Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Dwight Howard had a little bit of fun at the expense of a poor mascot during a stoppage in play in the Houston Rockets’ 115-111 overtime win over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center. Rocky, the Nuggets’ charismatic mascot, clearly was trying to annoy the Rockets center before the dreaded incident. As…Read More
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Dwight Howard drops Nuggets mascot Rocky with kick to the chops (video)

Dwight Howard had a little bit of fun at the expense of a poor mascot during a stoppage in play in the Houston Rockets’ 115-111 overtime win over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night at the Pepsi Center. Rocky, the Nuggets’ charismatic mascot, clearly was trying to annoy the Rockets center before the dreaded incident. As…Read More
The post Dwight Howard drops Nuggets mascot Rocky with kick to the chops (video) appeared first on Sportress of Blogitude.

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Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot in face (GIF)

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard delivered a playful kicked to the face of Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky during a timeout in Wednesday night’s game at the Pepsi Center.Rocky was playfully taunting Howard when the Rockets big man kicked him in the nose:Given the delayed reaction in Rocky’s fall, it’s safe to say that he was not hurt.Howard scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Rockets beat the Nuggets in overtime 115-111.Video via G4NBAVideos. H/T TNLP.
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Dwight Howard Returns As Houston Rockets Defeat Denver Nuggets

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard returned to the lineup after missing eleven games to help Houston defeat the Denver Nuggets 108-96. Howard was out due to a strained right knee but looked great in his return scoring 26 points on 9 of 11 shooting along with 13 rebounds and 3 blocks.
In his return game, Howard also managed to pass 10,000 rebounds in his career. Houston also had a strong performance by James Harden putting out a triple double of 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Rockets improve to 18-5 with the third best Western conference record as Denver falls to 10-13.
The post Dwight Howard Returns As Houston Rockets Defeat Denver Nuggets appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

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Dwight Howard returns to help Rockets top Nuggets

Howard had 26 points after missing the previous 11 games with a knee strain.



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James Harden will play vs. Warriors, Dwight Howard still out

Howard is hoping to be back in the Rockets’ lineup Saturday



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Dwight Howard isn’t coming back anytime soon

“Strained right knee” is a mysterious term even for medical experts, and certainly so for the average, Houston Rockets-loving person….

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Houston Rockets Can Only Survive for so Long Without Dwight Howard

The Houston Rockets have quickly established themselves as one of this young season’s most pleasant surprises, lifting off to a 13-4 record despite injuries to starters Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones.

They’re 4-3 without Howard, who’s missed seven games this season, including the last six in a row on account of a knee injury. Though the team’s overall record hasn’t suffered dramatically as a result just yet, things may well get worse before they get better.

And that’s because we really don’t know when they’ll get better.

“I want to get back out there now if I could, but I don’t think it’s smart, uh for me to try to rush anything,” Howard told reporters on Tuesday. “You know, when I’m 100 percent or when I’m close to it, that’s when I’ll play. I don’t wanna give my teammates or this city nothing but the best, so I’m not gonna go out there until I’m ready to do everything I can do.”

Thus the question marks about said return’s time frame and just how much longer this club can remain afloat in the interim. The good news is that there’s been some progress.

“It’s basically the second day I was able to get out and do some sprints on the floor,” Howard added. “Other than that, it’s just been on the treadmill and doing some court work. So, today was a lot better than the past couple of days.

“A lot of the stuff is going away. We have to keep doing what I’ve been doing. The trainer (Jason Biles) has been doing a great job trying to get rid of the pain that I’m having around my knee, and we’ll go from there.”

The eight-time All-Star center remains doubtful for Wednesday’s meeting with the 15-2 Memphis Grizzlies, a perennial dark-horse contender that currently holds the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies decimated Houston by a 119-93 margin during their first faceoff this season, and that was with Howard in the lineup.

Without him, the Rockets have dropped games to the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. One might be able to dismiss the Lakers affair as something of an outlier, but defeats at the hands of the Clippers and Warriors highlight the enduring importance of this team’s 28-year-old big man.

Regardless of what the standings might indicate for the moment, the Rockets aren’t going anywhere without their anchor on the inside.

That’s no slight to star shooting guard James Harden, who’s been nothing short of brilliant amidst the various injuries.

Through 17 appearances, he’s averaging 25.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists per contest. He’s tallied at least 32 points in three of his past six games (all sans Howard), including a revealing 95-92 victory against the much healthier 13-5 Dallas Mavericks.

But games against teams like Memphis remind us of the painfully obvious. Without an elite presence in the paint, opposing bigs like Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are poised to exploit the most significant of Houston’s admittedly few vulnerabilities. 

Those two combined for just 23 points and made eight of their 21 field-goal attempts when Memphis blew out Howard and Co. in November. Without Howard around on Wednesday, they’re likely to do a bit more damage.

Thrice named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, Howard can make a pivotal impact even without scoring at a particularly high rate. The 18.8 points he’s averaged through 10 contests has certainly helped Houston’s cause, but it’s his 2.3 blocks per game that may be even more critical at a time like this.

Per NBA.com, Houston’s opponents have only scored 90 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor.

He’s simultaneously responsible for containing the Gasol and Randolphs of the world while also serving as the last line of defense against slashers and cutters. Even when he doesn’t officially record a block, his above-the-rim activity and 265-pound frame are credible deterrents against would-be scorers.

The Rockets’ defensive pedigree certainly benefited from the addition of swingman Trevor Ariza via free agency this summer, but there’s no substitute for imposing rim protection.

Houston’s success may seem to suggest otherwise, but it’s a small sample size and hardly indicative of the challenges that await. The West is absolutely stacked with title hopefuls and otherwise formidable foes. At the moment, seven teams have no more than five losses. 

Good as the Rockets have had it so far, they certainly haven’t been the only ones.

Setting themselves apart from the rest of a very deep pack will require a healthy Howard. Last week’s 102-85 loss to the Clippers was Exhibit A. Blake Griffin went to work against Houston’s porous interior, tallying 30 points and 10 rebounds in just 31 minutes of action. With talented bigs like LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins lurking out West, Houston can ill afford to rely on guys like Tarik Black to man the middle for much longer.

The 23-year-old Kansas product has surpassed expectations, but he’s no rim protector.

And while it’s become fashionable to bemoan Howard’s relatively one-dimensional scoring ability, he still gets the job done well enough to serve as Houston’s second option on the offensive end. His post game may leave something to be desired aesthetically, but a 57.5 percent success rate from the field doesn’t lie.

So there’s at least some urgency to his recovery. No, the Rockets haven’t imploded, and they probably won’t anytime soon. But the race for seeding will be as competitive as ever, and the importance of each win and loss is magnified accordingly.

“I’m trying to get my leg right,” Howard told the Root Sports television broadcast on Saturday, via The Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen. “It’s fine when I jump off or do anything with two feet, but once I try off the one foot, there’s still a lot of pain. I’m trying to make sure I can play where I won’t have that much pain.”

Unfortunately, pain isn’t bound by a particular timetable in this case.

According to Feigen, Howard, ”underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy, an increasingly common procedure, to help relieve the pain and inflammation in his knee” a day after missing the Nov. 19 contest against the Lakers.

“It’s basically a blood draw from yourself that you would take just like you were taking blood to send to a lab, but instead of sending it off, you basically centrifuge it in a spinning machine to separate red blood cells, white blood cells and the plasma layer,” team physician Dr. Steven Flores told Feigen. 

Flores explained that while the procedure won’t regrow cartilage, it should help address pain and inflammation.

Even if Howard’s pain recedes, however, there’s still some concern his knee troubles will reappear. They’ve become something of a nuisance since training camp, which may explain in part why the organization appears to be taking his return to the floor so cautiously.

Indeed, patience may pay off in the long term. Much as the Rockets miss Howard now, they would miss him far more come April or May. 


Around the Association

Mavs Use Double OT To Win Fourth Straight

Monta Ellis’ 38 points led the Dallas Mavericks to a 132-129 win against the Chicago Bulls, but it took two overtimes to get there. Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons and Devin Harris all scored at least 20 points, reminding us why the Mavs led the league in offensive efficiency with 115.8 points per 100 possessions through their first 18 games, per Basketball-Reference.com.

But Ellis’ heroics were the story this time. He hit a go-ahead trey in double OT to finally end the game, and he hit three free throws to tie it with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich inexplicably fouled him several feet beyond the three-point arc, and Ellis got enough of a shot up to earn all three attempts at the line.

And one of the more costly fouls, as well.

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Rockets Injury Update: Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley not expected to return Friday

The Houston Rockets head into tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers coming off a 102-89 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. James Harden lead the Rockets with 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. At 12-3, the Rockets sit in second place in the Southwest Division. The team will be shorthanded tonight, as both Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley are expected to miss the game due to injury.Jose Garcia  via Wikimedia CommonsOur own Tim Hanrahan reported that Howard was out with a right knee strain and there was no timetable for his return. As for Beverley, he missed six of the first nine games of the season while battling a hamstring injury, according to our own Emily Gruver.Jonathan Feigen, who covers the Rockets for the Houston Chronicle, tweeted the following update on Howard and Beverley.McHale indicates he doesn’t expect Howard or Beverley back Friday either. Will likely want a practice before either returns.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 26, 2014Expect Tarik Bl

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Melo: Dwight Howard tried ‘extremely hard’ to recruit me

Before Carmelo Anthony decided to remain with the New York Knicks, Dwight Howard had him thinking about donning a Houston Rockets uniform. Anthony met with the Rockets in July. On Tuesday, Carmelo told reporters that Howard was a big part of the recruiting pitch when he visited Houston. “We had some great dialogue back and…Read More

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