The Houston Rockets have managed to stay one of the top teams in the Western Conference despite not having their star center, Dwight Howard, for pretty much 50% of the season. James Harden has been one of the finest players in the NBA, and the bench players have stepped up to simply help offset all of the injuries. However, if the team truly wants to become a contender come playoff time, then they’ll need Howard in the future back healthy.
The team has had the oppertunity to have by with a surprising supporting cast that’s seen several players step-up their game as key players have been injured. Even so, Harden has become a top player player in the league and is one of the main contenders for the MVP award at the conclusion of the season. He’s carried the offense through large areas of games, and can take over at any moment. Players such as for instance Terrence Jones are now actually coming back from injury, and several trades have given the Rockets essential depth as well.
If Howard can return relatively healthy, then he provides the team an elite big man who is still capable of dominating games. Howard is not similar player he was several years back, but can still change games on defense with his capability to block shots and cover the mistakes of his teammates. Certain teams will still need certainly to double-team him in the post if they cannot have quality defensive big men, setting up even more room for his teammates.
Having Howard in the lineup will add another dimension to the team along with take some of the pressure away from Harden. Howard is an elite big man who the Rockets paid a fortune to help make them a contender. He’s struggled with injuries, but there is still time for him in the future back and enter into game shape ahead of the playoffs start. If he is able to stay healthy, then a Rockets will soon be tough to beat in the playoffs.