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On the Houston Rockets’ pursuit of Kevin Love

Things got interesting this weekend as news broke that the Minnesota Timberwolves would likely need to deal forward Kevin Love prior to his impending free agency.  Y!’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported just yesterday that the Houston Rockets planned to make an aggressive push to acquire the All-Star forward.  We spoke on this page just two weeks ago of this team’s planned pursuit of Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.  In combination with the increasing availability of Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, it is beginning to look likelier that Houston acquires its third star before the next season begins.

There are several issues of note.  To begin, if it already wasn’t clear enough, this news just about confirms any suspicions as to why Rockets management moved so quickly to retain head coach Kevin McHale after the latter party navigated uncharted waters of incompetence in the team’s first round series loss to the Blazers.  It’s easier to build a cadre of tactically-minded assistants than it is to replace an esteemed figurehead with strong ties around the league.  The Art of (Basketball) War.

Love raises identical issues to Melo, all of which I’ve already addressed and all of which I will address again because they bear repeating.  But first, I would be remiss to not give the matter its due attention.  The distinction here, with Love, is that unlike Anthony, the Wolves forward cannot control his own destiny.  The Wolves can simply deal him to the highest bidder.  But wait…not so fast.  As Love can become a free agent in 2015, he can assert leverage onto the process by threatening or giving off the implication of not re-signing with potential suitors.  Do you get now why Kevin McHale is back?  In theory, someone like the Phoenix Suns could win any bidding war by offering Minnesota their shopping cart of future draft picks.  But if Love does not give any indication of wanting to stay in Phoenix long term, the Suns might not want to take the risk on a rental.

There is of course the chance that someone might not care, and would be willing to take the risk on Love leaving, similar to Daryl Morey’s stance in the first go-around with Dwight Howard.  But to date, there have not been any reports of anyone being so inclined.  That will serve to limit our discussion.

The names reported so far, among contenders, aside from the Rockets, are the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls could offer Nikola Mirotic, perhaps the most intriguing prospect not currently in the NBA, along with Taj Gibson, in a package with Love.  With these talks ensuing, one can probably now understand Bulls management’s decision to trade forward Luol Deng – a lottery pick in this draft–which was the destiny the Bulls thought they were guaranteeing upon dealing Deng–would be much more helpful at the moment than the free t-shirts they got for making the first round.  Reports name the Warriors’ desirable assets as being David Lee and Harrison Barnes.  David Lee hasn’t been cited as ‘desirable’ since high school.

This brings us to Houston and a necessary revisitation of the Anthony discussion.  Do the Rockets really need a third star?  Isn’t defense Houston’s problem?  Does adding another player that doesn’t play defense help matters?  Would Houston trade Chandler Parsons?

Love and Anthony are unique in that they are identical (except for certain differences which I will later discuss.)  Either player would be acquired to play the power forward in this lineup; neither man plays any defense.

First, on the third star matter: it is my belief that while coaching and strategy were largely to blame for Houston’s first round loss, they also are at an overall talent deficit.  As a reader put it recently, the Western Conference is an arm’s race and Houston is currently trailing behind both the Clippers and Thunder.  Even if addressing their coaching issues, I still don’t think Houston has enough talent to compete with those two aforementioned teams, especially when considering that Dwight Howard is typically neutralized in those matchups.  More importantly, I don’t quite understand the implication by many that talent acquisition and coaching improvement are somehow mutually exclusive.  You can hire better assistants while also upgrading your talent.  It’s not an ‘either/or’ proposition.  That’s why it’s quite odd when I read many of you in my ‘mentions’ say things such as “we don’t need a third star, we need a better coach.”  We need both and can address both.

On defense: To repeat my argument regarding Anthony, Love isn’t exactly a step down from Terrence Jones in this department.  Yes, everyone would like to acquire Shawn Kemp in his prime (ie: for you youngins, an All-Star power forward who plays both ends), but that’s not happening.  These are the players available that give us a chance to upgrade our overall talent base.  I believe that in the aggregate, the offense provided by Love/Anthony would more than offset the defensive concerns, especially when considering the mitigating effects of (assumed) improved coaching.  There’s also an easy band-aid in roster construction adjustment – you can cheaply acquire a defensive minded small forward to even out your lineup.  This leads us to the next point…

Would the Rockets trade Chandler Parsons?  This was the question that came up in-season when Houston was rumored to have turned down an offer from Boston for Rondo when that city demanded that the handsome small forward be included in any deal.  From a basketball standpoint, dealing Parsons for either Anthony or Love is an absolute no-brainer.  An absolute no-brainer.  These two forwards aren’t merely All-Stars, like Rondo.  These are MVP caliber players in the primes of their careers.  Anthony might be the single most unguardable scorer in the league.  Love is essentially an extension of a video-game when viewing some of his rebound/point composites throughout the year.  Parsons is a really, really nice player but a limited one.  I’ve become increasingly convinced that it would be in the team’s best interests to deal him.  For one, the majority of his value is relative, not absolute.  He’s a gem because he’s making $800,000.  In a vacuum, at $10million, he suddenly isn’t so valuable.  But more recently noteworthy, after watching the Blazers’ wings abuse Houston, I’m not entirely sure both Parsons and James Harden can coexist on a team.  It is simply too much strain on Dwight Howard to have to cover up for two poor wing defenders.

Parsons is the ultimate glue-guy and that should not be seen as an indictment.  Those players are necessary to win titles.  But at a $10million pricetag, the Rockets’ financial realities could become crippling, especially in a Western Conference that didn’t really see them gain much ground in their title hopes.  Those who consider Parsons as more than he is should be warned.  He lacks the handles or hops to do much more than he already is doing.  Again, that’s not an indictment.  He is a fine player who serves and fills an important purpose.  Understand that this analysis should be taken against the backdrop of the financial realities of the new collective bargaining agreement.

So why the fuss over Parsons?  Because it is probably not the moral thing to do to trade him.  Allegedly, he played a role in the acquisition of Dwight Howard last summer.  That kind of “back-stabbing” could be interpreted poorly by future free agents, especially when an agent as powerful as Dan Fegan is in the mix.  However, one wonders: with Harden, Howard, and Love/Melo, all locked up through their primes, would Morey really care about his reputation at that point?

The Rockets could offer Omer Asik, Parsons, picks, Terrence Jones, and Donatas Motiejunas in a deal.  Jeremy Lin picked a really great time to start sucking at new depths (cue the angry string of ‘mentions’ on my timeline demanding to know why I hate Jeremy Lin when James Harden turned the ball over at 3:32 of the 2nd quarter in Game 4 of the first round) because his value at this point is lower than the half-eaten breakfast taco sitting on my desk right now.  I don’t know if that’s a winning bid, but that’s what the Rockets have in their stable.

Between Love and ‘Melo, both players have their merits.  Love is the better rebounder; neither play defense.  Love is also the better shooter and would serve for more synergistic value with James Harden.  One can imagine the two stars in a pick and roll with Love spotting up from behind the arc.  On the flip side, Anthony is the most dangerous mid-range scorer in basketball, a trait which I’m becoming increasingly convinced is requisite for high-level success.  Threes and buckets in the paint can propel 50-win seasons, but being able to score from the toughest parts of the court is a necessary thing when facing the stingiest defenses in the postseason.  Love probably would bring the better attitude and willingness to sacrifice, though that at this point is going off conjecture.  One cannot be too certain when dealing with a man who stepped on another’s face.  Age is a wash.  Anthony, while older, will age gracefully but the point is moot regardless.  This manifestation of the Rockets holds a 3-year window, the duration of Dwight Howard’s prime.

It’s shaping up to be another wild offseason for the Houston Rockets.  That’s how it goes with Daryl Morey at the helm.  If he nabs Kevin Love, maybe he can crack the top-8 in the Executive of the Year ballot.  Probably not.

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Total comments: 64
  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    OK, started a new thread for this HERE. Back to pining for Kevin Love here :wub:

  • rockets best fan says 4 months ago

    @TTDN/ JG

    JG you should have made this a new thread........lots to discuss here. TTDN I agree the article does make it sound a little to simplistic. what position a player plays does factor in and from what I read it doesn't seem to take that fact into consideration, however sidestepping that flaw and the teams location in regards to attractiveness and ability to draw free agentsdoes leave plenty of food for thought. this is a decent barometer for players outside of big men IMO though

  • timetodienow1234567 says 4 months ago I don't agree with the article. First of all winshares has its flaws. Second, it doesn't take into account age. It also doesn't break it down by position and/or role on the team. A quality rim protector is harder to find than an All Star quality point guard. That's the reason Hibbert got the contract he did. I think the entire article tried to oversimplify the problem which hurt it.
  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    Just read this article from fivethirtyeight.com. LINK "When To Sign an NBA Player To The Max"

    It's pretty interesting. You have to trudge through some charts and graphs, but the author ties it together well in the end. It is an interesting point of reference when considering what players to sign and which ones to let walk.

    For me, it makes me think about Parsons as much as it does Love, Rondo, Melo, or anyone else.

    First, it must be acknowledged that he is using averages and there are always exceptions. The question is: will Parsons be part of that average or an exception?

    Certainly, players like Love, Rondo, and Melo are on a different plain. Chandler, for all the good that he brings is, more than likely, at his peak and about to begin a slow decline. Consider his bad back is always gong to be an issue, his athleticism is likely maxed out, and changing his shooting mechanics is likely off the table as well. Morey simply cannot give this guy more than $8-9M...anything higher and he becomes a negative asset.

    Will Chandler agree and sign for his actual value to stay with the team or opt for the extra $3-4M per season forcing Morey to trade him?

    Please, read the article before chiming in--we've discussed this before, but not within the context of this idea.

  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    I think if they wanted to adapt they would look for European players--particularly ones who are in colder climates--and bring in the best they can find. Minneapolis will seem great in comparison and the weather won't bother them at all.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 4 months ago Who likes the cold?
  • rockets best fan says 4 months ago

    @JG

    well said JG............totally agree

  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    It's an interesting notion--and not completely unfounded. Yet, I think the problem is one we have all recognized, and downplayed to a certain degree, since Minnesota was brought into the league. Very few players want to live in Minneapolis. More importantly, star players do not want to live in Minneapolis.

    Once a player reaches a certain level in this league and is established both financially, and as a leader amongst his peers, two things happen. First, said player is now wealthy and, understandably so, would like to live in a place that enables them to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Second, they realize they have leverage.

    It's not a Kevin Love problem. It's not a CBA problem. It's a social issue. Minneapolis/St. Paul simply cannot compete with New York, LA, Chicago, Miami, or even Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Golden State, Portland, New Orleans, or Denver. In fact, I'm not even sure they can beat Milwaukee in terms of cities millionaire athletes want to live in.

    It's a tough situation as it is a fairly large metroplex (15th largest in the US), but it's climate and demography work against it. A city that borders on arctic weather, has an 84% white population that is top heavy in age (roughly 36 on average) and is most likely part of one of 19 Fortune 500 companies headquartered there just isn't diverse nor interesting enough to be attractive to young, wealthy, primarily black men--particularly when they have better options.

    It's simple--if you are an all-star talent and your agent says you can get paid $10 million+ to play in either Chicago, Dallas, or Minneapolis--holding team quality constant--Minneapolis loses just about every time. What if it's Orlando, Salt Lake City or Minneapolis? Milwaukee (which is only about 90 minutes from Chicago), Sacramento, or Minneapolis? I'm sorry, but I think they lose almost every time.

    Who wants to spend their twenties being filthy rich, somewhat famous, and squander that celebrity and time in a place like Minneapolis? It's just not built for that. It's basically Dallas/Fort Worth, if you swap hot weather for cold (really cold) and get rid of the ethnic diversity....and the quality clubs/restaurants with which to go out and enjoy oneself. I mean, I guess you could go party with Prince...but I'm not sure if his old-school-cool would even appeal to anyone.

    The last big free agent signings they got were Latrell Sprewell (post-choking incident) and Sam Cassell--both of whom were in the downturn of their careers--it netted them one trip to the Western Conference Finals.

    Certainly, management has not helped. The 2009, 2010, and 2011 drafts were all disasters. Somewhere, they traded their 2012 first rd. pick. I am not sold on Shabazz Muhammed, but Dieng looks like a good find from last year's draft.

    Looking back at 2009 (they had 4 first rounders)...players they missed on: Steph Curry, Ty Lawson (picked him, but immediately traded him), Demar Derozan, Jeff Teague, Darren Collison, Danny Green....even Patrick Beverley and Patty Mills were in this one. All they got once the dust settled was Rubio and Budinger (via trade). Curry, DeRozan and Green would have made for a lot of firepower to put next to Love and Pek.

    Ha! 2010 Minny picks Wesley Johnson #4....one pick ahead of DeMarcus Cousins and also missed on Paul George, Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, (then they picked Lazar Heyward at #30 missing on Lance Stephenson).

    the 2011 draft was pretty weak, but with the #2 pick they wasted it on Derrick Williams. Jonas Valanciunas, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Chandler Parsons, Tobias Harris, Kenneth Faried, Jimmy Butler, and Isiah Thomas all could have been had.

    That is 4 top-6 picks in three years with nothing to show for it except Rubio--who is an enigma for them.

    Minny's only chance of being good is through the draft. The problem is their talent evaluation and draft strategy stink. Even Cleveland thinks you guys suck at your job.

    The league has a problem and so do the owners of that franchise. Mostly, it is the fans who will suffer. The owners will make money. The players will get paid and most likely move on when the time comes. The fans will just have to accept their fate. No one should blame Love for wanting out of Minnesota nor for not attracting other stars to the team. This is their lot in life.

  • Bigtkirk says 4 months ago

    Dave Berri chimes in on Kevin Love: http://wagesofwins.com/2014/05/23/kevin-love-needs-to-improve-his-teammate-acquisition-skills-not-his-leadership/

  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    That would be amazing.....I give it a slightly better chance of happening than Cleveland getting 3 #1 picks in 4 years.....

  • timetodienow1234567 says 4 months ago That criteria fits Lebron. Lol.
  • thejohnnygold says 4 months ago

    Agreed, txtdo1411. Today, in Morey's radio interview he alluded to Kevin Love as an "all-star plus plus" level player. If you can get one of those you go get them.

    The preference I have that relegates him to third is based on perceived team need--not whether or not he is a top 5 producer in the league.

    Team needs from a "third star":

    1. Floor general with elite passing skills and can D up

    2. Elite scorer that is efficient from all parts of the floor--especially mid-range. Can get his own shot off. Can play either forward position.

    3. Elite Stretch 4

    We're splitting hairs. Every one of these potential acquisitions makes us an immediate contender (on paper).

  • txtdo1411 says 4 months ago

    ESPN agrees with Doug (as do I):

    Kevin Pelton -
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10963608/kevin-love-trade-value-nba
    "Enough about the past. Let's look ahead. Based on Love's track record and the development of similar players at the same age, my SCHOENE projection system pegs him as one of the league's most valuable players over the next three seasons."

    Bradford Doolitte -
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10973575/kevin-love-better-fit-chicago-bulls-carmelo-anthony-2014-nba-playoffs
    "People know this, right? Anthony is a more famous person and a great player in his own right -- a borderline MVP candidate at his best -- but Love is a top-five producer in the NBA -- the elite of the elite. "

    The elite of the elite in leading his team to sub .500 records :P .

    But in all seriousness each player has their strengths and weaknesses. Every person is going to have their own opinion on each player. I am of the belief that a scorer that can get his own shot is a rare much needed commodity. Especially if they can do it and remain efficient. Those kinds of players will always be highly coveted around the league. I see Love as more of a second/third scoring option on a really good team. He has good range for a big, scores well around the rim, and can pass effectively. He is not the type of player that can create and carry an offense. I believe his stats are better than he actually his. It's a pretty ridiculous statement to make, but hey that is just my opinion. I don't ever remember a player that is the "elite of the elite" that couldn't get his team in the playoffs. The elite are able to carry their teams to the playoffs. Durant, James, Paul, hell even Harden in his first season with the Rockets led us to the playoffs. I would be very very shocked if Love ever got a ring while being the first option on a team. Again, that is just my opinion. All this being said, I would be ecstatic to have him, or Anthony, or Rondo here. I think Love would flourish because he wouldn't be the first option. The problem is I think Love himself, and other GMs around the league, still believe he can be the first option on a championship team. So I think he will go somewhere where he will get that chance to prove myself and others wrong.

  • rottendoubt says 4 months ago

    ESPN agrees with Doug (as do I):

    Kevin Pelton -
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10963608/kevin-love-trade-value-nba
    "Enough about the past. Let's look ahead. Based on Love's track record and the development of similar players at the same age, my SCHOENE projection system pegs him as one of the league's most valuable players over the next three seasons."

    Bradford Doolitte -
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10973575/kevin-love-better-fit-chicago-bulls-carmelo-anthony-2014-nba-playoffs
    "People know this, right? Anthony is a more famous person and a great player in his own right -- a borderline MVP candidate at his best -- but Love is a top-five producer in the NBA -- the elite of the elite. "

  • redfaithful says 5 months ago

    Pierce is a free agent maybe they could pick him up if the clips don't, he'd be a pretty good leader I would think. Maybe trade for Jack in Cleveland. Anyone else is pretty much locked up.

    Not sure if he's interested or how it can work financially, but Pierce would be a great piece in the Rockets puzzle on offense, defense and mainly leadership.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @TTDN

    no doubt KD and Lebron are a cut above the league. I'm not saying either of these players are equal to them, however outside of them an argument can be made for either these two

    @JG

    dang JG you beat me to my point :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Then what are KD/LBJ? They are both IMO second tier guys like Howard/Harden.

    I agree--Either of those guys (Love/Melo) gives us 3 top 15 players (no matter how you rank em...they are top 15 somewhere). What more can you ask for?

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago Then what are KD/LBJ? They are both IMO second tier guys like Howard/Harden.
  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @TTDN

    JG is our resident stat guy. you know he's not going down easily :lol:however even without the stats I still prefer Melo. just my opinion, he's a better player. I don't have a problem with those who believe differently, but I do have a problem with them trying to relegate Melo to some overhyped scrub. both of these players are A level stars. that's why we are talking about them.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago I like both but JG putting Doug in his place through a well reasoned argument was very enjoyable.
  • feelingsupersonic says 5 months ago

    Good rebuttal JG.

    I second johnnygold's post as well. I mean there are arguments for both and neither diminishes the other but considering where they are in their careers/present career goals, what skills they each possess, where they play on the court/spacing and the reality of acquiring each I have to lean towards Anthony over Love. This is just one fans opinion.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago Good rebuttal JG.
  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Johnny, regarding rebounds, Melo was mostly playing power forward last year, which is why he averaged a career high 8 rebound per game. As you’ll note, in the past, when he has played small forward, he has averaged around 6 to 7 rebounds per game. That’s not a terrible number, but it’s inflated because Melo plays a lot more minutes than the average small forward. For context, the average small forward averages about 7.5 rebounds per 48 minutes, whereas Anthony averaged 8 or 9. Again, a slightly above average number, but not elite.

    Regarding the article. A few things. First, while you didn’t make the comparison, others did call him a MVP caliber player. In that context, it’s certainly fair to compare him to true MVP caliber players. Anthony is not in the same league as Durant and Lebron when it comes to scoring efficiency. Second, and more importantly, we all seem to agree (I think?) that the only arguable thing Anthony does at an elite level is score. He’s not great at anything else. Given that the ONE thing he’s supposed to be good at he doesn’t compare favorably to the elite in the league (including Kevin Love), it’s probably a good indication he’s not an elite player, or anywhere near truly elite. Doesn’t it give you just a little bit of pause that there are a number of entire teams that are most efficient than Anthony at the one thing he is supposedly elite at? Doesn’t it give you a little bit of pause that after he left Denver, the team continued to do well?

    You want context for Anthony. But what indication do we have that he’s an elite rebounder or passer? What season did he demonstrate this skill? He never has. This, despite the fact that he has played with different players in different schemes. To believe that Anthony is an elite rebounder or passer is to take it on blind faith. Truly elite players (of which we are comparing Anthony) are able to do lots of things well. If Anthony consistently had done lots of things really well over his career, I wouldn’t nitpick one year. I’d totally accept the idea that perhaps he was in a situation that required him to play away from his strengths. But that’s not what we see.

    At the end of the day, Anthony is well above average at one thing: scoring. But unlike other truly elite players (including Kevin Love) who are elite at scoring, Anthony brings nothing else to the table and he isn’t even particularly efficient at scoring.

    I acknowledged Melo played a lot of PF in the first post--remember A'Mare's knees? I don't have much more interest in debating this as you have some sweet blinders on. Rock on with your beliefs--as I will with mine.

    One thing, if it's not too much trouble. Could you provide sources and actual numbers for your claims? Unfortunately, some people in the world just make stuff up--we try to avoid that.

    I'm most intrigued by your concern over "entire teams being [more> efficient than Melo". I presume we're still talking TS% since you like that one a lot. According to John Hollinger at ESPN, these are the best teams:

    Miami 59.0%

    Houston 57.1%

    San Antonio 57.1%

    LA Clippers 56.7%

    Okla. City 56.6%

    Dallas 56.4%

    Carmelo A. 56.1%

    Phoenix 55.8%

    OK, no surprises here. You've got teams that thrive on scoring in the paint, on volume three pointers, volume foul shots, and are generally elite in at least 2 of those categories. Another way of looking at this: Carmelo "Captain Iso" Anthony scores more efficiently on his own than 25 other 5-man units can achieve combined. But that's not what we're here for--we came here to bury Melo, not to praise him.

    Also, the fact that Denver continued to do well after Melo left did not surprise me one bit--that was one of the deepest teams in the league, with a very good coach, and they had Aaron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari ready to step into Melo's role--not exactly an insurmountable drop off. By the way, Denver's winning % dropped from .610 to .576 after Melo left. That's a .034 drop and it has been made clear that .03 is a lot.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago Love is not elite in the class of James/Durant. If you want to put him in that second tier of guys and say Melo is in a third tier that's fine. It just means you must think quite a few players are elite. Love is a top 12 player in this league.
  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    RBF, your point is very important given our concern about late-game collapses. I know many have voiced concern about strategy--and there is merit in that for sure. Richard Li and Feelingsupersonic have both been talking about players being tired for some time as well.

    I was looking into Carmelo's late-game story and came across a good WSJ article asking this question: Is Melo too tired to make game winners in New York?

    Here's the meat of the article:

    "Anthony is almost always at his best early in games. This season, he's shooting a blistering 51.1% in first quarters. But like clockwork, he is running out of gas late, shooting just 36.7% in fourth quarters. (That discrepancy has been even worse in February, with Anthony shooting 56% in first quarters and 36% in fourth quarters.)

    Of the NBA's top 25 scorers this season, Anthony's 14.4% drop in field-goal percentage from the first quarter to the fourth quarter is the steepest. In fact, if you compare him to other players who have led the league in minutes in the past 20 seasons, Anthony's shooting-percentage decrease from the first to the fourth quarters is the biggest by far.

    Whatever the cause, Anthony has come up empty nearly every time he's taken a big shot in the past two years. This season, he has made just 8% (1-of-12) of his potential game-winning or game-tying shots in the final 30 seconds—which is even worse than last season, when he made 14% (1-of-7) of those shots.

    Now consider that Anthony made an NBA-best 44.6% (29-of-65) of game-winning or tying shots in the nine seasons from 2003-04 to 2011-12, according to Stats LLC."

    The author goes on to acknowledge that New York suffers from the same thing the Rockets do--an over-reliance on late-game ISO's with little creativity or play-calling. It all sounds very familiar.

    When you're the best for a 9 year period then "small sample size" no longer applies. I'd say his struggles over the last two years are more about his situation in New York and less about him. Ideally, Morey and McHale are looking at these things and planning accordingly so that our late game woes are less pronounced in the future.

    If there is any question as to why Melo is playing so much look no further than the net +/- for on/off numbers. When Melo is on the floor the Knicks are +8.2 points per 100 possessions better. Our own James Harden sports a similar score (+7.3). These guys play big minutes for a reason--they help the team win. Combined, we can actually rest them because the team will have a player capable of carrying that +8 at all times.

    I got those numbers from 82games.com. Out of curiosity I looked up Kevin Love's numbers: his on/off net: +11. Yeah, that's good.

    Harden, despite the over-whelming dislike of his late game execution, showed a vast improvement in 4thQ performance this season. Combining him with Anthony is a recipe for success--especially if they are better rested and, you know, use a screen or two before shooting.

    I can tell you one thing. The strategy San Antonio is currently employing to (try to) shut down Durant (basically, throw everybody at him and rotate quickly) would not work with Harden and Anthony on the floor. Double one and the other is going to kill you--especially with Dwight lurking around the rim.

  • Doug says 5 months ago

    Johnny, regarding rebounds, Melo was mostly playing power forward last year, which is why he averaged a career high 8 rebound per game. As you’ll note, in the past, when he has played small forward, he has averaged around 6 to 7 rebounds per game. That’s not a terrible number, but it’s inflated because Melo plays a lot more minutes than the average small forward. For context, the average small forward averages about 7.5 rebounds per 48 minutes, whereas Anthony averaged 8 or 9. Again, a slightly above average number, but not elite.

    Regarding the article. A few things. First, while you didn’t make the comparison, others did call him a MVP caliber player. In that context, it’s certainly fair to compare him to true MVP caliber players. Anthony is not in the same league as Durant and Lebron when it comes to scoring efficiency. Second, and more importantly, we all seem to agree (I think?) that the only arguable thing Anthony does at an elite level is score. He’s not great at anything else. Given that the ONE thing he’s supposed to be good at he doesn’t compare favorably to the elite in the league (including Kevin Love), it’s probably a good indication he’s not an elite player, or anywhere near truly elite. Doesn’t it give you just a little bit of pause that there are a number of entire teams that are most efficient than Anthony at the one thing he is supposedly elite at? Doesn’t it give you a little bit of pause that after he left Denver, the team continued to do well?

    You want context for Anthony. But what indication do we have that he’s an elite rebounder or passer? What season did he demonstrate this skill? He never has. This, despite the fact that he has played with different players in different schemes. To believe that Anthony is an elite rebounder or passer is to take it on blind faith. Truly elite players (of which we are comparing Anthony) are able to do lots of things well. If Anthony consistently had done lots of things really well over his career, I wouldn’t nitpick one year. I’d totally accept the idea that perhaps he was in a situation that required him to play away from his strengths. But that’s not what we see.

    At the end of the day, Anthony is well above average at one thing: scoring. But unlike other truly elite players (including Kevin Love) who are elite at scoring, Anthony brings nothing else to the table and he isn’t even particularly efficient at scoring.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @McG

    WELCOME TO THE FORUM :)

    WHAT? how did Lin get in the middle of a Love or Melo debate? believe it or not the Rockets do consist of more than J-Lin. I can't wait until we dispatch him......then we'll find out who the true Rocket fans are. I'm so sick of the endless gloating over Lin's worthless play I would trade him for a free car wash right now :lol:. so please save that junk for a J-Lin thread.

    @miketheodio

    I'll tell you the difference between Love and Melo. one is a closer and one isn't. what you see is Love's inability to close games. I will say the same of Love that I said about K-Martin when he was here.............K-Martin can score you 25 points every night, however none will be in the last five minutes of a game. Love is guardable in crunch time. Melo is not as easily controled

  • McG says 5 months ago

    I would agree that Lin *mostly* sucked during the playoffs (except Game 5, which they won), but James Harden sucked *more* almost the entire playoffs (except Game 6, which they lost anyway). And that's a much bigger problem for the Rockets, given their respective roles.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    To JG - not sure if playing in the East helped get Melo better stats than if he were to play in the West.

    You're right--Anthony's East-West splits do show a drop-off vs. the West. You can see them HERE. It's certainly something to consider. I would counter that by pointing out Melo would face more honest defenses playing here with Harden, Howard, and crew so it should be fine.

    Johnny, I am fully versed in what’s reflected in true shooting percentage. I’m not sure why you think shooting free throws should not be reflected in who is a good shooter. Regardless, we can drop the word play regarding whether I should have labeled Love a more efficient scorer or a good shooter. I’m not sure why you spend so much time on the distinction. To the extent you are not talking about people who can more efficiently score points, I don’t really care. So if your shooting chart was intended to prove that Melo is better at jump shots, that’s fine. I’d prefer to take the guy who has a higher true shooting percentage, all other things being equal (and, of course, as we’ve seen, they are not equal, as Love is superior at other important skills).

    Regarding Melo playing power forward. Melo, even when he played small forward, was not an elite rebounder. If he were an elite rebounder, like Love is, you’d expect it to show up at some point in his over decade of playing basketball at different positions, with different coaches, and different teammates.

    Regarding our terrible three point shooting in the Portland series. It’s a small sample. Even great shooters, and great shooting teams (which the Rockets are not) go through stretches where the shots are not falling. So, yes, having Melo when our shooters are having terrible off nights would be better than not having him (unless Melo is also having an off night). But so what? Love, as we’ve been discussing, is a more efficient scorer.

    At the end, though, you basically concede my point when you note that Love scores 1.05 ppp and Melo scores 1. First, that’s huge and can translate to 3 or 4 extra wins over the course of a season. An extra point during regulation in each game sure would have been nice in the Portland series. But more than that, scoring a lot of points is ALL Anthony gives you. As we’ve discussed, he’s not a great rebounder. He’s not a great passer. And he’s not an elite defender. So, if all he gives you is scoring and Love does that at a (slightly) better clip, it should be a no brainer that Love is the far superior candidate, given that he is an elite rebounder and passer.

    I recall having these same conversations with people after Anthony left Denver. Everyone thought Denver would fall apart. But they didn’t. And they didn’t because Anthony is simply not an elite player.

    Also, for those that are still interested, see this recent story about Anthony and his supposed value in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/05/carmelo-anthony-way-overrated/361528/.

    Doug, I don't think that free throws shouldn't be reflected--that's not my point at all. I was just differentiating between "good shooting" and "good scoring". You have made it clear that this distinction is unimportant to you. Yes, Kevin Love is a good scorer--nobody has ever said different.

    My point about Melo playing SF was to point out that he is not hanging around the basket as much and, therefore, not in position to grab as many rebounds as a PF or C. At 8.1 RPG, Melo would rank #5 amongst SF's in the league in rebounding. Ranked amongst PF's he would have been 7th. So, sure--I will concede he is not an "elite" volume rebounder....but he seems to do pretty well amongst his peers.

    As to me "conceding your point"--no. I do not concede your point. Sure, on paper that probably eliminates our 2 OT losses and possibly one or two others. OK. The problem is, we're not comparing Love to Melo in this case, but each to Terrence Jones. In this case, the odds are that the addition is roughly equal for each.

    That article you included is very persuasive. Comparing players to LeBron and Durant is a great way to make anyone not named Lebron or Durant look bad. I will again bring up context. Excluding those two freaks of nature, one has to consider how hard it is to shoot at a high percentage while shooting a high volume as a #1 option--comparing that to a league average does not paint a fair picture. He should be compared to #1 options taking a certain number of shots per game.

    At NBA.com, you can run a filter to weed out players. When you run a search for players who average more than 33 minutes and sport a USG% above 26 you get a short list. The top 10 based on TS% looks like this:

    LeBron James

    Kevin Durant

    James Harden

    Steph Curry

    Kevin Love

    Blake Griffin

    Carmelo Anthony

    Paul George

    Rudy Gay

    Kyrie Irving

    Those are some impressive scorers. Notice that 5 of the top 6 reside out West. They are sandwiched by James and Anthony. Now, we can all see Love is seated neatly at #5. This isn't about whether Love is a good scorer--again, nobody is arguing that. It's not about rebounding or passing (which we don't see eye to eye on as you refuse to acknowledge context).

    Since I was already at NBA.com I went ahead and looked at more of their fancy sportvu stuff. They've got neat things like, "percentage of rebounds per chance" and "rebound chances per game". Let's see what they say...

    Percentage of Rebounds Per Chance (filtered for players who average more than 30 mpg):

    Kevin Durant

    LeBron James

    DeAndre Jordan

    Russell Westbrook

    Carmelo Anthony

    ....Kevin Love comes in at #20

    Compared with Rebound Chances Per Game (with the same filter):

    DeAndre Jordan

    Kevin Love

    Andre Drummond

    Joakim Noah

    Dwight Howard

    .....Carmelo Anthony comes in at #33

    That's what I call context--and there is more to it than that. I will give Love credit for being good in the "Contested Rebounds" category where he came in 3rd behind Drummond and Jordan. Melo was 34th, however that list is top heavy with Centers--it's a by-product of positioning as much as anything--context.

    Look, it's about fit and need. Two things that statistics (at least public ones) do not measure. Love, in my opinion, is not the missing piece the Rockets need. Sure, he's an upgrade over Jones--so are half the PF's in the league at this point (I do believe he will climb that list).

    Based on the most important criteria--fit and need--I'd put Rondo ahead of both players, but that's not the discussion. Basically, I only chimed in to dispel the notion that Anthony is some kind of scrub shooter who is only marginally better than a league average player who can't rebound, pass, or do much of anything besides chuck shots at the rim. Kevin Love is great, I don't know why it's necessary to blow out Melo's candle to make his shine brighter.

    I agree with those who want to bring in more toughness. I also think Dwight is ready to be the "tough" guy. I think his experience of being dragged through the mud by the media, and fans, may have helped him in the long term. I think he is going to have more of that David-West-Edge to him next season.

    I appreciate your love of stats, but I caution against following them blindly without considering what factors into them. It's fine to prefer Love to Melo, but give credit where it's due--the guy is very, very good.

  • miketheodio says 5 months ago

    went to the wolves/rockets game in march. this is completely subjective. love just seemed to be "there". Looked at the box score at the end of the game and thought "kevin love did THAT in this game?". he puts up numbers for sure. very beneficial numbers (3s, rebounds/outlet passes), but something seems to be missing.

  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    Pierce is a free agent maybe they could pick him up if the clips don't, he'd be a pretty good leader I would think. Maybe trade for Jack in Cleveland. Anyone else is pretty much locked up.

  • CT for Three says 5 months ago

    I think I mentioned this before on another forum, but i think it makes sense to apply it here. Aside from the financial aspects of a Love or Carmelo pursuit by the Rockets, I think we need to consider what team makeup will get Houston to a championship. (obviously.)

    I think the number 1 thing the Rox are missing is a a$$h**e meany face guy. call it an Enforcer. Think back to every championship team for the last 20 years. The Heat have it in (angry) Lebron and Birdman, the Spurs have it in Popovich, the Lakers had it in Kobe, the Bulls had Jordan and Rodman... hell, the Pistons had Rasheed Wallace. Those guys were all big parts of their respective teams, but they also brought an edge to the squad, just like SImmons' analysis. They were all guys who were capable of making a guy piss his pants if he sets a moving pick. My point is, the Rockets are not winning a title without one of those guys. Point blank period. Bev can't be that guy; he's a bulldog, but he is more pesky than intimidating. I don't think Love is that guy. Even if he is better than Carmelo (an assertion which I do not concede or agree with), he has not shown himself to be that guy for the Wolves. Carmelo might be that guy, but I'm not sold on him being the Enforcer for the Rockets. Even if you trade for Melo or Love, we still need to fill that hole, because we have too many nice guys on our team.

  • Doug says 5 months ago

    Johnny, I am fully versed in what’s reflected in true shooting percentage. I’m not sure why you think shooting free throws should not be reflected in who is a good shooter. Regardless, we can drop the word play regarding whether I should have labeled Love a more efficient scorer or a good shooter. I’m not sure why you spend so much time on the distinction. To the extent you are not talking about people who can more efficiently score points, I don’t really care. So if your shooting chart was intended to prove that Melo is better at jump shots, that’s fine. I’d prefer to take the guy who has a higher true shooting percentage, all other things being equal (and, of course, as we’ve seen, they are not equal, as Love is superior at other important skills).

    Regarding Melo playing power forward. Melo, even when he played small forward, was not an elite rebounder. If he were an elite rebounder, like Love is, you’d expect it to show up at some point in his over decade of playing basketball at different positions, with different coaches, and different teammates.

    Regarding our terrible three point shooting in the Portland series. It’s a small sample. Even great shooters, and great shooting teams (which the Rockets are not) go through stretches where the shots are not falling. So, yes, having Melo when our shooters are having terrible off nights would be better than not having him (unless Melo is also having an off night). But so what? Love, as we’ve been discussing, is a more efficient scorer.

    At the end, though, you basically concede my point when you note that Love scores 1.05 ppp and Melo scores 1. First, that’s huge and can translate to 3 or 4 extra wins over the course of a season. An extra point during regulation in each game sure would have been nice in the Portland series. But more than that, scoring a lot of points is ALL Anthony gives you. As we’ve discussed, he’s not a great rebounder. He’s not a great passer. And he’s not an elite defender. So, if all he gives you is scoring and Love does that at a (slightly) better clip, it should be a no brainer that Love is the far superior candidate, given that he is an elite rebounder and passer.

    I recall having these same conversations with people after Anthony left Denver. Everyone thought Denver would fall apart. But they didn’t. And they didn’t because Anthony is simply not an elite player.

    Also, for those that are still interested, see this recent story about Anthony and his supposed value in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/05/carmelo-anthony-way-overrated/361528/.

  • Bigtkirk says 5 months ago

    A question for the stathead crowd - given the number of advanced stats that reflect the similarity of Love and Melo, why the big difference in their Wins Produced (Love 16.61/Melo 10.02) and WP48 (Love .285/Memo 1.61)?

  • Journeymany says 5 months ago

    Bottom line is, you'd take whoever you could possibly trade for out of those 2. And Carmelo is much more 'gettable' in terms of trading. As rbf said, Minny basically has no use at all for our 2 biggest salary equalizers Lin

  • Dusty says 5 months ago

    Is this "glue guy" thing a real consideration to GMs? And if that's the case, is a "glue guy" someone who's just really really nice? I'd say Parson's would be more "untraceable" if he yelled more than he smiled. Although... Dwight may not like that. Kobe and his grumpiness...

  • PhillyCheese says 5 months ago

    To JG - not sure if playing in the East helped get Melo better stats than if he were to play in the West.

  • redfaithful says 5 months ago

    Here's Simmons' take on what the Rockets need (taken from http://grantland.com/the-triangle/simmons-on-the-road-its-all-on-lebron/):

    On the flip side, you have the 2014 Rockets, a team that made sense on paper and executed a vision that looked great on paper —one big guy, lots of shooters, lots of 3s— only they never solved their fundamental Eye Test issues. Can you really win a title when your best two players aren’t leaders? Can you really throw out chemistry and assume math will carry you for four rounds? The Rockets blew multiple close games against Portland for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they didn’t have anyone like West —the seen-it-allveteran who would have made those three or four we’re-screwed-if-someone-doesn’t-score-right-now jumpers, told Dwight to stop bitching, yelled “GET YOUR HEAD INTO THE SERIES, WE F—ING NEED YOU!” at James Harden, and grabbed Chandler Parsons’s jersey in the final second of Game 6 and said calmly, “If there’s a switch and you let Lillard get a wide-open 3, I’m beating you to death.”

    Not sure if either Love or Anthony fill the leadership void Simmons is talking about.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @JG

    you've made a strong case for our stance :lol:I don't have the expertise in stats you possess, but the manner you have displayed them discredits any attempt to view Carmelo as anything other than a stud.

    I want to stretch this a little farther because this point seems to be rendered to a back burner by Love fans. CARMELO IS CHEAPER. NY is at the mercy of Carmelo. he can pretty much dictatehow his situation will play out. it's true Love has some leverage as well, but not like Carmelo. Carmelo can opt out this year, which mean after July 1st NY has lost all control of him. Love still has a year before that can happen. the difference in time each player can be controlled by his new team means what it takes to obtain each is vastly different. it appears first and foremost Minny is demanding a lottery pick as the starting point of negotiations. the Rockets can not meet that price without a third team whereas some who will be bidding on Love have multiple lottery picks already. in addition to that setback Minny isn't interested in what we are peddling. they have no need for Asik, they have Pekovic. they don't want Lin, while he is a better shooter than Bricky Rubio he is behind him in everything else a PG should be doing. clearly not enough to warrant losing Love for in either case. Parsons and T-Jones will probably both have to thrown in along with our 2014 and 2016 first rounder'sjust to get Minny to look at it.on the other hand Carmelo can probably be had by either moving Lin/ Asik to another team and signing himout rightor working a sign and trade with NY. those same two 1st rounder's Minny would snub their nose at are prizes to NY. we could probably get away with not giving either Parsons or T-Jones to NY opting to send D-Mo or Canaan instead. so the real question is do we want Parsons and T-Jones. they represent the difference in price tag.

    even though I doubt Flip will want to give the Rockets a break because of some past alignment withMcHale or Love'sdesire to play for him, he also has a job to do. he must explain to his owner the reasoning behind any deal made and there is just no way to justify not getting at least a lottery pick based on their leverage. anybody remember what NY paid to get Carmelo out of Denver under similar circumstances? as JG put it.......A KING'S RANSOM. we can not afford to tear down our team that way when a better option is on the table IMO. an option that allows us to maintain more quality assets while adding the upgrade we seek.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Johnny, I’m not sure why those charts were supposed to refute my point that Love is a better shooter. Love had a significantly higher true shooting percentage last year and he has had a higher true shooting percentage than Anthony for his entire career. And Love doesn’t just have a better true shooting percentage because he gets to the free throw line more often (although I don’t understand why, if that were the case, it would be a knock against Love). Love hit 50% of his two point field goals last year, whereas Anthony hit only 47%. The gap between them wasn’t larger only because Anthony hit a career high 40% of his three pointers. He is a career 34% three-point shooter.

    Regarding the supposed context that prevents Anthony from getting more assists or more rebounds. In his entire career, Anthony has never averaged more than 8.1 rebounds per game and he has never averaged more than 3.8 assists per game. He has never been an elite rebounder or passer. He simply isn’t elite, or anywhere close to elite, with respect to passing or rebounding.

    I’m also not sure why you give Anthony extra credit for taking more mid-range shots and thereby having a lower true shooting percentage. As you know, you don’t get extra points for taking more difficult shots. To the extent that Anthony would have a higher true shooting percentage if he took more efficient shots, that should be held against him, not in his favor. It doesn’t, for the most part, “depend” on who is shooting midrange shots. There are very few players who hit midrange shots at an efficient clip. And from eyeballing Anthony’s shot chart, he certainly doesn’t shoot them at a clip that would help his team.

    Finally, I don’t really care if Anthony is a better crunch time player. (And, for the record, per NBA.com, Anthony shot a blistering 36% from the field and 33% from the three-point line in the last five minutes of games.) If Love is the better player, and I think he is, then we are much, much less likely to be in close games late.

    If Anthony were a better player, it would show up in the statistics, but it doesn’t. I think the telling comment you make is that the entire court is Anthony’s “playground.” If that were so, he’d be able to efficiently score from anywhere. He looks pretty because, at times, he makes incredibly difficult shots, and he sometimes has games where he doesn’t seem to miss. But, on average, he isn’t a great shooter, and he doesn’t really do much else to help his team win.

    Rahat, I apologize for assuming you had changed your tune on the value of midrange jumpers because of the Portland series. I hadn’t recalled reading anything from you critiquing the Rockets approach before then, but I don’t read every post here. But I don’t understand your claim that the Heat don’t repeat if Lebron doesn’t knock down open midrange jumpers. The Heat don’t repeat if Lebron doesn’t do a lot of things. Lebron James is obviously the most talented player in the NBA. If you have Lebron, you can do a lot of things that you otherwise can’t or shouldn’t do.

    Thanks for the response. I see you were not impressed with the shot charts. It also seems you are not fully versed in what factors into a TS%. It measures scoring efficiency--not who is a good shooter--and is based on free throws, 2 pointers and three pointers with adjustments for point value.

    Do you believe Brandan Wright, Chris Anderson, and Mason Plumlee are the best shooters in the league as they hold the top 3 spots for TS% this season? Who's next? Kyle Korver--a 3-pt. specialist. Only then does an actual scorer show up--Mr. LeBron James.

    You seem to think that the .03 differential between Love and Melo in the TS% is very significant. Maybe it is...I think both are solid, but since we are operating under that assumption does the .402 3 pt% for Melo eclipse Love's .376? What a loser, right?

    TS% is nice, but aside from James and Durant most players--especially star players--cannot crack the top 10 because defenses hone in on them. Kevin Love shares the same TS% as Martell Webster. It is a measure of scoring efficiency--it does not necessarily reflect your shooting abilities--which I am pretty sure are what the shot chart shows.

    Are you aware that Carmelo is a SF playing PF minutes? He only started doing that in the past couple of seasons (mostly because of A'Mare's knees). Last I checked, status does not get you rebounds--it's positioning and hustle. Notice I put positioning first.

    I give Anthony credit for having a TS% that high while taking that many mid-range shots. I like that you are drinking all the Morey Kool-Aid, but logic and statistics largely work in vacuums--in an NBA game, situational context and common sense ultimately prevail. The Rockets left a void in the mid-range the size of LaMarcus Aldridge. As evidenced by that shot chart, Melo would fill that void quite nicely.

    You referred to the Portland series--remember when we shot 11-51 (22%) from deep in the first two games (because Portland was shutting down the perimeter) and we barely lost both games? Yeah, me too. Now, imagine we've got Carmelo calmly knocking down the mid-range at a cool 47%. Barring FT's (so, basically, eFG%) that means Melo is making .94 pps (points per shot) while our 3 pt. chuckers were scoring about .66 pps. That's significantly better for Melo.

    More importantly than trying to squeeze logic into a game situation, what Melo would bring is a player who forces the defense to defend the entire court--not just the paint and the 3 pt. line.

    Since we have already established Melo is a superior 3 pt. shooter and mid-range shooter, let's move onto the post. According to mysynergysports.com, Carmelo Anthony is the 19th best post-up scorer in the league and Love is 45th :o

    Those ranks reflect a .494 fg% (Melo 420 attempts) to .440 fg% (Love 433 attempts) differential with Melo still leading even after factoring in fouls and turnovers. (51% to 48.7%)

    Sure, overall Love clocks a 1.05 ppp (point per possession) and Melo is 1.00.....which means for every twenty times Love tries to score he nets 1 extra point. Significant? I suppose the case could be made every time we lose by one point. Other than that--not so much once you consider that Melo fits our team needs better than Love does. (By the way, this is where those extra free throws and extra 3 pt. shots for Love show up).

    Love is an ISO-heavy post man who can spot up from 3....just what we need...redundancy. We need skill sets that compliment one another--not replicate them. People gripe about our offensive system--and rightfully so--but stop and ask, "what does our talent afford us"? Morey stacked McHale's deck full of guys who drive and spot up from three--with one post-up man, Dwight. Surprise! That's what we did. (Before the cavalry comes-- I know we could have done it better, but my point stands)

    As was noted above--they are both great players. You said, "if Anthony were the better player it would show up in the statistics". I don't suppose anything I've included would count towards that would it? Even though you will still believe Love is far superior to Anthony, I think we all learned something here today.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Doug

    I don't think anybody here is saying Love isn't a star. he is. however it appears that you are attempting to relegate Carmelo to secondary scrub. I disagree with that. while both sides could offer creditable facts to support their stance, not looking at both players as A level stars would seem to be the third and least creditable option. I prefer Carmelo. your attempt to discredit Carmelo's closing abilities is way off base IMO. I have seen it with my own eyes. Melo is NY's closer. He drug that same sad sack of garbage NY has to the playoffs year b4 this one. something Love has never been able to do in 6 seasons. fact is this is the first year a Melo lead team has missed the playoffs. you can talk about Love's stats all you want, but for all those incredible stats I don't see a closer when I look at Love. Yes he would be a good fit with our team, but in my opinion that's because we have others who can close games. Melo is a better closer than either of the two we have now. his ability to score regardless of who is defending him is only surpassed by Lebron and Durrant IMO. whether you prefer either of these two guys calling either less than an A level player is just plain hating IMO

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @TTDN

    that's two funny ones you dropped in a row :lol:

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago I would say Love has the better team.

    PG = Love
    SG = Love
    SF = Love
    C = Love

    So it isn't shocking to discover he has better numbers.
  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    The difference between love and melo is negligible, love puts up more stats but he's also never been on a winning team.

  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    I think it doesn't really matter who we get.

    1. We supposedly got better last year with but yet had the same playoff record this year.

    2. We have Stars! Really? When James Harden learns his ABCE because we all know he doesn't know D. Then talk to me. When he shoots over 40% in the playoffs. Then talk to me. When he starts blaming himself, mans up and starts being a real leader, TALK TO ME. He ain't no Star. PERIOD. He's worth the toilet paper id use after eating 5 burritos and take 5 dumps in the toilet. I say trade the SCRUB. Save all that "we got 2 superstars!! Gonna have 3!" BS for the delusional fans that actually believe it. Bunch of nonsense if you actually think that cause we don't even have 1 and a 1/2

    3. McHale is still the coach. Enough said, I hate Morey for keeping his crippled butt. With his zombie looking, no coaching, no adjustment, no sense making self. Wish he'd just retire.

    yep might a well do nothing and wallow in self pity, while those chumps Harden and Howard ruin the team.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago Talk about a Love lover.
  • Doug says 5 months ago

    Johnny, I’m not sure why those charts were supposed to refute my point that Love is a better shooter. Love had a significantly higher true shooting percentage last year and he has had a higher true shooting percentage than Anthony for his entire career. And Love doesn’t just have a better true shooting percentage because he gets to the free throw line more often (although I don’t understand why, if that were the case, it would be a knock against Love). Love hit 50% of his two point field goals last year, whereas Anthony hit only 47%. The gap between them wasn’t larger only because Anthony hit a career high 40% of his three pointers. He is a career 34% three-point shooter.

    Regarding the supposed context that prevents Anthony from getting more assists or more rebounds. In his entire career, Anthony has never averaged more than 8.1 rebounds per game and he has never averaged more than 3.8 assists per game. He has never been an elite rebounder or passer. He simply isn’t elite, or anywhere close to elite, with respect to passing or rebounding.

    I’m also not sure why you give Anthony extra credit for taking more mid-range shots and thereby having a lower true shooting percentage. As you know, you don’t get extra points for taking more difficult shots. To the extent that Anthony would have a higher true shooting percentage if he took more efficient shots, that should be held against him, not in his favor. It doesn’t, for the most part, “depend” on who is shooting midrange shots. There are very few players who hit midrange shots at an efficient clip. And from eyeballing Anthony’s shot chart, he certainly doesn’t shoot them at a clip that would help his team.

    Finally, I don’t really care if Anthony is a better crunch time player. (And, for the record, per NBA.com, Anthony shot a blistering 36% from the field and 33% from the three-point line in the last five minutes of games.) If Love is the better player, and I think he is, then we are much, much less likely to be in close games late.

    If Anthony were a better player, it would show up in the statistics, but it doesn’t. I think the telling comment you make is that the entire court is Anthony’s “playground.” If that were so, he’d be able to efficiently score from anywhere. He looks pretty because, at times, he makes incredibly difficult shots, and he sometimes has games where he doesn’t seem to miss. But, on average, he isn’t a great shooter, and he doesn’t really do much else to help his team win.

    Rahat, I apologize for assuming you had changed your tune on the value of midrange jumpers because of the Portland series. I hadn’t recalled reading anything from you critiquing the Rockets approach before then, but I don’t read every post here. But I don’t understand your claim that the Heat don’t repeat if Lebron doesn’t knock down open midrange jumpers. The Heat don’t repeat if Lebron doesn’t do a lot of things. Lebron James is obviously the most talented player in the NBA. If you have Lebron, you can do a lot of things that you otherwise can’t or shouldn’t do.

  • Rockets911 says 5 months ago I think it doesn't really matter who we get.

    1. We supposedly got better last year with but yet had the same playoff record this year.

    2. We have Stars! Really? When James Harden learns his ABCE because we all know he doesn't know D. Then talk to me. When he shoots over 40% in the playoffs. Then talk to me. When he starts blaming himself, mans up and starts being a real leader, TALK TO ME. He ain't no Star. PERIOD. He's worth the toilet paper id use after eating 5 burritos and take 5 dumps in the toilet. I say trade the SCRUB. Save all that "we got 2 superstars!! Gonna have 3!" BS for the delusional fans that actually believe it. Bunch of nonsense if you actually think that cause we don't even have 1 and a 1/2

    3. McHale is still the coach. Enough said, I hate Morey for keeping his crippled butt. With his zombie looking, no coaching, no adjustment, no sense making self. Wish he'd just retire.
  • Rahat Huq says 5 months ago

    Finally, there’s no reason to think that the Rockets brand of basketball (and its avoidance of the mid-range game) is a loser in the playoffs simply because we failed against Portland. It’s one series, and anything can happen in one series. If James Harden plays well in that series, we win.

    My belief in mid-range does not stem from the Portland series. The Blazers don't play defense and we lost that series due to a lack of execution and preparation. My belief in mid-range stems from the NBA as a whole. Case in point: the Heat don't repeat if Lebron doesn't knock down those open midrange jumpers in the final game last year after the Spurs had closed down the paint and closed out on the 3 point line.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @JG

    dang.....those charts break it down. I wasn't aware Love shot that poorly. now I'm even more in Melo's corner

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Well Doug, I'm gonna have to assume you're a Love fan.

    "Anthony is good at taking shots and reasonably good at making them. But that’s really it. He’s slightly above average at most things. Love, on the other hand, is an elite shooter, rebounder, and passer. It’s silly to think that Anthony is an elite, MVP level player. He’s not."

    In response to this, I'll just post their shot charts, courtesy of vorped.com

    First, the "elite" shooting of Kevin Love:

    CsN2Cr8.jpg

    ...and the reasonably good shooting of Carmelo:

    4LwCzaa.jpg

    Redder is not better.

    Love has some spots, for sure and nobody argues his rebounding/passing. However, your complete dismissal of Anthony's shooting (where the entirety of the court is his playground) undermines your argument.

    Your assist argument ignores the context in which they played--Carmelo is asked to score more and has poor options to pass off to--he is actually an excellent passer.

    Love's assist numbers are not surprising given his USG % and his frequent connections with the cherry-picking Corey Brewer--I'm not saying he is not a solid passer, but let's not ignore context. His outlet passing must make Morey, McHale, and all the players drool given our desire to get out and run.

    Anthony spends more time on the perimeter which means he is going to get fewer rebounds. Love mostly lives under the basket and (some would say) he forgoes solid defense at times in order to set up for those rebounds.

    The disparity in Love's TS% is likely due to him taking an extra 1.2 FT's per game while shooting nearly 36% of his total shots from 3-point while Anthony shoots 25% of his shots from deep. The .03 discrepancy in their TS% is a bit overblown when considering the difference in how they play and actually makes Melo seem more impressive when you factor in how many mid-range shots he takes.

    The understanding that we need a mid-range game has been understood and advocated by quite a few of us since early 2012-13 season. Like McHale says, "it depends on who is shooting them".

    Lastly, as RBF said above--Melo is a proven late game option and he won't require a king's ransom to acquire.

    I also concur with those who believe Melo will age gracefully. He's got at least a full contract's worth of quality left in the tank. What more do you want?

    For the record, I'm not against Love at all, but dismissing Melo like you did is, charitably, meritless.

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Doug

    WELCOME TO THE FORUM :)I agree with what you say, but the one thing Melo is that Love is not is a closer + Melo would cost less

  • Doug says 5 months ago

    The idea that Anthony and Love are similar players is, charitably, meritless.

    Anthony’s true shooting percentage last year was 56%, whereas Love’s was 59%. The average power forward’s true shooting percentage is 54%.

    Anthony averaged 10 rebounds per 48 minutes played, whereas Love averaged 12.7. The average power forward averages 8. (It should also be noted that last year was Love’s worst year ever on the offensive glass; he had previously averaged about 4 offensive rebounds per game, whereas he “only” got 3 a game last year. That’s still a whole offensive rebound more per game than Anthony.)

    Anthony averaged 3.9 assists per 48 minutes last year, whereas Love averaged 5.4 The average power forward averages 2.7.

    And, of course, Anthony is 29 and in his decline phase, whereas Love is 25 and entering his peak years. Anthony will decline in ability; Love might very well get better.

    Anthony is good at taking shots and reasonably good at making them. But that’s really it. He’s slightly above average at most things. Love, on the other hand, is an elite shooter, rebounder, and passer. It’s silly to think that Anthony is an elite, MVP level player. He’s not.

    Finally, there’s no reason to think that the Rockets brand of basketball (and its avoidance of the mid-range game) is a loser in the playoffs simply because we failed against Portland. It’s one series, and anything can happen in one series. If James Harden plays well in that series, we win.

  • Willk says 5 months ago

    That is assuming Harden is willing to play off the ball.

    harden has played with Westbrook, Paul, and Williams. He can play off the ball, he just needs a decent PG to play with.
  • BrentYen says 5 months ago

    That is assuming Harden is willing to play off the ball.

  • Texan Ensemble says 5 months ago

    Id rather us getting Rondo. If not Rondo then I would rather us signing Lowry and trading for Milsap. If we can get Love and still upgrade at the point guard spot, with someone who can run an offense so Harden can play off the ball, then fine...but PG is where we need to focus on getting better first.

  • Cooper says 5 months ago

    If the lakers or celtics end up with a top 3 pick I would be surprised if love didn't end up on one of those teams. The bulls rockets and GS just don't quite have enough to compete with that big of a pick unless love specifically requests he will only go to one of those teams.

    Trading parsons is difficult for the rockets because he's pretty much their last largely desirable trade piece so if they trade him and it doesn't work out or work out a long term deal and his play kind of sputters out they are in trouble. Either way the outcome will be highly scrutinized and will be the second most important trade move morey has made outside of Harden.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    Kevin Love is certainly a player that would significantly upgrade our roster--there is no denying that.

    Yet, in comparison to the potential impact Anthony or Rondo could have on our team I think he ranks third. Add to this the high cost of acquiring him (at least in theory--he can affect that by announcing he will only re-sign with certain teams) and I think we would be better off chasing the other two guys.

    We're splitting hairs--all three are legit stars and game-changers. Rondo is the best value as his contract allows us to acquire him for less while maintaining cap flexibility. Add to that the fact that our two best trade chips (Lin & Asik) are both players Boston has use for and the deal seems very workable.

    Including Parsons in any deal is risky. I agree moving him is the best move economically speaking--both in the economics of cap usage and the economics of trade value. However, in the economy of team chemistry his value is very high. I have said it before: I do not envy Morey's position on this one. A trade to NY would probably be one of the only trades that doesn't create a rift as Parsons would likely relish the large market exposure as well as the potential to be featured in the offense there.

  • dbd says 5 months ago

    Geez! If you think we have to keep McHale to nab Love (or Love will sing with us because of McHale), either way, you are asking for a few more years of McHale.

  • RyanB says 5 months ago

    I think IMHO that from a cohesive point Love is better

    But as you said, the midrange efficiency of Melo + his otherworldy scoring skills make me think that Melo is the piece to add to win a champ.

    Coaching issues can be fixed IMHO, and chemistry should not be a problem as long as McHale is there (yes he is not Popovich)

    So we're gonna seat and see what's next

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @JG

    :lol:that would probably be a wise choice I must admit

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    I won't hold my breath.... ;)

  • rockets best fan says 5 months ago

    @Rahat

    I found myself laughing out loud several times :lol:I see I'm going to have to putmy aluminum hat on to block your ability to read my mind :lol:TOTALLY AGREE. while I still prefer Melo, I have to admit Love would have nearly the same affect. Houston can't really go wrong with either. I also agree on your assessment of Parsons. I like him, but weighed against the acquisition of a third star is a no brainer. I like you believe both Love and Melo are on a different level of stars from Rondo and would be worthy of giving up Parsons if necessary. when talking about the caliber of stars like Love and Melo the only untouchables are D-12 and Harden.

    I agree with your assessment of Lin's Value :lol:however we differ in our opinion that he is movable. I didn't say it would be easy, but he can be moved. true it will cost, but I think we are at the point of addition by subtraction when considering him.

    as for McStale :lol:If he turn out to be the linchpin in landing Love or Melo...........GET READY FOR THIS JG AND FSS............I WILL TRY TOBITE MY TOUGE FOR THE REMAINDER OF NEXT SEASON. he will have earn another year at the helm. it won't mean I have taken a liking to him, but his overall help in team building will have earned him a graceful exit.

  • Johnny Rocket says 5 months ago

    One important difference between Love and Anthony is that Love is significantly younger (he's 25). You could imagine a situation in which Love and Harden play together for 7-8 years on great teams.

    I agree about Parsons. Typically, teams don't win with "good, but not great" players making $10 million per year.

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