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Rumor: Dwight Howard unhappy taking backseat to James Harden with Rockets

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James Harden‘s teammates reportedly complained about his play and aloofness during a players-only meeting.

Was one of the critics Dwight Howard?

Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops:

Dwight Howard is extremely unhappy in Houston playing second fiddle to alpha dog James Harden, multiple league sources tell SheridanHoops.com.

Sheridan is hit or miss. He was ahead of the game on LeBron James returning to the Cavaliers and completely whiffed on a mystery coach getting fired last May. Sheridan doesn’t have a high enough accuracy rate, but he has also developed many great sources in his years covering the NBA. Take this report in that context.

Circumstantially, it makes some sense.

The Rockets are 12-13, and that type of losing creates problems and brings festering ones to the surface.

Howard ranks fifth on the team in shots per game – behind Harden, Trevor Ariza, Marcus Thornton and Terrence Jones. At age 30, Howard might not be capable of carrying a huge load, but that doesn’t mean he thinks that way. Earlier this year, he said he believes he’s the NBA’s best player.

It’s not easy for anyone who has played at Howard’s level to defer to a teammate. Howard would probably do it to win – after all, Harden was already in Houston when Howard signed – but the Rockets aren’t winning.

Howard can opt out this summer, and Houston already has a viable replacement starting centerClint Capela, who’s nine years younger than Howard. Both factors nudge the needle toward a trade. Howard being unhappy would push it even further.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has called working with the current roster a priority over trading, but if Howard is this unhappy, something has to give.

The Rockets could play better, and I bet Howard’s attitude changes. But if they continue to struggle, it’s difficult to see Howard becoming more pleased with his situation – however he feels about it now.

Heat: Justise Winslow out at least two more weeks

Justise Winslow
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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat say Justise Winslow will miss at least two more weeks while recovering from a back injury.

Winslow has played only once since Dec. 4 and is slated to be out for at least the remainder of January. The team originally called Winslow’s injury a back strain, then updated the diagnosis to a bone bruise.

Winslow played off the bench in Miami’s win at Indiana on Jan. 8. The team said the back problems reappeared after that game. He has not played since.

Friday’s game in Oklahoma City is Miami’s 41st of the season and the 30th that Winslow has missed. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the Heat this season.

Kevin Huerter’s 3-pointer gives Hawks first win in San Antonio in his lifetime (video)

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The Hawks beat the Spurs in San Antonio on Feb. 15, 1997.

The next year, Kevin Huerter was born.

Atlanta’s next win in San Antonio came Friday, when Huerter hit the game-winning 3-pointer in a 121-120 win.

The Hawks’ losing streak in San Antonio spanned Tim Duncan’s entire lengthy career – and continued a few seasons beyond that. The only reprieve came during the lockout-shortened 1999 season, when Atlanta didn’t visit San Antonio. So, the skid lasted 21 games.

Buddy Hield on Kings getting booed at home: ‘That’s how Sacramento fans are’

Kings guard Buddy Hield
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Buddy Hield is quite familiar with frustration amid the Kings’ disappointing season.

Sacramento fans showed theirs Wednesday, booing the Kings during their home loss to the Mavericks.

Buddy Hield, via James Ham of NBC Sports California:

“Everybody is frustrated, it’s not even them, we’re trying to figure it out too,” Buddy Hield said following the loss. “But it’s the home team and we get booed…we don’t agree with it, but they’re going to voice their opinion.

“I understand their frustration, but like I said, I’m going to keep shooting the ball,” Hield continued. “When I make a three they like me, when I don’t, they hate you. That’s how Sacramento fans are, man, so you’ve got to embrace it.”

Hield seemingly isn’t looking to pick a fight with fans. He made a point to empathize with their frustration.

But I don’t think he’s being fair, either.

Kings fans are far more loyal than swinging between love and hate depending whether or not a shot falls. They’re fed up after 13 – going on 14 – straight seasons missing the playoffs. This year has been particularly discouraging, as Sacramento has backtracked from fun and fast to sad and slow. Losing to Luka Doncica particular grievance – only adds to the irritation.

The Kings’ problems have spanned multiple owners, executives, coaches and players. So, booing this group isn’t totally fair, either. But this is who’s in front of the fans.

If this Sacramento team plays hard and together, fans will embrace it – and stick with it through thinner times.

76ers play 6-on-5 vs. Bulls (video)

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The 76ers found one way to solve their spacing issues.

Philadelphia showed good ball movement, finding Furkan Korkmaz for an open corner 3-pointer. The catch? Korkmaz got open, because the 76ers had six players on the floor.

I love Kyle O'Quinn trying to slink off the court. He wanted to get away with it. Tobias Harris, who jogged to the bench, was practically begging to get caught.

Honestly, I’m a little surprised how quickly the Bulls noticed the violation. It’s not as if their defense scrambling is anything new.