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VIDEO: Dwight Howard looks great in preseason debut with Houston

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

For all the hype, drama, and unfulfilled expectations surrounding Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers last season, we should remember that he was going through two big injuries (coming off back surgery and a torn labrum) in the 2012-13 season. He wasn't even close to as good as we remember him from Orlando and yet he was still one of the better big men in the NBA last season.

As he begins a new chapter of his career with the Houston Rockets, Howard now gets to remind people that he's still arguably the best big man in basketball and that if he's healthy, there's no real argument to even be had. In his preseason debut with the Rockets, Howard had a very solid line of 19 points (6-of-11 from the field, 7-of-11 from the line), 9 rebounds, and three assists. He played 26 minutes as the Rockets lost to the new look New Orleans Pelicans 116-115.

In the video, you can see just how well Howard is moving and executing when he gets the basketball. The first catch on the left side of the paint as he spun into the lane against three defenders and dropped a half-hook was an impressive move that he has in his repertoire. He also showed he's still probably the best safety valve option on the baseline for dump-down passes.

Going against Greg Stiemsma and Jason Smith helped him look good in his debut because there is a limit to what those guys can do, but they're both solid defenders that play very physical basketball. It was a good test for Dwight in his new role as franchise guy for the Rockets and he passed.

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