McHale excited about addition of Howard

McHale excited about addition of Howard
July 7, 2013, 1:00 pm
Share This Post

ORLANDO, Fla. — It's rare that you see Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale without a smile on his face, but on Sunday he had even more reason to be upbeat and jovial.

The former Celtic great and the Rockets landed the biggest free agent available this summer when the team got a commitment from Dwight Howard.

The acquisition of Howard immediately catapults the Rockets into the thick of what should be a tightly contested Western Conference race.

"We'll see," McHale said. "I'm looking forward to getting together with the team, putting everything together and going out there.

McHale added, "I'm really comfortable that we can compete with anybody."

He joins a Houston team that already features all-star guard James Harden, Harvard grad Jeremy Lin and a host of solid young talented role players.

But the centerpiece of the Rockets' ascension to being among the upper echelon teams in the NBA, centers around the addition of Howard.

And while he had his problems with the Los Angeles Lakers and to some degree the Orlando Magic, McHale is confident that this move will bode well both for the Rockets as well as Howard's future.

When asked about whether Howard was a finished product, McHale said, "you're a finished product the day you retire. You're always evolving and changing. Dwight's in the process of evolving and changing. He says he feels way better ... his back feels better. I anticipate him coming in and doing what he did for years, being the best, most dominate center in the league."

Among Howard's new teammates is Omer Asik who established himself as one of the better centers in the NBA last season.

Shortly after word surfaced that Howard was coming to H-town, reports indicated that Asik wasn't all that thrilled about playing with the seven-time all-star.

McHale said he does envision scenarios where both players are on the floor at the same time.

"You can play two bigs," said McHale, who can understand why Asik wasn't too happy about the signing. "He (Asik) became one of the top centers in the league. It's just that when you have an opportunity to get a Dwight, it's hard not to. I'm sure right now Omer is a little down in the dumps, but we'll pick him up. "