Walker: Getting to the second round is good, but going all the way is better. What’s the single biggest factor going against Houston making the finals?
McGuire: I can’t decide between lack of depth or lack of shooting. Josh Smith is just a coin flip. When Smith is good, like he was against Dallas, he’s awesome. When Smith is not good, he actively hurts the Rockets with crazy passes and his infamous shooting. Brewer can also be hit and miss from game to game, and you can’t coin flip your way to the NBA Finals.
On the other hand, I’ve railed about Houston’s lack of shooting for this entire season. The closest Houston has to a knock-down shooter is Terry. The Warriors have a pair of decent shooters and the Clippers have Redick. Even the Grizzlies have Courtney Lee, though the Grizzlies don’t matter because they’ll be lucky to last six games against the Warriors without Mike Conley.
Felker: The Rockets are streak shooters for the most part, but because of the way they play the percentages I think it would be difficult to go cold enough as a team to lose a series just off of that. My biggest concern is consistently generating points out of the halfcourt.
Their shooting certainly plays a part in that, but Corey Brewer corner threes are always Plan B to James Harden’s offense. The Rockets are just too dependent on Harden, especially without Donatas Motiejunas and to a much lesser extent Patrick Beverley. It might not matter much against the Clippers and their middling defense, but even they have Matt Barnes and Chris Paul to throw at Harden on big possessions. The Warriors will be an entirely different story, however, what with all their 6’7+ wings to choose from. Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Draymond Green should all be able to stay fresh while constantly harassing Harden.
He will have to be superhuman offensively to carry this team all the way to the Finals.
…have the only actual, functioning lightsaber or your very own dragon to ride?
Wait, wait, wait. Thats not what I meant.
Basketball. Spurs, Clippers.
Saturday night. Staples Arena, Los Angeles, CA.
Lob City and the last(?) ride of Tim Duncan and his Immortals.
All for the chance to play our Houston Rockets in the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
So, who will you be rooting for? [read more…]
The Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks.
I don’t really know what to say. It’s been such an up and down season. Having an actual defense. The injuries. Harden taking another leap to a true superstar. The injuries. Motiejunas becoming useful. The injuries. Josh Smith, the good. Josh Smith, the bad.
And now, the Houston Rockets have beaten the Dallas Mavericks. Not so much with Harden heroics but with solid, real team defense that was not there last year. And the result turned out to be so much different from last year.
Ahead of Game 5 and another chance for the Rockets to close out the Dallas Mavericks, we caught up with Tim Cato of MavsMoneyball.com
MF – Rockets fans adored Chandler Parsons. Half still do, while half blame him for leaving even though thats pretty much Daryl Morey’s fault for underestimating the troll inside of Mark Cuban. How hard did you fall in love with him this season, and how did it change your outlook to lose him so early into the playoffs? [read more…]
Do you believe in jinxes?
Because to me, worrying about them always seemed so silly. In high school, guys who wouldn’t wash their socks after big wins weren’t insuring a repeat performance, they were only making their shoes stink. As Chris Webber says (and to which I agree), believing in such things just means you don’t trust in yourself and your training. I personally just never had much use for superstition (and certainly didn’t need any help making my shoes stink).
But jinxing was on my mind when I wrote the headline for Game 3’s post-game coverage, “You may or may not want to consider thinking about possibly pulling out your brooms”.
As you can see, I was a little timid with the headline at first, afraid to outright upset mystical forces that I don’t understand and/or believe in. But as I got to writing and re-watching some of the game, I couldn’t help but notice how dominant the Rockets looked; Dwight snatching every rebound, Harden slicing and dicing the Mavs defense. Even though it was a wire-to-wire game, the Rockets had absorbed two 30-point performances by Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, and saw every trick in Rick Carlisle’s toolbox and still came out on top.
So if i was a little concerned at first that perhaps I was being too cavalier with the title, by the end it was all I could do to not out-and-out guarantee the sweep.
But I was wrong: maybe jinxes really do exist, and Rick Carlisle definitely still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
First off, Carlisle made the obvious decision to start JJ Barea and my new least favorite player in the whole world, Al-F@$#% Aminu, [read more…]