Rockets Roundup: 12/22/14

A quick and digestible look at the most top-of-mind Rockets news of the past few days.   

Yahoo! Sports. Sources: Rockets looming as strongest suitor to sign Josh Smith.

The Houston Rockets are emerging as the strongest suitor to sign forward Josh Smith, league sources told Yahoo Sports. After the Detroit Pistons made the stunning move of releasing Smith, he’s expected to clear waivers on Wednesday and become an unrestricted free agent. The Pistons owed Smith $26 million on his contract running through the 2016 season. Houston has aggressively pursued Smith for the past two years, failing in the summer of 2013 to agree to a sign-and-trade agreement with Atlanta to acquire him. Before ultimately signing a four-year $56 million deal with Detroit, Smith had been fixated on finding a way to join the Rockets, sources said.

Houston Chronicle. Rockets make it through ‘spirited’ practice after back-to-back losses at Toyota Center.

After two straight losses at the Toyota Center, the Rockets spent a good chunk of Sunday in the gym. They had a long film session then practice and coach Kevin McHale called the team “spirited” after. “We had a really good day of practice today,” McHale said. “Everyone worked hard and we worked on some things that we needed to fix.” The team added two new players to the mix on Sunday. Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved both practiced with the Rockets for the first time since they were traded to Houston on Friday. McHale said that he liked what he saw in the short amount of time.

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The Red94 Podcast: Episode 65


In today’s episode, we take reader questions.

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I had had the Portland game circled on my calendar for weeks, but with the outcome of the past two outings, my enthusiasm has waned, if just slightly.  But still, it will be a good test of things.  When it became clear last summer that Terrence Jones had no business sharing the court with LaMarcus Aldridge, many, including myself, called for Donatas Motiejunas to just be given a shot.  The thinking was, he couldn’t possibly be any worse than Jones.  That shot never came, but it will tomorrow.  If the Rockets are to navigate the perilous waters of the Western Conference this May, they will need their power forward to provide something of use.  They have no chance otherwise.

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Rockets Roundup: 12/19/14

A quick and digestible look at the most top-of-mind Rockets news of the past few days.   

Houston Chronicle. Rockets’ offense can’t keep up with Hawks down the stretch in home loss.

The Rockets were looking for a bounce-back win on Saturday night, but instead walked away with their second straight loss, the first time the Rockets have dropped consecutive home games this season and the first home losing streak since losing to the Lakers and Clippers at Toyota Canter on Nov. 7 and Nov. 9, 2013, respectively.

Houston Chronicle. Newest Rockets Shved & Brewer join Rockets with optimism aplenty.

The Rockets’ sideline looked a little different on Saturday night. It was a day after the Rockets were part of a three-team trade that brought guard Alexey Shved from Philadelphia and Corey Brewer from Minnesota. Troy Daniels was sent to the Timberwolves and Francisco Garcia was released. The two newcomers could not play on Saturday because all parties in the trade had not gone through physicals yet. They should be available for Monday’s game when the Rockets host the Trail Blazers.

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The Houston Rockets failed to climb back up to the .800 mark in the season, and now have fallen behind the Portland Trailblazers to the fourth seed in the west. After putting every bit of their backs, all their elbow grease, and a hell of a lot of moxie into an overtime win against the Denver Nuggets, the Rockets came home to find the New Orleans Pelicans laying in wait and ready to take advantage of a truly fatigued team. The return of Kostas Papanikolaou wasn’t enough to take this team over the top, despite heading into the fourth quarter with a lead.

The Rockets couldn’t hit shots. The team was only 38% from the floor and 24% from behind the arc (but a respectable 78% from the stripe, somehow). Their layups were rolling out, jumpers were rattling out, and tired legs led to sloppy play on more than a few occasions. Houston’s starters have been carrying a heavy load, and carrying it for an extra five minutes of overtime turned a challenging game into an episode of American Gladiators. The normally anemic rim defense from New Orleans metamorphosed into the paint protection one expects from Anthony Davis and Ömer Aşık. It was a great game from the Pelicans, and a gutty loss from the Rockets.

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