post game for LeBron James, it seems like the two-time NBA champions and Finals MVP has become the premier name in big-man training camps, but he obviously lends his talents a bit more happily to the Houston Rockets.
Just the little offense I saw, that combination is very deadly. You can see that both of them are very excited, seeing that, ‘Wow, we bring the right ingredients together. When you see players that are dedicated to succeed, it gives you that window to see what kind of season that we’re looking for.
One of the things that might be the most beneficial for the Rockets from the arrival of Howard is Lin getting to actually play like a point guard, and not a spot up shooter depending on the whims and moods of James Harden when it comes to sharing the ball or letting someone else take control of the ball handling for a while.
As we’ve mentioned before, Lin is the true point guard and better passer among the two starting guards, while Harden is a much better scorer, whether it’s through driving to the paint or shooting from the outside. There’s no reason to waste away Lin’s talents jsut so Harden can take on another responsibility. Having to feed Howard in the paint should bring back the ball into Lin’s hand, or at least more than it was last season.
Dwight can clearly dominate this league comfortably. He has everything that he needs, and he has desire and work ethic to do it.
Howard needs to redeem himself, but not just publicly, being mistaken for some sort of franchise destroyer by the media after the last couple of years. Howard is to blame for the Orlando Magic imploding first to make him happy and then to get rid of him, but the Lakers problems are far greater and deeper than Howard alone.
On the court Howard needs to show once more he’s the best defensive presence in the NBA, and that he can be more than a guy who simply finishes pick & rolls off dunks. He’s an excellent pick & roll player, but wants (and needs to be) a lot more. This is the season and the team he should start the final step of his NBA career prime, which is becoming a multi-dimensoinal player on offense, and once again the best center in the league.
To be on the right team, which he is right now, he can really help and play his role very well and be effective. There’s no pressure on him now. It’s on Dwight and James. His position is crucial for the team’s success, and he can play that role very well.
Lin will benefit from having another star on the team. As he has talked about in the past – the pressure of Linsanity and the expectations early on in Houston got to him. He made it out of it OK, but he expected more of himself, and knows that the coaching staff wanted more from his as well.
If this season, through the arrival of Howard or simply by realizing they misused him last season, Lin gets to be much more of an actual point guard – the duo of Dwight Howard and James Harden will benefit greatly.