Houston Rockets’ summer assignment list: Part 1

The summer before I began third grade, my mother resolved to teach me multiplication before commencement of classes.  I taped the entire ‘times tables’ onto my closet door, every morning drilling through the combinations.  By early August, I had them down cold.  I finished the year with something like a ’99′ average in ‘math’, more importantly developing a reputation as a ‘times’ assassin amongst my peers.  We’d play a game in ‘math’–the name escapes me–where all of the students sat in a circle, with one standing up behind someone else.  The pair would battle, getting a multiplication question, with the winner advancing to the next pairing.  I’d absolutely kill it.  9×9.  Boom.  81.  6×5.  Boom.  30.  They didn’t have a chance.  My self esteem was soaring.

Looking back, my mother and I never did this again in any other summer and consequently, I never again enjoyed such a head start over my classmates.  My mother will tell you it was obstinance on my part.  But I wonder what made me so driven that one year.  The point of this story was to attempt to tie in the larger moral that success is built in the heat of July, or something poetic like that.  For NBA players, the greats always come back one notch better having added a new move in their spare time.  The middle class works on flaws, hoping to either take the next step or not get swallowed up by the most competitive labor force in America.

I got to thinking yesterday about what each player on this team should be focusing on this offseason and decided to write this post.  It made sense because there’s only like six players I need to write about.  So here it goes:

Patrick Beverley:  What hurts about the Bosh thing is that it represented resource efficiency.  A simple massive upgrade at the team’s weakest spot.  No robbing Peter to pay Paul.  But all of these other scenarios being tossed about–the likes of Rondo, Dragic, Bledsoe–involve relinquishing assets to improve an area where there really isn’t that much need.  You can win a title with Patrick Beverley as your starting point guard.  As things stand, I’m not entirely sure the same can be said about Terrence Jones.

I made the argument a few weeks ago that Beverley was basically the ideal fit next to Harden.  He protects the ball, manages the game, rebounds, shoots threes, and when he doesn’t have torn ligaments in his leg, is a terror defensively.  (Don’t let Lillard’s output in the first round fool you: it’s not easy moving around on a messed up leg, even if you’ve been cleared to play by the medical staff.  NBA players represent the very cream of the athletic crop.  Every split second, or nanosecond, matters, and when one loses even the slightest bit of reaction time, unlike the case with amateurs, performance can drop off drastically).  Several of you scoffed.  While I stand firm, there is no doubt some validity to the counter sentiment.  How many times last year did the Rockets seem to close out the game with James Harden and four scrubs?  Beverley will never be a player who can attack the rim – while he has the handles and quickness, like his forebear Rafer Alston, he just doesn’t have the body strength to finish near the rim.  What he can do is make himself into a better three point shooter.  Last year he shot 36% from deep, and for a guy whose only job on offense is to hand the ball off to James Harden and stand in the corner, that’s not acceptable.  That number needs to go up to around 39%.  The form could stand to improve.  A few on Twitter scoffed when I brought this up, but its a a very slight subtlety.  Beverley’s wrist doesn’t seem completely taut on the release, introducing variability to the mechanics.  If he could fix this, I think the results would improve, but of course, that won’t happen – NBA players very rarely put in the work to alter their form.

Trevor Ariza:  Trevor Ariza needs to burn every tape of the 2009-2010 season, destroying with it any preconceived notions that his role this time around will be anywhere similar.  Also, he needs to try to somehow hypnotize himself into thinking this is a contract year.  If Ariza duplicates his production from last season, it will be all Houston could have asked for.

Donatas Motiejunas:  I’m not really sure what he can do.  The guy improved drastically upon his biggest weaknesses–defense and rebounding–and still couldn’t get consistent burn.  Maybe he should just work on his people skills and find a way into Kevin McHale’s good graces.  Motiejunas could stand to add more arc onto that flat jumpshot, but as I said earlier, that won’t happen.  The range people had been raving about since before D-Mo was drafted hasn’t really paid off, primarily I think due to the flawed form.  Overall, he just needs to keep his head up and keep trying.  Skill-wise, there is not really much to improve upon.  His problems are that he fouls too much and doesn’t see consistent playing time, with the former being a factor of the latter, I’d argue.  It was a numbers game last year, but with Asik gone this time around, this is Motiejunas’ last chance.  He either breaks through, or that’s it for his Houston Rockets’ career.  In all likelihood, the 7-footer doesn’t pan out, and that’s really a shame.

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Total comments: 61
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    Dragic would make this team a juggernaut IMO. he is a big shot maker and you can never have to many of those.

  • Steven says 1 month ago

    @Steven
    if Morey could pull that off I would run down to Toyota Center and kiss his shoes :lol:

    He will trade Ish smith for Dragic and a first.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Steven

    if Morey could pull that off I would run down to Toyota Center and kiss his shoes :lol:

  • Steven says 1 month ago

    @Journeymany
    you don't think they would be interested in the Pelicans pick? especially considering they may lose Dragic in FA next year for nothing

    They should give the Rockets a pick like they did last time they traded him to Morey.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Cooper

    I agree. However either one Dragic or Bledsoe will serve our purpose well. in this case leftovers can be a good thing :wub:

  • Cooper says 1 month ago

    It depends on if they end up paying Bledsoe, if they pay him and dragic max then thats about half of the cap between their 3 guards on a borderline playoff team. Not saying its a lock but theres a chance Dragic becomes available and even bigger chance that Bledsoe does.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Journeymany

    you don't think they would be interested in the Pelicans pick? especially considering they may lose Dragic in FA next year for nothing

  • Journeymany says 1 month ago

    Dragic would be great, yes... but we have absolutely nothing that would make Phoenix trade. Keep it real :)

  • Cooper says 1 month ago

    If we are going to pay him which there would be no reason not to, why would he leave?

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    first off who said he would walk away? if we have his bird rights we have the upper hand in signing him. unless you have a crystal ball that sees the future assuming we will lose him is unwarranted panic. I'm sure the Rockets will gauge his interest in staying here before pulling the trigger on a trade

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago Rockets can't afford a Dragic that walks away a couple months later.....truth.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    Dragic would be excellent as a primary facilitator and a great off the ball presence. I not worried about him leaving in FA. we should go for him now.

    @txtdo1411

    correct......the difference in our opinions seems to be the level of a facilitator. I want a primary you want a secondary, but both agree we need another one. so other than that difference we appear on the same side of this argument

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    Lastly, I agree with Cooper about having a second play maker. It is tough if you only have one ball handler/creator on the floor. If we acquired a second facilitator (doesn't have to be elite i.e. Rondo) he would certainly help Harden carry the load. I am hoping one of our guys will develop internally... I am looking at you Canaan.

    RBF that is a direct quote from my first post in this thread. For reference it is post number 29 if you want to read it again to gain the context of what I am trying to say. I don't disagree that we would benefit from another facilitator, I disagree with the fact that it needs to be an elite facilitator, because in m opinion we already have a really good one. I never once said Harden doesn't need to work on his game. Every player in the NBA has to continuously work on their game, and Harden is obviously no exception.

    Anyways we seem to be working in circles now even though our opinions only slightly differ. You want an "elite" facilitator (good luck finding one we can bring here), and I want another consistent facilitator that I have hopes can be developed internally (Bev/Canaan/Johnson). Either way unless Ainge decides to loosen his grip on Rondo all this is a moot point.

    And yes I would absolutely like to see Dragic here as long as it wasn't a one year rental. I think he would be a great fit, because he is not an elite facilitator, but a very good scorer and very good facilitator which is more in line with what we need. With him and Harden our back court would be deadly.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I disagree Harden improved as a facilitator. he gets less turnovers because D-12 can catch whereas Asik couldn't. that probably account for the major portion of the difference

    I said that in the original post :lol: It's likely true.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I'm not critical of stats posted by you. I think you did a good job showing players in the ballpark with Harden. that's not the issue. the issue is can we improve in this area by bringing in someone else to take over primary facilitator? in my mind the answer to that question is YES. we can debate these stats all day, but the bottom line is unchanged........we need a better facilitator. I'm not saying Harden should only touch the ball when scoring. I'm saying he should be the secondary facilitator. every time we talk fit with this team at the point guard position the very first point is...Harden handles the ball a lot so we need someone who can be effective without the ball. I disagree with that stance to some degree. YES we want someone who won't disappear without the ball, but we also need someone that can run our offense, use the other weapons we have

    Gotcha. I agree. A guy like Dragic would be a great fit. I doubt anyone disagrees with this. The question becomes,is he enough? I have no doubt he will seek a max contract which means Morey has to ask himself the same question he had to ask about Parsons--can these three guys take us to the promised land?

    I would be ok if Morey rolled the dice on that one. My concern is trading for him. If he decides to walk after we surrender assets it would be a very bad move. We can wait until next Summer and sign him outright if we like. I think that's the move. Until then, we roll with Beverley--it's a win-win.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I disagree Harden improved as a facilitator. he gets less turnovers because D-12 can catch whereas Asik couldn't. that probably account for the major portion of the difference

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I'm not critical of stats posted by you. I think you did a good job showing players in the ballpark with Harden. that's not the issue. the issue is can we improve in this area by bringing in someone else to take over primary facilitator? in my mind the answer to that question is YES. we can debate these stats all day, but the bottom line is unchanged........we need a better facilitator. I'm not saying Harden should only touch the ball when scoring. I'm saying he should be the secondary facilitator. every time we talk fit with this team at the point guard position the very first point is...Harden handles the ball a lot so we need someone who can be effective without the ball. I disagree with that stance to some degree. YES we want someone who won't disappear without the ball, but we also need someone that can run our offense, use the other weapons we have

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    @txtdo1411

    sure sounds like a free pass to me. Lin by no mean brought the same pluses Harden does in other areas, but that still doesn't mean Harden assist to turnover ratio is acceptable. I have defended Harden on all attacks, but I'm not blind to his faults. I love having Harden on this team, but itamazes me that posters think everybody but Harden needs to work on their games. He needs work too. the he's young argument doesn't fly with me any more. it's time for him to take a step as well. reducing his workload and finding a better facilitator is not only good for Harden it's the best course of action for the Rockets

    Huh? Who thinks he doesn't need to work on his game? I don't think anyone has said that. Harden is most definitely working on his game. He reduced his turnovers quite a bit from '12-'13 to '13-'14...roughly 10%. I expect to see a similar result this season. Of course, those 30 or so turnovers could have just been not passing to Asik as much :lol:

    You have made it perfectly clear that you want us to add a facilitator recently--in multiple posts, in multiple threads, again and again. We hear you. I agree with you largely. I think it will take our offense to another level. All I'm saying is Harden is already a very good facilitator and better than a lot of other people with similar roles--plus he's a scoring machine!

    You mentioned the avoiding fouls thing. Not that it will matter, but I will mention that Harden's +/- is +7.6 (best on the team). When he gets early fouls he has to sit and every minute he sits are minutes we are being outscored (over the course of the season). Again, I agree that his defense needs improvement (I'm not worried about it as I believe he will do fine and it was never as bad as people thought), but him being on the court is nearly a +8 for us. If giving up a couple of lay ups keeps him on the floor that is a small price to pay. I have posted data before that says he gives up an average of 2.3 shots at the rim/game and opponents convert 1.3 of those on average for 2.6 ppg. That's it. It's a mountain/mole hill thing.

    What we need to address is team wide--needlessly over-helping and leaving shooters (good shooters) wide open from 3. This drives me nuts.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I've listen to the turnover breakdown argument, but find little comfort in it. regardless of how a turnover happens is the possession not lost? I think it's fair for Harden to be compared with PG's if he's going to be the primary facilitator. what was pointed out regarding Lin leaves me puzzled. the critical backlash Lin absorbed for his turnovers yet Harden gets a free pass? you yourself said Harden only lead Lin by a little. so are you saying Lin's turnovers were ok too?

    Some of this has already been answered. Remember, the context for all this is Harden as a facilitator and how he stacks up to his peers. Yes, of course a possession lost is a possession lost. But that's different from what we're discussing--if you want to strictly talk turnovers and offensive efficiency we can do that, but I think that is different from being a good play-maker/facilitator on offense.

    All I'm trying to show is that Harden is generating opportunities for his teammates at a rate that is concurrent with his peers (when adjusted for passing plays) and better than many of them. I included PG's--I don't get this dire need to turn James into a PG and only compare him to them. Why, because in your mind that is theactual position he plays. Is it really?

    For the Houston Rockets, the "PG" is whoever has the ball. Why do you think Morey went crazy getting players with above average dribbling abilities at every position (including center if we count D-Mo)? He wants every player to able to facilitate others with the ball in their hands. Dribble, drive, pass. We do not have the kind of offense where a singular point guard operates and sets up everyone else. Whoever has the ball takes that role. It just so happens that James is superior to everyone else at doing it so he gets more touches--that's a good thing.

    If people really want, I can include ALL the PG's in the league, but I figured no one cared about Brandon Jennings, Raymond Felton, Mario Chalmers, Steve Blake, or Jose Calderon. I included PG's that actually matter.

    As far as the adjusted a/to ratios--we can go back and do the Ty Lawsons, Dragics, and Rondos....what's the difference?

    You want to see that Dragic's adjusted a/to is 3.88? Anyone can do this--it's easy. Take total bad pass turnovers and divide total assists by it. Done. If people want to see more numbers go right ahead--I've seen what I needed to see. I will happily look at more if someone wants to do it.

    Last I checked, Curry and Westbrook are PG's and I included them in the final comps....again, I don't understand why everyone is upset about this PG business. You all want Harden to be a PG? Fine. I think it is a mistake and misses pretty much all the points I have been trying to make. The idea that James Harden is a point guard makes Steve Nash cry. :(

    1129607.jpg

    The bottom line is I compared Harden to players I feel best match his role on the team. Who did I miss?

    I'm not clear on what you are asking about Lin. I thought I was pretty clear that Lin's turnovers were less appealing than Harden's and spelled out why in my earlier post. I was responding to the person who was upset about the "critical backlash against Lin while Harden gets a free pass"--I didn't say that.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @txtdo1411

    sure sounds like a free pass to me. Lin by no mean brought the same pluses Harden does in other areas, but that still doesn't mean Harden assist to turnover ratio is acceptable. I have defended Harden on all attacks, but I'm not blind to his faults. I love having Harden on this team, but itamazes me that posters think everybody but Harden needs to work on their games. He needs work too. the he's young argument doesn't fly with me any more. it's time for him to take a step as well. reducing his workload and finding a better facilitator is not only good for Harden it's the best course of action for the Rockets

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Doug

    I not complaining about Harden on any point other than his facilitatorduties. he can still be the #1 option in the offense without being the primary facilitator. the two do not necessarily have to be handled by the same person. I'm not trying to get rid of Harden, just get some of the workload off his shoulders. if we bring in a better facilitator Harden can focus on refining other parts of his game......like defense. it has been argued here that he is conserving energy and fouls by not giving full effort on defense. well I say get the facilitator duties off his shoulders. not running the offense full time willgive him more energy for other areas and cut down our turnovers.

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago I'm pretty sure he isn't giving anyone a free pass. As noted a turnover equals a possession lost, which obviously is not good. All JG is doing is adding context to the assist to turnover stats , instead of just taking them at face value,. Harden is our number one scoring option and number one facilitator. Most pgs are not that for their team except a few, which is why JG broke it down by players that have both roles as Harden does. I'm not really sure where the disconnect is. If we just looked at players assist to turnover ratio without any context, there is absolutely nothing to be gained. By that logic Harden, Durant, Lebron, Westbrook, Dragic, and even Curry are mediocre facilitators.
  • Doug says 1 month ago

    No one is saying his turnovers are okay. Rather, Harden brings a tremendous amount to the table in the form of play making; efficient scoring; and the ability to draw fouls. Given that, it's easy to overlook something he's not great at -- i.e., not turning over the ball. If Lin could do everything else that Harden could do, I doubt anyone would care.

    I'm struggling to follow these complaints about Harden. He's an excellent offensive player and led an offense that was one of the best, if not the best, in the league. There's not much to complain about on the offensive end from Harden or from the Rockets. Sure there's always things they could be better at on offense, but any improvement would be a tiny marginal improvement.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I've listen to the turnover breakdown argument, but find little comfort in it. regardless of how a turnover happens is the possession not lost? I think it's fair for Harden to be compared with PG's if he's going to be the primary facilitator. what was pointed out regarding Lin leaves me puzzled. the critical backlash Lin absorbed for his turnovers yet Harden gets a free pass? you yourself said Harden only lead Lin by a little. so are you saying Lin's turnovers were ok too?

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    James is a PG in our offense. So he should be judged by CP3, Curry, Rose, Westbrook, etc... Standards. I think he matches up well.

    No one should be judged by CP3's standards--if they were then everyone would fall under the "scrub" category. :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    And despite kind of similar ratio we all say Lin is a turnover machine but when it comes to Harden and Dwight they don't get the same outrage.

    *I do think Jeremy makes bad turnovers but I expect that James should be judged on the same level as the primary ballhandlers in other teams.

    I think you're missing the point. The outrage is the type of turnover. We are fine with James Harden's multitude of turnovers because many of them are byproducts of what he does best. We have tangible evidence that when he drives good things happen more often than not. Thus, when a bad bounce, no-call, or what-have-you occurs it is fine. It is the cost of doing business.

    When Jeremy Lin, and his adjusted passing a/to ratio (what we are actually talking about) that is roughly 17% lower than Harden's, drives into the lane, doesn't force contact, leaps up, and suddenly finds that these NBA defenders are really good and have cut off his passing lanes we get angry. He isn't doing something that regularly pays off. He is doing something that repeatedly fails.

    Dwight's turnovers are a tad frustrating. He needs to learn to protect the ball better--there is no doubt of that. Once again, I can live with it because I see the benefits of going back to the play. (there is video from last season of Dream working with Dwight on some of this. Just little things like where he holds the ball, and how he brings it up from his waist to shoot that will make it harder for defenders to strip him...hopefully it helps)

    As for your statement that James should be judged the same as other teams' primary ball handlers--what did we just do? I delineated somewhat between true PG's and himself at the end (which I find fair), but did include them in the comps. Remember the new 13-position theory for NBA players?

    NBA-analytics-graph-01.gif

    I think in this context, James has different contemporaries than just "primary ball handler". I think we can all agree that he is a "combo ball-handler". This differentiates him from players like Rondo, Rubio, Paul, etc. He is less "Tony Parker" and more "Manu Ginobili" (with more minutes obviously).

    Thus, I think comparing him to Curry, Westbrook, Durant, and James was accurate in every way. They are elite players in similar roles on their teams. If you want to do other comps and post them feel free--all the data is easily found at basketball-reference.com and the math is simple.

    Am I misunderstanding your point? What needs to be done differently than I did above?

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago James is a PG in our offense. So he should be judged by CP3, Curry, Rose, Westbrook, etc... Standards. I think he matches up well.
  • thenit says 1 month ago

    I'll just remind everyone of what I already posted--Beverley, when put in the role of facilitator averaged between 5-6 assists per game playing alongside Harden. Is that not what we're looking for?

    @datruth--a lot of Bev's fouls are not shooting fouls--which means no points (unless in the bonus, but he rarely fouls in that situation). I don't recall McHale switching Bev from his man for fouling--ever--but I guess I could have missed it. He doesn't get in foul trouble....He uses his fouls.

    @QNoir--"standing around getting pick-pocketed"???? How often did that happen last season? Once? If Harden gets the ball stripped or stolen you can bet it was on a drive to the rim. Sometimes the ball will bounce off a foot/leg and get lost, but that happens to everyone. I'm not sure why I'm responding--your dislike of Harden is so blatant and it's not like you haven't made that known for some time. (I guess I just wish your criticisms had a modicum of merit).

    This statement doesn't seem to provide much except to saypeople who are good dribblers commit fewer turnovers. You present this as if it is a counterpoint to my own, but I am quite sure I never said anything contrary to it. My guess is you dislike that Harden is trying to score and are looking for any way to denigrate him for it. I do not share this sentiment. I like Harden trying to score--he's exceptionally good at it.

    I don't know what you are getting at with the passing. Our offense is not predicated on much passing (in case you missed that). You don't get assists for dumping the ball into Dwight. You don't get assists handing the ball off to Parsons and letting him do his dribble-dribble-drive routine. You don't get assists for scoring yourself. You don't get assists when you make a good pass and a guy gets fouled at the rim. You also get fewer assists when your team mates shoot a ton of threes as they go in at a 10%-15% less clip. Harden doesn't see a dead-end. He sees a bunch of guys standing around knowing the team needs to score. I think we all expect improvement on that front this season.

    I omitted this from the earlier list, but I'm sure some people would like to know. :)

    Jeremy Lin (per 100 possessions)

    7.1 assists, 4.3 to, 1.65 a/to, 20.4 usg%

    Well, looks like he and James are roughly the same in a/to ratio (James actually holds a .02 advantage) while James notches an extra assist per 100.

    Jeremy's adjusted a/to ratio (meaning only bad pass turnovers) is 2.8--a cool .5 below Harden's 3.3.

    I disagree that isolating types of turnovers doesn't help get a better view of one's passing acumen--the list above made that pretty clear in my eyes. These numbers speak for themselves; although, I have no doubt they are saying something completely different to you than they are to me.

    One last note--regarding entry passes to the post for Dwight/Jones. It is true that they do get missed sometimes. Some of that is due to them setting up too early. Some of that is good defense. Some of it is the guy with the ball. This whole scheme needs work.

    Knowing that we have three high level interior scorers (I'm counting D-Mo too), I would be shocked if the team did not take extra time to work on the nuances of getting the ball to them in an optimal way. It's easy money when done right. Yes, an elite PG can do this better, but I think with some practice Harden and Bev can do just fine.

    And despite kind of similar ratio we all say Lin is a turnover machine but when it comes to Harden and Dwight they don't get the same outrage.

    *I do think Jeremy makes bad turnovers but I expect that James should be judged on the same level as the primary ballhandlers in other teams.

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    Harden doesn't see a dead-end. He sees a bunch of guys standing around knowing the team needs to score.

    This might be my favorite quote from you JG. There was such limited movement from the other four players last year when Harden had the ball. They all just looked at him and expected him to make it happen. Now I don't know if this was a result of them thinking Harden wasn't going to pass or not, but either way there was not much cutting going on.The few times players cut, I feel Harden would typically hit them. The pass to Parsons against GS when he got blocked by Oneal in the closing seconds immediately comes to mind. Like you said, that should improve this season.

    I also agree Bev could possibly be that second facilitator. I just said Canaan because he is a lot better than he showed last year, and I expect to see a big jump in his play this season.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I'll just remind everyone of what I already posted--Beverley, when put in the role of facilitator averaged between 5-6 assists per game playing alongside Harden. Is that not what we're looking for?

    @datruth--a lot of Bev's fouls are not shooting fouls--which means no points (unless in the bonus, but he rarely fouls in that situation). I don't recall McHale switching Bev from his man for fouling--ever--but I guess I could have missed it. He doesn't get in foul trouble....He uses his fouls.

    @QNoir--"standing around getting pick-pocketed"???? How often did that happen last season? Once? If Harden gets the ball stripped or stolen you can bet it was on a drive to the rim. Sometimes the ball will bounce off a foot/leg and get lost, but that happens to everyone. I'm not sure why I'm responding--your dislike of Harden is so blatant and it's not like you haven't made that known for some time. (I guess I just wish your criticisms had a modicum of merit).

    The fact that other players are superior ball-handlers and facilitators is the very REASON they don't have as many non-passing turnovers as Harden. They pass because they see opportunity, while Harden sees a dead-end.

    This statement doesn't seem to provide much except to saypeople who are good dribblers commit fewer turnovers. You present this as if it is a counterpoint to my own, but I am quite sure I never said anything contrary to it. My guess is you dislike that Harden is trying to score and are looking for any way to denigrate him for it. I do not share this sentiment. I like Harden trying to score--he's exceptionally good at it.

    I don't know what you are getting at with the passing. Our offense is not predicated on much passing (in case you missed that). You don't get assists for dumping the ball into Dwight. You don't get assists handing the ball off to Parsons and letting him do his dribble-dribble-drive routine. You don't get assists for scoring yourself. You don't get assists when you make a good pass and a guy gets fouled at the rim. You also get fewer assists when your team mates shoot a ton of threes as they go in at a 10%-15% less clip. Harden doesn't see a dead-end. He sees a bunch of guys standing around knowing the team needs to score. I think we all expect improvement on that front this season.

    In the end, assist/TO works out to be the measure of a player's value as a facilitator we expected it to be at face value.

    I omitted this from the earlier list, but I'm sure some people would like to know. :)

    Jeremy Lin (per 100 possessions)

    7.1 assists, 4.3 to, 1.65 a/to, 20.4 usg%

    Well, looks like he and James are roughly the same in a/to ratio (James actually holds a .02 advantage) while James notches an extra assist per 100.

    Jeremy's adjusted a/to ratio (meaning only bad pass turnovers) is 2.8--a cool .5 below Harden's 3.3.

    I disagree that isolating types of turnovers doesn't help get a better view of one's passing acumen--the list above made that pretty clear in my eyes. These numbers speak for themselves; although, I have no doubt they are saying something completely different to you than they are to me.

    One last note--regarding entry passes to the post for Dwight/Jones. It is true that they do get missed sometimes. Some of that is due to them setting up too early. Some of that is good defense. Some of it is the guy with the ball. This whole scheme needs work.

    Knowing that we have three high level interior scorers (I'm counting D-Mo too), I would be shocked if the team did not take extra time to work on the nuances of getting the ball to them in an optimal way. It's easy money when done right. Yes, an elite PG can do this better, but I think with some practice Harden and Bev can do just fine.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 month ago

    So you guys are saying Lebron James is a bad facilitator? He was the primary ball handler for the Heat, and his ast/to ratio is not much better than Harden's. He is also way more mature and experienced than Harden, yet Harden is close to being on his level as a facilitator.

    Harden's non-passing turnover don't indicate anything other than the fact he is forcing action a lot (free throws, offensive fouls, loose balls, etc.). He was right at the top in FTA last season. Durant had 162 non-passing turnovers(32 more than Harden), and it should be noted that he lead the league in FTA. When you are forcing the action, and driving in the lane, sometimes they aren't going to call the foul (lose the ball out of bounds) and offensive fouls will be called. This is not indicative of how good a facilitator that player is but more the style of player.

    I agree Harden needs to be better with the ball 2:1 ast/to ration would be awesome. He does not have to force the action quite as much, and try to avoid all turnovers regardless of what type they are. But on one hand that is part of what makes him so good... his attacking style. I don't think he is ever going to get his turnovers extremely low because of that style. If he doesn't attack the rim, he is merely a mediocre jump shooter. I don't know how you all don't see how creative of a passer he is. I would argue he should have at least 1 assist per game more if his teammates last year could handle some of his passes. But that is my opinion, and there are no stats or anything to prove it. Just my eyes telling me that he is a step above everyone on the floor in terms of creativity and vision.

    Lastly, I agree with Cooper about having a second play maker. It is tough if you only have one ball handler/creator on the floor. If we acquired a second facilitator (doesn't have to be elite i.e. Rondo) he would certainly help Harden carry the load. I am hoping one of our guys will develop internally... I am looking at you Canaan.

    Pretty much completely agree with your opinion txtdo. rockets best fan seems a little over zealous here in his attempt to frame his argument. In my opinion James Harden is a young elite playmaker with teammates not quite on his level. The James Harden I see on the court initiates action, breaks down defenses for both the purposes of either creating for his teammates or finding his own shot. I don't think most of his Rocket teammates so far are on his level, that is until Dwight arrived. I've been rewatching games from this past season and that's what I see.
  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    @txtdo1411

    "Harden is a step above everyone on the floor in terms of creativity and vision".................you're right, we aren't watching the same game. Harden floor awareness is mediocre at best when it comes to running the offense. Harden is looking for his shot first and only creates when his shot attempt is neutralized

    That's why I prefaced it with "in my opinion". It might not be right, but I watch every game every year, and that is just how I see it. We can agree to disagree on this point. Everything else holds true in my post. He is still a young player that has some growing up to do, but he should only become a better distributor especially if he is able to gain some familiarity with players. That s another aspect we have overlooked. Since Harden has been here 2 different PGs have started, 3 different PFs, and 2 different centers. Now he will have a new SF to adjust to. Players become more familiar with each other the longer they play together. Harden has not had that luxury yet. I think we will see much better chemistry between Harden and Jones/Howard this year simply due to the fact that they have a full season under their belts together.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @txtdo1411

    "Harden is a step above everyone on the floor in terms of creativity and vision".................you're right, we aren't watching the same game. Harden floor awareness is mediocre at best when it comes to running the offense. Harden is looking for his shot first and only creates when his shot attempt is neutralized

  • txtdo1411 says 1 month ago

    So you guys are saying Lebron James is a bad facilitator? He was the primary ball handler for the Heat, and his ast/to ratio is not much better than Harden's. He is also way more mature and experienced than Harden, yet Harden is close to being on his level as a facilitator.

    Harden's non-passing turnover don't indicate anything other than the fact he is forcing action a lot (free throws, offensive fouls, loose balls, etc.). He was right at the top in FTA last season. Durant had 162 non-passing turnovers(32 more than Harden), and it should be noted that he lead the league in FTA. When you are forcing the action, and driving in the lane, sometimes they aren't going to call the foul (lose the ball out of bounds) and offensive fouls will be called. This is not indicative of how good a facilitator that player is but more the style of player.

    I agree Harden needs to be better with the ball 2:1 ast/to ration would be awesome. He does not have to force the action quite as much, and try to avoid all turnovers regardless of what type they are. But on one hand that is part of what makes him so good... his attacking style. I don't think he is ever going to get his turnovers extremely low because of that style. If he doesn't attack the rim, he is merely a mediocre jump shooter. I don't know how you all don't see how creative of a passer he is. I would argue he should have at least 1 assist per game more if his teammates last year could handle some of his passes. But that is my opinion, and there are no stats or anything to prove it. Just my eyes telling me that he is a step above everyone on the floor in terms of creativity and vision.

    Lastly, I agree with Cooper about having a second play maker. It is tough if you only have one ball handler/creator on the floor. If we acquired a second facilitator (doesn't have to be elite i.e. Rondo) he would certainly help Harden carry the load. I am hoping one of our guys will develop internally... I am looking at you Canaan.

  • QNoir says 1 month ago

    If the majority of Harden's turnovers are not from bad pass attempts, but rather from other errors (forcing drives and/or standing around and getting pick-pocketed), it only further illustrates his deficiencies as a facilitator. Why? Because those things are avoided when the player with the ball has a plan or can create on the fly. Overdribbling the ball and losing it, or going for a drive because you've failed to see other options, is simply poor management of a possession.

    The fact that other players are superior ball-handlers and facilitators is the very REASON they don't have as many non-passing turnovers as Harden. They pass because they see opportunity, while Harden sees a dead-end.

    In the end, assist/TO works out to be the measure of a player's value as a facilitator we expected it to be at face value.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    OK maybe I did overstate Harden's turnovers, however I think my point is shining thru. we need a better facilitator. if we aren't going to have a elite PG and Harden is going to handle the job then he needs to be compared to the primary facilitators of each teamin the league. in this area he comes up short. JG Harden did complete the ally-oop in your video, but how often do we see that? I tell you what I see a lot more often than this 1 successful play............T-Jones and D-12 getting position on their man and the person with the ball (more often Harden than not) totally clueless on floor awareness. this is where a different facilitator who isn't looking to score his own points every time will utilize some of the other weapons we have.

  • datruth says 1 month ago

    I'am not sure how you guys added up those figures, but almost half the games Beverly played in last year he was in foul trouble.

    Beverly played in 56 games almost half of those games he had 4 fouls or more. Depending when the fouls happened those are points we give up on the other end..

    Beverly played in 6 playoff games half of those games he was in foul trouble and normally when Beverly is in foul trouble Mchale switched him off the ball handler. Therefore he is holding a wing shooter instead of the ball.

    Next problem with your chart. He scored less 6 points in a game almost 30 % of the games he played in. That means about 1 out of every three games he will give you nothing on one end of the floor.

    Again he played 56 games, but almost half of those games he had 2 assist or less as your starting point guard.

    i hope he improves his game, but to say we shouldn't be looking for something better i disagree.

  • Cooper says 1 month ago

    Ideally we would have one more guy that could share the creation load and average 6 or so assists with harden so both could be more efficent . westbrook and durant share that load, same with curry and iggy, james had wade and now irving even love is a good passer. We don't need a brilliant guy like Paul or rondo, while that would be great, just another solid guy fits the bill. Thought parsons might have been able to be that guy, Bev will get a chance and if he can't handle it, the deadline or next offseason should be able to shore it up.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I'll bite. I'm not making a chart or graph and I'm not doing every player. All stats are "per 100 possessions" and are from basketball-reference.com.

    James Harden

    8 assists, 4.8 to, 1.67 a/to, 27.8 usg%

    Tony Parker

    9.8 assists, 3.8 to, 2.6 a/to, 26.5 usg%

    Steph Curry

    11.7 assists, 5.2 to, 2.25 a/to, 28.3 usg%

    Russell Westbrook

    10.5 assists, 5.3 to, 1.98 a/to, 34.4 usg%

    John Wall

    12.5 assists, 5.1 to, 2.45 a/to, 27.4 usg%

    Rajon Rondo

    15.2 assists, 5.1 to, 2.98 a/to, 21.3 usg%

    Kyle Lowry

    10.7 assists, 3.5 to, 3.06 a/to, 22.9 usg%

    LeBron James

    8.8 assists, 4.9 to, 1.8 a/to, 31.0 usg%

    Goran Dragic

    8.4 assists, 4.0 to, 2.1 a/to, 24.5 usg%

    Chris Paul

    15.3 assists, 3.3 to, 4.64 a/to, 23.7 usg%

    Ty Lawson

    12.0 assists, 4.4 to, 2.73 a/to, 22.7 usg%

    Kevin Durant

    7.2 assists, 4.6 to, 1.57 a/to, 33.0 usg%

    OK, that's enough. There is a clear winner with a couple of sort-of-close runners-up. Chris Paul blows everyone away with his 4.64 ratio. Kyle Lowry is the only other player to break the 3.0 threshold (barely) with Rondo right there at 2.98. Lawson, Parker, and Wall were all respectable in the mid 2 range. Dragic eked out a 2.1 and everyone else, according to our standards, is bad.

    Now, there are a hundred factors and context, as always, counts so it is quite arbitrary to make any quick judgments here. Who you're passing to matters and in Paul's case his options are superior to most everyone else. What does Rondo have? Dragic? Curry and Parker have it pretty good.

    Another factor is role on the team. Guys like LBJ, KD, Curry, and Westbrook also carry heavy scoring burdens.

    Which leads us to Harden. I think his best comparison is to players like the 4 above. Elite scorers who are also major facilitators on their teams.

    Among that group, Curry leads the pack with 2.25. He is followed by Westbrook (1.98), James (1.8), Harden (1.67), and Durant (1.57).

    So, I would call this a draw. Yes, among PG's Harden leaves a lot to be desired; however, he is not a PG. Among the non-PG players he falls right in line with the average--roughly 1.7. As I noted before, context matters and these "scoring" facilitators end up with oodles of turnovers that are not passing related. Durant had 162 non-passing turnovers compared to 123 passing turnovers. James had 107 non-passing turnovers compared to 152 passing turnovers--nearly the opposite of Durant. Harden was 130 non-passing to 135 passing--again, right in the middle.

    For comparison, Westbrook had 77 non-passing to 100 passing. Curry had 100 non-passing to 193 passing. It is clear that if we sorted out and accounted for context the ratios would shift dramatically. Heck, let's do it.

    Adjusted Assist/Turnover Ratio:

    Durant - 3.62 a/to

    Curry - 3.45 a/to

    Harden - 3.30 a/to

    James - 3.21 a/to

    Westbrook - 3.19 a/to

    Chris Paul - 7.13 a/to (just for fun. He is ridiculous and in a class of his own.)

    Well, well, well....Harden again finds himself in the middle. Durant leaps out to the front. I find this very interesting.

    James Harden is no PG. Ideally, we can hope he improves into the 2.4-2.6 range. That would be spectacular. We all know that elite PG's are not required for championships--in fact, history supports this quite well.

    The bottom line is we need to increase our assist totals and decrease turnovers while maintaining scoring efficiency. Easier said than done.

  • Buckko says 1 month ago

    Harden didn't average 5 turnovers a game. He averaged 3.5. His assist to turnover ratio was 1.68. While not great, it was just ahead of Eric Bledsoe, Dwayne Wade, and Kevin Durant.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/assists/sort/assistTurnoverRatio/count/41

    I think it would be interesting if someone could make a graph of all the main ball handlers or top 2 of each team with assist to turnover ratio with overall usage % to see how harden stacks up to the rest of the league as a main ball handler.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    Harden as a facilitator is overblown. sure he gets 5-6 assist a game, but perhaps you've forgotten those 5 turnovers a game? Yes Harden can make good passes, but he doesn't always do it. there are many passes he can't make that a real floor general PG will be able to make (example ally-oop for T-Jones or D-12). with any team your primary facilitator has to be able to get the assist without the high turnovers and needs to be able to make every pass. ask yourself this..........considering our high turnover rate last year.....how many extra games could we have won with 3-4 less turnovers? some people believe if you have a high usage rate turnovers are just part of the baggage that comes along with it..........I don't. elite PG's usually float in the 3 assist to 1 turnover ratio. could you imagine if for those 5 turnovers Harden is producing we were getting 15 assist. we have a lot of potential weapons that are not being fully and properlyused because we don't have a top flight facilitator. that's why I want the ball out of Harden hands as much as possible. Harden needs to concentrate on playing SG and leave the PG duties to a PG.

    First, I will remind that I agree with the benefit a true, pass-first PG would bring. However, you are fudging those numbers (as Doug already noted) and the turnover ratio is not as bad as you think.

    Per basketball-reference.com, Harden averaged 3.6 TO's per game and 6.1 assists last season. That is a ratio of 1.7--certainly not up to standard. However, there is more to it than that. BBall-reference has a cool feature where they have broken down each player's turnovers by type: off. foul, bad pass, lost ball, and other. Of Harden's 265 turnovers, only 135 were of the "bad pass" variety.

    Now, since it seems we are judging his ability to pass based off of his assist to turnover ratio then we should remove those other turnovers. 135 turnovers in 73 games equates to 1.8 passing turnovers per game and a new ratio of 3.4 assist/turnover. This falls into the ++ category.

    I know this isn't how it works, but Harden doesn't work like a normal PG either so judging him by the same standard doesn't make sense. James had 79 "lost ball turnovers" which most likely occurred on drives to the basket. Add to that the 32 off. fouls he got on those drives and 111 of his turnovers occurred on non-passing plays--that is 42% of his total turnovers.

    I'm not arguing that Harden is as elite a passer as Paul or Rondo--that would be silly. Still, you imply that Harden cannot even muster an alley-oop (which is so very untrue). In fact, Harden often dishes an alley-oop to Dwight on another mythical play we "never run: the pick n roll.

    By golly, that even looks like a called play coming out of a time out/in bounds (hard to tell). It's the tri-fecta of things that "never happen" on this team. A set play, pick n roll, alley-oop. :P

    Yes, a floor general would be able to make more passes and better passes. I just don't see a reason to discount Harden's abilities nor a reason to exaggerate his flaws in order to justify this.

    @JG
    When did you get the new suit?

    Agreed T-Jones is going to ball. Canaan is going to prove all the naysayers. D-Mo is going to man-up. Daniels is going to shoot 50% from 3. Covington is going to lock down the wing. Is it November yet?

    I felt like a little more team spirit was in order a few days ago. I got it at the photoshop. B)

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago You made the comparison to somebody saying Bev/ jones might not be the answer to crazies who wanted Hakeem gone. So you are comparing them to Hakeem even if you didn't mean to.
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    Because Bledsoe/Jones are the equivalent of Hakeem...


    Huh? What did I miss?
  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago Because Bledsoe/Jones are the equivalent of Hakeem...
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    Trevor Ariza was generally quite terrible every year except last, the year before this he was especially horrendous before late in the year when John Wall returned to the lineup and salvaged his stats somewhat.
    So yeah, he better hypnotize himself that this is a contract year, since if the previous trend held true the Rockets would be in massive trouble. You could say that hey he only sucked in Houston because he was asked to be the guy, but he played the following year next to Chris Paul, and if your getting the 2010-11 Trevor Ariza that would still probably cost the Rockets a 2 to 4 wins in the regular season from what Chandler Parsons gave you, and yes this is taking defense into account. (in 2010-11 Ariza was an overall -1.6 RPM player, Parsons was around 2.5 last year. )
    Beverley need to more than anything else stay healthy, though defensively he also needs to have a better court awareness in either off ball situation or more importantly, against screens, he habitually went under screens (if not being wiped out by screens altogether.) last year even when healthy, which was why he was pretty terrible in spot up situation PPP against, the funny thing is when you break down synergy defense it is not entirely clear if Beverley's defense is a good as many seem to assume, as in, he does the fundamental defense part extremely well (probably the single best iso defender in the league) however he is ok to poor in most other situations, which means you can game plan against his defense simply by minimizing iso situation against him, which may have played just as big of a role in his lack of effectiveness in the playoff as his injury, that he's a guy you can plan against.
    I seriously doubt the team told him to go under screen as a game plan, since in interviews the rockets players stated the opposite, and when you watch Lin play he clearly made a effort to go over screens whenever possible, which probably explain why Lin was vastly better in spot up PPP against despite not having any serious tools advantage to Beverley on defense (he's taller yes, but his arms is also shorter and his vertical explosion is not as good. Lin does have a tool advantage in defending post ups though. where he was predictably much better than Beverley as well. ) and was actually similar in PnR outcome, because when you have Dwight Fing Howard, obviously your going to play against the shot on the perimeter.
    In short, Beverley needs to be able to defend non iso situations, since you know, vast majority of plays in the NBA aren't isos nowadays.
    I love his game though, and as other noted there's a good case that your not going to get another PG who will work better with Harden as a tandem. But he has plenty of things he needs to work on.
    More than anything else though, Terrence Jones need to continue to improve, or the team is in deep trouble. I fully expect Ariza to take a step back / decline next year , the only question is how much. I can't see any of the other main rotation players being meaningfully better (in the context of 82 game regular season anyway.) except Terrence Jones, meanwhile the bench is a completely enigma that has some chance to be surprisingly good but also a larger chance to being downright unplayable.
    So a lot rides on Jones to develop into a real player instead of just a stats padder.


    Whatever.

    The doubters came out of all possible and potential holes in 1993 begging the Rockets to fire Rudy T and trade Dream.

    I clearly remember, I was there wondering what the hell............

    Anyway, NBA History clearly proved the opposite as the Rockets won back to back in 1994-95.

    There are always doubters even in the Precambrian...........sorry pre Dream era.

    Haters had no clue then and certainly in my opinion have no clue today.
  • Doug says 1 month ago

    Harden didn't average 5 turnovers a game. He averaged 3.5. His assist to turnover ratio was 1.68. While not great, it was just ahead of Eric Bledsoe, Dwayne Wade, and Kevin Durant.
    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/assists/sort/assistTurnoverRatio/count/41

  • Red94 says 1 month ago

    RollingWave: Interesting observation on Beverley. I had not noted the screens issue before.

  • Steven says 1 month ago @JG
    When did you get the new suit?

    Agreed T-Jones is going to ball. Canaan is going to prove all the naysayers. D-Mo is going to man-up. Daniels is going to shoot 50% from 3. Covington is going to lock down the wing. Is it November yet?
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    Harden as a facilitator is overblown. sure he gets 5-6 assist a game, but perhaps you've forgotten those 5 turnovers a game? Yes Harden can make good passes, but he doesn't always do it. there are many passes he can't make that a real floor general PG will be able to make (example ally-oop for T-Jones or D-12). with any team your primary facilitator has to be able to get the assist without the high turnovers and needs to be able to make every pass. ask yourself this..........considering our high turnover rate last year.....how many extra games could we have won with 3-4 less turnovers? some people believe if you have a high usage rate turnovers are just part of the baggage that comes along with it..........I don't. elite PG's usually float in the 3 assist to 1 turnover ratio. could you imagine if for those 5 turnovers Harden is producing we were getting 15 assist. we have a lot of potential weapons that are not being fully and properlyused because we don't have a top flight facilitator. that's why I want the ball out of Harden hands as much as possible. Harden needs to concentrate on playing SG and leave the PG duties to a PG.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    The best defensive stat for Patrick Beverley is not the fg% numbers--those are misleading. Instead, it is the lower number of shots taken against him in general that showcases his talent. I have detailed these numbers more than once. When guys decide to shoot--they score at a below average rate; but more importantly, they take fewer shots overall due to Bev's defense. It's all at Synergy for anyone to see.

    In short, 40% of 15 shot attempts is more than 40% of 11 shot attempts. Many people overlook this aspect defense.

    As far as Ariza goes, I think the only concern is staying healthy.

    T-Jones is gonna ball. Prepare for awesome. B)

  • RollingWave says 1 month ago

    Trevor Ariza was generally quite terrible every year except last, the year before this he was especially horrendous before late in the year when John Wall returned to the lineup and salvaged his stats somewhat.

    So yeah, he better hypnotize himself that this is a contract year, since if the previous trend held true the Rockets would be in massive trouble. You could say that hey he only sucked in Houston because he was asked to be the guy, but he played the following year next to Chris Paul, and if your getting the 2010-11 Trevor Ariza that would still probably cost the Rockets a 2 to 4 wins in the regular season from what Chandler Parsons gave you, and yes this is taking defense into account. (in 2010-11 Ariza was an overall -1.6 RPM player, Parsons was around 2.5 last year. )

    Beverley need to more than anything else stay healthy, though defensively he also needs to have a better court awareness in either off ball situation or more importantly, against screens, he habitually went under screens (if not being wiped out by screens altogether.) last year even when healthy, which was why he was pretty terrible in spot up situation PPP against, the funny thing is when you break down synergy defense it is not entirely clear if Beverley's defense is a good as many seem to assume, as in, he does the fundamental defense part extremely well (probably the single best iso defender in the league) however he is ok to poor in most other situations, which means you can game plan against his defense simply by minimizing iso situation against him, which may have played just as big of a role in his lack of effectiveness in the playoff as his injury, that he's a guy you can plan against.

    I seriously doubt the team told him to go under screen as a game plan, since in interviews the rockets players stated the opposite, and when you watch Lin play he clearly made a effort to go over screens whenever possible, which probably explain why Lin was vastly better in spot up PPP against despite not having any serious tools advantage to Beverley on defense (he's taller yes, but his arms is also shorter and his vertical explosion is not as good. Lin does have a tool advantage in defending post ups though. where he was predictably much better than Beverley as well. ) and was actually similar in PnR outcome, because when you have Dwight Fing Howard, obviously your going to play against the shot on the perimeter.

    In short, Beverley needs to be able to defend non iso situations, since you know, vast majority of plays in the NBA aren't isos nowadays.

    I love his game though, and as other noted there's a good case that your not going to get another PG who will work better with Harden as a tandem. But he has plenty of things he needs to work on.

    More than anything else though, Terrence Jones need to continue to improve, or the team is in deep trouble. I fully expect Ariza to take a step back / decline next year , the only question is how much. I can't see any of the other main rotation players being meaningfully better (in the context of 82 game regular season anyway.) except Terrence Jones, meanwhile the bench is a completely enigma that has some chance to be surprisingly good but also a larger chance to being downright unplayable.

    So a lot rides on Jones to develop into a real player instead of just a stats padder.

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    in trying not to be critical of Beverly I really haven'tlaid out his shortcomings. some here have overblown his abilities. Yes the current upgrades available are worth chasing. Beverly is a solid PG, but keeping Beverly in the starting lineup says that we are satisfied with Harden as the primary facilitator. I disagree with that stance. we need to get that ball out of Harden hands much more than we are now.


    Just wondering why you are so keen on getting the ball out of Harden's hands much more? There are multiple reasons for Harden to have the ball as much as he does. He's an excellent facilitator and willing passer as proven by his assists numbers. I would like to see him add another 1-2 assists per game this season. He is able to draw fouls and get to the free throw line more frequently than just about anyone in the league. That's a good thing, right? He's got that euro step move, the stepback jumper, is a willing driver to the basket, solid 3-point shooter. He needs to run the pick and roll more often with D12 although D12 seems to prefer to back his opponent and make a move to the bucket rather than run PnR.

    Isn't Harden one of the most efficient players in the league and isn't the Rockets offense one of the most efficient in the league?

    I get that you along with others dread the iso plays at the end of quarters, end of the game, etc.

    Still, taking the ball out of Harden's hands seems illogical to me.

    Perhaps you can explain your reasonings more clearly.
  • Cooper says 1 month ago

    Another guard or wing that can handle the ball and facilitate would be nice, maybe Bev can handle a larger role and just didn't have as many opportunities last year its probably worth the wait to find out. I don't see many guys that will be potentially available moving any time soon anyways.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    in trying not to be critical of Beverly I really haven'tlaid out his shortcomings. some here have overblown his abilities. Yes the current upgrades available are worth chasing. Beverly is a solid PG, but keeping Beverly in the starting lineup says that we are satisfied with Harden as the primary facilitator. I disagree with that stance. we need to get that ball out of Harden hands much more than we are now.

  • Red94 says 1 month ago

    That begs the question I posed in another thread: if Bev has that kind of impact, are any of the upgrades on the market worth the cost?

  • Johnny Rocket says 1 month ago

    I was shocked as well, but Pelton considers Bev one of the top defensive guards in the NBA. That's worth a lot, I guess, but the 15.1 WARP is still surprising.

  • thenit says 1 month ago Thee is no way Bev will get that high of a warp and he won't get a 10mill a year offer unless he explodes. That contract would be even worse that chandler got.
  • Johnny Rocket says 1 month ago

    I think Rahat's comments on Bev are right on the mark. I was just reading Kevin Pelton's analysis of next year's free agents, and he projects Bev to have a WARP of 15.1! For the sake of comparison, that's a tad lower than Kawhi Leonard (16.3) and somewhat better than Klay Thompson (13.3). People usually have Leonard and Thompson pegged as near-max guys. The fact that Bev will be a restricted free agent next year was one more reason for the Rox not to match the Parson's contract. If Bev is offered around 8-10 milion next year, it is hard to imagine the Rockets being able to pay both Bev and Parsons.

  • Cooper says 1 month ago

    Dmo has a 2mill team option 2015 even if he just has an average year thats easily accepted. Can't imagine finding another 7ftr that isn't hasheem thabeet for less.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    That's because he is still very young and tossing him to the curb this early in his career would be a mistake.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago I would not be surprised to see DMo make it somewhere else as a quality rotation player.