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Adding insult to injury: the Spurs against the Blazers

We’ve all been watching the massacre out West this past week as the San Antonio Spurs continue to make a team that thoroughly disposed of the Rockets look like a junior varsity squad.  And by now, most of you have seen some of the quotes and assessments.

fivethirtyeight.com noted upon the sharp disparity in contested shots for the Blazers between the two rounds.

Hardwood Paroxysm recently examined the Spurs’ ability to key in on Damian Lillard.

And lastly, a quote from an opponent is worth a thousand video breakdowns.  First, from Wes Mathews: “”They move the ball, they share the ball,” Blazers guard Wesley Matthews said, beginning innocently enough before diving into his checklist. “[The ball] is not going to stick in anybody’s hands. Houston might have been a little easier to defend because you knew where they were going to go. This time, Marco [Belinelli] comes into the game, they run floppy action for him. They run a hammer action for Patty [Mills]. They run angle screens for [Manu] Ginobili, they run angle screens for [Tony] Parker. They’ve got so many weapons.”

And lastly, Robin Lopez: “”With Houston, there wasn’t any…not that much pressure on defense.  And offensively, they focused a lot more on isolation game, whereas San Antonio’s swinging the ball.”

There is much more out there, and surely more to come, but initially, the representative sample is a fairly damning indictment of the Rockets’ strategy on both sides of the ball.  To be sure, the Spurs are the league standard for tactical combat, so one might label my comments an unfair comparison.  But what’s chilling is the realization that for as good as the Spurs have looked this past week, they might still be inferior to both of the teams playing in the other West series (LAC and OKC).  The entire matter and the events of the past month have served as a depressing reminder of just how far away the Rockets truly are.

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Total comments: 77
  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @datruth

    ain't that the truth........no pun intended :)

  • datruth says 5 months ago

    @ rock best fan

    You know we both complain about McHale for almost two years now.

    i don't see anything changing until he is gone. The guy doesn't have it.

    I have seen Coaches with less talent fired, but somehow McHale is still here.

    i don't care if we get another star I don't see us winning with this guy.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @CT for Three

    I agree the officiating has stunk in this years playoffs. not in just our series, but overall. players adjust when they figure out how a ref will call the game, however the ref's have been inconsistent. I agree no way LMA should be getting more foul calls on fade a ways than players driving to the basket.

  • CT for Three says 5 months ago

    Match-ups are what it is all about in the playoffs. I don't think we would've waxed the Spurs, and I believe we would've lost the series, but I do think we would've put up more fight then Portland. It also helps when you have a coach that knows how to help cover up bad match-ups, and take advantage of good ones. McHale is simply not there...yet.

    On a side note I feel like the officiating has been completely different in the SAS-POR series when compared to ours. Asik was unable to put a hand on Aldridge and play him physical. It was a foul immediately. Aldridge also crossed the lane and did that little hook shot with slight "bump" that called over and over again in our series. Watching the Spurs series, the officials have allowed Splitter to actually play physical with Aldridge. They aren't calling it when Splitter puts one or even two hands on him. They also aren't calling that little across the paint hook shot "foul" either. I think this is part of the reason SA has been able to largely render Aldridge ineffective. I am not blaming the officials for the series loss; we definitely were outplayed and did not make the crucial shots needed. But I think the officials really tied our hands in guarding Aldridge. When you aren't allowed to be physical with him, he is going to continue to punish the D just like we saw in our series.

    I agree with your note about the officiating in a broader sense. I think Silver has to get a handle on the playoff officiating in the next couple years. There has been just too much inconsistency in how the games are called. In the playoffs, especially in the West, the teams are too close in ability and skill to have games be swung so violently by officiating. Its like the refs have no concept of context to different players' games. LMA was essentially a jump shooter in the first round, but yet he consistently got more foul calls than any of the driving guards in the series not named Lillard. Its inexcusable for refs at the highest level to be missing out of bounds calls, and intentional fouls (see Paul, C. in the game 5 of the OKC/LAC series). These things make officiating more relevant to the common audience than the actual game itself. How many times is the lleague going to have to issue a correction to a call, or make a statement on playoff officiating before Silver puts a "review official" in the booth at every game to review every call. I know it sounds like overkill, but the missed calls and mistakes definitely take away from the beauty of the games that are taking place (in the West).

    Correction: I just checked, and LMA shot the same number of free throws as Harden, 50 for the series. My mistake.

  • bladad says 5 months ago

    Match-ups are what it is all about in the playoffs. I don't think we would've waxed the Spurs, and I believe we would've lost the series, but I do think we would've put up more fight then Portland. It also helps when you have a coach that knows how to help cover up bad match-ups, and take advantage of good ones. McHale is simply not there...yet.

    On a side note I feel like the officiating has been completely different in the SAS-POR series when compared to ours. Asik was unable to put a hand on Aldridge and play him physical. It was a foul immediately. Aldridge also crossed the lane and did that little hook shot with slight "bump" that called over and over again in our series. Watching the Spurs series, the officials have allowed Splitter to actually play physical with Aldridge. They aren't calling it when Splitter puts one or even two hands on him. They also aren't calling that little across the paint hook shot "foul" either. I think this is part of the reason SA has been able to largely render Aldridge ineffective. I am not blaming the officials for the series loss; we definitely were outplayed and did not make the crucial shots needed. But I think the officials really tied our hands in guarding Aldridge. When you aren't allowed to be physical with him, he is going to continue to punish the D just like we saw in our series.

    I don't think you can look at SA and ever really match up people position by position. They play such a switch heavy defense with so many different bodies coming off the bench that any player by player comparisons aren't going to capture the true nature of the matchup.

    PS: Kawhi Leonerd is a beast. He'd be a superstar if he was playing for any other team.

  • txtdo1411 says 5 months ago

    Umm yeah, in the words of the great philosopher Ron Burgundy,

    "That escalated quickly..."

    I have no idea what it was all about, but Obviously the Internet has started another "beef." I propose a different idea. I am probably in the minority, but I think that the Rockets would have waxed the Spurs. The Rockets have huge advantages at 2 positions against SAS. The Spurs have not been able to contain Harden all year long, even when Howard struggled. And Howard, at the end of the Portland series, was playing some of his best basketball of the season.

    I get that things are a little different in the playoffs, but those matchup problems did not go away. All the pontificating by the Blazers about how it was easier for them in the first round just speaks to the matchup advantage they had against Houston that is nonexistent against SAS. I'm sure that SAS is saying, wow, this series has been much easier than the first round against Dallas... Matchup issues just get magnified in the post season. The Rockets could not guard LMA at all for the first 2 games, and lost the series because of it. POR is going to lose this series because they have no matchup advantage at any position and the Spurs have a better system, end of story.

    Match-ups are what it is all about in the playoffs. I don't think we would've waxed the Spurs, and I believe we would've lost the series, but I do think we would've put up more fight then Portland. It also helps when you have a coach that knows how to help cover up bad match-ups, and take advantage of good ones. McHale is simply not there...yet.

    On a side note I feel like the officiating has been completely different in the SAS-POR series when compared to ours. Asik was unable to put a hand on Aldridge and play him physical. It was a foul immediately. Aldridge also crossed the lane and did that little hook shot with slight "bump" that called over and over again in our series. Watching the Spurs series, the officials have allowed Splitter to actually play physical with Aldridge. They aren't calling it when Splitter puts one or even two hands on him. They also aren't calling that little across the paint hook shot "foul" either. I think this is part of the reason SA has been able to largely render Aldridge ineffective. I am not blaming the officials for the series loss; we definitely were outplayed and did not make the crucial shots needed. But I think the officials really tied our hands in guarding Aldridge. When you aren't allowed to be physical with him, he is going to continue to punish the D just like we saw in our series.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Umm yeah, in the words of the great philosopher Ron Burgundy,

    "That escalated quickly..."

    I have no idea what it was all about, but Obviously the Internet has started another "beef." I propose a different idea. I am probably in the minority, but I think that the Rockets would have waxed the Spurs. The Rockets have huge advantages at 2 positions against SAS. The Spurs have not been able to contain Harden all year long, even when Howard struggled. And Howard, at the end of the Portland series, was playing some of his best basketball of the season.

    I get that things are a little different in the playoffs, but those matchup problems did not go away. All the pontificating by the Blazers about how it was easier for them in the first round just speaks to the matchup advantage they had against Houston that is nonexistent against SAS. I'm sure that SAS is saying, wow, this series has been much easier than the first round against Dallas... Matchup issues just get magnified in the post season. The Rockets could not guard LMA at all for the first 2 games, and lost the series because of it. POR is going to lose this series because they have no matchup advantage at any position and the Spurs have a better system, end of story.

    I agree with a lot of this. Not sure we would have waxed the Spurs, but I think we could have exploited the match-ups better than Portland--like you said.

  • CT for Three says 5 months ago

    Umm yeah, in the words of the great philosopher Ron Burgundy,

    "That escalated quickly..."

    I have no idea what it was all about, but Obviously the Internet has started another "beef." I propose a different idea. I am probably in the minority, but I think that the Rockets would have waxed the Spurs. The Rockets have huge advantages at 2 positions against SAS. The Spurs have not been able to contain Harden all year long, even when Howard struggled. And Howard, at the end of the Portland series, was playing some of his best basketball of the season.

    I get that things are a little different in the playoffs, but those matchup problems did not go away. All the pontificating by the Blazers about how it was easier for them in the first round just speaks to the matchup advantage they had against Houston that is nonexistent against SAS. I'm sure that SAS is saying, wow, this series has been much easier than the first round against Dallas... Matchup issues just get magnified in the post season. The Rockets could not guard LMA at all for the first 2 games, and lost the series because of it. POR is going to lose this series because they have no matchup advantage at any position and the Spurs have a better system, end of story.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Dusty

    if you have a beef please take it to PM's. some of us would really like to get back to talking basketball. your post is written respectfully, but can be better handled throughour PMsystem and leave the boards for basketball instead of arguments. I'm sure if you are unfamiliar with that system you will be sent instruction if you ask. by the way since this is my first time talking to you.......WELCOME TO THE FORUM :)I look forward to hearing you views

  • Dusty says 5 months ago

    @FSS

    Okay, okay, okay. You've been on this forum for a very very long time. We get it. You've been a diehard Rockets fan for a very very long time. We get it. You're part of the old boy's club and we're the new guys. There's no reason for you to always mention that to us and belittle new posters. I came to this forum through ESPN's truehoop network. I've been reading these forums for 2 years before finally posting. And I'm sure there are hundreds who come here who lurk and read everything you're saying. You feel like because you have such a long history here that you can muscle out newer fans from posting? Just stick to the basketball discussions. You're a moderator on a blog, which is part of the ESPN truehoop network. Why are you so darn dismissive? I completely disagree with bladad's trade idea, but this is straightup bullying.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @FSS

    not exactly :lol:more like Fred and Barney on the Flinstones...........time to call in Kazoo :lol:

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    @JG

    I see you found that picture I love :lol:now group that with Mr. potato head and we got something :lol:

    You mean something like a championship coaching team right!

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @JG

    I see you found that picture I love :lol:now group that with Mr. potato head and we got something :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Those were his words. Not mine.

    Not going to sit by and watch him abuse a member and act like a holier than thou hypocite.

    They were his words...some of them, that is.

    Here is what you attribute to him: "uninspired drivel", "wacky" "senselessness"? that's the same as saying, "your post reads like a retarded buffoon's blowhole".

    Now, those first three are taken out of context. They were either directed at the post itself, or at "wacky" Lin sites. The blowhole comment was actually made by rottendoubt himself--so give credit where credit is due.

    The member was not abused--the post was. It's not about agreeing or disagreeing, censorship, or bias. That post reads like the comments section beneath an ESPN article--and that's not what we're about here.

    We're not against discussing Harden trades or his faults....I guarantee if you mention a trade of Harden for Kevin Love many members' ears will perk up.

    The grandstanding needs to be put to rest, in my opinion. Nothing happened here except a sub-standard post getting called what it is. Just because it happened to a "persecuted" group does not make it a hate crime. I like how it goes unnoticed (more like ignored) that at nearly the same time another member received similar treatment for their lousy post--which had nothing to do with Lin, or Harden, or any of that stuff. Set down your pitchforks and put on your big boy pants--this is a non-issue.

    Actually, please re-direct your pitchforks back where they were before....

    kevin-mchale-frankenstein.jpg

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    I love your analogies rockets best fan, those little kernels of wisdom.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @bladad

    you dance around the question quite nicely, but you didn't answer it. if you see someone acting what you believe to be out of line does it make you any better if you act of line too? so what's the premise for that ..........monkey see monkey do? there are no one-up man trophies to be won here. how you act reflects on you and you alone. I read this advice on another forum, but this looks like the right spot for it................" I no longer wrestle with pigs. for 1 you get dirty and 2 the pig likes it." not calling anybody names before you get bent out of shape, just making an analogy. the high road is not always the easiest or most popularto take, but part of a man's character is exposed by his choice

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    Do what you have to do bladad and I'll keep on doing what I have been doing here since before you were here and probably long after. You fly your flag sir or save whoever needs to be saved (or whatever you're doing) and I will help look after Red94.

  • bladad says 5 months ago

    @bladad

    the "just super saiyin" comment may have been funny if it weren't following and insult. one thing I learned from being in this forum, no one can control what come out of your mouth but you. it's not what goes in that defiles a man, but what comes out. even if you felt that someone hit you below the belt does that make you any better if you return the favor? answer that question for me please

    Those were his words. Not mine.

    Not going to sit by and watch him abuse a member and act like a holier than thou hypocite.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @bladad

    the "just super saiyin" comment may have been funny if it weren't following and insult. one thing I learned from being in this forum, no one can control what come out of your mouth but you. it's not what goes in that defiles a man, but what comes out. even if you felt that someone hit you below the belt does that make you any better if you return the favor? answer that question for me please

  • bladad says 5 months ago

    @JG

    Should have known i could have found a gif for it....

    @feelingsupersonic

    Honestly, hop off your high horse. So we shouldn't talk about a POSSIBLE Melo signing, a POSSIBLE Collison signing, or a POSSIBLE Rondo signing either? Sure.

    I have put in time here. Maybe not as much as you, but I've certainly added to discussions. Hell, I even put up the Harden video that got people talking. Sorry that I'm not sorry for calling you out on being a disrespectful and hypocritical poster/moderator. People who live in houses shouldn't throw stones.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Did somebody say, "super saiyan"?

    02bf329662733a925416eacfc4f6eb69.gif?139

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    Start a thread about a Hypothetical Harden Trade (which I initially suggested) but in my opinion don't try and pass that off as reality in regular topics. Also, I am not really concerned with what you think is getting old. Turn yourself into a member that can garner some respect, first things first. Put some time in here.

  • bladad says 5 months ago

    @rocketsbestfan
    I was respectful. I didn't characterize his opinions/analysis as "uninspired drivel", "wacky" "senselessness"? that's the same as saying, "your post reads like a retarded buffoon's blowhole".

    I'm also of the opinion that my "just super saiyin" comment was quite funny. If anything, you should look at
    @feelingsupersonic's posts to see who is more "at least respectful". I'm sure his lack of respect and tact far outstrips and deficiencies that have been evident in my posts.

    @feelingsupersonic

    There were objective statements that were made. In fact, he even acknowledged that out of his two possible scenarios, the choice involving McHale was more likely. Maybe you're just too blinded by your opinions or you're just blatantly oblivious, but trading Harden (although extremely improbable) would yield a king's ransom in compensation and draft picks which Morey covets. It deserves to be discussed. If we can have discussions about trading Lin and Asik with their cost prohibitive contracts to improve the team, I don't understand why we can't have a discussion regarding what could happen trading Harden's cost efficient contract for fungible assets.

    Oh and it's getting old with you still dropping the LOF line anytime someone has something reasonable to say about Harden's deficiencies.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Just a reminder since it seems there are some problems bubbling up. There is a difference between attacking someone's words and someone's person. One we condone, the other we do not.

    We have made an attempt to open our site to Lin fans and create a harmonious place where both Lin/Rockets fans can exist. This has not gone well anywhere else--so far, Red94 has been the best (correct me if I'm wrong).

    Now, this has been contingent on some basic understandings--from both sides. For Rockets fans, it is to accept that the perspectives of some are going to have a focus on Jeremy and topics will often be viewed through that lens and focus on what is better for him, or what pertains to him, etc. We can all live with this.

    For Lin fans, it is to understand that this is a Rockets Forum that existed before Jeremy and will exist after him. Contrary to recent opinion, everyone is welcome here. We ask that you come prepared to discuss all aspects of the Rockets and try to include "team" perspectives as well as Lin-focused ones in your thoughts and posts. Understand that Lin is one of 15 other guys on the team and it is the team we care about.

    Easy enough, right? It was working well, but we're still working through some issues...

    First, let us all remember the recent lesson in the Bill of Rights--Free Speech. Everyone is welcome to come here and post. However, you are not free from persecution for the content of your posts. Heck, you guys should read some of the things I endured while lobbying for the free agent acquisition of Josh Smith (for the record, glad we dodged that bullet and I am reluctant to even remind people it happened) and plenty of other stupid things (or at least perceived as stupid) I have posted.

    The point is, everyone has the right to say what they want, but be prepared to have your words--words, not person--torn apart if it is not a popular opinion. Guess what? Obviously Pro-Lin (and it is obvious, people) posts are not going to be popular and the ideas put forth in them will be attacked. Could it be more civil at times--sure, but usually a poster gets what they give. Put forth a thoughtful post and, even if it is not agreed with, you will get thoughtful replies. Put forth a string of unsupported insults and negativity and, voila, you get the same in return.

    Now, I know it is easy to get one's feelings hurt and take another poster's response personally--I have felt that way myself. However, try to separate yourself from the posts and see if it is really directed at you, or your words. I think recently this delineation has become unclear.

    Accusations about being biased, one-sided, skewed, opinion-stifling forum nazis can be put to rest. Like it or not, there is some dirty work to do in keeping Red94 an oasis in a desert of fan forums. Without moderator action this place would quickly get over-run with Lin/Rox fan vitriol (far worse than anything we have here) and WWE-style smack talk, with little actual analysis or insight.

    Watch Idiocracy, and remember--it's not a comedy--it's a warning. It's fine if that's what you're into. You just want to let off some steam and blow hard about how much you hate player X, or whatever--go for it. This is not really up to standard here--there are better places for this. Here, if you want to rail against a player, or coach, then please provide support and reasoning--not just, "So and so sucks!"...we aren't 12 years old, are we? (no offense to any twelve year olds reading :) )

    Likewise, if you can't help but parrot out some broken record Harden/McHale hate that can be read, verbatim, on a number of other sites and forums then either provide some support (preferably with links to verify) or be prepared for the backlash without getting upset by it.

    Ultimately, there is but one persecution one can suffer here--that of not being a Rockets fan. We all disagree with one another about players, coaches, strategies, but one thing is certain--we all love the Rockets--which in some weird way binds us together. Like a family, we bicker and argue, but, in the end, we are together. The best way to belong around here is through the love of a bunch of men running around on a hardwood court while bouncing a ball wearing the famed "ketchup and mustard". Faces change, but condiments last forever (it's true!).

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    @bladad

    There is nothing objective there (rottendoubt and Baller93's posts), nothing of value and that's not a judgement because I disagree that is me passing judgement on inferior content that I will discourage actively at certain times when I deem it necessary. There are debates I have been occupied with in the last week or so where I vehemently disagree (for example with rockets best fan on McHale) but at least the ideas are not absurd like what's in question here. Seriously, if that's what new members believe to be good debate I am formally putting a call in to more established members to try to talk sense to some of this nonsense like trading Harden, what a joke. I thought if you posted here you all would realize that being grounded in reality might be helpful.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @bladad

    often when I read post like your's I think to myself.......if you can't say something nice, funny, informative or at least respectful......WHY SAY ANYTHING AT ALL? an old man once told me (a wise man knows the difference between when to talk and when to shut up. saying the wrong thing is worse than say nothing at all) ........................think I'm kidding? ask Donald Sterling

  • bladad says 5 months ago

    @rottendoubt

    Great, glad you have been reading awhile. Good luck wherever you end up. Anyone that seriously thinks Harden is a cancer and a diva is not welcome here (criticize his isolation defense, effect on ball movement or effort on court but calling him names and passing it off as analysis is something Red94 can do without). Sure we all have problems with different players flaws on the current roster but calling players a cancer is just rediculous especially when you provide no explanation. Good bye.

    I like the part where he called you out your tendencies to belittle other people's comments with derogatory statements and you deflected to his pretty fair and objective observations. Just because you disagree with people and you're a mod doesn't mean you have the right or mandate to drop these shining examples of unnecessary and unwarranted statements.

    Now, you throwing the word around foolish is unnecessary and isn't warranted here.

    what about "uninspired drivel", "wacky" "senselessness"? that's the same as saying, "your post reads like a retarded buffoon's blowhole".

    Just Super Saiyin,

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago You're right, Harden for some second round picks or defensive role players, that's what the Rockets need, haha! This team will improve so much since Harden has no place on a playoff team. (When someone says that seriously, what does that even mean?)
  • Cooper says 5 months ago Maybe Hardens friend Durant could convince their management to take back the ball hog for a couple real players like Perk and Adams.
  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    Good one Cooper, maybe we could trade Harden for Afflalo and rid ourselves of the cancer. We could build a defensive team and let Lin and Howard run the offense. Sure path to a championship!



    Hahahahahahaaa!

    I don't know Afflalo took quite a few shots in orlando wouldn't want that to get to his head.

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago Good one Cooper, maybe we could trade Harden for Afflalo and rid ourselves of the cancer. We could build a defensive team and let Lin and Howard run the offense. Sure path to a championship!



    Hahahahahahaaa!
  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Baller93

    you're new here so let me pull you to a side bar for a second :lol:if you post that topic be prepared for the backlash. we all know Harden's faults, but ain't nobody talking about getting rid of him. every time I post you see that caption under the post?..................I'm telling you the bridge is out :lol:

  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    Lets send harden to philly for one of there 9 second round picks might as well dump that ball hog chandler parsons on them too, surround Dwight with some dleagers and hope he can carry us to the 9 seed.

  • Baller93 says 5 months ago

    My experience on these boards is simply that the pro-Lin fans believe that Harden is the devil and McHale should have been fired before he was hired.

    Not sure what Lin has to do with Harden being the devil, don't see the correlation but alrighty then. I suppose some people are still jealous of Lin, when a topic comes up on Harden and they try to deflect attention away to Lin. perhaps? That makes no sense, but some people always refuse to see... ::smh::

  • Baller93 says 5 months ago

    I agree with rocketrick. Baller93 you should post this opinion of yours as a topic, I'd really like to see the response you get.

    Good idea. I will when I get home. I'm curious to the response as well.

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    Best thing for the Rockets is to trade Harden and build this team in the mold of the Rockets in the 90s. With the core being built around Dwight ala Hakeem back in the day. Once Harden is gone, the ball movement should be better, team chemistry should be much better due to less isos, and the team defensively should go waaaaaaaayy up, since the team doesn't have to constantly cover for him.

    The honeymoon is over for him and its time to move on. Once he's gone, this team should really flourish in the post season. His pickup ball style of play and mental fortitude fits well in the regular season, but has no room for on a playoff bound team.


    I agree with rocketrick. Baller93 you should post this opinion of yours as a topic, I'd really like to see the response you get.


    This is just priceless "it's time to move on." Wow.
  • rocketrick says 5 months ago My experience on these boards is simply that the pro-Lin fans believe that Harden is the devil and McHale should have been fired before he was hired.
  • Baller93 says 5 months ago

    Best thing for the Rockets is to trade Harden and build this team in the mold of the Rockets in the 90s. With the core being built around Dwight ala Hakeem back in the day. Once Harden is gone, the ball movement should be better, team chemistry should be much better due to less isos, and the team defensively should go waaaaaaaayy up, since the team doesn't have to constantly cover for him.

    The honeymoon is over for him and its time to move on. Once he's gone, this team should really flourish in the post season. His pickup ball style of play and mental fortitude fits well in the regular season, but has no room for on a playoff bound team.

  • Itssagurllie says 5 months ago Wow. I'm new here and I can't help but see alot of people call JLin trash and not much happens but people either joining that opinion or just saying its ok to have that opinion but we disagree. But when someone calls another player trash they get jumped on. Double standard? Please correct me if I'm wrong, just seems a little biased here. Everyone says they should respect others opinions, but it sure doesn't seem like it here.
  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago @rottendoubt

    Great, glad you have been reading awhile. Good luck wherever you end up. Anyone that seriously thinks Harden is a cancer and a diva is not welcome here (criticize his isolation defense, effect on ball movement or effort on court but calling him names and passing it off as analysis is something Red94 can do without). Sure we all have problems with different players flaws on the current roster but calling players a cancer is just rediculous especially when you provide no explanation. Good bye.
  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Journeymany

    true most teams would prefer Lowry, Stevenson or Teagueto Lin, but not all of them have the room to sign them. NY is one of those teams without cap room so they may be interested in Lin. Lin isn't unmovable, however it will require effort and draft picks

  • rottendoubt says 5 months ago

    when there's a problem, you have to start at the top. it's that simple. go re-read this post and look at the quotes from the blazers players:

    "from Wes Mathews: “”They move the ball, they share the ball,” Blazers guard Wesley Matthews said, beginning innocently enough before diving into his checklist. “[The ball> is not going to stick in anybody’s hands. Houston might have been a little easier to defend because you knew where they were going to go. This time, Marco [Belinelli> comes into the game, they run floppy action for him. They run a hammer action for Patty [Mills>. They run angle screens for [Manu> Ginobili, they run angle screens for [Tony> Parker. They’ve got so many weapons.”

    And lastly, Robin Lopez: “”With Houston, there wasn’t any…not that much pressure on defense. And offensively, they focused a lot more on isolation game, whereasSan Antonio’s swinging the ball.”"

    if there's "not that much pressure on defense", who's fault is that? and how do you fix it?

    if the ball sticks in someone's hands, who is it sticking to? if we're "focused a lot more on isolation game", who's fault is that? and how do you fix it?

    trading away some role players or bench players isn't going to solve the problem in my opinion. it starts at the top.

    also, gotta say that i can't believe how unfriendly this board is. i started following the rockets back when t-mac was traded over and have been a loyal reader of red94 since the start.

    to feelingsupersonic:

    "and what's with all the name-calling?-----------If you read what I wrote I called you not one single name good sir."

    what about "uninspired drivel", "wacky" "senselessness"? that's the same as saying, "your post reads like a retarded buffoon's blowhole". technically i'm not calling you a name, but it's pretty much the same thing.

    anyways, i'm done posting here. you guys win!! hooray for pushing away anyone with a different opinion.

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    @rottendoubt

    @feelingsupersonic - i never even mentioned lin.-----------I never said you did. I wrote that the ideas and character denigration of Harden you wrote about are common on those message boards.

    you say i'm wrong, what is your argument back?----------You never even made a coherent argument so why would I even debate you?

    and what's with all the name-calling?-----------If you read what I wrote I called you not one single name good sir.

  • thenit says 5 months ago

    He usually guards the most inept wing on the opposing team or spot up shooters so he doesn't haveguys that can go at him. His lackluster defence is best shown when he is guarding a guy like JJ Reddick or in transition.

    He is not that bad of a defender when he tries but he just doesn't bring it often its a rarity.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    I don't buy into Harden being a ball hog, Other guys get plenty of shots and Harden is the one usually setting up those shots from assists or drawing the defenses attention. Sure his defense could be significantly better but he isn't a "cancer"

    Agreed. I thought I'd post some stats...mostly to upset those who disagree :P

    Here is the "ball hogs" usage rate in comparison to his teammates:

    RnX9sLa.jpg

    ...And here is his Assist % because he is a ball stopper who doesn't trust his teammates:

    9BbWWK4.jpg

    ....and his defense is soooooo terrible that this happened:

    yK7m9CX.jpg

    I know win shares are not a very useful stat (you can read about how they concoct this one HERE). Primarily it is based on time spent on court and league averages. Pretty lame. Yet, it brings up a good point. If Harden is so terribly bad on defense wouldn't every single opposing team attack him relentlessly? I mean, why go at Dwight, or Bev, or anyone if you know that Harden is on the floor? Could it be because his defense is not nearly as bad as perceived? Nooooooo, that's just silly--it just means those coaches don't know what they're doing....or maybe they feel bad for James and don't want to pick on him.....yeah, that's it.

  • Journeymany says 5 months ago

    @Journeymany

    I disagree......we can easily rid ourselves of Lin and Asik. we have enough draft picks to grease the wheels of a trade. we don't really need anything back because the open cap space will be our prize.

    @JG

    I agree. if Dallas pursues Chandler it helps our cause. that would make it likely NY will be receptive to a Lin/ Asik deal for Melo

    @rbf

    Dallas going for Asik would actually be an amazing move for them, since they don't need much scoring from whoever playing center, they just need D. But I can't think of any team under the cap that is looking for a point guard. When you could get Lowry, Teague, or Stephenson in the 8-10 million range, who's gonna want to trade cap space for Lin and his balloon payment?

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    i said either trade harden or bring in a new coach. the easier fix is to replace mchale, since we'd wouldn't be able to get equal value for harden.

    personally, i wish we'd let mchale go and bring in stan van gundy. he seems like he'd be able to whip harden into shape.

    I know what you said--I was trying to be positive in the face of a post I whole-heartedly disagree with. I know that 98% of Rox fans want a new coach right now--none of which are walking through that door.

    I disagree that we couldn't get equal value for Harden--and, once again, I'm confused. If he's so terrible wouldn't trading him for almost anyone be getting the better end of the deal? The double valuation thing is so weird to me. Does he suck or not?

    Either way....I imagine no less than 20 teams would be on the phone within 2 minutes of hearing Harden was available. The guy has value--high value.

  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    I don't buy into Harden being a ball hog, Other guys get plenty of shots and Harden is the one usually setting up those shots from assists or drawing the defenses attention. Sure his defense could be significantly better but he isn't a "cancer"

  • rottendoubt says 5 months ago

    i said either trade harden or bring in a new coach. the easier fix is to replace mchale, since we'd wouldn't be able to get equal value for harden.

    personally, i wish we'd let mchale go and bring in stan van gundy. he seems like he'd be able to whip harden into shape.

    While I disagree with you I will give you credit for having the sense to want Harden traded given your evaluation of him. 99% of the posts about how terrible Harden is somehow don't reach this conclusion. Why would anyone want to keep a player they view so negatively?

    There's no telling what adding a third star would do to the team as a whole. If that third star comes in, and paired with Dwight, takes Harden aside and lays it down for him plain and simple I think good things will happen. Personally, I think Harden has taken his lumps--the speed with which he dismissed a recent question about public perception of his defense lets me know that he is VERY aware of what is being said.

    This team is ready to move forward from, "Wheeeeeee! Pro basketball is fun and all this money and fame are great!" to, "We came here to kick a$$ and take names...and you've already got your names on your jerseys so let's do this". I think we are going to get a blue collar, lunch-pail team that happens to have some stars on it. I'm already excited....When is opening day?

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    @feelingsupersonic - i never even mentioned lin. you say i'm wrong, what is your argument back? and what's with all the name-calling?

    While I disagree with you I will give you credit for having the sense to want Harden traded given your evaluation of him. 99% of the posts about how terrible Harden is somehow don't reach this conclusion. Why would anyone want to keep a player they view so negatively?

    There's no telling what adding a third star would do to the team as a whole. If that third star comes in, and paired with Dwight, takes Harden aside and lays it down for him plain and simple I think good things will happen. Personally, I think Harden has taken his lumps--the speed with which he dismissed a recent question about public perception of his defense lets me know that he is VERY aware of what is being said.

    This team is ready to move forward from, "Wheeeeeee! Pro basketball is fun and all this money and fame are great!" to, "We came here to kick a$$ and take names...and you've already got your names on your jerseys so let's do this". I think we are going to get a blue collar, lunch-pail team that happens to have some stars on it. I'm already excited....When is opening day?

  • rottendoubt says 5 months ago

    @feelingsupersonic - i never even mentioned lin. you say i'm wrong, what is your argument back? and what's with all the name-calling?

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    harden is a diva and a cancer. he is the worst "leader" possible. he hogs the ball on offense and constantly breaks plays, and he is beyond horrible on defense. either get rid of him or bring in a coach that will get him to play defense and share the ball.

    getting a third star won't help unless you fix this issue. trading the other players won't help either. that's just trying to fix the symptoms. you need to deal with the root of the problem (harden).

    You are completely and utterly wrong. This is the most uninspired drivel I have seen in weeks. You should got to one of those wacky Lin sites, I believe there are people who write similar senselessness in those.

    You are in the wrong place and obviously do not belong here and you should never post here again.

  • rottendoubt says 5 months ago

    harden is a diva and a cancer. he is the worst "leader" possible. he hogs the ball on offense and constantly breaks plays, and he is beyond horrible on defense. either get rid of him or bring in a coach that will get him to play defense and share the ball.

    getting a third star won't help unless you fix this issue. trading the other players won't help either. that's just trying to fix the symptoms. you need to deal with the root of the problem (harden).

  • rocketrick says 5 months ago

    @rocketrick
    we need changes.........minor tweaks with no coaching change means first round exit next year IMO

    @Journeymany
    I disagree......we can easily rid ourselves of Lin and Asik. we have enough draft picks to grease the wheels of a trade. we don't really need anything back because the open cap space will be our prize.

    @JG
    I agree. if Dallas pursues Chandler it helps our cause. that would make it likely NY will be receptive to a Lin/ Asik deal for Melo


    I just wanted to take a moment to repeat what I stated in the previous post.

    (1) The Rockets need to improve their top 8-9 rotation (which obviously includes both Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik)

    (2) Strategic Tweaks going forward, not major Roster Moves.

    If the Rockets can find a better PG that can hit 3's, play defense, etc. that could be an improvement over Beverley/Lin.

    If the Rockets can find a 4 that can play better defense and get the timely rebounds and make an occasional 3 point shot, that could be an improvement over Terrance Jones and Motiejunas.

    Otherwise will have to be small increments that could make a difference when the playoffs start again after next season.
  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @rocketrick

    we need changes.........minor tweaks with no coaching change means first round exit next year IMO

    @Journeymany

    I disagree......we can easily rid ourselves of Lin and Asik. we have enough draft picks to grease the wheels of a trade. we don't really need anything back because the open cap space will be our prize.

    @JG

    I agree. if Dallas pursues Chandler it helps our cause. that would make it likely NY will be receptive to a Lin/ Asik deal for Melo

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    @JG
    I understand your frustration at the McHale criticism - and I also agree that it's not unfixable. Given that McHale *is* coming back, I think we have to be somewhat optimistic otherwise it'll just be a miserable year or so :P Seriously though, I think the best solution would be to hire top notch offensive and defensive coaches and just have McHale be the 'glue guy' in terms of coaching. If the players love him, that's the perfect role - he can be the good cop as long as the other coaches are allowed to be bad cop and actually enforce the systems put in.

    @RBF, rocketrick
    I'm not sure it's realistic to expect major change in our top 8-9 given the difficulty of moving Lin or Asik. I simply can't see what team would really want either of them without asking for additional major assets or trading one of their basket case contracts, which would make us worse rather than better. Possibly a contender who thinks they're the missing piece? Can't see anyone particular wanting Lin. Asik - maybe the Mavs? But a) do they have space and B) who do they send back?

    Exactly--I think that has been the plan, more or less, all along. McHale keeps the flock together and the assistants worry about the quality of the wool. I can understand why some would disagree with that approach, but I like the idea.

    On the second point, I read a rumor the Mavs are going to see about getting Tyson Chandler back. If we're talking Carmelo trade then maybe we just found a dance partner...

  • Journeymany says 5 months ago

    @JG
    I understand your frustration at the McHale criticism - and I also agree that it's not unfixable. Given that McHale *is* coming back, I think we have to be somewhat optimistic otherwise it'll just be a miserable year or so :P Seriously though, I think the best solution would be to hire top notch offensive and defensive coaches and just have McHale be the 'glue guy' in terms of coaching. If the players love him, that's the perfect role - he can be the good cop as long as the other coaches are allowed to be bad cop and actually enforce the systems put in.

    @RBF, rocketrick
    I'm not sure it's realistic to expect major change in our top 8-9 given the difficulty of moving Lin or Asik. I simply can't see what team would really want either of them without asking for additional major assets or trading one of their basket case contracts, which would make us worse rather than better. Possibly a contender who thinks they're the missing piece? Can't see anyone particular wanting Lin. Asik - maybe the Mavs? But a) do they have space and b) who do they send back?

  • rocketrick says 5 months ago

    @JG
    I wish I shared your optimism about our outlook, but I don't. we have real problems that won't be fixed with another year of maturation. I love players that are leaders in the locker room, but the loudest voice needs to be that of the coach. ultimately it's his responsibility to lead the team. he has to be the voice of authority. many think we lost an ingredient when Sampson move on to coach U of H. I didn't agree at first, but watching our defense collapse, I think I know what it was. he was the tuff ass. he was the one who wasn't afraid to call your name when you under performed. because he had limited power.....there was only so much he could do, but when he left we lost that element all together. it appears we are stuck with McFail for another year so IMO finding someone who can provide what Sampson did is as important as any player acquisition. McFail is nothing more than a glorified cheer leader.

    as for the team fundamental flaws are present as well. PGmust be addressed. we must get rid of Lin and move Beverly to backup. we must have a player to sub Harden and Parsons.I like T-Jones and believe he can take another step next year, but we must at least improve the depth at the position.......D-Mo is losing my confidence in him. we must get rid of Asik and replace him with a player who is primarily a center but can swing to PF........aka Spencer Hawestype. that's just for beginners. we are talking about bringing in possibly another star and depending on who that is it will address some of these issues if we are successful. however Morey as a lot of work in front of him.


    IDEA...........put Kelvin Sampson in the lineup to guard Aldridge Games 1 and 2.............

    Yeah, right.

    Simply a great player doing great things for the ages.................unfortunately against our favorite team.

    I do agree that the Rockets will make strategic moves this off-season and I expect our Top 8-9 Roster will be improved over what Coach McHale had to choose from while trying to find one stop or one bucket against Portland in the 2014 Playoff series.

    Yep, one bucket or one stop would have changed this series completely.

    Still, history shows the Rockets lost and that will never change.

    So should the result be in massive changes or strategic tweaks going forward now that the Rockets have invested in James Harden and Dwight Howard for the foreseeable future?
  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @JG

    I wish I shared your optimism about our outlook, but I don't. we have real problems that won't be fixed with another year of maturation. I love players that are leaders in the locker room, but the loudest voice needs to be that of the coach. ultimately it's his responsibility to lead the team. he has to be the voice of authority. many think we lost an ingredient when Sampson move on to coach U of H. I didn't agree at first, but watching our defense collapse, I think I know what it was. he was the tuff ass. he was the one who wasn't afraid to call your name when you under performed. because he had limited power.....there was only so much he could do, but when he left we lost that element all together. it appears we are stuck with McFail for another year so IMO finding someone who can provide what Sampson did is as important as any player acquisition. McFail is nothing more than a glorified cheer leader.

    as for the team fundamental flaws are present as well. PGmust be addressed. we must get rid of Lin and move Beverly to backup. we must have a player to sub Harden and Parsons.I like T-Jones and believe he can take another step next year, but we must at least improve the depth at the position.......D-Mo is losing my confidence in him. we must get rid of Asik and replace him with a player who is primarily a center but can swing to PF........aka Spencer Hawestype. that's just for beginners. we are talking about bringing in possibly another star and depending on who that is it will address some of these issues if we are successful. however Morey as a lot of work in front of him.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    @RBF--I agree with a lot of what you say. I'm not meaning to imply that he is a master teacher or anything--just that his methods may not be the same as the coaches he is often compared to. I agree that the words lose meaning if there is no consequence.

    I can't cite the post game interviews and I'm not about to sit through 82 of them to find out, but what memory I have McHale usually says, "we"--so you are right--he's not publicly pointing direct fingers, and if he does so in the locker room it isn't having much practical effect on the court.

    I'm actually with you on this. Where I think we part ways is I believe these things will take form in time (hopefully not too much time) and both teacher and pupil will learn and evolve together. As someone who has endeavored to learn more than one skill--whether it be a sport, a trade, or whatever--I make it a point early on to go to my coach/teacher and ask them to be hard on me if I feel like they aren't pushing me enough. I'm not comparing--just pointing out that it can be a two-way street. It takes two and even if McHale were to do and say all the right things Harden may not have been ready for it--or vice versa.

    Again, it's not that I don't see the issues. I just don't see them as permanent or irreparable and I spread the blame around a bit more.

    I presume that if a bunch of schmoes like us can see this stuff then a select few whose expertise is studying these things see it too--and probably lots more. If our guys at the top were suspect (i.e. inept) I'd worry, but with Alexander and Morey I trust that these things are visible, acknowledged, and factored into the grand scheme.

    I'm sure I have a bias or two involved in my view of McHale and the Rockets. That's part of why I enjoy discussing it with others who see things differently. I have to re-evaluate what I think and see.

    I truly believe that next year's squad--with or without the addition of a top flight free agent--will come in with a focus and edge we haven't seen for some time. I'm picturing energetic defense on the inside and out. A better and deeper rotation. I expect an advancement in our offensive schemes similar to the one that Miami had after their first year. I'm expecting a leaner, meaner Harden. I'm expecting Parsons to have added 10-15 pounds of muscle....and if we're lucky he'll add a little arc to that shot :lol:. I'm looking for Dwight to form the missing part of that parent dynamic you mentioned earlier--yes, that means McHale is "Mom" and Dwight is "Dad"--and that's cool with me. I mean, how intimidating would it be to have Dwight get in your face and give you an earful for not giving 100%? I've got high hopes all around. I know we've got lots of work to do and lots of ground to cover and I am optimistic that we'll do it.

  • smeggysmeg says 5 months ago

    New post: Adding insult to injury: the Spurs against the Blazers
    By: rahat huq

    And lastly, a quote from an opponent is worth a thousand video breakdowns. First,from Wes Mathews: ""They move the ball, they share the ball," Blazers guard Wesley Matthews said, beginning innocently enough before diving into his checklist. "[The ball> is not going to stick in anybody's hands. Houston might have been a little easier to defend because you knew where they were going to go. This time, Marco [Belinelli> comes into the game, they run floppy action for him. They run a hammer action for Patty [Mills>. They run angle screens for [Manu> Ginobili, they run angle screens for [Tony> Parker. They've got so many weapons."

    And lastly, Robin Lopez: ""With Houston, there wasn't any...not that much pressure on defense. And offensively, they focused a lot more on isolation game, whereasSan Antonio's swinging the ball."

    rockets fans will typically react by saying spurs suck and then also what are all these offensive actions that Matthews is talking about, is this some sort of other sport.....and the lopez quote well that will just get blamed on harden

    nuance and detail in schemes, game plans and strategy again and again.... we have neither on either end of the court

    talent is nice but coaching and the chess match-up aspect is completely missing from the rockets, how could it come to this...

    the lowe post podcast with JVG was a great example about effort and execution first and then have other schemes, that you would have been trying and working on all season long..... and even the simmons comment (hate to agree with his made up beliefs) about the rockets looking like a rec team that don't practice and just rock up to play has some truth..... and then our illustrious data driven GM just says it comes down to a coin flip.... what fricken crap

    it is embarrassing that we wasted the talent we have....

  • PhillyCheese says 5 months ago

    The team is repeating the same mistakes game after game. The final Lillard shot was a failure of the D for not rotating - practically a carbon copy of the Blake killer three earlier in the year. Putting Parsons on a speedy guard has not worked, time and time again. Stubbornly expecting TJones to box out and defend the better PF without throwing in some wrinkles on the D is just insane when the other team's guy is dropping an easy 40. I agree with RBG that McHale has not called out Harden enough, individually for sticky ball-itis, and iso-ism, nor does he sit Parsons when he misses a defensive assignment - it shouldn't matter that he only has Casspi,Garcia and Hamilton to throw in there. He needs to set the example that no one can take plays off. He's enabled Parsons to take plays off, hence I think Parsons fell asleep thinking the game was won with 0.9 left and he was going the be the hero for scoring the last Houston basket.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @JG

    totally disagree.......McFail is a spineless jellyfish. tuff talk and tuff action are two different things. having raised 3 kids myself I've learned that whooping that ass then turning around and cuddling them defeats the purpose of whooping that ass :lol: so I left the cuddling to my wife. it's my job to provide the framework that my family was raised in. sometimes that made me the bad cop, but I was willing to accept that to have the final product turn out the way I wanted. my wife fussed as much as I did, but she didn't garner the respect I did because my kids knew they could get away with a little more on mom than with dad. McFail may sound tuff, but sounding tuff and holding players accountable are completely different. A few years back I was a supervisor for a company called Telecheck. I was promoted to that position after a few years of being one of the minions. when I took over one of the biggest problems I had was making the other people under me understand that I would hold them accountable regardless of if they thought of me as a friend or not. I ended up firing 2 people I considered friends at the time in orderget my point across. prior to this chain of events I can't tell you how many times I warned them and yet my words continued to fall on deaf ears until I took action. that's where McFail is. tuff talk and no actionis like pissing into the wind.......bound to get your shoes wet. I truly believe both Morey and Les want to win the championship. they simply have the wrong man driving the bus. I have said many times here that I don't care how many years McFail has been around basketball experience does not necessarily equate to being a good coach. he has many shortcomings and this is just one of those. trying to get me to believe he is some kind of master teacher who is simply allowing his students to learnfrom their own failures is to far fetched. he is not providing the necessary framework for this team to prosper. simply telling them to play harder, move the ball because it's getting sticky is pissing into the wind. last but by no means least these press conferences you claim he is calling out the players in..... saying the ball got sticky, we didn't play hard enough, we weren't focused.......which name did he attach to his critical comments? trying tohold a player accountable while talking to a group is absurd. if I wanted to call out a player I need to say his name and his infraction and then discipline him if I don't see change. that's how you send a message to the team. has McFail ever done this....even behind closed doors? NO....you know how I know........because there is no change. the same infractions are being repeated. that means there is no fear of punishment.

    I don't have a problem if you want to continue in your line of thought, but for those of us that don't see it that way I thought I would stress our point. we can debate till the cows come home, but I will not back away from what I think I see.

  • Johnny33 says 5 months ago

    I am no basketball genius. I've never coached basketball at any level. But it's pretty easy to see that when 4 guys are stationary and 1 guy is trying to go 1 on 4, that's a lot easier to defend than having those 4 guys moving, cutting, screening off the ball.

    Defense is and should be the #1 concern for the Rockets, but #2 should be the half court offense. There's a lot of talented guys on this team. They're maybe not the best individual defenders, but they can make things happen on offense. To turn them into a "take turns going ISO" team is just painful to watch. The problem with telling players they need to move the ball, rather than just play the system they've been practicing all season (is there a system??) is this - guys forcing passes that become turnovers, guys passing up open shots to try to pass the ball to a guy in worse position, guys passing the ball with the shot clock about to expire, etc.. IMO when the Spurs struggle, they fall back on their system to get back on track. When the Rockets struggle, they don't have that ability, and end up giving Harden the ball to make something happen. They struggle more. The other team goes on a longer run.

    Execution is another story. How many times have the Rockets given up points at the end of quarters, halves, games? How many times have they scored with under 5 seconds left in a quarter, only to let the other team run back and score before the buzzer? I've watched every game, and it's happened quite a few times.

    In regards to the McHale - Harden dynamic, the Rockets will only go as far as Harden will take them. McHale understands this, and has managed the team in this way. Like it or not, the Rockets will sink or swim with Harden. So regardless of whether or not Harden plays any D or dominates the ball, he will play. McHale has the support of management because he buys into their plan. Like a parent, you either coddle your kids or let them fall and skin their knee from time to time.

    Heading into the offseason, I'm sorry to say it because I like these guys - but it might be time to part ways with Lin and Parsons. Parsons will probably command a Batum-like salary, with which you can probably get Luol Deng instead. With Lin, you can replace him with a guy like Jarrett Jack, who's more steady and consistent. I'm sure this team wants to stick together and grow, but Dwight isn't getting any younger and probably on the tail end of his "prime". The only question left would be PF and backup C if Asik forces a trade again.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    OK. First, I'm not comparing McHale to Durant. That would make no sense at all. You're missing the point. I was just pointing out that criticism is out of control on message boards and, like FSS said above, people are overly-focused on the negative. I do not think he is a top 2 coach--I'm not delusional :lol:

    Journeymany, I guess I misunderstood when you questioned McHale. So many have questioned him on this I presumed your rhetoric was the same as theirs--my bad. You think McHale doesn't notice things? Too laid back? His heart's not in it? You're entitled to think, or question, that....but I will disagree.

    People talk as if the Rockets don't hold practices, talk about things together, discuss strategy, or work on improving at all. Well, what do you guys think they do? Play H-O-R-S-E? Go shopping at the Galleria? Watch their Twitter feed? I just find it strange that the foundations, or basis, for these assumptions come down to pretty disparaging, and depressing, ideas.

    Les Alexander must be a dim-witted buffoon who is only in this to market his players to bolster his other endeavors while raking in all the TV money he can get. He has no concern about winning or losing or how his employees are performing. It is inherent in the idea that he condones all of this as everyone--EVERYONE--answers to him, the boss. Given how unsuccessful he has been in life and business this makes sense. :unsure:

    Morey has no idea what he's doing. He doesn't know good defense from a hole in the ground and wouldn't even care to look for it or hire someone who could do it for him. He figures scoring is more fun so we'll do as much of it as we can and let the other team do the same--It's what the fans want! Also, he is too prideful/egotistical to listen to anyone with expertise in this field and treats this GM gig like a game of D&D.

    McHale is not interested in coaching this team since he's not shouting at everyone for every mistake they make (except Lin, of course) and, in short, not being Popovich. He "allows" Harden to not play up to whatever standard people have decided he should play to. Clearly, he does not value defense and is content to sit and watch his guys run back and forth with no concern over what happens or what they do.

    The players only like money, parties and fame. They have no pride in their life's work. They just like to score so they can pad their stats and get bigger contracts. They only care about themselves and don't want to try and work as a team.

    If this were true why would anyone participate in watching or rooting for such a sham of a team? I know this seems over-the-top in response, and it's not entirely focused on just one poster--but so very, very many that insinuate these very things. They don't say them outright, but if they are true there must be a basis for them to exist.

    ---------------

    Morey has said that Alexander cares about two things: his granddaughter and winning. Period. It starts there.

    Recently, Morey has mentioned that in his time here we have seen the 2nd round one time--and he is hungry for more...so much more. He also said point blank that Howard and Harden are the right guys. He has said that a third piece is needed--not wanted--needed. He said this off-season would be spent reviewing the last season. Meaning the front office would do its job--crunching numbers, evaluating players, the draft, and all that stuff. Coaches would take those numbers, watch the film, evaluate player strengths and weakness--and work on it. This includes tweaking the offense to do more of what works and less of what doesn't. Players would take what the coaches bring them and work on it.

    The players, of their own volition, seem intent on not suffering the same fate next season. Howard and Harden are starting to be more vocal as leaders--talking about the accountability that everyone has clamored for all season. Howard has taken the lead, Harden is falling in line behind him (don't think it is the other way around--Howard took control of this team in that Portland series) and is also talking about leadership and defense. Parsons wants to be an all- star and, motives aside, is hell-bent on being an all-star on both ends of the court. All of them are talking about the "same page" and getting their bodies right. Lin's going to work hard--no one questions that. Bev is going to work hard. The young guys are too.

    Morey has already begun the process--some call it scapegoating--I think it's funny that they are making moves to correct the things people gripe about...and those same people gripe about those moves. Defense coach--out. Conditioning coach--out. They aren't sitting around patting themselves on the back, coddling anyone, and saying it's ok.

    McHale constantly calls out his guys in the post-game for not doing the things they talk about--for not passing more, not trying hard enough, not being mentally ready, etc. Some say that's his job. I say, you can lead a horse to water....

    I hear people say, "McHale needs to hold them accountable"....and when he does..."he shouldn't throw them under the bus"! The guy can't win--I would ignore everyone too. The only opinions that matter are a select few and none of us are in that group.

    Is McHale's heart in it? I don't know. I think he would have walked away already if that were the case so my guess is yes, it is.

    People, it's happening. We're getting better. We've got stars, role players, prospects, a top-flight GM, an owner who wants to win and is wiling to do what it takes to achieve that. We've got cap space, draft picks, and Clutch too!

    Am I worried that Harden doesn't play good enough defense, McHale isn't a good enough coach, or Dwight's only got a small window left? Not even a little bit. There's plenty of people doing that already :P

  • McG says 5 months ago

    I hope the Rockets (especially McHale and Harden) are watching and analyzing every single minute of this game. While the Rockets (ironically) went 4-0 against the Spurs this season, the Spurs are putting on a master class on how to neutralize an opponent, something the Rockets simply could not figure out. It's like the Rockets were playing a chess game where they only focused on their plan, and pretty much ignored everything the other person was doing. Then they find themselves in a checkmate and they're like "but wait, I still have 5 moves to go!" Meanwhile, it seems like the Spurs are grandmasters - playing a slower, more deliberate chess game. Watching and analyzing every move, reading what the other guy is planning and picking the right counter-move and hurting them in the best way possible. Like chess/basketball jujitsu.

    Or, another way to put it: Pop plays chess, McHale plays solitaire.

  • payplay2 says 5 months ago

    Ball comes to a screeching halt when it gets to Harden. He is both an offensive and defensive liability. Need a coach that can keep Harden under control.

  • Journeymany says 5 months ago

    @JG - I never suggested that McHale doesn't have the respect of the players, or lacks confidence in himself - what I'm wondering about the McHale / Harden dynamic is whether he's a bit too indulgent of Harden's foibles. I'd say your point about the great Dane amongst the yapping pups is a reasonable one, but in that also lies the problem - he doesn't notice things and he's a bit too laid back. When you combine that with someone like Harden, who's also very laid back, you get this laissez-faire attitude towards defence and self-improvement.

    And again, I never said anything about his backbone or being a coward. But the fact is to be a rigorous coach, to impose discipline, that takes a lot of effort and a lot of time. Does he want to put that time and effort in enough? The guy lost his daughter last year. Is building a team up structurally and culturally top of his priority list, is that really what he wants to spend every waking hour on? That is the question about guts and determination. No-one would think less of him should he choose not to. Nor would it be a stain on his character. People can have character and still not be the right dog for a given fight.

  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago Perfectly written johnnygold. I don't think I have ever seen so much whining, venting, complaining by Rockets fans as I have seen and heard these days which happens to be the best shape the Rockets have been in years. It's crazy and kind of depressing, the fans.


    It's like Jeff Van Gundy said on the Lowe Post you can be one of those people that spends 90% of your time criticizing the 10% that's a problem with a player or you could enjoy the 90% of the good stuff the player does (paraphrased and in reference to Westbrook I believe.)
  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago Comparing Mchale as a coach to Durant as a player is apples and oranges. Unless you think he is a top 2 coach...
  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    @JG

    Parker was brought over as an 18 year old. H just didn't start right away.

    Ah, so he did...maybe I'm thinking of someone else?

    @RBF--"Good Grief" :lol:

    @Journeymany--I just don't buy the notion that McHale is afraid of Harden, or lacks the guts to "hold him accountable" and all the other buzz phrases that keep getting tossed around. McHale doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who is afraid of anyone. Add to that his stature, clout, and respect garnered over the last 30 years. I just don't think he would sublimate himself to a guy who, essentially, has done nothing beyond a 6th man award and All-Star appearances.

    What makes people assume that others are weak and feeble? Let's get real here. Of the two--Harden and McHale--who has actually demonstrated the weakest constitution up to now?

    Yet, Harden dominates the entire team and front office with the power of his Sampson-like beard (that's why he won't cut it--not even for $1M)? Please. I think people are grasping at straws here. McHale has maintained the entire time he has been here that he is preaching player accountability--to themselves. He is not here to hold their hands--he's here to teach them how to be their own men. Part of that is letting them fall down, get hurt, fail, and realize that they need each other to succeed.

    It saddens me that so many view the world through a lens of presumed weakness. McHale is simultaneously affable and aloof. He has the relaxed confidence of a man with nothing to prove. Never--not once--have I gotten the impression that he lacked the respect of his players, nor his peers.

    I'm not talking about his play-calling/game management here (I agree they need some work). Simply the notion that McHale is a neutered lap dog in a room full of stud doberman pinschers. On the contrary, I'd say he is a great dane who doesn't notice yapping dogs trying to assert themselves as "alphas".

    I know that nothing I say will sway the opinions of those who have McHale painted as an 8 year old simpleton trapped in a 6'10" body with a pimp-limp, but I question the perceptions of those who think he is such a weakling. That narrative just doesn't make any sense.

    RBF recently mentioned that he goes to other fan sites to feel better sometimes--seeing other fan bases be so irrational helps bring relativity to our own emotional reactions. To this point, I was reading the comments section (I don't know why) beneath the Clips/Thunder post game and Durant was taking a beating. (FYI Thunder fans, if you don't want him we'll take him off your hands.) McHale suffers from this bias in this regard in my opinion.

    My guess is some hack writer who might prefer certain players over others :rolleyes: started this diatribe and it has become true by virtue of sheer volume of noise--not reality. Question his play-calling, his clock management, his rotations--that's fine. I whole-heartedly disagree with the questioning of the man's character or backbone--I've never seen anything to indicate such a perception. Just because he makes a decision people don't agree with doesn't make him a coward--quite the opposite by most definitions.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Rahat

    totally agree. it's bad enough to hear the media jumping on our case, but to have Portland's players admitting the facts is disgusting. I could go on a coach bashing spree right here, but have made my feelings known already on that subject. McFail was so completely out coached by Stotts that I have totally lost confidence in his ability to do anything but FAIL. we are in a position where we must amass a talent level that even Kevin"CharlieBrown" McFail can'tscrew up :lol:

  • Steven says 5 months ago @JG

    Parker was brought over as an 18 year old. H just didn't start right away.
  • Journeymany says 5 months ago

    No, you're not the only one who remembers :) He wasn't even brought over straight away as they still had Avery Johnson and he wasn't ready--kept him in France for a bit.

    I think he didn't actually enter the draft till after a few years playing in France, and he went pretty low even then. I can genuinely see the players we have developing a great deal - my main question marks are quite specific ones over McHale as I have no problem with him in principle. That question is:

    Can / Will McHale hold Harden accountable for bad play going forwards? And can he develop a system and style of play?

    The first point is because McHale doesn't seem to have a problem hauling off Howard even - but Harden, no matter how bad his D, no matter how bad the shot he jacks up, seems to have a free pass. I don't buy that, and I don't think any good coach does. Phil Jackson had his conflicts with MJ. Popovich will haul anyone off (I remember Kerr and Claxton played more than Parker the deciding games of his first Finals). McHale lets Harden play when and how he wants, and that's not healthy.

    The second point I discussed a bit in the other thread - but basically I think every team needs to have a plan, offensively and defensively. We actually have a plan offensively, but it doesn't seem to show up when the going gets tough. That comes from the coach. I think McHale *can* do it - the question is, does he have the guts and determination to impose it?

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    As someone was saying in the other topic, that's the kind of chemistry you get from players who have been together for years, have been really well coached through that time, and developed their games both individually and as a group.

    That could happen here - the question is, do we have the core players and coach to do it? I'd say we're a lot closer on the players than the coach. Howard has been excellent. Harden will be fine if he would just make an effort on defense. I personally would be happier going with Parsons, Lin, Beverley and hoping for growth than hoping for a trade miracle, but I'm in the minority. All I'd say is that in his first season Parsons was considered a better defender than attacker, and he could do that again. Lin is wildly inconsistent between looking like an all-star and looking like he shouldn't be in the league, so I still don't know about him.

    Though I do wonder, am I the only one who remembers the early days of Tony Parker? When he could get to the hoop but his passing wasn't pretty and his jumpshot was... well, you'd be pretty happy if he took lots of those. Also Pop used to pull him all the time for blowing assignments or making dumb plays.

    No, you're not the only one who remembers :) He wasn't even brought over straight away as they still had Avery Johnson and he wasn't ready--kept him in France for a bit.

    It is unfortunate that the situation is what it is. If it had been OKC or LAC destroying Portland we would be more forgiving, but it's San Antonio--the team we swept in the regular season (but not the same San Antonio from the regular season).

    No matter how this series went this board was destined to hindsight and second-guessing and a self-damning of our players, coach, and system. Portland wins...that should have been us. SA wins....we would have beat them....(highly unlikely, after seeing them turn it up a notch).

    Everyone gets it. The fans do. The media does. The coaches do. The players do. The front office does. The good news is only the first two are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    I was going to just post the Morey exit interview, but then saw 3-4 other short articles from Feigen worth reading so I'll just post a link to his page: LINK. Harden talks about his defense. Morey's interview is good. McHale. Parsons. They all seem to genuinely care and know what needs to be done--if they didn't then I'd be concerned.

  • Journeymany says 5 months ago

    As someone was saying in the other topic, that's the kind of chemistry you get from players who have been together for years, have been really well coached through that time, and developed their games both individually and as a group.

    That could happen here - the question is, do we have the core players and coach to do it? I'd say we're a lot closer on the players than the coach. Howard has been excellent. Harden will be fine if he would just make an effort on defense. I personally would be happier going with Parsons, Lin, Beverley and hoping for growth than hoping for a trade miracle, but I'm in the minority. All I'd say is that in his first season Parsons was considered a better defender than attacker, and he could do that again. Lin is wildly inconsistent between looking like an all-star and looking like he shouldn't be in the league, so I still don't know about him.

    Though I do wonder, am I the only one who remembers the early days of Tony Parker? When he could get to the hoop but his passing wasn't pretty and his jumpshot was... well, you'd be pretty happy if he took lots of those. Also Pop used to pull him all the time for blowing assignments or making dumb plays.

  • redfaithful says 5 months ago

    Fully agree, and bringing a third star isn't going to be enough.

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