Trans. Oct 31 11:44 ET (Oct 31 11:44 ET ) After getting referred to as "soft" in a quiet season opener, Dwight Howard is feeling good heading into the Houston Rockets' first home game following a bounce-back effort. The Boston Celtics hope to spoil Houston's home opener after Rajon Rondo returned to spark a victory in their debut. With Howard and the Rockets seeking their second straight 3-0 start, Rondo and the Celtics will try to open the season with consecutive wins for the first time in five years on Saturday night. Cameras caught Kobe Bryant calling Howard "soft" - among other things - as the two jawed at one another in Houston's 108-90 season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
The Scoop:"He's bending better. He's moving better," McHale said. "It's night and day from where he was last year at this time, and I really felt last year at this time he was night and day from where he was in July when we signed him." Dwight spent much of the offseason focusing on stretching and strength so that his back would be in top shape to begin the year, however, his conditioning remains an issue, as running wasn't part of his regiment. That being said, he looks healthy and he'll be a double-double threat each time he steps on the court.
Dwight Howard posted a nice line of 22 points, 10 rebounds, one steal, two blocks and six turnovers before fouling out against the Jazz on Wednesday.
The Scoop:He only went to the line three times tonight after only making 7-of-16 from there on Tuesday. Howard is batting 1.000 on his double-doubles this season with two and should have plenty more on the way. Although, his 11 fouls in 53 minutes is not a good start this season, especially without Omer Asik there to back him up.
Kobe Bryant might have called Dwight Howard ''soft'' but, just like the Lakers, the Utah Jazz had no one who could stop him. Howard had 22 points and 10 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the Jazz 104-93 on Wednesday night to spoil Quin Snyder's NBA coaching debut. James Harden added 18 points and 10 assists, and Trevor Ariza had 20 points for the Rockets, who opened the season Tuesday night in Los Angeles with a 108-90 victory over the Lakers.
Dwight Howard opened the 2014-15 season with a double-double, navigating foul trouble on his way to 13 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one block in a mere 21 minutes of action.
The Scoop:Fewer unnecessary fouls could have resulted in a much bigger night, but the Rockets were already inclined to monitor his playing time due to conditioning concerns -- Dwight only played in four preseason games, so he may need a week or two to elevate his fitness. Dwight also shot 7-of-16 from the FT line, which is navigable in H2H leagues but disastrous in Rotisserie.