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Howard willing to change positions for Rockets
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 19, 2013 @ 2:22 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sean Highkin, USA TODAY Sports
By signing Dwight Howard in July, the Houston Rockets instantly became a new title contender in the already-loaded Western Conference. They also opened up questions as to how the three-time defensive player of the year would fit next to incumbent starting center Omer Asik.
According to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, a change of positions for Howard might be one solution, and Howard seems open to the idea.
“Coach (Kevin) McHale plans to experiment with Dwight at (power forward) and Omer as (center) in training camp,” Morey told Reddit users during a Q&A session on Friday. “If it works and helps us win, obviously we would look at using it.”
Howard was asked about possibly changing positions during a recent trip to Taiwan, and he said he was willing to make the switch if it helped the team win games.
“I think it can make our team tougher,” Howard told news reporters in Taiwan. “We need (me playing) as a power forward some games and Asik being a center. We will have a big lineup, and it will be tough for teams to truly score.”
The Rockets’ starting frontcourt remains up in the air. Howard is locked into one starting spot, whether that’s at power forward or center. If Asik is pushed to the bench, either Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas likely would start at power forward.
Asik and Howard together would figure to be a dangerous combination defensively, but it’s unclear how they’d work together on offense. Asik is extremely limited as an offensive player, and while Howard is excellent in the pick-and-roll and has a solid set of post moves, he doesn’t have much range.
During his career, Howard hasn’t had much success playing next to another starting-caliber center. In his two most successful seasons with the Orlando Magic, 2008-09 and 2009-10, he and backup center Marcin Gortat saw the floor together in only 17 games. Last season, Howard’s sole year with the Los Angeles Lakers, he struggled to click with Pau Gasol, a 7-footer who primarily played power forward. Both Gasol and Gortat are more accomplished offensive players than Asik.
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