Taylor or Howard expendable

Updated: October 20, 2004, 11:27 AM ET
By Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine
BEIJING, China -- Five observations from Houston Rockets training camp:

One will have to go: Expect the Rockets to move either Maurice Taylor or Juwan Howard before the trading deadline, mainly because they're essentially the same power forward. Both can score if plays are run for them, but neither is an offensive rebounder, shot-blocker or defender.

The difference is that Taylor has natural talent that is undercut by mental marshmallowness – he followed a flubbed uncontested dunk by giving up a transition layup against the Kings in Beijing – while Howard makes the most of what he has, which is simply not a lot, physically, by top power-forward standards.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer