Eastern Conference scout on the start of the Dwight Howard era in Houston:
"I see it as real positive for them. I don't get the negativity about this team. I think they're capable of beating anyone in a series. They are also capable of losing to any team. It's all over the map because they play only one way. Their way.
"They're totally committed to what they do. There's no indecisiveness there. They're very clear on what they want to do and how to go about it. And they're very hard to prepare for because they push the ball, push the ball, push the ball.
"Scouts like coaches that call a lot of plays because it's easy to understand when it all fits neatly into a box you can study. But Houston has a very thin playbook and just keeps coming at you and, after a while, it just takes a toll on you.
"Just look at how many fouls they draw in a a game. Last time I looked at the stats, it was 28 a game, with the next closest team at 23. It's right there in black and white. They are attacking. They are shooting a 3 or taking it to the rim and there's no in-between.
"When it comes to Dwight, it's not an easy yes-or-no answer. On the positive side you like it when he faces up and attacks because he's so quick you can't handle him. On the other hand, because they're so transition-oriented, he doesn't get a ton of touches in the halfcourt, [but] I would say he gets enough.
"You wouldn't consider Dwight or [James] Harden playmkers, but it works. You've got a great scorer who gets to the rim and a guy who protects the rim and attacks the glass. It's probably going to evolve, but the overall talent is very impressive. The approach is not super-traditional, but, again, they have a style of play and they keep coming at you.
"The challenge will be what happens in the playoffs. Will they be able to go up and down? Or will they come up against teams that keep them under wraps and force them into shooting lazy jump shots? Either way they have a clear philosophy and a lot of teams in this league don't. That's something to respect."