It’s unfair to lay blame only at the feet of James Harden and Dwight Howard for their team’s wholly discouraging start to the season. Despite the Houston Rockets’ obviously widespread issues throughout the first two months of 2015-16, though, the superstar pair is taking it upon themselves to right the ship.
According to Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle, Harden and Howard have recently begun working out together with greater frequency in hopes of finding the rapport that’s been elusive for the Rockets since the season tipped-off in late October. Here’s Houston’s veteran big man on fruits of those labors.
“It’s been great,” Howard said. “The thing we are trying to build on the most is chemistry between me and James. We have played together for two years, but the best way to build chemistry is to have those individual workouts together.
“That’s what we have done the last couple of weeks and we have gotten better at reading each other and the more we do it, the better we will become.”
It was Harden who bore the brunt of criticism for a 4-7 start that prompted the abrupt dismissal of coach Kevin McHale in mid-November. Howard, though, hasn’t exactly avoided the limelight – whether deserving or not.
A report emerged last week that the eight-time All-Star wanted to be traded. And though both player and team immediately refuted that intel, rumors surfaced in the interim that Howard has every intention of leaving Houston this summer by opting out of the final season of his contract.
Either way, it’s certainly encouraging that he and Harden have put any real or perceived differences aside by putting in extra hours simultaneously. That’s exactly the type of leadership the Rockets need to continue improving and make good on preseason expectations of championship contention.
(Via Houston Chronicle)