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Olajuwon says Howard/Lin combo can be “very deadly”

Sep 18, 2013, 4:26 PM EDT

Jeremy Lin AP

Let’s remember that big man legend and guru Hakeem Olajuwon is an employee of the Houston Rockets now — everything he said comes with an element of spin.

That doesn’t mean it’s all wrong, either.

After working out with them, Olajuwon is very high on the potential of a Dwight Howard/Jeremy Lin combo, he told a local news station, as transcribed by ESPN.

“Just the little offense I saw, that combination is very deadly,” Olajuwon told Fox 26. “You can see that both of them are very excited, seeing that, ‘Wow, we bring the right ingredients together…’

“To be on the right team, which (Lin) is right now, he can really help and play his role very well and be effective,” Olajuwon told Fox 26. “There’s no pressure on him now. It’s on Dwight and James (Harden). [Lin’s] position is crucial for the team’s success, and he can play that role very well.”

We’ve said this before but it bears repeating (and you can be sure Mike D’Antoni brought this up more than once): Last season Dwight Howard shot 44.5 percent and scored 0.74 points per possession when he got the ball in the post, he shot 79.6 percent and scored 1.29 points per possession when he got the ball back as the roll man in the pick-and-roll.

Howard pushed back with the Lakers about the pick-and-roll, but if he really buys into running it with the Rockets they could have one of the best in the league. “Linsanity” happened in part because Lin is so aggressive as the ball handler running that play (remember D’Antoni was coach), and nearly a quarter of James Harden’s shot attempts last season came off the pick-and-roll last season and he averaged a point per possession.

So yes, there is a lot of potential there, and if the Rockets are starting to unlock it they might be moving more quickly up their long learning curve this year. But I’ll need more than the word of a coach, even a Hall of Famer.

  1. kb2408 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    When has Dwight ever excelled under pressure? Houston eventually will see the same whiny, malcontent Orlando and Los Angeles saw.

    • antistratfordian - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      “Houston eventually will see the same whiny, malcontent Orlando and Los Angeles saw.”

      The Lakers have had a whiney malcontent for almost 20 years – didn’t seem to be too much of a problem until they put two of them on the same team.

      Houston is not going to have that issue.

    • apkyletexas - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      @kb2408 – “When has Dwight ever excelled under pressure?”

      Oh, I don’t know – maybe when he dragged a bad Orlando team all the way to the NBA finals?

    • bougin89 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      See this playoff line. And this isn’t when he took the Magic to the finals.

      27.0 ppg, 15.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg on 63% FG and 68% FT in 6 playoff games in 2011. I’d say thats decent.

      OK, I’m done with the Dwight Howard posts, I think.

  2. jimsjam33 - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Olajuwon says they can be ” very deadly . ” I say they can’t . I’ll take my opinion over his .

  3. antistratfordian - Sep 18, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    The only problem with what Dream is saying is that Lin wants to be a superstar himself. So I’m not sure he’s going to be happy being a poor man’s Mario Chalmers, but maybe he will eventually accept that role.

    • capya - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM

      Lin’s only job will be to chuck the ball in to Howard – in the post – and watch him spastically hurl the ball in the general direction of the basket and pray.

  4. jerdogthompson - Sep 18, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    For anyone interested to see the Houston “Dream Team” play in Los Angeles I have 2 tickets on the aisle 8 rows behind their bench when they come play the Clippers. They are listed on Stub Hub, sect103 row 8. Get them while they last!

    It’s hard to find a better game viewing vantage point in all of Staples guaranteed.

  5. Anoesis - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Nash is a better PG than Lin and Howard didn’t like running the P&R in L.A. What’s so different about Houston? We all thought Nash/Howard would be a killer combination, too, but Howard didn’t want to do it. It’s one reason he left for Houston. What could change his mind?

  6. nightrain42 - Sep 18, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    The p&r shld b his bread and butter, but he’s too stupid to realize it and too arrogant to develope any real post move. Be careful what u wish for Houston, you might get it!

  7. capya - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    Maybe this html code will work better:

    What could change his mind? Us, obviously, venting on the interwebs. I mean, I assume he’s reading this er… having someone read this to him…

  8. sfsugator - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    I’m still confused by this, he is going to play in the same pick and roll offense that he didn’t want to be apart of. Houston will still have 0 titles after this because the 2 they do have were charity by Jordan when he decided to play Americas past time. Dwight is average beast on defense with a goose egg for an offensive game. FACT!

  9. 32magicman - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Houston showed last season they can score enough points so Howard should concentrate on what he is good at – defence. He was a liability for the lakers last year with the ball in his hands because of his woeful free throw shooting and his unwillingness to improve it. Scores off of offensive rebounds are what the rockets can expect from him this season.

  10. lhollis74 - Sep 19, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Well, I have no clue whether or not Houston will be good or bad, mostly because it all depends on Howard’s mental approach, and frankly I think that’s a crap shoot. Didn’t he say he was happy to be in Los Angeles when he first arrived, didnt he agree to resign with Orlando before he was eventually traded after he requested a trade the year prior, didn’t he deny(which was a lie) trying to get Van Gundy fired? It seems to me that Howard has a lot to say behind closed doors, but when he’s asked a question directly there’s a ton of misdirection. I have trouble respecting an individual that operates that way. I can understand Houston fans being optimistic about Howard, but confident in his commitment is a scary proposition.

    • davesmall1 - Sep 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Yes but I don’t think Dwight has ever been in a locker room like Houston’s, where the team chemistry is so positive. The players actually like each other and they love the coaches. Lin and Parsons are both very upbeat leader types, especially Parsons. James Harden is a guy who scores a ton of points many of which come from free throws. He’s great at getting to the line and sharing the ball. This is how he can score 30 or 40 points in a game without taking many shots, and involving other players.

      Remember that Jeremy Lin’s NYC tenure was very short. He’s really only had a little over one full season in the NBA. Most really good point guards take two or three years to get up to speed.

  11. shuttaman1990 - Sep 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Crack is one hell of a drug.
    Rockets are bums
    Dwight is a fraud.
    Lakers Champs proved that when they took his ring away while he was with the D-league based team Orlando magic
    Lakers all day everyday

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