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Houston Rockets go down in Summer League title game to Sacramento Kings

Don’t even act as if you’ve never admired or felt the urge to admire your own joke.

As the tweet indicated, the local JV guys led most of the way before completely collapsing down the stretch, squandering the title to the Sacramento Kings.  Just playing the odds, this is the closest the Rockets will get to a championship in the next few years, so this one hurt pretty bad.  Well, not really.  But it did hurt having to watch through this game while laying on my couch when other things were on television, most notably anything else.  There were several points where I found myself falling asleep only to rouse myself up once more out of some self-inflicted sense of duty.  Those of you who didn’t watch this – I bit the bullet for everyone; thank me later.

First, Motiejunas: while not filling the box score as he had done in previous nights, the big man did a little of everything, once again showing the tantalizing versatility that has left me confounded over his lack of success.  He scored from the post with running hooks, a baby hook over his opposite shoulder that got wiped out, hit an outside jumper, and drove in on multiple occasions from the three point line.  Most encouragingly, as Chris Finch noted afterward, D-Mo stayed big inside and rotated smartly against incoming opponents.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in a Rockets prospect and relatedly, I don’t think I’ve ever been so confused over a prospect’s lack of success.  Why has D-Mo not panned out?  What is going on here?  This is a legit 7 footer who can score inside with either hand, can put the ball on the floor, and who possesses NBA range (well, sorta) who, by all accounts, is a tireless worker.  He’s added significant weight to his frame since being drafted and made tremendous strides defensively last season, as most famously evidenced by one particular outing against Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies.  I just don’t understand.  If he’s not in the rotation by January, or was shipped away for some worthless conditional second rounder by mid-season, we missed a big opportunity.  Were he to have come over this season, I think he’d have been a lottery lock.  While I empathize with the immediate need to win games, I just think players can’t get comfortable if constantly glancing over at the bench upon each mistake.  So naturally, Motiejunas will likely end up on the Spurs and realize his true NBA destiny, spelling Tim Duncan off the bench in helping San Antonio win the NBA title.  Naturally.

Nick Johnson: I really hope this kid cracks the rotation because I’ve already fallen in love with his game.  Johnson has a smooth jumper, an insane vertical, a tight handle, and a brute force mentality to complement his strong upper body.  He reminded me immediately of Bobby Sura watching him attack bigger guys off the dribble and finish at the rim while absorbing contact.  Simply put, Johnson is a man’s man, a pitbull.  The only problem is that he appears extremely slow-footed, to the point where I worry he won’t be able to create separation at this level, much like his forebear, Sura.  That’s not to say one cannot be an effective NBA guard if lacking quickness (see: Andre Miller), but it’s something of a concern.  Johnson is sort of a paradox, much like former Rocket Chandler Parsons, in that he has incredible leaping ability–which naturally leads observers to label him as ‘athletic’–but not much in the way of lateral quickness.  We’ll see.  But I think he will succeed, if for no other reason than that the guy is a complete badass.  Oh, and also because we currently only have one player on our bench.

Canaan: Isaiah Canaan didn’t do much of anything in this game, but was in God-mode earlier in the tournament, at one point looking Andrew Wiggins in the eye and high-stepping him straight to the basket.  The jumper was wet and the first step had been unguardable.  It’s hard to know with these types of guys whether they can make it at the next level.  For one, you can’t drive in relentlessly in the big leagues unless you’re historically elite like James Harden.  But secondly, can he defend at his size?  And most importantly, as a point guard, can he make smart reads?  That’s really the thing about evaluating point guards.  Unlike bigs, where you’re just checking to see whether they’re capable of running in a straight line without tripping over, every single man under 6’3 at this level is insanely talented and naturally competitive.  Which ones are NBA smart?

I think Nick Johnson will end up winning the backup point guard job over Canaan for several reasons, namely that Kevin McHale loves tough guys.  His slow-footedness won’t be much of a problem here as the point guard job description on this team is to simply bring the ball up and hand it off to James Harden.

Now we wait two more months for the next game.

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Total comments: 31
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @FSS

    I disagree..................I don't think McHale is good at developing players. now the Rockets do a good job overall, but I doubt McHale has a large hand in it. it's due mostly to how they handle young players via D-League assignments and working with assistant coaches. the Rockets had a good system before McHale got here. they have been turning out NBA quality talent for some time now. just look around the league a lot of young players owe their start to the Rockets.

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago I have never bought the chatter that McHale is not good for developing players, sounds like something only basketball fans would say.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Parsons may get the most fingers pointed at him for proving McHale plays youngsters, but he is far from the only one. I'm sure people will find a way to deflect these facts and insist that McHale holds his young players back. The reality is he is trying to win games and plays the people he feels best allow for that possibility. Is that holding anyone back? Do we not utilize our D-League for this very purpose? Players get to develop.

    Players that McHale has played with 1 year of experience or less since his arrival here in 2011:

    Chandler Parsons: rookie year - 1800 minutes in 63 games

    Patrick Patterson: 2nd year - 1483 minutes in 64 games

    Jeremy Lin: technically 3rd year in the league, but only 64 games (25 starts) and 1285 total minutes - 2640 minutes in 82 games

    Patrick Beverley: rookie - 713 minutes in 41 games (wasn't here first half of season) moved to starter in 2nd season

    Terrence Jones: rookie - spent most of year in D-League, played 19 games with 276 minutes as rookie and then moved to starter in 2nd year playing 2078 minutes in 76 games

    Marcus Morris: rookie - 17 games/126 minutes then 2nd year 77 games (23 starts) 1524 minutes

    Donatas Motiejunas: rookie - 538 minutes in 44 games, 2nd year 952 minutes in 62 games

    Greg Smith: rookie - in and out of D-League 8 games/69 minutes (signed in Feb.), 2nd year 70 games (10 starts) 1110 minutes (Is anyone else really curious to see what he can do in Dallas? The Parsons signing has obscured the fact that they have signed two of our players...it's gonna sting if they play well against us)

    Thomas Robinson: rookie - meh, this one doesn't really count...19 games 247 minutes after being traded from Portland

    Isaiah Canaan: rookie - d-league call up who played 252 minutes in 22 games

    Troy Daniels: rookie - d league call up, played 5 reg. season games with 75 minutes.....and then 4 playoff games for 68 minutes including being in on the final play for the win.

    (sorry for the poor formatting--I hope it is legible enough)

    So, when people talk about McHale not trusting young guys, holding them back, or whatever they want to say in their quest to prove how terrible he is all I can think is this list says otherwise. That is 11 young players in 3 seasons 5 of which saw significant playing time as starters.

    Over that span we had 23 different players get more than 500 minutes (a random number I chose to show significant playing time. There does seem to be a drop off from that area to the next level down). Of those 23 different players, 8 of them were rookies or in their 2nd year. That is just over 1/3 of the players McHale gave significant playing time to.

    How do we justify the notion that McHale doesn't trust (meaning doesn't play) youngsters? I don't know.

    Now, does he trust them to not screw up? I seriously doubt that, but we have all watched the games....doyou trust them? I like watching them play,cheering when they do something great, and shaking my head while smiling and groaning at the same time when they do the things that young guys do. As a fan I have that luxury. As a coach trying to win games, McHale can only tolerate so much; yet, the numbers show he is much more tolerant than anyone seems to give him credit for.

    I doubt this will do anything to sway or alter people's opinion. Just know that the facts prove otherwise--no matter how much people say the opposite.

  • slick shoes says 2 months ago

    @slick shoes

    I was a big Adelman fan until he came here and started trying to turn us into Sac. I hated K-Mart too. I was happy to see both go. I'm not to happy about the replacement at the moment :lol:who shall go un-named.

    one of the things I dislike about McHale is the way he handles young player. I don't think he singles one out, he just generally don't trust young players. some will point to Parsons and say this doesn't occur, but I would argue he is the exception not the rule. however arguing about this fact would be ignoring the bigger problem. there are many things that fall outside McHale's level of coaching expertise. this is like popping only one bubble in the bubble wrap paper :lol:

    I like how you say "who shall go un named" in one paragraph and then proceed directly to naming him in the following one.

  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @slick shoes

    I was a big Adelman fan until he came here and started trying to turn us into Sac. I hated K-Mart too. I was happy to see both go. I'm not to happy about the replacement at the moment :lol:who shall go un-named.

    one of the things I dislike about McHale is the way he handles young player. I don't think he singles one out, he just generally don't trust young players. some will point to Parsons and say this doesn't occur, but I would argue he is the exception not the rule. however arguing about this fact would be ignoring the bigger problem. there are many things that fall outside McHale's level of coaching expertise. this is like popping only one bubble in the bubble wrap paper :lol:

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Apparently we are in the minority on this one... :) I will definitely try and pay closer attention to it this season

    He's a pretty level headed player's coach. He's been there. He gets it.

    I think you'll find that my take is pretty accurate as I have closely watched what McHale has done since he got here. I was/am a HUGE Rick Adleman fan and was (to put it lightly) displeased to see him let go. I wanted to see who and why you replace one of the most "winningest" coaches with. Like you, I disagree with his strategey at times, but I don't think he deserves the crucifiction that many here call for. He definitely deserves a role on the staff, I just think he needs some quality help around him.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    Once again, you put my thoughts in to writing so much more eloquently than I could. Bravo.

    On a side note, I don't ever recall a time when a single player for our team was "yanked" out of a game. In my opinion, McHale sees bad matchups and subs players in as a result of that, not making mistakes. I hate to bring up the late J-Lin but I think he was given quite a big of rope to "play through mistakes". D-Mo was largely pulled due to foul trouble. Other players were pulled because they weren't effective in the scheme McHale was trying to employ. Yes he pulls players, but if my memory serves I don't recall him calling for a sub due to disgust with a player's blunders on the floor.

    Apparently we are in the minority on this one... :) I will definitely try and pay closer attention to it this season

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    But that's the thing. They are seeing the court. They are getting playing time. (which allows for film breakdown) The notion that they need regularity to perform is one I disagree with. I don't think they feel like they need to play mistake free in order to be on the court. Everybody knows they are going to make mistakes before they even get subbed in--McHale knows when he tells Motie to get in the game he is going to make mistakes. To me, the logic just doesn't work. If you're going to pull him as soon as he screws up why bother putting him in? Because we have no one else? If McHale was that down on these guys don't you think he would have had Morey ship them out for a solid veteran already?

    I know Morey handles the roster, but surely McHale can bend Morey's ear enough to say, "hey, can we get a PF in here that can just hold down the position, please? Anyone?".

    I don't know...It just doesn't add up for me. I don't think the "yanking" is nearly as severe as people paint it and I also don't think the reasons are always clear or consistent as to why a player gets "yanked".

    It was pointed out earlier that Motie didn't "foul out of every game"--which is obvious. I was never inferring he did. I was pointing to his foul rate per 100 possessions. We all watched the games and know he didn't foul out of all of them--largely because his minutes were restricted :P

    He played in 62 games. He fouled out of 4 of those (avg of 24.3 mpg in those 4 games). For the season, he averaged a foul every 7.2 minutes of play. Obviously, that is not static. In plenty of games he committed 1 foul in 20+ minutes of action. However, he also played games with 5 fouls in 13, 16, 17, 18 minutes. That's a high foul rate. How about 4 fouls in 8 minutes, or 2 in 4 minutes? D-Mo did it.

    I wish there was an easy way to view substitution patterns without combing through game logs. Anyone up for that task? :unsure:

    I think many factors are at play here--the opponent, the refs (each call games differently), fatigue, general randomness, and more. I think it is odd to focus so much on McHale's handling of Motie's minutes.

    According to his splits from bball reference, he played more minutes per game vs. the Western Conference (not really surprised) and played better against them across the board (both in %'s and volume stats). Considering the competition is better in the West this is odd. Does he lack motivation against weaker competition? Who knows?

    Looking at the team by team breakdown, one can quickly see that the +/- numbers for teams he played the least against (lowest minute totals) were atrocious...like -17 in 8 minutes bad...haha, he's got a -42 in 2 games (total of 16 minutes vs. Brooklyn)....I'm wondering about these numbers now....how does that even work? Is that possible?

    Still, if you're McHale, and those numbers are accurate and your team is getting trounced don't you have to stop the bleeding? It's not an offensive issue as his minutes don't seem to drop when he shoots poorly. It's a defense thing...and you can only "let them learn" for so long when you are trying to win games.

    I suppose there is no end to this. Some people believe players need an exact role and exact minutes in order to play basketball. To me, you need shoes, a ball, and a whistle. Even if it's one play--get in there and hustle.

    This will all be moot once the season begins and we see the new and improved play of both Jones and D-Mo. :)

    Once again, you put my thoughts in to writing so much more eloquently than I could. Bravo.

    On a side note, I don't ever recall a time when a single player for our team was "yanked" out of a game. In my opinion, McHale sees bad matchups and subs players in as a result of that, not making mistakes. I hate to bring up the late J-Lin but I think he was given quite a big of rope to "play through mistakes". D-Mo was largely pulled due to foul trouble. Other players were pulled because they weren't effective in the scheme McHale was trying to employ. Yes he pulls players, but if my memory serves I don't recall him calling for a sub due to disgust with a player's blunders on the floor.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    There is something to be said for allowing players to play through mistakes. I think having set rotations with minutes and picking apart the mistakes in film sessions might be the way to go. It will allow them to gain a rhythm and confidence rather than trying to play mistake free so they can get playing time.

    But that's the thing. They are seeing the court. They are getting playing time. (which allows for film breakdown) The notion that they need regularity to perform is one I disagree with. I don't think they feel like they need to play mistake free in order to be on the court. Everybody knows they are going to make mistakes before they even get subbed in--McHale knows when he tells Motie to get in the game he is going to make mistakes. To me, the logic just doesn't work. If you're going to pull him as soon as he screws up why bother putting him in? Because we have no one else? If McHale was that down on these guys don't you think he would have had Morey ship them out for a solid veteran already?

    I know Morey handles the roster, but surely McHale can bend Morey's ear enough to say, "hey, can we get a PF in here that can just hold down the position, please? Anyone?".

    I don't know...It just doesn't add up for me. I don't think the "yanking" is nearly as severe as people paint it and I also don't think the reasons are always clear or consistent as to why a player gets "yanked".

    It was pointed out earlier that Motie didn't "foul out of every game"--which is obvious. I was never inferring he did. I was pointing to his foul rate per 100 possessions. We all watched the games and know he didn't foul out of all of them--largely because his minutes were restricted :P

    He played in 62 games. He fouled out of 4 of those (avg of 24.3 mpg in those 4 games). For the season, he averaged a foul every 7.2 minutes of play. Obviously, that is not static. In plenty of games he committed 1 foul in 20+ minutes of action. However, he also played games with 5 fouls in 13, 16, 17, 18 minutes. That's a high foul rate. How about 4 fouls in 8 minutes, or 2 in 4 minutes? D-Mo did it.

    I wish there was an easy way to view substitution patterns without combing through game logs. Anyone up for that task? :unsure:

    I think many factors are at play here--the opponent, the refs (each call games differently), fatigue, general randomness, and more. I think it is odd to focus so much on McHale's handling of Motie's minutes.

    According to his splits from bball reference, he played more minutes per game vs. the Western Conference (not really surprised) and played better against them across the board (both in %'s and volume stats). Considering the competition is better in the West this is odd. Does he lack motivation against weaker competition? Who knows?

    Looking at the team by team breakdown, one can quickly see that the +/- numbers for teams he played the least against (lowest minute totals) were atrocious...like -17 in 8 minutes bad...haha, he's got a -42 in 2 games (total of 16 minutes vs. Brooklyn)....I'm wondering about these numbers now....how does that even work? Is that possible?

    Still, if you're McHale, and those numbers are accurate and your team is getting trounced don't you have to stop the bleeding? It's not an offensive issue as his minutes don't seem to drop when he shoots poorly. It's a defense thing...and you can only "let them learn" for so long when you are trying to win games.

    I suppose there is no end to this. Some people believe players need an exact role and exact minutes in order to play basketball. To me, you need shoes, a ball, and a whistle. Even if it's one play--get in there and hustle.

    This will all be moot once the season begins and we see the new and improved play of both Jones and D-Mo. :)

  • timetodienow1234567 says 3 months ago There is something to be said for allowing players to play through mistakes. I think having set rotations with minutes and picking apart the mistakes in film sessions might be the way to go. It will allow them to gain a rhythm and confidence rather than trying to play mistake free so they can get playing time.
  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    This is the first Collison reference but whatever.

    I wasn't ignoring the rest of the game. I just thought we were talking late game collapses, since you asked who was responsible for the clips late game struggles in the playoffs and I gave my thoughts sorry if I misinterpreted. Rivers is certainly not without blame, but Paul has a large role in the offense if they fail a lot of it is on him and he admits as much.

    Seriously, Cooper? I mentioned almost the entire roster there. I'm done with this. You win. You're right. This was clearly a great conversation as evidenced by the fact not one single person chimed in. By the way, since we're playing the game of who said what--if you re-read the original post where I brought up the Clippers I was talking about the Clippers in general...the closing remark saying, "they couldn't get it done at the end of the game!" was, I thought, clearly mocking all those who beat that tired, worn out drum.

    Speaking of worn out drums....let's keep blaming McHale for the fact that players aren't performing. Apparently, I suffer from the same thing McHale does because I 100% agree that they do not need consistent minutes, a defined role, any guarantees of playing time, a snuggly blankie, nor a shoulder to cry on. I thought this was the NBA. If you guys think coddling players and letting them know they get to play regardless of how they perform--well, explain that to Dwight Howard when he is busting his butt trying to drag us to victory and he's surrounded by dead weight.

    "Hey, Dwight, it's cool. I think Terrence and D-MO just need to know that they can screw up all they want without getting benched and then they will magically stop screwing up."

    (this would make some sense if people would point out that, over time, the game time experience would help them improve, but no...it's just about that confidence that "incubus" McHale steals from them.)

    I get it. These are young men and have some growing up to do--so let them do it. The only thing they need defined is that practice is mandatory, work outs are mandatory, effort is mandatory, and game time decisions are left to me (the coach) and are based on your progress in the first two. Work hard, get better, and then we'll talk about playing. If you need playing time to get confidence then here's a bus ticket to Rio Grande Valley.

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Welcome back, 2016
    T- Jones has talent people.
    He had games 3 games this year where he scored 30 points or more.
    He had another game when he scored 25 points.
    he shoots over 54% from the field and averages 12.1 pts per game.
    The kid is ready to take off, but again Mr. Mchale has a lot to do with this kid being up and down.
    It's wrong to bench a kid for not playing defense,when you have two others players that choose not to play defense at all.
    it was never been about T- Jones scoring. The kid can score, but he was bench because of defense, but we had two other players that refuse to play defense. Those type of things are on the coach. It's looks bad and sounds bad. Again Mchale been around for a while and He has never got past the first round as a coach or gm.

    I honestly don't think McHale has much to do with T-Jones being up and down. Some nights his shot was on, some nights it was off. That's the game. I'm going to refer to the Portland series as that is still the most fresh in my mind, but we HAD to bench him in those first games. He was getting torched. McHale had to do something (though I'm sure most of you know my stance on what he did/did not do against LMA) so he went with Asik who could barely alter LMA's game.

    I think we have some good up and coming talent at the 4. Are either of them poised to be elite players? No. Are either of them going to be great supporting roles on a championship caliber squad? I believe so. Just keep in mind that D-Mo and T-Jones are 23 and 22 respectively. Both are still on the upswing of their abilities.

  • datruth says 3 months ago

    Welcome back, 2016
    T- Jones has talent people.
    He had games 3 games this year where he scored 30 points or more.
    He had another game when he scored 25 points.
    he shoots over 54% from the field and averages 12.1 pts per game.
    The kid is ready to take off, but again Mr. Mchale has a lot to do with this kid being up and down.
    It's wrong to bench a kid for not playing defense,when you have two others players that choose not to play defense at all.
    it was never been about T- Jones scoring. The kid can score, but he was bench because of defense, but we had two other players that refuse to play defense. Those type of things are on the coach. It's looks bad and sounds bad. Again Mchale been around for a while and He has never got past the first round as a coach or gm.

  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @2016Champions

    well well well.....haven't heard from you in awhile :)I disagree D-Mo will pass T-Jones in development. right now I'm not sure D-Mo will even become a useful player. he is agile with good post moves, but to believe he can stop LMA or Blake even with further development is a stretch. I still believe T-Jones is better and will remain better throughout their careers

  • 2016Champions says 3 months ago
    I wish I could say you took the words right out of my mouth especially with the D-Mo paragraph, but in order for that to be true I would need to be a much better writer than I currently am. Great read Rahut.
    There used to be a question mark hovering over the PF position, and that question mark seemingly went away overnight as Jones exploded out of nowhere as the young exciting solution to that problem. I think many Rockets fans, myself included, were very quick to embrace Terrence Jones as the answer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvbJUAaUy4o
    In the 31 games Jones played 30-39 minutes (33.7 average), he averaged 16.6 points, 9.5 boards, shooting 59.5% from the field and 35.8% from behind the arc.
    Offensively, Jones is very skilled for a PF, skills he acquired while playing PG in high school and then SF in college after a huge growth spurt. His PER of 19.1 last season is very impressive. In contrast, Donatas had a measly PER of 10.7. Despite the impressive stats, Jones was lacking in two of the most key areas I would like to see from our starting PF. Jones's 3pt shot went MIA 20 games into the season, and as a result defenses blatantly left him wide open out there making it harder for the Harden-Dwight pick-and-roll to thrive to its potential. The other key area I speak of is Terrence's defense.
    Defensively, Terrence Jones has the tools to be very good defensively, but as of right now he still has a long way to go and that's putting it nicely. We saw practically every power forward in the league have a career game against him, including LaMarcus Aldridge in the first 2 games of the playoffs before Jones was delegated to a bench role for the rest of the series. Terrence's dRAPM of -1.2 was one of the worst in the league among starting PF's last season. Will we see improvements this season in these two key areas from Terrence? If not, I am willing to make a bold prediction that it will be a blessing in disguise. I think Donatas in the starting line-up makes the Rockets a better team, and going into his 3rd year I think the potential late-bloomer is finally ready to prove it. Stats be damned. For whatever it's worth, his dRAPM of 1.3 suggests that I could be right, although the sample size is far too small to hold any merit.
    Donatas may look a little shaky defensively but and you can't say the effort isn't there, and you certainly can't teach 7 foot. I think Rahut already made this point somewhere, but it's worth reiterating that guys like Aldridge and Dirk wouldn't shoot over Donatas as easily as they shoot over Terrence.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egZc9fcl1Ak
    Donatas replaced a struggling Jones and arguably outplayed one of the best power forwards of All-Time in Dirk Notwitzki.
    Sure, there are 7 footers like Bargnani who are terrible defensively, but Bargnani has lead feet while Donatas is one of the most mobile 7 footers in the league. Offensively I like all his soft touch moves around the basket, although it excites me more that he has a very nice looking stroke from beyond the arc, I feel confident he will develop into a great floor spacer if he isn't already. I'm not just saying all this because he looked tremendous in the summer league, I understand performances in the summer league are rightfully taken with bags of grains of salt. Regardless, our PF spot is still a problem that hasn't truly been answered yet, and given time and the chance I think Donatas will be a better answer than Terrence is.
  • Cooper says 3 months ago

    @Cooper

    That's fine. A few points. First, that would be you that brought up Collison--it's right up above in case you need a reference. It seems you are limiting your study to the closing minutes--which is fine--but is not entirely how I am viewing this. It's a 48 minute team game. Everything leads up to the closing minutes. I dislike ignoring 45-46 minutes of game and focusing solely on what happens at the end. Sure, it matters and we have words like "clutch" that exacerbate that, but it all matters.

    Also, the transition offense you dismissed was only 14% of his total which still leaves 48%--nearly half--with no need for Mr. Paul.

    I acknowledged everything you said about DJ, but thanks for clarifying.

    Whatever, this is hardly worth the effort. I was trying to make a point that has turned into a discussion on whether Chris Paul is all the Clippers have. OK then. Now we know. It's all his fault. Shouldn't we blame Rivers for not drawing up plays to put them in position to succeed? I thought that was something we did?

    Hmmm, I would disagree. Their roster was stacked. You left out Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, JJ Redick, Matt Barnes, Glen Davis, Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, and Danny Granger. With Paul and Crawford that is a legit 8 deep and 10 deep if you count Dudley and Granger. BUt what do I know?

    This is the first Collison reference but whatever.

    I wasn't ignoring the rest of the game. I just thought we were talking late game collapses, since you asked who was responsible for the clips late game struggles in the playoffs and I gave my thoughts sorry if I misinterpreted. Rivers is certainly not without blame, but Paul has a large role in the offense if they fail a lot of it is on him and he admits as much.

  • Journeymany says 3 months ago

    @JG

    McHale makes up his mind to quick on players. once you get stuck in the dog house it's hard to get out.

    @JG - I know the 'McHale yanking people' thing was blown out of proportion by the fans of 'He-who-shall-not-be-named' - mainly because he actually consistently had plenty of playing time last season - but I definitely think in this case there is fire as well as smoke. rbf's quote above does seem to sum it up quite well, I would add that ideally I think young players like Canaan and DMo need aconsistent amount of non-garbage minutes, even if that's only 5-10 a game, but it should be almosteverygame.

    I take your point about DMo's fouling, but if you look at his game log, there are plenty of games in which he had only 1-3 fouls, and plenty he didn't get to play at all. There were clearly some teams or players he struggled with and went to 5/6 fouls. It's not like he was fouling out every game.

    Can't talk about the Clippers as I didn't watch any of their playoff games. But there's no basis for your statement that everyone is calling McHale a moron. It's just plain, and I think fair, criticism. In my opinion, his issue with bench / player management is that he thinks everyone is like him - a mentally tough guy who can play exactly the same off the bench, or with short minutes and erratic PT. Of course, I don't think he actuallywaslike that or was managed like that - but memory is a strange thing, and certain personalities tend to remember successes and gloss over difficulties - and I think McHale is one of them. That's part of what made him a great player - but also causes him problems as a coach.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    @Cooper

    That's fine. A few points. First, that would be you that brought up Collison--it's right up above in case you need a reference. It seems you are limiting your study to the closing minutes--which is fine--but is not entirely how I am viewing this. It's a 48 minute team game. Everything leads up to the closing minutes. I dislike ignoring 45-46 minutes of game and focusing solely on what happens at the end. Sure, it matters and we have words like "clutch" that exacerbate that, but it all matters.

    Also, the transition offense you dismissed was only 14% of his total which still leaves 48%--nearly half--with no need for Mr. Paul.

    I acknowledged everything you said about DJ, but thanks for clarifying.

    Whatever, this is hardly worth the effort. I was trying to make a point that has turned into a discussion on whether Chris Paul is all the Clippers have. OK then. Now we know. It's all his fault. Shouldn't we blame Rivers for not drawing up plays to put them in position to succeed? I thought that was something we did?

  • slick shoes says 3 months ago

    Has anyone considered that D-Mo, as our only back up big last season, had to be "yanked" because he couldn't stop fouling people. Head on over to basketball reference, click on his game logs, and then sort by personal fouls (pf)...here is a link for the lazy. He averages 6.9 fouls per 100 possessions. (For comparison, Dwight averages 5, Beverley averages 5, Lin averaged 4, even T-Jones only averages 3.3.

    The point is, McHale likely would have preferred to keep D-Mo on the floor, but when you come in and foul twice in 2 minutes and it's the beginning of the 2nd quarter the coach has to think about the whole game and D-Mo has to sit down. I mean, what do people think he is getting yanked for? His offense is ok. His defense is on par with Jones and Co. You know what's different? I do....

    2cda10c2_slow-clap.gif

    D-Mo has the skills, he just needs to slow his roll. He is like a kid on christmas when he hits the floor. Excited as all hell to open his presents but ends up breaking a few in the process. If he can slow down and let the game come to him, I think we will see his game clean up quite well.

  • Cooper says 3 months ago

    Ummm, riiiiiiiight.....That is exactly what I was saying.

    Last I checked, Blake Griffin was a 4 time all-star, has been voted 2nd team all-NBA 3 years in a row, and got 3 League MVP votes last year (and has 62 total for his career). According to synergy sports, post-ups, iso, and off. rebounds accounted for 42% of his offensive possessions last season...if you add transition and "other" random plays that figure jumps to 62%. So, to say Paul "has to create" for Griffin holds no water for me.

    DJ could have won the DPOY last year. Like it or not, he was better than Dwight. He also led the league in fg% and rebounds (obviously he was dunking everything, but it shows his ability to finish was very, very good).

    Collison, as Paul's back-up, shouldn't be playing with him much anyways. But your point that he can't because of his defensive failings is still a really good one.

    If you want to paint it like Paul and Crawford are all the Clippers have then I will have to assume you haven't been watching them play very much because that is miles from the truth.

    Transition opportunities are harder to come by the last 2-3 min, so a lot of Blakes half court offense is facilitated by Paul that doesn't make him a bad player he just isn't a guy to close out games even with an improved post up game and workable mid range game. DJ is also a good rebounder and Defender never once said other wise but his offense comes from cleaning up the boards and catching lobs most of which come from Paul. You brought up collision as an option not me, if hes aback-up as you put it and can't play with paul and you aren't going to sit paul with the game on the line he can't be an option was all I was saying. Paul is their best player at creating his own shot and shots for others and Crawford is there only other reliable threat off the dribble I wasn't aware that was such a controversial Idea. I watch plenty of basketball as I assume most people who care to read basketball forums do and the clips happen to be on National Tv often they obviously have a good team I wasn't painting them as untalented but that there explosive offense can be bottled up in crunch time if Paul is guarded well and the opposing team has a quality shot blocking center.

  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @JG

    McHale makes up his mind to quick on players. once you get stuck in the dog house it's hard to get out. he isn't tolerant of growing pains from young players. I would have like to seen J-Hamilton get more time. he looked pretty good defensively, but needed work on the offensive game, however I felt he could have helped us last year. the only player who I felt allowed his treatment to get into his head was Lin, but I'm not sure whether that was on McHale or just the shaky confidence of a player who knew he wasn't getting the job done......more likely the later.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    You want DJ post ups in crunch time? Paul has to create open looks for Blake and Redick. Collison can make some plays but can't play with paul since he can't guard anyone. Dudley and Granger are beyond washed up.

    Ummm, riiiiiiiight.....That is exactly what I was saying.

    Last I checked, Blake Griffin was a 4 time all-star, has been voted 2nd team all-NBA 3 years in a row, and got 3 League MVP votes last year (and has 62 total for his career). According to synergy sports, post-ups, iso, and off. rebounds accounted for 42% of his offensive possessions last season...if you add transition and "other" random plays that figure jumps to 62%. So, to say Paul "has to create" for Griffin holds no water for me.

    DJ could have won the DPOY last year. Like it or not, he was better than Dwight. He also led the league in fg% and rebounds (obviously he was dunking everything, but it shows his ability to finish was very, very good).

    Collison, as Paul's back-up, shouldn't be playing with him much anyways. But your point that he can't because of his defensive failings is still a really good one.

    If you want to paint it like Paul and Crawford are all the Clippers have then I will have to assume you haven't been watching them play very much because that is miles from the truth.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    @JG

    my new steel bat is in. if you want me to pull it out and start bashing McHale with it I will with pleasure. while I agree D-Mo has bigger problems than McHale, lets not act likeMcHale has a clue about what he is doing because he doesn't. I'm not saying he has some kind of agenda with young players, but they do seem to operate from a different set of rules than the rest of the team. if you can't see that maybe you should look a little harder. I'm sure with a little effort that glaring fact will stand out. while I believe this subject was beaten into the ground by Lin followers unjustly to the over kill levelMcHale does play favorites. some players do have shorter leashes than the team overall

    No need for the bat ;) . I won't disagree that I have found some of his decisions puzzling. I still didn't quite figure out why we couldn't establish a solid back-up to Parsons (Garcia, Casspi, Brewer, Hamilton....just pick one already!) I agree that Howard, Harden, and Parsons seemed to have free reign when it came to playing time. I disagree that players constantly had to "look over their shoulders" and played with this fear of making any little mistake which, of course, led to them making mistakes and immediately getting "pulled"--the vicious cycle.

  • Cooper says 3 months ago

    You want DJ post ups in crunch time? Paul has to create open looks for Blake and Redick. Collison can make some plays but can't play with paul since he can't guard anyone. Dudley and Granger are beyond washed up.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    Clips collapse was on Paul most of those games, tried to do it all himself (doesn't have much help outside of Crawford) with Thompson on him and Jermaine oneal emerging from a time machine cleaning up at the rim Paul had a tough time. GS crunch time offense is a lot more versatile.

    Hmmm, I would disagree. Their roster was stacked. You left out Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, JJ Redick, Matt Barnes, Glen Davis, Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, and Danny Granger. With Paul and Crawford that is a legit 8 deep and 10 deep if you count Dudley and Granger. BUt what do I know?

  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @JG

    my new steel bat is in. if you want me to pull it out and start bashing McHale with it I will with pleasure. while I agree D-Mo has bigger problems than McHale, lets not act likeMcHale has a clue about what he is doing because he doesn't. I'm not saying he has some kind of agenda with young players, but they do seem to operate from a different set of rules than the rest of the team. if you can't see that maybe you should look a little harder. I'm sure with a little effort that glaring fact will stand out. while I believe this subject was beaten into the ground by Lin followers unjustly to the over kill levelMcHale does play favorites. some players do have shorter leashes than the team overall

  • Cooper says 3 months ago

    Clips collapse was on Paul most of those games, tried to do it all himself (doesn't have much help outside of Crawford) with Thompson on him and Jermaine oneal emerging from a time machine cleaning up at the rim Paul had a tough time. GS crunch time offense is a lot more versatile.

  • Johnny Rocket says 3 months ago

    The D-MO issue isn't particularly mysterious: He's not as good at T. Jones at the 4, and not quite big and tough enough to earn consistent minutes at center. I think the big upside of the Rox of trading Asik is that D-MO can settle down in the back-up center role. He'll do great there, and give the Rox an another excellent scoring option off the bench.

    I'm not sure where the idea the McHale isn't willing to develop young players has come from. McHale played Parsons pretty much from the moment Parsons was signed as a 2nd rounder, and helped develop TJ into a viable starter. This year I predict DMO, Johnson, Daniels, and Caanan will all make important contributions. That's a pretty young bench to complement the veteran starters.

  • thejohnnygold says 3 months ago

    I'm very surprised to read about the McHale "yanking" players for making one mistake motif--I thought that perspective was limited to a select group.

    I have never agreed with this and am fascinated that people find ways to support it in their minds.

    Has anyone considered that D-Mo, as our only back up big last season, had to be "yanked" because he couldn't stop fouling people. Head on over to basketball reference, click on his game logs, and then sort by personal fouls (pf)...here is a link for the lazy. He averages 6.9 fouls per 100 possessions. (For comparison, Dwight averages 5, Beverley averages 5, Lin averaged 4, even T-Jones only averages 3.3.

    The point is, McHale likely would have preferred to keep D-Mo on the floor, but when you come in and foul twice in 2 minutes and it's the beginning of the 2nd quarter the coach has to think about the whole game and D-Mo has to sit down. I mean, what do people think he is getting yanked for? His offense is ok. His defense is on par with Jones and Co. You know what's different? I do....

    D-Mo shot about 53% within 10 feet of the basket and that accounted for 65% of his total shots. Yeah, he shot 25% on threes, but he averaged just over 1 per game and that was necessary when he played the role of stretch 4.

    I also struggle to give an iota of credence to the "I can see it in his face" validations. The implication that McHale and staff aren't working with him to get the best out of him....I just....can't.....how does this narrative make sense?!?!?! Oh, riiiiiight....you have to hate McHale first and believe that he, and he alone, is what holds us back. Then you craft every little thing that happens around that. Neat and tidy.

    Alas, I suppose we are still in the doom and gloom of the Portland series. I thought that had run its course. Obviously not. The Houston Rockets: the team with a moronic coach who sadistically likes to crush players' confidence while simultaneously crushing fans' hearts by making sure we lose every game in the last few minutes.

    I'd love to hear what everyone would say if we were in the Clippers' shoes. They lost 4 games by a combined 6 points to get knocked out of last year's playoffs (and only barely got past the Warriors with a combo of David Lee and Jermaine O'Neal playing center). So, who do you roast for that? Paul? Rivers? Griffin? (don't even try and give the Donald Sterling defense--that affected every player in the league--not just the Clippers, and I can't imagine any player being preoccupied with that in the middle of a game). Somebody's head has to roll, right? They couldn't get it done at the end of the game!!! (It's not like the other team has amazing players who are trying to win too...)

    Sorry, but this stuff really gets on my nerves. It all seems so bratty.

  • rockets best fan says 3 months ago

    @Journeymany

    I would be the first in line to sayMcHale doesn't know what he is doing. however D-Mo's problem is deeper than that. I have watched him closely for two years. he is still the same player who came to the team two years ago. some say they see improvement............I DON'T. D-Mo has always had an array of moves around the bucket from the moment he got here. there has always been unrealizedpotential in his jumper. however he hasn't taken a step. I'm aware that some Bigs take longer to pan than average players at other positions, but the needle isn't moving on D-Mo. some say just throw him out there and let him play through it, but did that work with Lin? even though I made a point against it I do believe this is the only real choice we have with D-Mo. as long as he is on the bench he will remain the same player. if we put him out there he may learn on the fly. I don't believe he is trash, but have begun to question how much of this so called potential we may ever see. if we can't teach him to be an effective player through skill we need to teach him how to be an effective goon. we have got to start seeing some return on investment.

    @Rahat

    good questions raised within this post on the D-Mo front. I'm high on N-Johnson too, but Canaan is more ready at this point. N-Johnson may beat him out as the season goes on, but not early on IMO. I still think some haven't seen the potential in Canaan yet, but he may be poised to take a step this year.

  • Journeymany says 3 months ago

    Why has D-Mo not panned out? What is going on here? This is a legit 7 footer who can score inside with either hand, can put the ball on the floor, and who possesses NBA range (well, sorta) who, by all accounts, is a tireless worker. He's added significant weight to his frame since being drafted and made tremendous strides defensively last season, as most famously evidenced by one particular outing against Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies. I just don't understand. If he's not in the rotation by January, or was shipped away for some worthless conditional second rounder by mid-season, we missed a big opportunity. Were he to have come over this season, I think he'd have been a lottery lock. While I empathize with the immediate need to win games, I just think players can't get comfortable if constantly glancing over at the bench upon each mistake. So naturally, Motiejunas will likely end up on the Spurs and realize his true NBA destiny, spelling Tim Duncan off the bench in helping San Antonio win the NBA title. Naturally.

    ^^ This. If there is one area I agree with the fans of he-who-shall-not-be-named, it's this one - McHale's bench usage and ability to man-manage the entire team as opposed to just the stars. Not all young and developing players can be 'tough scrappy guys' or 'irrational confidence guys'. DMo has talked tough and works super-hard by the sounds of it, but it has been clear over the last couple years he also needs a coach to have confidence in him and just tell him to relax and slow down. He plays every second of court time like he thinks he's going to get pulled and it's the last chance he'll ever have on an NBA court. And the fact is, if you aren't one of McHale's favorites, you kind ofare going to get pulled if you make mistakes. Don't get me wrong, there's a time for pulling people. But the fact that certain players are allowed to take plays off and make mistakes and not get pulled is always going to put more pressure on the non-favored ones.

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