Dwight Howard dominates in Rockets debut

10/31/13 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was clearly not himself when playing for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, but the Rockets decided to give him a max contract over the summer anyway, expecting him to return to the form that earned him five straight All-NBA first team selections (as well as four consecutive All-Defensive first team selections). So far, it looks like the time and money that the Rockets spent to get Howard in Houston will pay off handsomely.

Blog Photo - Dwight Howard dominates in Rockets debutHoward made his season debut on Wednesday night, and the 27-year-old superstar was simply dominant. Squaring off with Al Jefferson (an offseason prize of the Charlotte Bobcats), Howard made his 6'10'' opponent look like a child. In a winning effort, Howard made 8-of-14 shots on his way to a solid 17 points, but added an astounding 26 rebounds. He also managed two assists and two blocks.

Across 76 games last season, Howard topped 20 rebounds just two times. Now in Houston, Howard came out of the gate fully healthy, matching his career-high in rebounds in his very first game. Lakers fans are bound to be furious at this performance, not just because Howard bolted from Los Angeles after one season, but also because he didn't play like this all that often last year.

Jefferson, meanwhile, was completely stymied by the Rockets' new defensive centerpiece. Though he managed 13 points on the night, Jefferson made just six of the 19 shots he attempted.

If Howard can continue to obliterate opponents on the glass and shut down opponents' top big men, the Rockets very well could be top notch contenders in the Western Conference.
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