By John Denton

Video: Howard | Lin | O'Quinn

Far away from the media glare and no longer under the white-hot scrutiny that goes with playing for the Lakers in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard has found solace in an under-the-radar market and with a team that will feed him the ball and mostly revolve in his orbit.

Howard admits now that what he has found with the Houston Rockets – something that makes his smile and have fun with the game again – is very similar to what he once owned with the Orlando Magic. The grass wasn’t necessarily greener in L.A., and the bigger market size wasn’t necessarily a perk, Howard knows now.

In a Houston team that features Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and James Harden, Howard can close his eyes and envision the striking similarities to Hedo Turkoglu, Marcin Gortat and Rashard Lewis from the 2009 Magic team that won the Eastern Conference and reached the 2009 NBA Finals.

``I think it’s the almost same exact team,’’ Howard said of the comparisons between the 2013 Rockets and the ’09 Magic. ``Off the court, all of us are always together. And on the court it’s like the same thing. You look at Chandler like Hedo, James is like a Courtney Lee and a guy who can really score the ball. Then, we have two big point guards – Patrick (Beverly) is like Skip (Rafer Alston) and Jeremy (Linn) is like Anthony Johnson. So it’s almost like that same core group of guys that we had in Orlando.’’

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