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The Daily Blast – March 7, 2013

Talk About It – Rahat was a guest on ESPN 1660 yesterday, weighing in on, amongst other things, the Thomas Robinson trade. “The effect of that trade, which was more of an indirect effect, was actually that it freed up minutes for Donatas Motiejunas,” he said. Hold that thought for after the break…

Numbers Game – I was a little surprised to see Robinson wearing number 41 last night, and thought he must have deferred to Aaron Brooks by giving back number 0. Sure enough, the Chronicle confirms the theory, and also uncovers that their number sharing history goes back to their time in Sactown.

D-Mo Love – The Lithuanian burst onto the rookie ladder on NBA.com this week, sliding into the eighth slot:

The Rockets sent away Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Marcus Morris, thrusting D-Mo into the rotation at the 4 spot.

And the Lithuanian has responded in a big way.

It’s only been three games, but Motiejunas has averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 26.7 minutes and seems comfortable playing in the Rockets’ high-scoring offense.

Before the starting nod, D-Mo had averaged just 3.2 points in 5.5 minutes in 21 games played.

Patrick Beverly also squeaked into the tenth spot on the ladder. Another gem from the Chronicle: Beverly led all rookies in plus-minus with a +79 going into last night’s game (the Dallas announcers made mention of this too). Motiejunas is third among rooks with a +52. It’s also worth pointing out that Thomas Robinson is earning time with some excellent defense for a rookie. I’ll put it this way, McHale put T-Rob on the floor to finish the game last night, and he was not the reason the Rockets lost.

Back to the FutureDylan Murphy at Hardwood Paroxysm mulls over the idea that analytics just prove what good coaches have known intuitively all along, and critiques some of Morey’s statements at the Sloan Conference:

Daryl Morey assured a room full of listeners that offensive and defensive basketball will look completely different in 10 years, citing his own Rockets and their non-play calling as a harbinger of coming revolution. But then there’s this: if basketball teams exploit inefficiency offensively – Orlando Magic-ing it, basically – defenses will adjust, too. They’ll padlock three-pointers and dunks and fence in everything at the mid-range, which, in turn, will become efficiency’s namesake. LaMarcus Aldridge will be that much more valuable.

I would hazard a guess that this is all just history repeating, in the way that basketball reinvents and repurposes old iterations of itself. In that sense, then, Daryl Morey has it wrong; this isn’t revolutionary basketball, or at least it won’t be when the rest of the league follows suit. But we won’t really know the answer until the next generation of basketball coaches cement their legacies – Erik Spoelstra will be an old dude, one day. And only then can we determine if any of this has actually stuck.

 

Tweet That – If you (like me) are all sour grapes over the Rockets losing last night, then this is for you (and me).

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/HardenBeard/status/309515789449441280"]

R.E.S.P.E.C.T – That’s what James Harden gets from Tony Parker in this Grantland interview. Skip to about the 3 minute mark and you’ll see what I mean.

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About the author: John Eby got on the Rockets bandwagon in 1994 and never got off. He is a public relations guy and recovering TV journalist living in South Carolina.

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