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@  thejohnnygold : (19 April 2018 - 02:20 PM) This scoop shot right here!
@  thejohnnygold : (19 April 2018 - 03:42 AM) That might be the best scoop shot I've ever seen
@  DenverRocket : (16 April 2018 - 04:08 AM) At least CP3 can only get better! Also, if our 3pt shooting comes back, it won't be close.
@  thejohnnygold : (16 April 2018 - 03:41 AM) Phew!
@  thejohnnygold : (16 April 2018 - 01:57 AM) When did Capela get that Euro-Step?
@  Mario Peña : (08 April 2018 - 05:40 PM) I don’t mind the loss to the Thunder last night. This Rockets team needs to be anticipating teams going for the jugular and Harden and co. need to fight through playoff levels of physical play.
@  rocketrick : (24 March 2018 - 01:43 PM) Walk for a Rocket Championship seems so empty while teenagers are truly and courageously Walking for Their Lives Today.
@  DenverRocket : (23 March 2018 - 05:06 PM) Brandan Wright released apparently
@  thejohnnygold : (22 March 2018 - 02:21 PM) Harden looks unstoppable right now. Really enjoying the way he has matured.
@  slick shoes : (21 March 2018 - 04:05 PM) Great win last night against the Blazers. Was good to see us take a punch in the mouth and stand our ground. A nice long homestand with 3/5 of the teams in tank mode should provide some nice rest for our starting group. Hopefully Ariza and Anderson can find their groove in the mean time as well.
@  slick shoes : (19 March 2018 - 07:12 PM) was hoping we'd have a large enough lead going in to the 4th last night that CP and James would get to rest the last 12 but we took our foot off the gas....
@  thejohnnygold : (18 March 2018 - 12:21 PM) I'm sure they have some plans for rest down the stretch...hopefully.
@  Mario Peña : (17 March 2018 - 08:09 PM) Durant out for two weeks perhaps too, hope James takes the opportunity to rest some himself.
@  slick shoes : (14 March 2018 - 06:05 PM) Curry out for multiple games plus Thompson out for two weeks makes that two game lead just a little more comfortable.
@  Mario Peña : (11 March 2018 - 06:12 PM) That loss hopefully contained lessons for this Rockets team. Teams will take away the three as much as they can in the later rounds of the playoffs.
@  rocketrick : (08 March 2018 - 05:54 PM) Oh Yeah, The winning streak up to 17 now and with a very tough road game on Friday against....
@  rocketrick : (08 March 2018 - 05:53 PM) Addition of Joe Johnson after the Trade Deadline and how that could impact our Team in the Playoffs
@  rocketrick : (08 March 2018 - 05:47 PM) I'm here to read and comment not to write articles
@  rocketrick : (08 March 2018 - 05:46 PM) New ownership
@  rocketrick : (08 March 2018 - 05:46 PM) Our bench


On Serge Ibaka

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#1 Red94


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Posted 09 February 2017 - 01:26 AM

New post: On Serge Ibaka
By: Rahat Huq



And to clarify there, as I did in a follow-up tweet, Ennis is not the third prospect.  The prospects would be Harrell, McDaniels, and the draft pick.


Ibaka this year is shooting .385 on 3's, hitting 1.5 per 3.9 attempts per game.  That's up from last year's 32%, but not too strong a deviation from the previous season's .376.  What's important to note is that while he is not elite e.g. Ryan Anderson (who is hitting an insane 2.8 3's per game at 41%), Ibaka is at the least a credible threat from long-range, as we saw last night.  And that credibility is important, for an offense which bases itself upon floor spacing.


As has been well-documented, Ibaka has slipped drastically in other areas.  His total rebounding percentage is down to 12.4, down from a peak of 17.2 during his age 20 season in 2009-2010.  That rebounding percentage has steadily been trending downward.  Offensive rebounding percentage is down to a career low of 6.1, less than half of a career high percentage of 13.2 during his age 22 season in 2011-2012. However, defensive rebounding percentage is up to 19.1, up from 16.2 last season, and approaching his career high of 21.9 during his age 20 season of 2009-2010.


Blocked shots have taken a nosedive.  Per 36 minutes, Ibaka is averaging 1.9 blocked shots per game this year, the lowest figure of his career.  By comparison, in 2011-2012, during his age 22 season, Ibaka averaged 4.8 blocks with an insane block percentage of 9.8.  The block percentage now is at a career low of 4.2.


Ibaka is now number 36 in DRPM among power forwards, behind Kevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki.  Take that for what its worth.  He was 36 last year, fifth in 2014-2015, and sixth in 2013-2014.  That's a steep drop-off.


Opponents are shooting 53.9% at the rim this season against Ibaka.  (They are shooting 49.2% against Clint Capela).  In 2015-2016, opponents shot 43.6% at the rim against Ibaka.  In 2014-2015, they shot 40.8%.  And in 2013-2014, they shot 45.1%


This is all to say that I am aware that Ibaka is not a savior and that there is a limit to what I would be willing to give up.  I am aware of his rather drastic decline, by the numbers.  This is all to say that I am aware that such a trade would likely be a rental.


Even in his current state, Ibaka represents an upgrade in this team's frontcourt rotation.  He would provide a veteran presence and maybe more importantly, another outside shooting threat.  When the Rockets close, they could send out a lineup of Harden, Gordon, Anderson, one of either Beverley or Ariza, and Ibaka, boasting five three point shooters, without sacrificing anything on the defensive end.  While he is no longer peak DPOY Serge Ibaka (who is!??!?), he is still better defensively than Houston's current options.


One might posit, in rebuttal, the seeming futility of relinquishing assets for a rental acquisition.  I'd counter on two fronts.  First, to free up room this summer, Brewer would need to be traded in the offseason, and to do that would require a sweetener.  The thinking here would be that if the Rockets were going to attach assets to unload Brewer in the summer anyways, if going that route, they would do well to at least get value in the return during this season.  The greater point, however, is that regular season success, if even falling short of the ultimate goal, is not without value.  We saw the Rockets last season fail to secure even a meeting with Kevin Durant, after years of planning the pursuit.  As I said this morning, there is tremendous value to the statement that "we have made two Western Conference Finals in three seasons."  Don't think of it that the Warriors will win anyway.  Think, independent of everyone else, "how far can my team go?"  This basketball team is very good, and this is a season where it has the league MVP.  As we saw last season, those are rare conditions.

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#2 RocketsChamp



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Posted 09 February 2017 - 04:23 AM

Ibaka will be a great addition to the Rockets. He is my number one two-way/all-round big man career defender in the league. His ability to shoot from all corners and regions of the floor is an asset. He can shoot 3s like Klay Thompson at nearly 40%, he knocks down jump shots like Derozan, he pump-fakes like Cousins, he has quick feet for a 6'11 player to chase down and guard a smaller player, and most importantly he makes free throws like Durant at nearly 85% which is very rare, extremely rare for a big man career defender, considering his counterparts like Howard, De Andre Jordan, Drummond, Biyombo, Capela, ex player Ben Wallace, could barely shoot...can't make free throws, can't shoot jump shots and would never attempt 3s.


He will be our number two scoring option behind Harden with the additional bonus of rim protection, rebounds and defense! I understand his rebounds are down but we have to keep in mind that Orlando has two of the best rebounders in the league...Vucevic and Biyombo, so that's a factor for his low rebound. That will change if he makes it to Houston.


Can't wait for the Rockets to face OKC and Warriors in the playoffs...great reunion!

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#3 thejohnnygold



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Posted 09 February 2017 - 04:06 PM

The only thing I disagree with here is giving up Harrell for what is likely a half season of Ibaka.  I think he can become a really good third banana once he gets a little more experience and 15-20 more pounds of muscle.


Orlando is spared the ridicule of being the worst run franchise over recent years simply because the Knicks, Kings, Nets, and (arguably) the Bulls exist.  I am not inclined to fork over even one quality prospect for Ibaka and in so doing help them correct one of their many bone-headed moves.


There is also the team itself to consider.  Both our coach and MVP-to-be have openly stated they like the team as is.  I don't think that falls on deaf ears when it comes to Morey and Alexander.


As for the argument about reaching the WCF...I'm all for that (duh!).  I don't think running with Harrell and Dekker prevents us from achieving that goal.  We all know that starters get more run once the playoffs crank up.  Since we're using DRPM, it should be noted that Nene sits at 7th right now.  Brewer is also a plus defender.  


Using some more RPM, Ryan Anderson sits at 16th for PF's while Ibaka is at 25th.  Anderson ranks 5th in ORPM vs. Ibaka's 24th.   Here is the most important number: 


Montrezl Harrell: ORPM 0.17 (22nd) and DRPM -.13 (compared to Ibaka's +.74).


Look, we all know I hate these numbers.  There is no arguing that Ibaka upgrades our team in a vacuum, on paper, etc.  However, when we start talking long-term (including the impression that making the WCF makes) I think we are far better off playing this season out (and still likely making the WCF) while developing our young guys and maintaining team harmony.  We can tinker with the roster (i.e. move Brewer) this Summer.


This team is capable of doing everything it needs to succeed as it is currently constructed.  Mortgaging part of the future for a marginal upgrade is not a move I like.

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