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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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About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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