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@  thejohnnygold : (16 October 2017 - 09:25 PM) Let's see what kind of improvement he's made since last season...that market value might be pretty high.
@  slick shoes : (16 October 2017 - 07:03 PM) Capela will be an RFA at the end of the season. Will be interesting to see what his market value will be.
@  thejohnnygold : (11 October 2017 - 04:12 PM) LAST CALL FOR FANTASY BASKETBALL!!!!
@  slick shoes : (04 October 2017 - 02:04 PM) Doesn't matter. I still won't watch it.
@  rocketrick : (04 October 2017 - 01:18 PM) The NBA once again is ahead of the Curve........... 2017-18 All Star Game won't be East vs West for obvious reasons
@  redfaithful : (23 September 2017 - 10:54 PM) The OKC experiment just got way more interesting...
@  slick shoes : (22 September 2017 - 12:26 AM) I'm on the fence about Melo coming to Houston, but I would much rather have him here than the Blazers. Hoping we can get something worked out there sooner than later.
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2017 - 06:12 PM) Thanks. That was good.
@  slick shoes : (14 September 2017 - 03:18 PM) latest podcast with morey.
@  slick shoes : (14 September 2017 - 03:18 PM) http://bleacherrepor...anking-and-more
@  thejohnnygold : (13 September 2017 - 03:07 PM) Hey, everyone who wants to play fantasy basketball needs to go to the forum below and let us know. The draft will be coming up soon.
@  Losthief : (05 September 2017 - 09:29 PM) Tilman Fertitta....I think I am okay with that.
@  Mario Peña : (30 August 2017 - 04:20 AM) I second that. I hope you Red94 guys in Houston are okay.
@  Losthief : (26 August 2017 - 12:06 AM) Hope everyone stays safe and dry!
@  slick shoes : (23 August 2017 - 12:30 PM) Mostly I'm glad that none of them moved to a West team.
@  redfaithful : (23 August 2017 - 11:39 AM) Basketball reasons aside, it would have been very difficult for the Celtics to sign IT next summer with their cap situation, while Kyrie has 2 years left
@  DenverRocket : (23 August 2017 - 12:33 AM) Kyrie to Celtics for IT, Crowder & Zizic plus a first round pick. Why would the Celtics do this? I'm flabbergasted!
@  DenverRocket : (23 August 2017 - 12:31 AM) Also enjoyed that, thx!
@  thejohnnygold : (20 August 2017 - 06:31 PM) Morey is awesome to listen to.
@  slick shoes : (17 August 2017 - 05:10 PM) https://art19.com/sh...1a-430fee77bdc3

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Playoffs!?!?!


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#1 thejohnnygold

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:38 PM

Are you picturing Jim Mora?  You might as well be.  If you relied on this site for basketball info. you may not even be aware that the Houston Rockets are up 2-0 in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the rival OKC Thunder.  During one of our best seasons in years, the boards have been relatively quiet and have now gone full ghost town.

 

Here, enjoy some music to help set the mood properly before we continue...

 

 

Our beloved Rockets (the same ones which fought their way to the 3rd best record in the league) (after being picked to be a first round bottom feeder) (better record than any team in the East) (the only team besides San Antonio that likely has Steve Kerr's attention) (a team that is so loaded it likely just cost Harden another MVP trophy) (Yes, those Rockets!) are looking good as we head towards a collision course with the Spurs, the Warriors, and then the Cavs.

 

If Houston and Co. can pull this off it should go down as one of the most epic playoff achievements ever.  When it is all said and done, we will have dispatched the league MVP, the league's best coach and a MVP runner-up,  one of the best teams ever assembled including two former MVP's plus the DPOY, and then this era's Michael Jordan and his defending champion Cavs.  Yeesh.

 

James Harden is leading the charge, but, for once, he's not the only gunslinger in this shootout.  Eric Gordon and Lou Williams each shot 8-14 (16-28 overall & 6-10 from deep) on top of 5-6 from the line for 43 points finishing with a +15 and +18 for the night, respectively.  In a game we won by 4 points, that is huge.  Nene's stats don't really show it, but he was big for us as well.  D'Antoni did not go any further into our bench last night showing us who he trusts and who he doesn't when the chips are down.

 

Russell Westbrook was ridiculous last night; yet, if you watched closely you could see his achilles heel: his own greatness.  Down the stretch, hero ball failed him and cost OKC the game.  Westbrook scored 51 points, but he did it on 43 shot attempts (plus a bonus 18 free throws).  He made a mere 17 of those 43 shots.  With all of that, you could barely pry the ball out of his hands.

 

Funny enough, about the only other OKC player who is "allowed" to shoot is Victor Oladipo.  Roberson got 12 shots off, but he hustles to get most of those for himself or cutting to the basket.  Oladipo is killing them as much as Westbrook is.

 

Meanwhile, you've got a solid, reliable guy like Taj Gibson who could have come in and got you some buckets heading down the stretch to keep the Rockets at arm's length.  A guy you intentionally went and got mid-season (along with an actual shooter in McDermott) to try and mitigate your horrible shooting problem.  On top of that, you've got a very skilled Enes Kanter who knows how to work the post.  Those guys combined to shoot 9-15 last night.

 

It doesn't matter.  The Thunder are going to live, and die, on Westbrook's greatness.  You can see the difference chemistry makes watching Houston play Oklahoma.  For us Rockets fans, we can easily remember last season versus this one; however, in this case it is clearly us against them rather than me against them.  Russ is playing me vs. the world right now and if I were on his team I would want out so very, very badly.

 

Back to the good guys.  The Houston Rockets have the best back court in the league top to bottom.  Harden, Beverley, Gordon, and Williams.  Nothing comes close.  There are certainly more formidable duos, but if you are looking at all 48 minutes of the game I like what Houston brings to the party.

 

As long as D'Antoni can keep these guys focused on playing team ball on both ends of the floor I really like our chances of getting to the WCF's.  Golden State's defense frightens me more than their offense.  If we play sloppy on offense they will crush us with ease.  Also, it would be nice if Shaun Livingston didn't treat us like the JV team for once.

 

Let's get excited, everyone!  The Houston Rockets just won a tough playoff game in which we were crushed on the glass, had nearly twice as many turnovers as our opponent, and we shot 1 less 3 pointer to boot.  I figure OKC has one more punch left in them before they lie down.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game 3.


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#2 slick shoes

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:41 PM

Great analysis, JG.

 

It is much easier to post when things are going wrong as problems are easier to talk about than when things are going well. I take the lack of action here as a good sign.

 

One thing I wanted to note about last night's game that has me more excited than anything else. Halftime coaching adjustments! For the first time in MANY seasons, the Rockets were down in a game with no momentum whatsoever going into the half and we came out with a counter move. If we had been coached by McHale or JB, that would have been it for the game and maybe the series.

 

"Come on guys! You're letting that ball get sticky!" 

 

Nice to have an NBA caliber head coach for a change. 


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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 20 April 2017 - 09:08 PM

Great analysis, JG.

 

It is much easier to post when things are going wrong as problems are easier to talk about than when things are going well. I take the lack of action here as a good sign.

 

One thing I wanted to note about last night's game that has me more excited than anything else. Halftime coaching adjustments! For the first time in MANY seasons, the Rockets were down in a game with no momentum whatsoever going into the half and we came out with a counter move. If we had been coached by McHale or JB, that would have been it for the game and maybe the series.

 

"Come on guys! You're letting that ball get sticky!" 

 

Nice to have an NBA caliber head coach for a change. 

 

I agree about the coaching.  D'Antoni has met, or exceeded all expectations in my opinion.  For the most part, we are playing defense and that was probably the biggest concern heading into the season.  Harden is doing his part.  Maybe it helps that he knows there is someone to pick up the slack if he picks up some fouls and has to sit...I don't know.  I'd like to think he has matured and realizes that if he wants to win the ultimate prize he has to play defense.

 

I imagine these boards will get more active once the season ends...and New York puts Carmelo up for sale  :unsure: ...and the Clippers put Blake Griffin on the market  :wacko: ...


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#4 redfaithful

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:03 AM

I do not expect a busy summer for the Rockets - resign Nene and sign Ilyasova to reasonable contracts and decide which of the two RFAs to keep (Bobby Brown or Troy Williams). With the chemistry further evolving and the young guys improving it's a better team than this year, with some cap space for deadline steals like Lou Williams.


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#5 slick shoes

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 03:33 PM

I imagine these boards will get more active once the season ends...and New York puts Carmelo up for sale  :unsure: ...and the Clippers put Blake Griffin on the market  :wacko: ...

 

I think the Pacers are the team to watch starting July 1. If swept in the first round by Cleveland, they are likely to lose PG13 to free agency next summer so they will be looking to add players/names to their roster in hopes of getting him to stick around.


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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 21 April 2017 - 05:36 PM

I think the Pacers are the team to watch starting July 1. If swept in the first round by Cleveland, they are likely to lose PG13 to free agency next summer so they will be looking to add players/names to their roster in hopes of getting him to stick around.

 

The Pacers are strange.  It seems like they should be better.  I think they need a coaching change more than anything.  Myles Turner is not being utilized properly.  He is a taller, stronger, much better shooting version of Clint Capela.  He would be devastating in the pick n roll/pick n pop, but they don't seem to think so.  I'd like to see them move Teague to SG and bring in a guy like Rubio who will get everyone better looks and improve the defense.  I'd also like to see them upgrade PF and move Young to the bench.

 

I think adding Rudy Gay (assuming he comes back from the Injury in good shape) and using him as the starting PF and then sliding him to SF when George sits would be a solid move as well.

 

That, or you trade George to Boston, take ALL their draft picks, and hope for the best.   :ph34r:


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#7 08huangj

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 05:03 AM

I've been off this site for years, and yes, there has been a significant decrease in posts since 2013. I first joined this site after Howard signed wth the Rockets.

 

Regarding today, however, I was a bit disappointed in the Rockets late game execution. No Rockets outside of Harden took a shot, free throw, or layup after the 3:34 mark. It looked like D'Antoni had just let Harden go into isolation mode. The last two opportunities of the Rockets ended up in Harden taking contested three point jumpers in the face of Roberson. After Ariza grabbed the rebound in the last play, Harden had a full 8 seconds to maneuver. Taking a contested step back jumper was not the right decision. Also, the Rockets had another timeout, and D'Antoni should have called a timeout and drawn up a play. The last few minutes of tonight reminded me of the 2015-16 season, where the Rockets were a one man team. Now, the Rockets have great offensive players in Gordon and Williams, and these players should be utilized instead of standing in the corner while Harden isolates. Lou Williams shot 9-15 and 3-4 from 3 point range, and Gordon shot 5-6 from inside the 3-point line today.  In my opinion, the Rockets could have executed better in the last few minutes, and if not for a couple of bricks by Westbrook on freebies, the Rockets would have been out of the game. 

 

In future clutch time, Harden should PASS the ball. Harden is a phenomenal player, but isolation plays just tend to result in misses. Maybe Harden was attempting to make a statement on who the ACTUAL MVP was tonight, but he overdid it and cost us the game. If the Rockets lose this next game, they are most likely in for a 7-game series. Of course, if they win the next game, they are probably finishing the Thunder in 5. Concentration and team play will be necessary for a game 4 victory in OKC. 


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#8 slick shoes

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 01:44 PM

I've been off this site for years, and yes, there has been a significant decrease in posts since 2013. I first joined this site after Howard signed wth the Rockets.

 

Regarding today, however, I was a bit disappointed in the Rockets late game execution. No Rockets outside of Harden took a shot, free throw, or layup after the 3:34 mark. It looked like D'Antoni had just let Harden go into isolation mode. The last two opportunities of the Rockets ended up in Harden taking contested three point jumpers in the face of Roberson. After Ariza grabbed the rebound in the last play, Harden had a full 8 seconds to maneuver. Taking a contested step back jumper was not the right decision. Also, the Rockets had another timeout, and D'Antoni should have called a timeout and drawn up a play. The last few minutes of tonight reminded me of the 2015-16 season, where the Rockets were a one man team. Now, the Rockets have great offensive players in Gordon and Williams, and these players should be utilized instead of standing in the corner while Harden isolates. Lou Williams shot 9-15 and 3-4 from 3 point range, and Gordon shot 5-6 from inside the 3-point line today.  In my opinion, the Rockets could have executed better in the last few minutes, and if not for a couple of bricks by Westbrook on freebies, the Rockets would have been out of the game. 

 

In future clutch time, Harden should PASS the ball. Harden is a phenomenal player, but isolation plays just tend to result in misses. Maybe Harden was attempting to make a statement on who the ACTUAL MVP was tonight, but he overdid it and cost us the game. If the Rockets lose this next game, they are most likely in for a 7-game series. Of course, if they win the next game, they are probably finishing the Thunder in 5. Concentration and team play will be necessary for a game 4 victory in OKC. 

 

I'm going to have to disagree here. There is no one else no this team I want taking a clutch shot more than James Harden. No one. While I was a bit disappointed in his shot selection on the last two possessions, I can live with him taking them. I also do not agree with taking a timeout after the missed free throw. By calling a timeout, you give the other team a chance to set their defense. OKC also had another timeout in their pocket so they had a chance to take a look at what we were running (with no timeouts of our own) and then adjusted accordingly. I do wish James would have driven to the basket for an attempt at a 2 +1 foul (Adams was there and was not going to let James get a clear shot at the rim), but James has also had little luck in late game foul situations so I see why he went for a three-point play the new-fashioned way. I expected a win in OKC for the Thunder, so now our guys can focus in on Sunday's game and then bring it back home to close things out. Hopefully, Memphis pushes San Antonio to 6 or 7 games and we can get a few extra days rest/film study in before the next round. 


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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'.

#9 thejohnnygold

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:03 PM

I'm going to have to disagree here. There is no one else no this team I want taking a clutch shot more than James Harden. No one. While I was a bit disappointed in his shot selection on the last two possessions, I can live with him taking them. I also do not agree with taking a timeout after the missed free throw. By calling a timeout, you give the other team a chance to set their defense. OKC also had another timeout in their pocket so they had a chance to take a look at what we were running (with no timeouts of our own) and then adjusted accordingly. I do wish James would have driven to the basket for an attempt at a 2 +1 foul (Adams was there and was not going to let James get a clear shot at the rim), but James has also had little luck in late game foul situations so I see why he went for a three-point play the new-fashioned way. I expected a win in OKC for the Thunder, so now our guys can focus in on Sunday's game and then bring it back home to close things out. Hopefully, Memphis pushes San Antonio to 6 or 7 games and we can get a few extra days rest/film study in before the next round. 

 

First, good to see you around, 08huangj.  

 

It's a tough call, but I think I disagree here more than I agree.  I am quite comfortable with any one of Anderson, Gordon, or Beverley taking the last shot.  Less so with Ariza and Williams (he may get there).  I think we all have a healthy level of disdain for the late-game Harden-ISO offense.  It's fine if he wants to do it once or twice, but I want them to continue running the actual offense to keep everyone involved and the defense honest.

 

I also noticed that OKC took my advice and gave Taj Gibson the chance to do more.  ;)  He killed us.   :(


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#10 08huangj

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 02:30 AM

Adding on to my post, I would prefer to see the Rockets run the P&R more often in late game situations. The Rockets have not been hot from the 3 point line this series, and what truly obliterated the Thunder in the first game was the P&R. That Harden/Nene pick and roll is deadly, especially with a cornucopia of 3 point shooters waiting on the wings. This was the play I was expecting from the Rockets with about 18 seconds left and being down only ONE point. In my opinion, it is fine if he ISOs for let's say, 3 of the last ten possessions. However, I would prefer the Rockets to run the pick and roll more and kick out to open shooters, as Harden has a knack for both. The Rockets must play smarter in clutch provided it is a close game on Sunday to avoid a 7 game series.


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#11 slick shoes

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 12:11 PM

First, good to see you around, 08huangj.  

 

It's a tough call, but I think I disagree here more than I agree.  I am quite comfortable with any one of Anderson, Gordon, or Beverley taking the last shot.  Less so with Ariza and Williams (he may get there).  I think we all have a healthy level of disdain for the late-game Harden-ISO offense.  It's fine if he wants to do it once or twice, but I want them to continue running the actual offense to keep everyone involved and the defense honest.

 

I also noticed that OKC took my advice and gave Taj Gibson the chance to do more.  ;)  He killed us.   :(

 

My post was about preference, not who I would feel comfortable with (Beverly?! Really?!). 

 

 

This was the play I was expecting from the Rockets with about 18 seconds left and being down only ONE point. 

 

Which game was this? Game 2? 3?


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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'.

#12 thejohnnygold

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 01:51 PM

My post was about preference, not who I would feel comfortable with (Beverly?! Really?!). 

 

 

Heck yeah!   :)  He is shooting 38% from deep and is not afraid of big moments.  Plus, if he gets chased off the 3 point line he has that floater he uses which is pretty solid and if they foul him he is a 77% shooter from the line.  I'm not saying we should run the offense through him, but passing to an open Beverley for a game winner is cool with me.  

 

Obviously, we should mostly prefer Harden touch the ball on every possession down the stretch.  However, this is exactly why we brought in the likes of Gordon and Williams (and to a lesser degree Anderson).  When defenses decide, "we're not gonna let this guy beat us", they are met with two players who can, and will, make them regret it.

 

OKC has now lost two games that they had control of largely because Houston decided Russ wasn't going to beat them and Russ didn't get the memo.

 

From what I could see, James was gassed at the end of the game last night and it was good he could pass off to Williams and Gordon.  They did a ton for us down the stretch (as did Nene).  After the game, James said his ankle was bugging him as well.  (He still scored 6 points for us in crunch time).

 

For all the Mario Elie's, Steve Kerr's, Sean Elliot's, Robert Horry's, and so on...there is a reason they are out there.  I prefer Harden start the play with the ball, but if one of our guys is open I say give him the ball and let him shoot.

 

I'm actually more concerned with our defense and rebounding down the stretch.  That's what wins the games.   B)  (that and Andre Roberson shooting 2-8 on free throws)

 

Now, can we talk about how awesome this play was...

 

 

Amazing that they planned, and actually executed, this play.  They nearly stole a win from us.  The truth is, we stole the win today.  We played badly and somehow walked away victorious.  I really like this team.   :wub:


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#13 slick shoes

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 02:02 PM

For all the Mario Elie's, Steve Kerr's, Sean Elliot's, Robert Horry's, and so on...there is a reason they are out there.  I prefer Harden start the play with the ball, but if one of our guys is open I say give him the ball and let him shoot.

 

Exactly my point. Our first option should always be James, but our success this season is due to the fact that he has some options open to him if the shot doesn't look good. 

 

It seemed to me that 08huangj was advocating that James automatically defer to another player as a first option. THIS I do not agree with. Using the other guys as a backup/alternate plan can and should be done. It comes down to when James decides he wants the shot himself or whether he thinks another guy has a better look and as our team's "alpha", he is going to want that shot more often than not. 


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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'.

#14 thejohnnygold

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:33 PM

Exactly my point. Our first option should always be James, but our success this season is due to the fact that he has some options open to him if the shot doesn't look good. 

 

It seemed to me that 08huangj was advocating that James automatically defer to another player as a first option. THIS I do not agree with. Using the other guys as a backup/alternate plan can and should be done. It comes down to when James decides he wants the shot himself or whether he thinks another guy has a better look and as our team's "alpha", he is going to want that shot more often than not. 

 

No argument here  :)


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#15 Willk

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 08:50 PM

Exactly my point. Our first option should always be James, but our success this season is due to the fact that he has some options open to him if the shot doesn't look good.

It seemed to me that 08huangj was advocating that James automatically defer to another player as a first option. THIS I do not agree with. Using the other guys as a backup/alternate plan can and should be done. It comes down to when James decides he wants the shot himself or whether he thinks another guy has a better look and as our team's "alpha", he is going to want that shot more often than not.

I 100% agree. The offense should be run through Harden at the end of the game. I have not seen any hero ball from him this series. Harden is the least of the team's worries at this point (can the rockets rebound a FT miss?)
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#16 redfaithful

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:56 AM

Some interesting numbers in the stats of the four Rockets post season games so far (here):

  • All 8 active players average 4 rebounds a game or more
  • Except for Harden the top 3 scorers come from the bench
  • Williams and Gordon are shooting the 3 amazingly, Beverly OK, Harden and Ariza not too good and Anderson awful
  • Nene is shooting 92%

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#17 thejohnnygold

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 08:53 PM

Found a pretty cool article about Russell Westbrook written by Enes Kanter over at The Players Tribune.  Figured I would post it since I was getting on his case about being a bad guy to play with.  Forget my opinion and take it straight from the horse's mouth.


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#18 slick shoes

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:55 PM

Found a pretty cool article about Russell Westbrook written by Enes Kanter over at The Players Tribune.  Figured I would post it since I was getting on his case about being a bad guy to play with.  Forget my opinion and take it straight from the horse's mouth.

 

Nice find. I like the guy even more now. 


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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'.

#19 08huangj

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:08 AM

First,congratulations to the Rockets advancing. 

Exactly my point. Our first option should always be James, but our success this season is due to the fact that he has some options open to him if the shot doesn't look good. 

 

It seemed to me that 08huangj was advocating that James automatically defer to another player as a first option. THIS I do not agree with. Using the other guys as a backup/alternate plan can and should be done. It comes down to when James decides he wants the shot himself or whether he thinks another guy has a better look and as our team's "alpha", he is going to want that shot more often than not. 

My intentions may have been misunderstood here. I merely intended to state that James Harden shouldn't be taking ALL the shots, as he did in clutch time in Game 3. Also, his shot selection of two straight contested threes is not ok with me. What I am stating is that there should be more teamwork at the end of games involving the likes of Nene, Gordon, Lou, and maybe even Beverley. I am not saying the Rockets should let Gordon and Lou take over the ball. Obviously, Harden is our megastar and the most reliable player out there. However, Harden must be smarter in clutch time if the Rockets are to advance against GSW and SAS. 


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#20 thejohnnygold

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 12:53 PM

First,congratulations to the Rockets advancing. 

My intentions may have been misunderstood here. I merely intended to state that James Harden shouldn't be taking ALL the shots, as he did in clutch time in Game 3. Also, his shot selection of two straight contested threes is not ok with me. What I am stating is that there should be more teamwork at the end of games involving the likes of Nene, Gordon, Lou, and maybe even Beverley. I am not saying the Rockets should let Gordon and Lou take over the ball. Obviously, Harden is our megastar and the most reliable player out there. However, Harden must be smarter in clutch time if the Rockets are to advance against GSW and SAS. 

 

No argument here.  :)


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