Celtics face challenge against Rockets and "teddy bear" Dwight Howard

Coming off their seemingly Ted movie like fairy tale opening night win against the Brooklyn Nets Boston faces a much stiffer challenge tonight at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Their opponent also won their opening night game easily in a game that was mostly newsworthy because of an on court confrontation between former teammates Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.

To add fuel to the fire in the immediate aftermath of Howard throwing two elbows to Kobe's face in the blowout victory Bryant referred to Dwight as "soft."

*Warning explicit*

Kobe went on to add another insult postgame when he gave Howard the backhanded compliment of calling him a "Teddy Bear":
“You can't help but like him,” Bryant said. “He's a teddy bear. He's a really nice kid, and I really mean that.

The only problem for the Celtics is Dwight has been anything but a soft teddy bear (not unlike Ted in the following clip) since late last season when he finally looked to be fully recovered from the back injury that had plagued him during his stint with the Lakers.

He is more of a grizzly bear when it comes to Boston. A matchup nightmare for the undersized C's who could very well be the difference in the game.

Another interesting subplot fans should look for includes defensive dynamos Avery Bradley and rookie Marcus Smart defending one of the best shooting guards in the league in James Harden.

Harden struggled in the Rockets playoff series last season when they were eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers and is struggling from the floor so far this season shooting just 37% but is still averaging 25 points a game.

In spite of his shooting woes the Arizona State Sun Devil product is averaging eight assists.

Tip off is 8:00PM ET tonight in Houston.

Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey