Huq’s Pen: Where boredom continues

  • We’re still in the midst of the darkest stretch of the year, but at the least, for now, we can bridge the gap with some football.  The good guys opened up the year last night in underwhelming fashion but closed out the night in an equally dramatic way, coming from down 21 to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.  Andre Johnson defied age, Matt Schaub grew his fan club (the one fanatic of the notion of him being replaced), and Brian Cushing made my knee, for just a few minutes, feel a lot better.  Yes, I too, dear reader, am recovering from a torn ACL.  
  • Watching Arian Foster curse on the sidelines late in the fourth after being pulled for Ben Tate evoked memories of the Lin-Beverley debate surrounding the basketball team a few miles down the street.  Well, not really.
  • The obsession with LaMarcus Aldridge continues to pop up on different pages covering this team, yet for the life of me, the more I think about it, the less the idea makes sense.  Now this is not to say that Aldridge does not have value: for a third option, you could do far worse than a guy with the 26th highest overall RAPM in the league (albeit one lower than Omer Asik’s).  But at $16million?  A reader asked if, in a vacuum, I’d prefer Aldridge to Asik, and I responded that yes, I think I probably would.  But stepping out of that vacuum and into the reality of the Houston Rockets salary structure and team ecosystem and I not only choose Asik but find a way to make he and Howard work.  Aldridge is marvelously skilled, yes, would space the floor, sure, and of course hails from my alma mater.  Why wouldn’t I be partial?  But perusing the shot charts of every player acquired since the Morey Revolution makes me wonder why anyone would think Elvis would trade major assets for a player who takes more midrange jumpshots than anyone in the league.  Spreading the floor is great, but if that’s the goal, you can find guys who are cheaper, and who do it from a few feet further out where that expected value skyrockets.

  • A video surfaced some days ago of Chandler Parsons diligently attending to some of the finer aspects of his game, namely his ball-handling and mid-range pullup.  It’s a welcome sight from a guy who figures to play even more minutes next season with Carlos Delfino having departed and still no real traditional power forward options having arisen to the forefront.  While I argued that Asik should get some time next to Howard, I fully anticipate for Parsons to close games out next to James Harden at the forward spots.  If you’re the rest of the NBA, with Dwight Howard inside, good luck with covering that.  If Parsons can add some other wrinkle to his game, it will bring us closer to a proper valuation – as I noted some weeks ago, we really have no idea what Chandler Parsons is worth.
  • I mentioned on Twitter that Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik were basically a homeless man’s version of Dwight Howard and James Harden to which a reader replied, “The basketball gods said “Oh, that’s what you wanted.  It was tough to figure out with all that trading.  How about these?”  That about sums it up.  Another noted, in response to my desire to just run the same sets all game long with the two duos, albeit with some drop-off, that “against backups, Lin and Asik might not even have much of a drop-off.”  That’s a valid point and another case for bringing Lin off the bench, a proposition which makes a ton of sense.

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Total comments: 67
  • BrentYen says 10 months ago

    I doubt the 40. more like 30............without Harden the Rockets would not have had the offensive firepower necessary to win. we already know the defense was subpar........without the ability to score it would have been ugly.

    I personally think it would close to 37 wins, but like I said, we will never know. I guess it is meaningless to discuss what if anyway :p

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    That is assuming ROX would actually get 25-30 wins without Harden. It might be only 10 wins, or close to 40 wins.

    I doubt the 40. more like 30............without Harden the Rockets would not have had the offensive firepower necessary to win. we already know the defense was subpar........without the ability to score it would have been ugly.

  • BrentYen says 10 months ago

    That is assuming ROX would actually get 25-30 wins without Harden. It might be only 10 wins, or close to 40 wins.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    think about this.......last year here on this very board before the Harden trade.........we had already acquired both Lin and Asik.....most poster's including myself were predicting somewhere between 25 and 30 wins. most of us called Asik's stats right on the money. many of us were off on Lin's, he produced less than forecasted. however when looking at last years projections and where we ended up the only difference maker I see that changed the equation was Harden. you can not discount the value of having top flight talent

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    I did not say asik was better or more valuable than harden and we needed both to make the playoffs. Without harden for a season would hurt us far more than asik because you cannot replace his overall production but for that damage control would become complete destruction without asik.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    why did we make the playoffs last year?.......one word.......Harden. quite a few teams have decent big men but not enough firepower on the other end to overcome the opposing team..........think about the Bucks, Magic and Detroit......all have good big men, but lack the necessary firepower of a top level scorer. Yes DEFENSE wins championships, but in that same line of thought......you can't expect to win if you can't score. I agree with feelingsupersonic..........our defense last year was damage control. granted Asik control that damage pretty good, but there are several people we could have gotten Asik's production from. there are only a few people in the league who can get on Harden's level or better. Yes Asik was important I'm not trying to take anything away from him........he deserves recognitionfor his play last year....it wasoutstanding, but Harden is our star. if you subtract his 25.9ppg how many wins do you get? do the other players stay consistent enough during the season to put up enough points without him to fall back on? I don't think they would have. face it........last year we were outscoring teams. however there's only so far that will take you. we rode that wave to the playoffs, but faced problems in the playoffs when we met a team we couldn't outscore. I would say Asik was the 2nd MVP on our team last year, but not nearly as important as Harden

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago Lol. Didn't mean to upset anybody. It's easier to find bigs that are defenders than it is to find a guy of Hardens calibre, but from a total impact, I think Asik was the engine of our team. Maybe that's just because we didn't have a quality backup for the center spot. But everybody has their own opinion.
  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Of course harden is more valuable but we have proven we can win games without harden because harden is not our only source of offense, however we were never force to witness a whole game without asik.

  • Cooper says 10 months ago Without harden I think our offense would have been in the bottom half of the league. Our defense was already there take out asik and we are probably just slightly better than sac and charolette. Overall it's just more valuable to have a star offensive player than very good defensive player. There's very few guys that can get 20+ ppg.
  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Okay. If you think it is a pointless debate, why are you in it. I find we have too many pointless debates, but this one interests me. I definitely agree that without asik, we would've been competing with the blazers for 9th seed if not lower.

  • feelingsupersonic says 10 months ago Harden is obviously more important to the Rockets last year, short term and long term. Everyone has a right to an opinion and I respect differing opinions but there is no way anyone could even change my mind nor am I trying to change anyone else's mind. I don't really have time for debates like these.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago So who was more important to our success? Harden or Asik. I think it was Asik. Not that he's a better player, but I think he was crucial with Harden playing horrid defense and Parsons regressing on that end, and both Delfino and Lin were slightly below average on that end. We would have won more games without Harden than without Asik, IMO.
  • thejohnnygold says 10 months ago

    The offense was obviously the focal point of the two and the offense was clearly engineered for multiple contributors. Relatively speaking the defense was damage control.

    Never really thought about it that way, but it's true....sad, but true.

  • feelingsupersonic says 10 months ago The offense was obviously the focal point of the two and the offense was clearly engineered for multiple contributors. Relatively speaking the defense was damage control.
  • Buckko says 10 months ago Asik put us on his back and single handely carry this teams defense to the playoffs while we had many contributors on offense.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago Asiks anchoring of our defense contributed more wins to our team than any other player.
  • CC. says 10 months ago

    I didn't know your alma mater was UT Austin, Rahat. I didn't know LMA got out from there too haha. I'll be attending there Fall 2014 (:

  • Cooper says 10 months ago

    slow down their rebuild how? Philly even with Asik will lose a ton of games this year.

    Well they would still be bad but there are plenty of bad teams and you want the best chance at a top three pick possible this year especially. Not to mention the picks they give up in the trade and the fact they have Noel already at center and would have to give asik a large extension for him to stay even if they did want to keep him.
  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    I agreed with everything you said John except CP3 and harden would be a backcourt nightmare.

  • John P says 10 months ago

    I don't know if you were quoting me buy I have argued many of the above points in my comments before. ...not that other, much more intelligent, minds could have also argued the same.
    Thanks for the points. I agree 100%.
    Asik and Lin leading the 2nd team with Garcia and others would be a great 2nd team to keep the foot on the gas and protect the paint for all 48.

    The conversation about LMA is all coming full circle. Your 3rd option or 4th adn 5th for that matter need to jell together and hopefully pay for only those parts that will be really utilized for the team. Paying 16M of 10M for players where you are 0nly using 8m to 6M of their skills is just not worth it.
    If your third player to add to this team is a CP3 or other super super stud then fine but I don't see that happening any time soon.

    great post

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    it would slow down their rebuild and I was t advocating doing it you said we could have dumped asik to get milsap when it wasnt feasible because Philly was the only team with space and they have no incentive to give up picks for asik.

    slow down their rebuild how? Philly even with Asik will lose a ton of games this year.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    Speed up rebuild? I think you got the wrong idea, they want to be terrible for the next couple years, get wiggins and aron gordon from NOP pick, put them together with MCW and Noels and then suck some more and get another lottery pick. Plus Noels is their center of the future so why would they trade away valuable picks for a guy who is 27, will be past his prime when they are truly competitive and plays a position they have filled.

    Logic, its there for a reason.

    even if we trade Asik to Philly they aren't going to be good next year. also big men often play until late in their careers.......by that measure Asik could have 8-10 years left in the league. I'm sure they plan on making the playoffs between now and then

  • Cooper says 10 months ago

    if we dump Asik for no salary it will cause us to fall back under the salary cap thereby killing our chance to use the full MLE next year in FA........I don't think the Rockets want to do that........also Philly would jump at Asik in a heartbeat. Asik is only 27and would speed up their rebuild

    it would slow down their rebuild and I was t advocating doing it you said we could have dumped asik to get milsap when it wasnt feasible because Philly was the only team with space and they have no incentive to give up picks for asik.
  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Speed up rebuild? I think you got the wrong idea, they want to be terrible for the next couple years, get wiggins and aron gordon from NOP pick, put them together with MCW and Noels and then suck some more and get another lottery pick. Plus Noels is their center of the future so why would they trade away valuable picks for a guy who is 27, will be past his prime when they are truly competitive and plays a position they have filled.

    Logic, its there for a reason.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    There isn't any teams we could dump asik to for no salary back except philly and they don't want him he's too old for their rebuild and only 2yrs left on his deal.

    if we dump Asik for no salary it will cause us to fall back under the salary cap thereby killing our chance to use the full MLE next year in FA........I don't think the Rockets want to do that........also Philly would jump at Asik in a heartbeat. Asik is only 27and would speed up their rebuild

  • Cooper says 10 months ago There isn't any teams we could dump asik to for no salary back except philly and they don't want him he's too old for their rebuild and only 2yrs left on his deal.
  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    I don't see how we could have gotten millsap by now unless we didnt sign Dwight which would be counter productive.

    we have already had offers for Asik.......if we wanted Milsap we could have moved Asik and sign Milsap outright........I bet if we called Philly, the Pelicans or ATL we can still move Asik at our will. problem is we aren't going to give him away for pennies on the dollar

  • Cooper says 10 months ago I don't see how we could have gotten millsap by now unless we didnt sign Dwight which would be counter productive.
  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    If they're going to trade Asik for anyone, it'll be Paul Millsap (once he's eligible to be traded.) He's on one of the best contracts in the league, has 3 point range, and maybe the most surprising RAPM out of anyone.

    C'mon Rahat you're kidding???? if we wanted. Milsap he would already be here. I doubt we backtrack now. give up Asik for Milsap?

    1. the type of player Asik is, is harder the find making him more valuable. if Asik were on the open market he could expect a salary in the 12 mil a year range........much like L-Sanders did this year. that would be down grading an asset.I doubt Morey does that. if Morey is interested in anybody on ATL's team it's Horford.

    2. I don't believe Milsap to be an upgradeover our 2nd year players( T-Jones/D-Mo) Yes he's more polished now, but why pay 9 mil for a player who isn't a long term answer............. if you are saying he is the long termanswer then why pay 9 mil per when you can get his production for what we have for 3 mil a year in D-Mo and T-Jones.

    3. ATL would love to get Asik, but unless it's in a deal for Horford...........NO THANKS. their Ideal plan would be to move Horford to PF. Grabbing Asik would allow them to do that, but they don't have something we want that they are also willing to give up unless it's draft picks.....which I doubt because I think the Rockets want to stay above the cap this year so they can use the full MLE in FA next year. so we don't need a salary dump trade. not to mention Milsap makes more than Asik on the cap.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago Of course I'm not sold that we will trade at all.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago Okay. I guess you do believe that. I disagree, but we can't trade for Millsap for a few months anyways so we will probably have until the deadline to decide who would be better. Plus there's been rumblings about LMA is working on his 3 point shot. I think LMA will vault into superstar category this year with a better supporting cast. I mean he had Hickson as his starting center.
  • Rahat Huq says 10 months ago

    Okay, so he has 3 point range...............................................................

    For his entire career, so since 2006 he is 31 of 113................For those of you who don't have a calculator that's 27.4%.

    If you can explain to me how that proves he has 3 point range, I'd appreciate it.

    As to your other two points, I agree.

    He shot 13 of 39 last year for 33%. Not great, but indicative that some range is there. Went 9 of 23 for 39% back in 2011. The career totals are brought down from the first few years of his career where he barely hit (and barely took) any. 1/3, 0/4, 0/4, 1/9 his first four years.

    Since then, his attempts and percentages have drastically gone up: 9/23, 7/31, 13/39 the last three years. Contrast that with LMA who has hovered around .10% for the past few years after 31% back in 2009.

    Millsap strikes me as a Patrick Patterson extended range candidate - a guy you could easily see stepping out and developing a three point shot.

    Not that you ever want to acquire someone hoping that they change - but if you are going to trade for a power forward, at that pricetag, with that RAPM, that's a better bet than Aldridge.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago

    If they're going to trade Asik for anyone, it'll be Paul Millsap (once he's eligible to be traded.) He's on one of the best contracts in the league, has 3 point range, and maybe the most surprising RAPM out of anyone.

    Okay, so he has 3 point range...............................................................

    For his entire career, so since 2006 he is 31 of 113................For those of you who don't have a calculator that's 27.4%.

    If you can explain to me how that proves he has 3 point range, I'd appreciate it.

    As to your other two points, I agree.

  • Rahat Huq says 10 months ago

    If they're going to trade Asik for anyone, it'll be Paul Millsap (once he's eligible to be traded.) He's on one of the best contracts in the league, has 3 point range, and maybe the most surprising RAPM out of anyone.

  • Alituro says 10 months ago

    Whether or not you could generate that shot, or the threat of it, with enough frequency to justify 16 mil a year is another story entirely.

    Spot on.

  • Chichos says 10 months ago

    VSZqD4l.jpg
    ^^^ The percent of shots the Rockets took from 3-23 feet is the lowest in NBA history. That has to be by design. And by who's design? Morey's of course. Has Morey signed a single player in the last year who isn't a center or a 3 point shot specialist? Except for one defensive specialist (and that was a vet minimum signing) absolutely not. Also LMA last season attempted 60% of the mid range shots of the entire Rockets roster. And he scored 0.3 points per shot less than the Rockets roster did from 3 point range. Does anyone want to see the Rockets attempting 18% more of the worst shot in the NBA? Not me.

    Basically I believe that it is fairly obvious that Morey is not signing any non-center who depends on the two point shot.

    You are ignoring the Expected Value of the shot depending on offensive set, time left on clock, and space to the closest defender (things sportsVU shows) yes the Rockets shot fewer 2 pointers in aggregate but each situation has different expected values. If an uncontested LMA midrange jumper is netting you 1.2 points per possession having that shot as your third action would be devastating.

    Whether or not you could generate that shot, or the threat of it, with enough frequency to justify 16 mil a year is another story entirely. I agree with you that LMA is the wrong guys for the Rockets, but only because of the purchase price not the product.

  • Cooper says 10 months ago Really like Drummond and Monroe, they could actually use a guy like Jennings not necisarilly smith and Jennings though.
  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    The Pistons are very talented. I'd be very surprised if they miss the playoffs. If cheeks can put together a system that utilizes their talent, they'll give Miami a run.

    did you say the Pistons..............the Detroit Pistons? the teams that plays in the motor city? the one with J-Smith and B-Jennings? I DOUBT IT....Miami will leave them looking for the licenseplate of that truck that just ran them over :lol:

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago The Pistons are very talented. I'd be very surprised if they miss the playoffs. If cheeks can put together a system that utilizes their talent, they'll give Miami a run.
  • Cooper says 10 months ago If you win championships I'd feel pretty safe saying you are getting value out of your players, the heat are doing it the celtics did it the spurs have as did the lakers. Okc has gotten close. The NBA is the only league where stars have such a large impact, you may not get the absolute best out of your three stars every game but you aren't going to get the best out of 2 8mill players every game either at the end of the day talent wins out. It's obviously not realistic the rockets end up with a third star but given the chance at one you can't say no. The new collective bargaining agreement won't change stars teaming up it will just keep good to very good players from near max salaries and deals longer than 3 years more often there will always be a dumars to sign ridiculous contracts.
  • Alituro says 10 months ago

    NorEastern,
    While midrange shots are less efficient, there is value in being able to hit "bad" shots. Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony have built careers on that skill. What the advanced stat movement has done, however, is reveal that those shots should NEVER be option number one.
    What needs to be quantified is how midrange shooting contributes to maintaining scoring against elite or locked-in defenses.
    Based on anecdotal evidence--the Rockets' offensive struggles at the end of close games last year; James Harden's no-show against the Heat in the Finals two years ago--I would say that the insistence on taking threes and layups is counterproductive in those situations and leads to forced shots and turnovers.
    To take the statistical argument to the extreme, I would say that since the dunk is the best shot in basketball, smart GM's would acquire nothing but dunkers, and they would attempt a dunk on every possession. But the reality is that while a dunk is goal no. 1 in any offensive set (unless you're down three), they are not always available. The same goes for corner threes and layups. You have to be able to score when options 1 and 2 are taken away.

    The bottom line is, we basically don't have any idea of our roster's proficiency at mid-range shots... Meaning it's absolutely no stretch to say that any of Harden, Lin, Parsons, Garcia, Jones, Motie, Williams, Casspi, Brewer and Beverley couldn't hit that shot at around a 45% clip or better. We just don't know because the sample size is too small. In a system where a Harden step-back fadeaway 3 (contested) is preferred as option 2 over a mid-range shot, more often than not, 24 seconds is enough to find at least that shot. If we add a proficient mid-range shooter (which we may already have), in order to fit into the system, he will be asked to not look for that shot as the primary option and if he insists on taking it often anyway, his touches will be reduced because all 4 of the other players on the floor buy into the team's philosophy. Chemistry killer.

    If you sign a player like LMA whose GREATEST strength is the mid-range shot, and you ask him not to take it, then it's a waste of our money and his talents. Especially if it's at the expense of 2 players whose stats are greater, combined, than the one you are trading for and who fit and buy into the current system.. Basically what Rahat is saying..

  • Jeby says 10 months ago

    NorEastern,
    While midrange shots are less efficient, there is value in being able to hit "bad" shots. Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony have built careers on that skill. What the advanced stat movement has done, however, is reveal that those shots should NEVER be option number one.
    What needs to be quantified is how midrange shooting contributes to maintaining scoring against elite or locked-in defenses.
    Based on anecdotal evidence--the Rockets' offensive struggles at the end of close games last year; James Harden's no-show against the Heat in the Finals two years ago--I would say that the insistence on taking threes and layups is counterproductive in those situations and leads to forced shots and turnovers.
    To take the statistical argument to the extreme, I would say that since the dunk is the best shot in basketball, smart GM's would acquire nothing but dunkers, and they would attempt a dunk on every possession. But the reality is that while a dunk is goal no. 1 in any offensive set (unless you're down three), they are not always available. The same goes for corner threes and layups. You have to be able to score when options 1 and 2 are taken away.

  • NorEastern says 10 months ago

    VSZqD4l.jpg
    ^^^ The percent of shots the Rockets took from 3-23 feet is the lowest in NBA history. That has to be by design. And by who's design? Morey's of course. Has Morey signed a single player in the last year who isn't a center or a 3 point shot specialist? Except for one defensive specialist (and that was a vet minimum signing) absolutely not. Also LMA last season attempted 60% of the mid range shots of the entire Rockets roster. And he scored 0.3 points per shot less than the Rockets roster did from 3 point range. Does anyone want to see the Rockets attempting 18% more of the worst shot in the NBA? Not me.

    Basically I believe that it is fairly obvious that Morey is not signing any non-center who depends on the two point shot.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Seriously LMA and Houston Rockets not going to happen.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    Wade, lebron, a rim protector and a good PG, well I'll be damned. We all would be. Pardon the language please.

    This is the reason I'm excited and scared if bynum is fully healthy and lebron goes back to Cleveland. Just change wade to kyrie and have a superb supporting cast.

  • Journeymany says 10 months ago

    I'm not sure why, but y'all still aren't listening to what Rahat is actually saying. Yes, you can make the theoretical salaries fit. Yes, you could make the spacing work. BUT his biggest point is that you don't get value for money - which some of you simply don't want to look at.

    Somebody said there's 80 plays per game average in the NBA - sure, but you gotta remember, the bench takes about 25 of those, leaving about 55 for the starters. If you have a guy like Harden, who probably takes around 20 of those, then Howard, who's a center so probably around 13, that's 33 right there. 22 left for the other 3 guys, and basketball just doesn't work that 1 guy can also take close to 20 of those leaving the other 2 guys standing around. Your 3rd, 4th, and 5th options are more likely gonna take 10, 7, 5 shots. Let's be generous and say LMA takes 12 shots and is true shooting about 60%. He doesn't shoot 3's or get to the line much, so that means he's averaging14 points a game. Howard's gonna eat most of the rebounds, so his rebounds are probably down to maybe 7 a game.

    Now is 14 and 7 good? Sure it is, but you could probably get that, or close to it, from BOTH of Lin and Asik. Or to put it another way, if you're Miami and you had the option to trade Bosh for Lin, Asik and another player, you'd take it and laugh all the way to your next title.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    Can we just forget about LMA? Really the guy is good at making the worst shot in basketball. He scored last season 0.3 points per shot less than the Rockets as a team scored from beyond the 3 point line. Do you think that Morey is ignorant of this stat? LMA is a dinosaur and that type of player will be rare a decade from now. So just forget about him.

    I disagree. LMA is no dinosaur. dinosaurs don't average 21ppg 9rpg

  • NorEastern says 10 months ago

    Can we just forget about LMA? Really the guy is good at making the worst shot in basketball. He scored last season 0.3 points per shot less than the Rockets as a team scored from beyond the 3 point line. Do you think that Morey is ignorant of this stat? LMA is a dinosaur and that type of player will be rare a decade from now. So just forget about him.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    ^I feel we're past that phase of amassing talent. Now, we want fit.

    the thought of fit.................the reason Boston's big 4 worked (don't forget Rondo) is KG, Allen and Pierce didn't need to operate in the same areas of the floor to be effective. KG had his area. so did Piecre, and Allen floated outside the 3 point line. now on theother hand Miami's big three struggled because of 2 reasons 1. Wade and Lebron both need the ball.......much like Harden and Lin, and they both operate in the same parts of the floor....it took time to work the chemistry out between them because of that. 2. because Bosh is a range shooting 4......he actually needed some of the space both Lebron and Wade need to operate......if he was a low post player he would be perfect for them. ALL of Miami's players need to be somewhere near the top of the key for their best moves. this is why they are forever looking for 3 point shooters. they need someone who can draw players away from the top of the key area so their stars can work. whenever their 3 point shooters go cold teams pack the paint to prevent drives and they struggle unless Lebron is able to go all world. THIS IS WHY LMA WILL WORK........LMA is a range shooting 4 Howard is a post 5 (he scores most of his points at the rim)......they would be much like the twin tower concept of Ralph and Dream. they don't need to be in the same areas thereby causing separation and spacing on the floor, yet each star is in their sweet spots. this means in order for a team to double Howard the help must come from a wing.....opening up the 3 pointer. Harden's game is flexible enough because of his ball handling skills to turn this combination into a deadly threesome. Howard at the basket......LMA on the opposite side about 12 feet out and Harden on the outside......I could run a million plays off that. I don't know where this point of there aren't enough shots comes from.......most teams shoot 80 times on average in a game and that doesn't even count foul where the bucket was missed. that's plenty..............................I would also add.......Miami's 3 max stars would get paid much more than our 3 max stars........Harden's max isn't equal to any of Miami's stars and neither is LMA so we wouldn't be in the same fix as them. I agree there is only so much Les is willing to exceed the tax threshold, but this combination will work if managed properly and I trust Morey is able to do that.

  • Buckko says 10 months ago

    I wan to see LA fans hype up on kobe and melo joining together and creating a situation worst than the dwightmare. Sorry off-topic, I just can't stand lakers, they are so arrogant and irritating.

  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    I don't know if we have overwhelming talent, but I know that Dallas clearly didn't have overwhelming talent and still won. in fact you look at the 4 teams they beat out that year , only the Blazers you can clearly say they had an talent advantage, everyone else was at best a wash and mostly likely worse .

    Overwhelming talent still need to be made to work. Kobe + Melo is overwhelming talent, but it's also likely a hilarious disaster for example.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago I Somewhat agree, but I mean do we have overwhelming talent? I think we have less talent than OKC had against Miami and they lost. We don't have a Pop/Phil level coach to bridge that gap. Harden is a one way player. If the deal makes sense we should make it. The best fit/talent would probably be Ibaka. Trading Lin/Asik for Ibaka would help both teams. Of course Durant would have to move to the 4 permanently for that to work. And I'm not so sure OKC would want to lose Ibaka after choosing him over Harden.
  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    Rahat,
    Thought exercise...
    OKC offers Westbrook for Lin and Jones. Would you do it?

    yes but why would OKC do it.

    (its not the greatest fit for Houston either but they clearly won out like bandits in terms of talent swap.)

  • Rahat Huq says 10 months ago

    ^I feel we're past that phase of amassing talent. Now, we want fit.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago

    Yea but that's because Jones isn't really much of anything right now. But let's say Jones develops into a player whose production is worthy of 8million, or, half of Westbrook's salary. (Maybe 16 and 8?) I keep Lin and Jones.


    But you have to think about how much easier to find Lin/Jones level players versus a top 10 player. You try and amass talent and worry about fit later.
  • Rahat Huq says 10 months ago

    Rahat,
    Thought exercise...
    OKC offers Westbrook for Lin and Jones. Would you do it?

    Yea but that's because Jones isn't really much of anything right now. But let's say Jones develops into a player whose production is worthy of 8million, or, half of Westbrook's salary. (Maybe 16 and 8?) I keep Lin and Jones.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago I stopped reading after you tried to give a lecture on economics.
  • Stephen says 10 months ago

    Rahat,
    Thought exercise...
    OKC offers Westbrook for Lin and Jones. Would you do it?

  • Buckko says 10 months ago Basically summarized, it's better to have a couple good paid role players than one max player reduced to a role player. LMA could never replace asik and lins combine game and stats. Now face it for aldrige fans, it's just a fantasy and I don't even need to talk about our cap space or lack of wanted trade pieces.
  • Red94 says 10 months ago New post: More on Aldridge
    By: rahat huq

    I wrote this morning some thoughts on LaMarcus Aldridge.  A reader writes:

    Quote:

    As for the salary Cap,it's been blown.the only options the Rockets have the next two yrs is via trade or the Draft.

    I should clarify.  My contention with theoretically paying Aldridge $16million does not stem from a desire to preserve space or from a fear of reaching some limit already not reached.  As the reader said, the cap has already been blown.  My contention with an Aldridge play pertains to salary allocation.  If we accept the premise that Les Alexander probably will not too greatly exceed the luxury tax threshold--if at all--(which I think is a very reasonable assumption), then we can envision a finite limit or threshold above which the Rockets will not exceed.  Having set this limit, our desire is in distributing available dollars in a manner which ensures the greatest utility or enjoyment.

    For example, I love cake.  If I have $100, I could potentially spend all of it on cake.  But after a certain point of expenditures, I'm not really getting the same enjoyment out of the cake.  I'd derive more happiness spending some of the money on a new pair of pants or something.

    While crude, that's how I look at allocating the cap.  It is my opinion that in the modern collective bargaining era, the threshold of diminished returns is experienced after the second max-dollar offensive star.  That is to say, if you had no other max-dollar offensive stars, or just Harden, you'd derive full utility out of someone like LaMarcus Aldridge.  But if you already have Dwight Howard and James Harden on your roster, you're not getting your full money's worth.  The third guy isn't getting enough touches to maximize his capabilities and justify what you're paying him.  To extend the analogy, it's like how stuffing your face with pie doesn't taste as heavenly after the first few slices.

    It is my belief that the most effective model of salary allocation is having two max players, followed by two players each earning in the $8million range (as the Rockets currently have.)  Those latter two players will still be able to produce at a rate respective to their salaries.  That's not the case for a max-dollar player.  The more that usage% dips, the less bang you're getting for your buck, and that's inevitably the case for a third option.

    One might point to the Celtics, but I'd counter that they were a unique blend of talents who complemented each other's abilities.  Pierce handled the ball, Allen came off screens, and Garnett was the greatest team defender since Bill Russell.  It fit.  On the other hand, while we like to think of Dwight Howard as the "just rebound and defend" Garnett-type Kobe wanted him to be, the reality is that he's going to want his fair share of touches in the post.  And of course there's Harden.  That would leave Aldridge just cleaning up the leftovers, from the midrange.  I think there's better ways to use $16million.  And there are cheaper ways to space the floor.

    Again, it's not about saving room.  It's about getting the highest rate of production out of the money you're spending.  I don't think having three offensive stars allows that.

    **

    An interesting discussion arose in the wake of the Heat's second championship in three years.  Did it validate the three star model or did their performance serve as an indictment?  On the one hand, they had three stars...and they won.  On the other hand, they had the greatest player of his generation--potentially of all-time--at the peak of his career, and they still barely won.  If those other two guys were earning their pay, shouldn't the Heat, in theory, have cruised past everyone on their way to the championship?  Bosh came up huge in that last game, but overall, wouldn't they have looked better with Asik and someone else making $8million?

    A reader writes:

    Quote:

    Also the 3-23 jumper isn't going anywhere that's too much wasted space to just completely ignore if you have guys that shoot well from there then you let them take the shots.

    I should be clear.  I'm not against midrange shots nor do I think Morey is, not to the point of "completely ignoring" them.  But what I do think is that they're secondary options.  It's ok if you have someone like Patrick Patterson, on a rookie deal, taking them; it's ok if you have Marc Gasol, who does so much of everything else, taking them.  But paying someone a huge chunk of your cap to pretty much only take midrange jumpers is something I don't think Daryl Morey would do.  (Aldridge led the league in midrange jumpers.)

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    when it come to LMA some of you guys could not be further off base

    1.THE MONEY.....if we move Lin and Asik in a deal for LMA it will actually save the Rockets enough money that they would almost fall back under the salary cap....Lin and Asik combined cap hit is 16.6......LMA makes a little over 14 mil next year. so the Rockets will reduce their cap number by almost 2 mil. however the following year is where the Rockets would reap a windfall profit. while Lin's and Asik's cap hits remain the same their combined salary jumps to 30 mil.....14.4 mil over what LMA will be getting paid.......that's cold hard cash the Rockets wouldn't have to pay out.......how can you view that as not being an advantage?

    2. TEAM CHEMISTRY......I keep hearing some of you talk about Morey and the Rockets as a whole not liking the midrange shot. nothing could be further from the truth. the Rockets tailored their offense to 3 pointers and rim shots because they thought that was the way to maximize the talent on the roster. they didn't have a deadly 2 point shooter so they didn't shoot them. they didn't hate 2 point shots when Scola was here because he shot them at an effective clip. same will happen in case of LMA. he shoots them at an effective clip so the Rockets would be foolish to waste histalents in that area.as more and more teams go to the moneyball strategy......defenses will evolve to better control these areas of the floor. to keep them off balance we're going to need someone who can shoot the midrange shot............................also I keep hearing this 48 minutes of top line defense angle to justify Asik being on this team. this is another reason LMA is the perfect answer. how many teams have a backup center as good as LMA? yet that approach still allows us to maximize how our money is being spent in relation to talent use. 8 mil is to much to pay for backups.........it's just that simple

  • Alituro says 10 months ago

    I think one problem with pursuing LMA, is that there are not enough shots to go around to utilize our players to the maximum. Especially if we start Lin, we have him, Harden and Howard who are going to demand the ball often to score, and to some extent, Parsons as well. Harden should be in the upper 20s and Howard in mid to low 20s and Lin and Parsons are going to try and throw in high teens or even scratch 20 (points per game). That doesn't leave much for LMA, and even if he does nudge into the twenties himself, it's going to come at a cost. The cost being efficiency in that those points are going to come from the worst spots on the floor.
    Right now our depth charts are set up so we can play essentially the same style ball throughout the game with the major differences being only the number on the jersey of a player in a particular spot. Our parts are interchangeable. Throw in a guy who works at 15-18' from the basket, and all of a sudden our parts are not as complementary anymore. It will force players to give pause, and thus an edge to their opponent if they have to adjust in their minds for LMA being on the floor.

    .....Annnnnd if you are giving Lin and Asik for LMA, you are giving up 23pts, 15rbds and 7 assists from two players who are suited for our current system and get back 21pts, 9rbds and 3 assists in a player likely to be a misfit.

    LMA has been one of my favorite non-Rocket over the years and in the past was yearning for a trade for him. Now we've got a contender built up and I just don't think he'd fit.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago Good defenses will take the three and the layup away. I know a lot of you are stat guys to the exclusion of everything else. But just because something is inefficient as the first or second option doesn't mean it's worthless. One of the smartest coaches in the league is Pop and TP shoots a good percentage from midrange. The SA offense is very balanced. Green/Leonard are their 3 point men. TP and TD are their midrange/layup guys and Splitter is their PnR guy. I may be wrong, but a balanced offense is essential in the playoffs.
  • Cooper says 10 months ago I would echo the point that cap for Aldrige is irelevant we don't have cap either way and still wouldn't be in the lux tax just yet with Aldrige, whether you think he's a good fit or not is a reasonable objection. Also the 3-23 jumper isn't going anywhere that's too much wasted space to just completely ignore if you have guys that shoot well from there then you let them take the shots. Parsons will never be a 20ppg player you have to be a lights out scorer to get 20 per game these days.
  • Stephen says 10 months ago

    Rahat,
    There are many arguments against Aldridge being a bad fit,but money is not one of them. Esp after saying Morey wouldn't want to spend the money on an All-Star starting PF,but he'd be willing to make the his third highest paid player a BACK-UP PG?
    We're talking Salary Cap dollars,not real salary,as next Season Asik will be paid just $1mil less than Aldridge.
    As for the salary Cap,it's been blown.the only options the Rockets have the next two yrs is via trade or the Draft. Howard and Harden make over $34mil this yr,$36mil next.Keeping Lin and Asik adds almost another $17mil to Cap and that's $51-53mil right there. Add in Parsons,even at $8mil,and the Rockets have blown past the Cap w/just 5 players.(Which is why Parson will get paid by the Rockets,unless Motie or Jones explodes. Having a hole at PF and zero Cap space to sign a replacement SF,the Rockets will have to pay Parsons. Just as Morey felt he had to overpay Scola.)
    Beverly,Motie,Jones,Canaan adds another $5mil.
    The cost of paying Aldridge over Asik and the other player(s) sent with him-in the unlikely event such happens-only impacts the Rockets from a Cap standpoint in by swapping the full MLE for the much smaller Lux Player Exception. Which as we've seen in Miami,LA and elsewhere,is attractive enough to get quality bench vets.

  • NorEastern says 10 months ago

    Sigh. The era of the 3-23 foot mid ranged shot is over. It is the worst shot in basketball. Why anyone would want LMA on this team is beyond me. He may have three point range, or he may not. His career stats do not hint at three point range.

    Parsons however is an interesting topic. With Howard how many more open 3 point shots is he going to get each game?

    wD11kVp.jpg

    If the PF cannot keep Howard from the rim, the center cannot cut off Hardens penetration. That leaves the SF as the only viable option to stop a Harden layup. If Parsons gets three more open corner treys a game he will score 20 ppg. We shall see.

  • RollingWave says 10 months ago

    I guess maybe Aldridge could change his game and start taking more 3s, but when's the last time you see a player as established like that make dramatic changes to his game in his prime? (without some dramatic changes in the game rules.)