I wrote last week, in essence, that the Rockets shouldn’t think about the ‘ideal’ in building a team, because that would just be a path to wasting a lot of time in passing up a lot of potentially available players. Mine can be considered a defeatist opinion, I know. So then what would the ideal team around Harden look like? The question holds relevance not just due to the rumors indicating a potential breakup of the team, but against the backdrop of murmurs in some respected circles as to whether the team should trade Harden himself.
I maintain still that Dwight Howard isn’t going anywhere. The Rockets will make inquiries and test the market. And they’ve likely told the big man that they won’t be offering him the max this summer, and that he and his agent are free to test the market now and contact suitors to see if anyone else might be more willing. He’ll get a harsh dose of reality when finding he just isn’t worth any more than about $20 million a year (oh, the horror!). And then, the Rockets won’t be in any rush to make a deal for any of the garbage offers that seem to be on the table.
Now none of this means that Howard will be back with the team next October. He could fly the coop this summer and sign somewhere else for about the same money, but with maybe a better chance for winning, or a better chance of being loved. The point here is that Houston won’t be rushed into making a deal where they get back nothing of value when they know no one else will offer Howard more money than the amount they are willing to give.
I still can’t believe I just typed that sentence out. As terrible as this season has been, I doubt there was a single Rockets fans who thought this team would struggle to make the NBA playoffs. And there is certainly a valid train of thought that this team should just tank for the rest of the season, if not tear this team down completely.Morey may be thinking about that, given yesterday’s news that Houston may be looking to trade Dwight Howard. But let us assume for now that the teams stays as it is. Under those circumstances, what do Houston’s chances of making the playoffs look like? Even after yesterday’s loss to the Blazers, ESPN’s BPI Playoff odds gives the Rockets a 2 in 3 chance of making the playoffs. Could that possibly be too optimistic? [read more…]
At the two-thirds points in this season, it is clear that the Rockets just are who they are. They have been complacent for much of the season, and the chemistry which defined this team last year is completely and totally gone, as Jason Terry so kindly observed after this game.Everyone knows the problems which have afflicted the Rockets at this point. The Portland Trail Blazers are nowhere as talented as the Rockets. But they are better coached, work together, and can actually pass the ball without turning it over. And when the Rockets actually made things close down the stretch, it was a bunch of turnovers which created a Portland run to seal the game. [read more…]
This has to be the most depressing NBA season I have ever watched – and the Golden State Warriors are to blame for this as much as the Houston Rockets.
I just don’t know who’s going to stop the Warriors not just for this season, but for the next 3 to 5 seasons. Their players are not old. The rising salary cap means that they can keep everyone. The unique style of their players means that not only are they impossible to replicate, but the classic situation where a lesser star on a championship team wants to leave to lead his own team becomes less likely. They appear to be immune to the Disease of More which has killed past champions.Tonight, the Houston Rockets tied the game through the first three quarters. Then in the fourth quarter, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson did not score a single point, and yet the Warriors blew the Rockets out anyways. The Rockets could not buy a basket, Harrison Barnes dropped in 17 points making shots that a superstar would make, and that was that. The Warriors march on to perfection, and the Rockets to futility. [read more…]