Big game tonight. Let's get right to the links:
Pau Gasol sees a different Dwight Howard in Houston | Ultimate Rockets
Gasol: "He doesn’t seem to be as aggressive in the post or get as many touches as he used to be maybe, but he’s always a big factor in the games. He’s capable of having huge nights."
Former Texans fan Chandler Parsons celebrates Cowboys win | ProBasketballTalk
Oh Chach Douche. I get it: who wants to root for the Buccaneers, Jaguars or Dolphins? I don't have the energy or desire to look up where in Florida he's from. It's all terrible.
Notes and Observations from Rockets vs. Heat | Red & Orange Report
Film room analysis by @Rockets_Insider. Really good stuff, including vines of awesome D-Mo defense, baller Big Papa passes and more.
Rockets report: Brewer's scoring, defense helps ease transition | Houston Chronicle
Corey Brewer has been the Rockets' best pickup of the season so far. He talks a little about why he's fit in so well.
James Harden makes Forbes 30 under 30 | Forbes
Not only did the Beard make the list, but he was the headliner. Also present from the NBA: Chris Paul. Conspicuously absent: Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. J.J. Watt also made the list. Harden's writeup:
As a chubby teenager with asthma, James Harden knew his NBA dream was a "long shot." But the future superstar forced himself to get up early before school to jack up shots in the gym and lift weights. That work eventually earned Harden a scholarship to Arizona State, where he played for two years before being drafted third overall in 2009 by the Oklahoma City Thunder. More than five years later, Harden is living out his fantasy, now as the starting shooting guard for the Houston Rockets with an Olympic gold medal to his name. "Most of the days I didn’t want to get up, it was too early," he says, looking back at his teenage years when he was unknown and, yes, beardless. "But I had to, and it definitely paid off." Today, Harden is one of the league's most likeable--and marketable--players, complete with prodigious facial hair and a quirky fashion sense. His on-court talent earned him a five-year, $80 million contract extension in 2012, while his off-court charisma has led to endorsements with Nike, Foot Locker and sports drink company BodyArmor. "Sometimes you’re just born and gifted with something," he says of his eccentricities. "The beard, the mohawk, the way I dress, it’s just instilled in me."
Injury updates: Rose probable vs. Rockets | ESPN Chicago
Derrick Rose is probable, Jimmy Butler is likely to return after going on bereavement leave and Mike Dunleavy is questionable. So it seems like the dangerous Bulls will have the full squad tonight.
Nuggets experimenting with abolishing traditional shootaround | The Denver Post
Fascinating development, for realsies. Nuggest HC Brian Shaw said with his young players, he's basically not going to stop them from going out, so he'd rather them get sleep. He is now asking them to show up an hour earlier (3 p.m. for a 7 p.m. game) and they do opponent prep then. Will try to follow this after the year, and see what they say.