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.

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in uncategorized

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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.

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in game coverage

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How do you build a team around James Harden?

Most of you all now would agree that, aside from the hope of a first-round upset to help serve in making Houston seem a somewhat palatable destination for Kevin Durant, this season, for all intents and purposes, is over.  The micro-level discussions from last year regarding strategy and opponents have given way to the macro debates of seasons past over team building.  Discussions which we thought we had left safely in the rearview mirror.

With the Warriors’ historic levels of success, and the Spurs nipping at their heels as the presumed runner-up, the ingrained assumption has become that only an imitation of their styles could hope to pose a challenge.  In essence, unless you play small and share the ball, you don’t have a chance.

The reality of such conventional wisdom is problematic for a team like Houston who features a traditional, relatively unskilled big man, and more importantly, a 90’s era ball dominant superstar whose value is diminished when operating without the ball.  Does this mean James Harden must adjust?  Does this mean a James Harden-led team cannot win?

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in musings

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Courtesy of Deadspin.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than this video is worth a lot more than that. Because it sums up not only this horrible monstrosity of a game, but the horrible monstrosity of this season. When Red94 gets around to writing a “what the **** went wrong” article at the end of this season, this video should be at the top.

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in game coverage

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We were supposed to be like 40-10 right now with posts littered all over this space about the adjustments/tweaks needed to contend with the Warriors and Spurs, to whom we would be looking up at in the standings.  Actually, when I think about it, I’m disgusted in myself for the level of unintentional ungratefulness I’d have exhibited in this alternate  universe.  In reality, we just straight suck, 27-25, 5-5 in our last 10, with all of our team meetings, and empty quotes about focus used up.  This, in a world where the antiquated Memphis Grizzlies have somehow managed to climb to 10 games above .500.

I was never going to discuss Kevin Durant because that’s kind of a stretch now, isn’t it?  In my day, the SAT was the tell-all standardized test, and if a kid got like an 1100 (out of 1600), you weren’t exactly ushering him into the counselor’s office every week to discuss crafting a Harvard application.  But the headline is in the news, so let’s do this, I guess.

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in essays

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