Identity problem in Houston

How the Rockets can be an explosive offense and shutdown defense

Updated: November 7, 2013, 4:08 PM ET
By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

Dwight Howard and Omer AsikAP Photo/Jae C. HongSurprisingly, Dwight Howard (12) and Omer Asik (3) have been able to coexist on the floor.

It sounds like the pitch for an upcoming installment of ESPN Films' 30 for 30 series: "What if I told you there was an NBA team that couldn't score but survived with tough defense, and there was a team that struggled defensively but lit up the league with its hot shooting? And what if I told you they were the same team?"

Well, through five games, that "two-faced" squad does exist -- and it's the Houston Rockets.

For the Rockets, signing Dwight Howard away from the Los Angeles Lakers -- while crucial -- was only the first step. The challenge for the Houston coaching staff since the start of training camp has been to figure out how to best make use of Howard's unique skills. Five games -- and four wins -- into Howard's Rockets career, that process is ongoing as he prepares to face his former team Thursday night for the first time.