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@  thejohnnygold : (18 February 2018 - 04:11 AM) Yeah, I have thought the same thing. Everything is going so well there isn't much up for debate.
@  slick shoes : (16 February 2018 - 07:34 PM) As stated before, if you are unhappy with the amount of activity here, you are more than welcome to contribute something yourself. I think many of us are so pleased with the way the season has played out thus far that we don't need to come here to complain or moan or advocate for this trade or signing.
@  rocketrick : (16 February 2018 - 05:20 PM) Wow, so many good stories but 0 articles this season regarding the Rockets on this site.
@  slick shoes : (13 February 2018 - 06:49 PM) Nvm, we are waiving Troy Williams to make room for Joe Johnson.
@  slick shoes : (13 February 2018 - 01:42 AM) I guess that takes us out of the running for Iso Joe?
@  DenverRocket : (10 February 2018 - 02:25 AM) Apparently we're picking up Brandan Wright, who was bought out by the Grizzlies today.
@  Mario Peña : (09 February 2018 - 11:17 AM) That was crazy.
@  slick shoes : (08 February 2018 - 06:45 PM) Wow. What are the Cavs doing???
@  DenverRocket : (05 February 2018 - 11:37 PM) Even Love seems happy to be injured and out of there for a while, based on his recent comments. It's a complete sh!t show!
@  Mario Peña : (05 February 2018 - 07:59 PM) I have friends who are Cavs fans and obviously most of them aren’t interested in burning jerseys. Considering I have was there to see a good game even I was disappointed in the lack of effort. I don’t see how the Cold War between LeBron and Gilbert gets any better.
@  DenverRocket : (05 February 2018 - 06:36 AM) I thought it was hilarious.Don't feel sorry for those clowns, they'll be burning his shirt again come free agency :)
@  Mario Peña : (04 February 2018 - 02:12 PM) I was at that Rockets game last night guys and that Cavs defense wasn’t even professional. I saw a lot of jogging up and down the court. I almost felt bad for Cavs fans.
@  slick shoes : (04 February 2018 - 07:33 AM) Just read that he is also unhappy with his role in Minny. If it was me, I would take the same money for the same role on a championship caliber team vs an up an coming team. Just one man's opinion.
@  DenverRocket : (04 February 2018 - 12:03 AM) Why would they release him? I heard that Shabazz Muhamad has asked out, but nothing about Crawford (his minutes are not going to be much different/better if he comes to us)
@  slick shoes : (03 February 2018 - 11:59 PM) Would be interested to see if we take a look at Jamal Crawford if released by Minnesota. Great extra tool to have for the stretch run. I imagine him winning us a game with a clutch three as well.
@  DenverRocket : (02 February 2018 - 06:31 PM) @RocketRick why don't you write one and submit it for publication? Plenty to write about.
@  rocketrick : (02 February 2018 - 04:36 PM) Our Rockets really do have a chance this year...........and this site is like dead in the water. Last published article was back in November. Good Luck with that........
@  thejohnnygold : (02 February 2018 - 05:12 AM) Yes, I was advocating a Harden trade...I'll admit I was wrong...to a degree. It was based on the premise that he wasn't committed to defense--which he wasn't--and that he needed another player to be the lead dog (such as Chris Paul which I did advocate before Morey brought him in). So, yeah...I was completely wrong...but a little right ;)
@  Mario Peña : (01 February 2018 - 10:00 PM) Oh that’s right I vaguely remember that. I was distracted by my move from Texas to New York around that time and I disagreed so I remember not paying those threads much attention.
@  DenverRocket : (01 February 2018 - 06:48 PM) I'm pretty sure JG was advocating a full rebuild ;-)

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Hakeem vs. Harden


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#1 Red94

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 01:54 AM

New post: Hakeem vs. Harden
By: Rahat Huq

https://twitter.com/RedNinetyFour/status/844253902770003968

 

I've had seven hours to reflect on this blasphemy, and I'm realizing I don't regret making this statement.  Yes, I'm well aware of the challenges in making cross-positional, cross-generational comparisons.  (Sheesh, some of you have to take all of the fun out of life).  And yes, I'm aware of Hakeem's postseason brilliance.  (As one reader noted, I'm not sure what relevance those circumstances have to my claim - we're arguing abilities not historical body of work.)  But what James Harden is doing right now, in carrying an all-time offense, is at the very least on par with anything Olajuwon produced on that end.

 

Where Olajuwon, of course, set himself apart was the defensive end.  In fact, Olajuwon's age 27 season (where Harden currently is), in 1989-1990, was the most prolific of his career on the boards and at the rim as he averaged a whopping 14 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game.  Imagine what those numbers would look like at the pace of today's game.  In Olajuwon's MVP season, 1993-1994, he averaged 27.3 points (the second highest mark of his career), 11.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game.  Harden is averaging 29.4 points, 11.2 assists, and 8.1 rebounds.  The Rockets will probably finish close to the 58-24 mark they posted in 1993-1994.  I'm not going to break down the advanced metrics because its almost 9:00 P.M. and I don't have the mental energy for that, and more importantly, those sorts of factors hold no weight in hypothetical banter of this sort.  For now, it will take a good argument to convince me against my claim.


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#2 thejohnnygold

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 02:44 PM

I won't try to convince you otherwise.  That does not mean I agree.

 

I found myself thinking recently that Harden has cemented himself as the second best Rocket of all-time (with the potential to surpass Olajuwon depending on how things go).  Now, even if I omit defense I still cannot give Harden the #1 spot...yet.

 

As much as James Harden has accomplished, he has not proven to be flat out unstoppable.  The greatest have all done this.  This is the problem with relying on the referees for 1/3 of your offense.  Ignoring last year's aberration, let's look at our WC Finals run.

 

In 8 losses, Harden averaged 8.75 FTA's/game.  In 9 wins, he averaged 12 FTA's/game.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think those measly 3 points made the difference (the scores show they did not).  I think, overall, they matter psychologically more so than anything else.

 

Getting back to my point of being unstoppable.  This is something that gets measured in the post-season.  We all know the deal.  The game changes.  Defense gets ratcheted up.  Coaches actually coach.  What then?  I think James has a great chance to change that this year and, if he can, it will be incredibly impressive as he will have to do it against some elite players and teams.

 

The odds are we will have to go through both San Antonio and Golden State.  Before that, we get to warm up against either OKC or Memphis.  That means Harden will be going heads up against the likes of Tony Allen/Mike Conley, Westbrook/Roberson, Leonard/Green, and Klay/Draymond.  Just typing that was daunting.

 

The only good news is GS and SA will be coming off slug-fests of their own (unless Portland somehow manages to sneak past Denver for the final spot).  I'm stoked about the GS/Denver first round match-up.

 

If James can carry us through that gauntlet and, at least, put on a good showing in the Finals (presumably against the Cavs) then I may have to move him up the list.

 

Also, defense matters.  :P


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#3 thejohnnygold

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 05:02 PM

I think this is relevant to the discussion and, conveniently, came out today.

 

 

It's a great breakdown of what we do on offense.

 

I posted it in here because it brings up something I did not consider earlier: coaching.

 

Hakeem, for the most part, ran Iso's in the post.  That was the system.  Give the man some space and watch him work.

 

Harden, under McHale, was in a similar situation.  Despite McHale's constant talk about the ball "getting sticky", he never seemed to do much to coerce the ball out of James' hands.  While James was still amazing under those circumstances it also showcased his faults and limitations.

 

Looking back at Hakeem, it was this very thing which showcased his greatness.  In spite of everything an opposing team could throw at him, and with little help from the sidelines, the man just kept on scoring.  

 

 

It is worth watching every second of this video.  It shows it all.  Hakeem's quickness was a great asset and he abused everyone with it.  Listen with the sound on and take note of the reactions from not just the crowds, but the announcers who watch basketball all the time.  Even they are in awe.

 

This next video is pretty awesome because you can see to what degree teams went to try and stop Olajuwon...and failed.  This is the '95 WC Finals against the Spurs.  Hakeem is primarily defended by Dennis Rodman (considered one of the greatest defenders of all time) and then double and triple teamed constantly.

 

These were Hakeem's averages in that series (we won 4-2):

 

QlDtTMn.jpg

 

Freakin' amazing.

 

My apologies...I will never understand why some videos won't embed here, but click this link to watch Rodman vs. Hakeem.

 

One last note...these videos also show that Hakeem would likely have averaged a triple-double if hockey assists counted.  Whatever that is worth...


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