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@  thejohnnygold : (23 April 2017 - 10:20 PM) "Pheeeeew!" --(Every Rockets fan today)
@  rocketrick : (20 April 2017 - 04:28 PM) Incredible Atmosphere at Toyota Center last night! Rockets are for Real people.....
@  thejohnnygold : (17 April 2017 - 12:47 PM) The defense was there too. All in all, a good win.
@  Mario Peña : (17 April 2017 - 04:08 AM) I like that effort on the boards tonight and second chance points tonight. I hope they can finish OKC in 5 or less.
@  DenverRocket : (05 April 2017 - 07:15 PM) Give me a shout and if I'm around, I'll be happy to honor my commitment!
@  slick shoes : (05 April 2017 - 06:34 PM) I'll be in Denver Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend ;)
@  DenverRocket : (05 April 2017 - 04:52 PM) Oh and congrats to @SlickShoes on winning the bracket challenge handily :) If I ever meet you, I'll buy you a beer!
@  DenverRocket : (04 April 2017 - 06:23 PM) Worth a read, Who's The Best Bargain in the NBA: http://www.espn.com/...nd-best-bargain
@  thejohnnygold : (31 March 2017 - 04:19 PM) Probably...mine's toast.
@  slick shoes : (31 March 2017 - 02:12 PM) Is it safe to assume I have taken the bracket challenge??
@  thejohnnygold : (15 March 2017 - 12:58 PM) I'm in!
@  DenverRocket : (15 March 2017 - 02:12 AM) You can join my not knowing anything club! :-)
@  slick shoes : (15 March 2017 - 01:34 AM) I filled one out. I don't know anything about college ball so everything was gut feel. wish me luck!
@  DenverRocket : (15 March 2017 - 12:06 AM) If anyone is interested in joining a Red94 bracket challenge, I've set one up here: http://games.espn.co...groupID=1517203
@  slick shoes : (14 March 2017 - 02:48 PM) As much fun as it is to watch the Warriors lose, I'm gonna need them to go ahead and take 1st place again so that we can potentially avoid them until the WCF.
@  SadLakerFan : (13 March 2017 - 02:24 PM) My Lakers coming into town. Hope Bev can cover our SG of the future David Nwaba. He's lighting it up.
@  thejohnnygold : (08 March 2017 - 11:24 PM) I'm not really finding much info on it. We'll see if it persists or was just one of those things that happens in competition sometimes.
@  slick shoes : (07 March 2017 - 06:00 PM) Interesting to see that Dwight is having some of the same issues in Atlanta that he had here.
@  thejohnnygold : (27 February 2017 - 05:43 AM) I don't think this is all or nothing. We've still got some defensive issues to deal with, but this team can give anyone a run for their money.
@  slick shoes : (26 February 2017 - 11:38 PM) i just hope to legitimately compete for the title. winning is only a bonus.

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On the MVP race, rest, and Wiltjer


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#1 Red94

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:12 PM

New post: On the MVP race, rest, and Wiltjer
By: Rahat Huq

  • As I warned yesterday morning, there would be many in the media heralding Sunday's thorough dismantling of the Thunder as a victory for Russell Westbrook in the MVP race, a lazy and nonsensical conclusion derived from an odd set of values in the context of team sports.  I don't feel like compiling the examples, but if you're reading this, then you've probably seen them already on Twitter.  At this point, the Harden and Westbrook camps have cemented, and anyone who was inclined to vote for one or the other will only be seeking to reaffirm their beliefs.  Lebron and Kawhi have safely faded, and I think anyone who was leaning towards either of those two players would probably find Harden's case more meritorious.  Do you value winning or do you derive immense fascination from arbitrary constructs?  Ooh, look!  A round number!  It's fascinating to note that almost all former players back Westbrook's candidacy.
  • The only thing that can change this race is if Harden sits and the Rockets start losing, while Westbrook keeps racking up the uncontested rebounds.  This presents a dilemma.  The Rockets have stated affirmatively that they will not rest players.  D'Antoni said they don't do it; Beverley was much harsher, calling it a disgrace.  But is sitting an ailing Harden really "resting him?"  I've made clear that I'm as much about the MVP as anyone here.  But that wrist that is being wrapped tightly in ice after every game needs to heal before the postseason begins.  Can we convince James to at least take the night off in Phoenix or Minnesota?  He knows his award is on the line.  This is a man acutely aware of his place in the NBA pecking order, boldly proclaiming two years ago that he was the best basketball player in the world.  He can validate that claim this year.  I maintain that I don't think he lets them sit him.
  • I'm inclined towards paranoia and thus it follows that I've been wondering lately how the league will react to Houston's success this season and what Daryl Morey can do to maintain his team's competitive advantage.  Already, the league had begun trending away from midrange shots, but this year, the Rockets have become a hyperbolization of their own philosophy, in the midst of a season when 40 three-point attempts in a game is the norm.  While they likely won't win the title, will other teams follow suit seeing the wild success the Rockets have enjoyed despite having only one superstar and a roster widely considered unexceptional [prior to the season, back when Oklahoma City was considered to have the better roster]?  Smart teams will figure out you can overcome a lot of deficiencies when cranking up the variance.  But while you can shoot a lot of threes, you need good shooters, you need a great passer, and you need a coach who can put those shooters in a position to succeed.  The Rockets, for their part, having been reaffirmed in their convictions, need to ensure that going forward, the roster is littered with good shooting for the remainder of the James Harden era.  I mean, after seeing the impact Ryan Anderson has on this offense, can you believe the Rockets had Terrence Jones manning the position a priori for years?  Like, can you believe that?  Like, its worked out so brilliantly that you almost can't believe how bad things were before.  And to that end, Daryl Morey needs to ensure that there is a 'Ryan Anderson' on the floor for as much of the season as possible for these next 5-6 years or whatever of James Harden's prime.  I like what I've seen from Kyle Wiltjer in the six or seven minutes he's played this season because uh, he's tall, white, and can shoot, so naturally he's the heir apparent.  But in all seriousness, get that kid on some sort of high caloric nutritional plan - I don't even care if its pure fat with no functional muscle mass, we need to put some meat on those bones before next season.
  • Can Zhou Qi shoot an NBA three pointer?
  • I have tried to get this post's word count to 700, and I've succeeded, because round numbers.

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#2 slick shoes

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:17 PM

I am hoping that Wiltjer will get more playing time now that Anderson has gone down with a bad ankle. I have high hopes for that kid. Lots of potential there. 


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when you win two games in a row that's called a winning streak.

trickin' six digits on kicks and still holdin'.

#3 thejohnnygold

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 05:34 PM

Wiltjer is definitely a player worth trying to develop.  He seems slow and awkward sometimes, but then he can be surprisingly nimble and fluid at others.  I don't know what to think.

 

Isaiah Taylor is the one to watch.  I will be shocked if he is not part of the guard rotation next year.

 

As for the MVP race...I don't know anymore.  As a selfish Rockets fan I can only hope they give it to Westbrook so that the chip on James' shoulder gets even bigger.  


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#4 Rahat Huq

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 12:21 PM

Anyone want to give a scouting report on Isaiah Taylor?  I know nothing about him.


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#5 slick shoes

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 04:50 PM

From the footage available on Youtube; Fast, aggressive to the rim (but not the best finisher), willing passer, jump shot is decent if he can't find his lane. He will need to improve his outside shooting if he ever wants to see the floor. 


Edited by slick shoes, 30 March 2017 - 04:52 PM.

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when you win two games in a row that's called a winning streak.

trickin' six digits on kicks and still holdin'.

#6 thejohnnygold

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 04:43 PM

From the footage available on Youtube; Fast, aggressive to the rim (but not the best finisher), willing passer, jump shot is decent if he can't find his lane. He will need to improve his outside shooting if he ever wants to see the floor. 

 

I have a slightly different opinion on him...

 

I've gone into some detail about him before.  A decent comparison would be Brandon Jennings (in my opinion) with a little Rafer Alston/Aaron Brooks mixed in (although, he has good size at 6' 3").  Jennings is a better passer/playmaker.  Taylor is a better shooter.  He's hitting 43% from deep in 24 games down in RGV.  Both sometimes suffer from poor decision-making.  Like Jennings, he can shoot you into a game....and out of one too.

 

He can get to the rim and (I think) is good at converting.  Natural scorer.  He's quick, shifty, and creative with the ball in his hands.  Should flourish under D'Antoni.  Defense has never been his strong suit.  :(

 

Just type "Isaiah Taylor Rio Grande Valley" into Google videos and enjoy  :)

 

I think he can become a solid weapon in our arsenal.


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#7 slick shoes

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 04:51 PM

He can get to the rim and (I think) is good at converting. 

 

Literally, every single draft report on him stated that he was bad at converting at the rim.  :lol:

 

"Floaters - 31.1% on 67 attempts and Layups - 48% on 127 attempts"

 

Granted, these reports were for him coming out of UT and not his most recent play with the RGV, so he may have cleaned those perceived weaknesses up. Here's hoping!


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when you win two games in a row that's called a winning streak.

trickin' six digits on kicks and still holdin'.

#8 thejohnnygold

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 03:58 PM

Literally, every single draft report on him stated that he was bad at converting at the rim.  :lol:

 

"Floaters - 31.1% on 67 attempts and Layups - 48% on 127 attempts"

 

Granted, these reports were for him coming out of UT and not his most recent play with the RGV, so he may have cleaned those perceived weaknesses up. Here's hoping!

 

Yup.  I would ignore that.  Watch more recent video.  When he was at UT he struggled to convert because he played "too fast".  He would get by his defender, get to the rim, but his shots were too strong and would often roll off the rim instead of settling into the basket.  I think he has improved on that.

 

You can see he has learned to change speeds to get defenders off balance instead of just trying to blow by them.  He is shooting 58% (4.6-8.0) in the restricted area down in RGV.  That could be better, but I think he's fine.

 

The hard part is getting to the rim.  Converting can be developed, but if you can't get by your man at this point it's not gonna happen.

 

I think another thing that has helped him is adding some muscle.  While at UT he was pretty thin and couldn't finish through contact.  Watch him now and he looks more like this:

 


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#9 slick shoes

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 03:52 PM

Really hoping that Wiltjer can see more of the floor over the next 5 games with Dekker out. Only one playoff team remaining on the schedule and our seed is pretty much locked, so our young guys should get some run time and let the vets rest up for the run up the mountain. 


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when you win two games in a row that's called a winning streak.

trickin' six digits on kicks and still holdin'.

#10 DenverRocket

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 06:38 PM

Really hoping that Wiltjer can see more of the floor over the next 5 games with Dekker out. Only one playoff team remaining on the schedule and our seed is pretty much locked, so our young guys should get some run time and let the vets rest up for the run up the mountain. 

 

After watching Sundays game against the Suns, I would say that Troy Williams will benefit more from Dekkers absence - his outside shooting, defense and relative experience means MDA is more likely to trust him (and he'll want him ready for the p/o's, just in case). I suppose Wiltjer will benefit if Ryno is out much longer, but to me he just still seems too lightweight for an NBA PF. Having said that, I don't want to see Montrezl Harrell playing the stretch 4 and shooting corner threes like he did on Sunday - atrocious! :-)


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#11 thejohnnygold

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:16 PM

After watching Sundays game against the Suns, I would say that Troy Williams will benefit more from Dekkers absence - his outside shooting, defense and relative experience means MDA is more likely to trust him (and he'll want him ready for the p/o's, just in case). I suppose Wiltjer will benefit if Ryno is out much longer, but to me he just still seems too lightweight for an NBA PF. Having said that, I don't want to see Montrezl Harrell playing the stretch 4 and shooting corner threes like he did on Sunday - atrocious! :-)

 

Agreed.  Harrell should not be utilized in that way.  


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#12 slick shoes

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 07:21 PM

After watching Sundays game against the Suns, I would say that Troy Williams will benefit more from Dekkers absence - his outside shooting, defense and relative experience means MDA is more likely to trust him (and he'll want him ready for the p/o's, just in case). I suppose Wiltjer will benefit if Ryno is out much longer, but to me he just still seems too lightweight for an NBA PF. Having said that, I don't want to see Montrezl Harrell playing the stretch 4 and shooting corner threes like he did on Sunday - atrocious! :-)

 

All the more reason to play Wiltjer at the 3 while we are thin. You make a good point though about Williams and that is clearly the best option for us right now/short term. Maybe Kyle can hit the gym this summer and put on 15-20 lbs mass and make himself a more viable option at the 4 spot next season. 


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when you win two games in a row that's called a winning streak.

trickin' six digits on kicks and still holdin'.

#13 thejohnnygold

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 01:36 PM

All the more reason to play Wiltjer at the 3 while we are thin. You make a good point though about Williams and that is clearly the best option for us right now/short term. Maybe Kyle can hit the gym this summer and put on 15-20 lbs mass and make himself a more viable option at the 4 spot next season. 

 

Wiltjer and Zhou Qi need to spend the Summer together eating donuts and going to the gym.  Donuts.  Gym.  Donuts.  Gym.  Triple Cheeseburger.  Gym.  Sleep.  Repeat.


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#14 Willk

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 08:57 AM

Agreed. Harrell should not be utilized in that way.


I disagree. if Harrell could shoot the corner 3, he could get more PT and the rockets would gobble up every defensive rebound w/ Harrell + capela or Harrell + nene. The OKC series would be much easier if Harrell + a center could play against the OKC bigs.
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#15 thejohnnygold

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 03:36 PM

I disagree. if Harrell could shoot the corner 3, he could get more PT and the rockets would gobble up every defensive rebound w/ Harrell + capela or Harrell + nene. The OKC series would be much easier if Harrell + a center could play against the OKC bigs.

 

Given the way we play, you are probably right.  I think it diminishes a lot of what Harrell brings to the table if we just have him spotting up for 3's on the wing.  We drafted Wiltjer for that.  I think Harrell can do a lot of the things Amare Stoudemire did for D'Antoni.  


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#16 RChen

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 11:55 PM

Zhou hit 20-55 in 44 games this year, ( 36%) cba lines are the same distance as nba.

In skill terms sure he can hit them , problem is how he handles nba physicality
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#17 thejohnnygold

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 04:16 AM

Zhou hit 20-55 in 44 games this year, ( 36%) cba lines are the same distance as nba.

In skill terms sure he can hit them , problem is how he handles nba physicality

 

Totally agree.  He's got NBA skills.  The question is if he can get to an NBA body.


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