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Are the Rockets the New Bad Boys?

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One prominent national writer thinks so. All that and more in a HUGE Rocket Fuel today.

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There is so much news about the Rockets in the last few days it seems stupid to put it all in one post. But I'm short on time and you're short on attention span, so here we are. To the links!

Embrace the Dark Side: How the Rockets Became the New Bad Boys | Grantland

I love everything netw3rk does. Everything. And this piece is no different. Jason Concepcion (his real name, which is weird) says:

When I think of the annoying Eurostep ref-baiting of James Harden, or the knee-capping adventures of über-irritant Patrick Beverley, or Dwight Howard just kind of being himself to the point that Kevin Durant has to put 10 cents in the swear jar, or Daryl "Dork Elvis" lording his Brobdingnagian brain over everyone in the league, I think of how beauty, especially in sports, is in the eye of the beholder. Winning, meanwhile, cannot be overlooked. So, the Rockets and their fans should do what loathed teams have done throughout sports history — own it.

As a Rockets fan with a soapbox, I say: "Gladly." I tend to disagree that we're displeasing to watch, because we score more than 100 points a game and are a great fast break team. But if this is the view of the Rockets around the league, fine. Everyone else can think that and the Rockets can laugh all the way to the O'Brien Trophy.

The NBA is investigating the allegations about Dwight Howard | NBA.com

The line here that we haven't reported on yet: "Mike Bass, the NBA’s executive vice president of communications, told ESPN on Tuesday, 'We are aware of the allegations concerning Dwight Howard and are in the process of independently gathering the facts.' "

ESPN takes inside look at Rockets’ analytics system during Lakers game | Ultimate Rockets

David Barron, back in our lives! Apparently a new wrinkle to ESPN's broadcasts this year is former NBA front office exec Tom Penn joining the team to discuss front office stuff. That means he'll be taking a look at Daryl Morey and the Rockets, hopefully to break up the tedium of a blowout tonight.

Rockets Assign Johnson to the Vipers | Houston Rockets

Nick Johnson joins Clint Capela in Rio Grande. Johnson was emergency depth while Beverley was injured. Now that Pat's back, Johnson can get minutes in the D-League, as was likely always intended. Looking forward to some highlights of ridiculous dunks from him this year.

Rockets looking to make a trade sooner rather than later | Ultimate Rockets

Feigen says the Rockets want to use that $8.34 million trade exception from the Jeremy Lin deal sooner rather than later. According to his sources, their strategy "would be to add any player that could help strengthen the rotation, rather than to seek a player at a specific position." Okay then.

Gary Payton Talks Smack About Dwight Howard | Sonics Rising

"The smiles and the antics are getting on players' nerves," Payton said on Fox Sports Live. "Dwight Howard wouldn't come to where I'm up in the streets at."

Breaking down Reggie Jackson's failed last shot vs. the Rockets | Welcome to Loud City

Let's remember the happy times, like the Rockets winning ugly. Welcome to Loud City has a pretty cool film room breakdown of the Thunder's final play against the Rockets from Sunday night.