Friday, August 23, 2013
Can a Howard-Asik frontcourt work?
By Joe Kaiser
A week after Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey mentioned that the team was considering playing Dwight Howard at power forward so they could play him alongside center Omer Asik in the starting five, one former NBA player expressed doubts that the plan could work.
Former shooting guard Eddie Johnson, who played 17 seasons in the NBA on six teams -- including the Rockets -- penned a pretty interesting piece on HoopsHype.com this week detailing why the Howard-Asik combo will not work.
Johnson contends that the Rockets would be better off using Asik as a backup or trading him for "a power forward who can knock down a perimeter shot and make at least 70 percent of his free throws."
"I love the assets the Rockets have accumulated in such a short time after dismantling their team a year ago. ..." Johnson writes. "But I see major problems if the Rockets think they can create a twin-tower system with two perennial brick layers from the free-throw line like Dwight Howard and Omer Asik. Nothing about this combination excites me other than the fact they will take up space defensively and fight for rebounds.
"(Kevin) McHale obviously is rolling the dice into thinking he can manage Asik's minutes and keep him happy. It is going to blow up if Asik's attitude is still about starting and minutes played ... Which I suspect it is."
If Houston keeps Howard at center and brings Asik off the bench, it runs into a potential issue even if Asik accepts the reserve role -- Who plays the four? The Rockets' only real options would be either moving Chandler Parsons to that spot and starting someone like Ronnie Brewer or Francisco Garcia at the three, or keeping Parsons at small forward and going with one of their two young former first-round picks -- Donatas Motiejunas or Terrence Jones -- at the four.