I’m the cornerstone of this blog. Everyone else is a role writer.

See what I did there? Couldn’t resist! Now that everyone has had a chance to simmer down slightly, let’s attempt to have a somewhat rational conversation about what has recently transpired.

Harden’s quote

He shouldn’t have said it. Regardless of how truthful the statement is, almost all people would agree that it was better left unsaid. Human beings are fascinating and fickle creatures. For some reason we can be perfectly content with knowing something, but blow a gasket when someone has the temerity to say what we all know. When deconstructed, this behavior seems strange, even hypocritical. Nevertheless, for the purposes of maintaining relationships, it is a social and professional code to which everyone adheres.

For instance, your boss is more important to your organization than you are. He just is. The CEO of your organization is more important than your boss, and definitely more important than you. Every person in your company shares this opinion. No one is fooling themselves into thinking otherwise. However, the CEO is unlikely to publicly announce his/her more important position relative to you. He/she will not send an all staff e-mail proclaiming that he/she is the most important person in the company and that everyone else less important. Nor will the CEO tell anyone this in person. Doing so makes his/her subordinates think poorly of him/her and damages the morale of the company. In fact, most people in such positions will go out of their way to appear humble and “like everyone else.” CEOs might, for instance, work with their subordinates in completing some menial task such as setting up or cleaning up.

Similarly, the most attractive person in a group of friends is not going to tell everyone else that he/she is the most attractive, even though everyone knows. The smartest student in a group is not going to tell everyone else that he/she is the smartest, even though everyone knows. And the best player on a basketball team is not going to tell his teammates that he is the best, even though everyone knows. Except that he did. Oops.

The back-patting side of me feels vindicated because I actually wrote about this exact scenario, referencing when my former boss told our then office that he was a visionary while the rest of us were worker bees. Regarding the Rockets’ “inferior” players, I wrote, “They don’t feel like their roles are valued. They think their role is just to run around until the more important guy isn’t tired any more.” Harden’s quote, unfortunately, seemed to dovetail with these sentiments perfectly, and it doesn’t speak well of the team’s chemistry.

All that being said, I still don’t think it’s a big deal. Far worse mistakes have been made in far worse contexts. Bruised egos have healed before. If anything, this might be the catalyst required for the team to directly address its issues related to its institutional culture.

Everyone hates the Houston Rockets

Not really. I completely understand that, through the lens of Houston Rockets fans, it can seem like the team is being attacked from all sides. That’s the inside-out perspective. However, the outside-in perspective is that… well, there just aren’t that many people looking in from the outside. This is a Google Trends chart for the Rockets, Howard, and Harden.

Cornerstone

Click for a full-size version

The reference point for interest is when the Rockets lost Game 6 to the Trailblazers. Nothing in the past 90 days has come close to reaching that level of interest in the Rockets. Lin’s trade to the Lakers comes in second (for the Rockets), at not even 40% as much interest as Game 6. Howard’s episode with the underage woman created about 50% as much interest for himself as Game 6 did for the Rockets. And then we have Harden’s recent quote. You can see the very tiny bump it created at the very end of the chart, generating something like 10% of the interest for himself as Game 6 did for the Rockets. The attention the Rockets receiving matters to us, as insiders. But to outsiders, it’s just a blip.

I understand the feeling of camaraderie that being portrayed as an antagonist can create, and “nobody likes us” certainly has been an effective rallying cry for many organizations. But let’s not lose perspective, here. There’s enough spin out there in internet land; we don’t need to contribute to it.

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Total comments: 57
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Bringing this back to the original post, here is a quote from Bill Simmons' most recent article:

    In basketball, you play only five guys at once, so one elite player carries inordinate influence. Ideally, everyone falls into different roles — most contenders feature an alpha-dog scorer/creator (LeBron, Durant, Griffin, whomever), along with a second scorer and/or distributor as his running mate, then an interior defender/rebounder, two or three shooters and some role players.

    LINK

    Ever since this hubbub about "role players" I've noticed that everyone uses the phrase. So, why does Harden get blasted for it? We all agree that, being a star, a target, and a team leader he should have been more judicious with his words. I just can't stomach the hypocrisy. Everyone's casting stones for sins they commit themselves.

    The fact of the matter is they are all "role players". Harden's role is to score, score, and score some more. I don't care if he is a "star", is in funny commercials, or makes top ten lists. Dwight's role? Dominate the paint on both ends of the floor. We can't give Dwight the ball at the opposing baseline, have him dribble it up, and then be the ball handler in a pick n roll. That would be awesomely terrible to watch. :lol: That's not hisrole.

    I get the social caveats. I understand why we live in a society of little white lies. It is our culture. Everyone is special. :wub:

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    Philly may or may not stick with MCW, however he is unlikely to get moved this season. Hinkie is not trying to win yet. as for Rondo the Celtics also aren't ready to win. problem is their PG is. if they move him it leaves them searching to some degree, but like Philly they are still a couple of years from putting a good team on the floor so the investment would not be worth it at this point. as for the Nets and Prokorov....they would love nothing more than to ship Williams off to another team. problem is William's salary. if Bledsoe is having trouble getting 15 mil per why in the world would another team be looking to acquire Williams at 21 mil per. Williams contract has become an anvil that is currently drowning the Nets. on Rubio...you must haven't read that Rubio is pushing Minny for a max contract. I don't believe he is the answer for them, but they do. on Burke......Utah played much better after Burke's return from injury last year. he may or may not be the answer, but I think Utah will take a year to answer that question before seeking an upgrade. as for the Lakers. they would love nothing more than to upgrade their PG position. problem is they have nothing to trade. the PG market is flooded right now

  • Steven says 1 month ago Canaan > Rondo.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I agree that is cheap for Rondo, but in a soft market what would be reasonable? even with adding a couple of teams to the hypothetical market it still leaves over 2 thirds of the league out of the PG searching business for right now. I would call that opportunity knocking

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    The more I think about it, if you're Danny Ainge, you absolutely have to jump on a Pelicans pick+Canaan package for Rondo, right?

    That seems awful cheap. :unsure: If that was all it cost I think Morey would tie a bow around Canaan and he'd be on the first plane to Boston.

    I agree with RocketRick that the market is a little bigger than Houston and Detroit. If the price to get him is as low as RBF thinks then I believe more people will start bidding (which will drive the price right back up). Just because Milwaukee inked Kendall Marshall and Jerryd Bayless doesn't mean they wouldn't jump on Dragic (who might enjoy Milwaukee with it's bevy of euro players--they could be the "Northern Spurs").

  • Red94 says 1 month ago

    The more I think about it, if you're Danny Ainge, you absolutely have to jump on a Pelicans pick+Canaan package for Rondo, right?

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick
    to show you what I mean when I say the PG market is soft I have listed the teams who think they have their PG and the team that are probably looking to upgrade the position.

    Philly = MCW
    Celtics = Rondo
    Knicks =
    Nets = Williams
    Raptors = Lowry
    Bucks =
    Bulls = Rose
    Cavs = Kyrie
    Pacers =
    Pistons =
    Hawks = Teague
    Heat =
    Hornets = Walker
    Magic = Oladipo
    Wizards = Wall
    Jazz = Burke
    Nuggets = Lawson
    Thunder = Westbrook
    T-Wolves = Rubio
    Portland = Lillard
    Clippers = Paul
    Warriors = Curry
    Kings = Collison
    Lakers =
    Suns = Bledsoe/Dragic
    Memphis = Conley
    Dallas =
    Pelicans = Holiday
    Spurs = Parker
    Rockets =

    I left the ones blank I think would be looking for a PG upgrade. of the 30 teams in the league only 8 IMO would be looking to upgrade. of those eight........Knicks, Bucks, Pacers, Pistons, Heat, Lakers, Dallas and Houston only Pistons and Houston have the assets to chase a PG through trade. that's a soft market


    Philly has opportunities to make moves and MCW might or might not be the answer for the next 3-4 seasons. After his surprising output in his rookie season, he could be ripe to sell for max value. I'm not convinced he's a long term solution for Philly at PG.

    Celtics have multiple opportunities to make moves and I personally would be shocked to see the Celtics re-sign Rondo as their PG for the next 4-5 years.

    Nets and Prokorov's bottomless wallet and Deron Williams injury history informs me that anything is possible.

    I'm not convinced Trey Burke is a long term solution for Utah who can make some moves at some point.

    Rubio? Just exactly what has he been able to accomplish in the NBA? A truly disappointing Euro League player if there was ever one that had all the pub but (still) no outside shot, etc.

    Lakers are the Lakers. Probably a total churn of their roster upcoming in the near future after Kobe bows out.

    I do agree though with one of your prior posts that the PF cupboard is currently quite bare. So should the Rockets choose a few months patience to see what opportunities may arise in December - February time period? Or do the Rockets go all in with their chips on a Dragic or Bledsoe?

    We shall see together and will have reasonable debates in the meantime.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    to show you what I mean when I say the PG market is soft I have listed the teams who think they have their PG and the team that are probably looking to upgrade the position.

    Philly = MCW

    Celtics = Rondo

    Knicks =

    Nets = Williams

    Raptors = Lowry

    Bucks =

    Bulls = Rose

    Cavs = Kyrie

    Pacers =

    Pistons =

    Hawks = Teague

    Heat =

    Hornets = Walker

    Magic = Oladipo

    Wizards = Wall

    Jazz = Burke

    Nuggets = Lawson

    Thunder = Westbrook

    T-Wolves = Rubio

    Portland = Lillard

    Clippers = Paul

    Warriors = Curry

    Kings = Collison

    Lakers =

    Suns = Bledsoe/Dragic

    Memphis = Conley

    Dallas =

    Pelicans = Holiday

    Spurs = Parker

    Rockets =

    I left the ones blank I think would be looking for a PG upgrade. of the 30 teams in the league only 8 IMO would be looking to upgrade. of those eight........Knicks, Bucks, Pacers, Pistons, Heat, Lakers, Dallas and Houston only Pistons and Houston have the assets to chase a PG through trade. that's a soft market

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    while Dragic or Bledsoe can play SG, that's no go on Rondo. also I don't think most teams are looking for a PG to play their SG spot. small ball is a nice concept, but not everyone is on board especially at the cost of valuable assets.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    to expand on this thought a little more..................PG is one of the deepest positions in the NBA right now. not only the west is loaded, but the east even has it's share at this position. because of this fact PG's aren't worth in trade what they would beif supply was tighter. teams won't even blink an eye at paying 12-14 mil per on a big man, but a PG has to be special to get into this range. WHY? supply and demand. there's a soft market for PG's. Bledsoe is worth up to 14 mil per IMO. he's that special. YES he has had some injury issues, but not enough to deter my interest in him. I said last year when he was being traded to Phoenix we should chase him. he is on the cusp of stardom much like Harden was when we acquired him. with the salary cap expected to rise about 12 mil next year if we obtain Bledsoe now we can still add to the team next year while locking Bledsoe up for the next four.not sowith Dragic or Rondo. they will be seeking a contract after the rise in the cap which may trigger inflated salaries. if we get a chance to obtain Bledsoe we should jump at it. he can solve our PG problems both offensively and defensively. he is capable of being our third star. if I told you...........you could buy a star player for 14 mil per would you take it?.....................I would

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @rocketrick

    I disagree. the reason teams didn't bid on Bledsoe wasn't Phoenix's threat to match. Hayward had no problem getting a max offer sheet. the reason is top quality PG's are not in demand as much as other positions. that's why Boston can't get their asking price on Rondo also. Phoenix knows this. that's why they are playing hard ball with Bledsoe.

    as for the money it would cost to upgrade in this manner. IT'S WORTH IT. IMO an upgrade of this manner makes us a much larger threat to win this year. it's not that I don't like Beverly...........I DO, but I'm not putting what's good for Beverly ahead of what's good for the Rockets. PG is a much bigger issue to me than PF. T-Jones is the future there and I like Capala's possibilities. however PG needs help. I like some of the young unproven studs we have, but no other position can be more impacted with veteran leadership and presence.

  • rocketrick says 1 month ago

    @JG
    I disagree on these 3 PG's attainability. there aren't that many teams looking for a PG upgrade. the Bucks, Dallas, the Pacers, Knicks, Pistons, and the Lakers. of these teams who has enough to trade for Bledsoe, Dragic or Rondo? short answer........the Pistons. there isn't a high demand for premier PG's right now. that's why Bledsoe's situation is unsettled..........nobody is bidding. the teams interested don't have the cap room or assets and the teams who do have the cap room and assets aren't interested. that's driving the price down. if we want one of these players now is the time to strike. young unproven talentis no roadblock to obtaining one of these players to me. if they want Covington, N-Johnson and D-Mo they would be gone if it were left to me. I don't think we need to include a treasure trove of draft picks to get it done. as a matter of fact I don't think we have to get off that much young talent if the Pellies pick is included.


    Bledsoe turned down (so far) Phoenix's last offer of $48 million/4 years. Instead he wants a max $80 million/5-year deal. So obviously Bledsoe and Phoenix are far apart on price. I think what has deterred Bledsoe from receiving offers from other teams is pretty much everyone thinks Phoenix would just match. Probably not too many teams left with the cap room to sign a Bledsoe at this point, either. If Bledsoe doesn't compromise with Phoenix on his contract offer, they still have the $3.7 million qualifying offer for the upcoming season and then afterwards Bledsoe would become an Unrestricted Free Agent and try again next summer for a big contract.

    Dragic will be an Unrestricted Free Agent next summer and I'm sure he is closely watching what happens with the Bledsoe situation. If Phoenix wants to retain Dragic, perhaps they should make a similar $48 million/4 years offer to Dragic.

    Rondo will be an Unrestricted Free Agent next summer and will command a 7 figure salary as well.

    I just think that's too much to spend for a PG with this particular roster. Yes, I too would like to see the Rockets eventually upgrade their PG position but not for $10-$12 million or more per season. Besides I really like Patrick Beverley a lot and I look forward to seeing how he improves his game this offseason. He certainly continues to have the opportunity here and just needs to grab it.

    That kind of money ($10-12 million or more) would be better suited for the right PF that can stretch the floor in my opinion. And like Beverley, Terrance Jones continues to have the opportunity to become that player. They both need to step up their games this upcoming season along with Motiejunas.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Given that both players score very well I think many teams could look at them as SG upgrades with the bonus of having two excellent ball-handlers on the court at the same time and a built in back-up PG should one get injured. There is a lot to like about that and the SG position is much thinner than PG league-wide.

    These teams know what they have and aren't going to sell cheap just to move them....they are willing to wait until the trade deadline to see who gets desperate.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I disagree on these 3 PG's attainability. there aren't that many teams looking for a PG upgrade. the Bucks, Dallas, the Pacers, Knicks, Pistons, and the Lakers. of these teams who has enough to trade for Bledsoe, Dragic or Rondo? short answer........the Pistons. there isn't a high demand for premier PG's right now. that's why Bledsoe's situation is unsettled..........nobody is bidding. the teams interested don't have the cap room or assets and the teams who do have the cap room and assets aren't interested. that's driving the price down. if we want one of these players now is the time to strike. young unproven talentis no roadblock to obtaining one of these players to me. if they want Covington, N-Johnson and D-Mo they would be gone if it were left to me. I don't think we need to include a treasure trove of draft picks to get it done. as a matter of fact I don't think we have to get off that much young talent if the Pellies pick is included.

  • Cooper says 1 month ago

    Trading away your best young player to rebuild seems like something only the kings would do.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Beverly is a solid PG. though I was critical of him, he is a good fit for this team. Yes I expect him to be better this year, but we still need an upgrade. JG I disagree that what we are looking for is unavailable. Dragic or Bledsoe would fit nicely into what we have......Rondo too. I also believe we have the assets to acquire one of the aforementioned PG's. you say those that detest McHale are pushing for the PG upgrade..........that's because I don't trust our coach running our offense

    You know that we both agree on the PG situation. Of course we could get one, but right now the price is very high and, I believe, would ultimately negate the positive addition by subtracting too much depth/talent. Ainge wants a king's ransom. Phoenix....who knows what they are up to, but I have little doubt they are fielding calls from lots of teams about Dragic/Bledsoe. There must be a reason nothing is happening.

    Of the 3, I'm not sold on Bledsoe being the kind of floor general that will automatically improve our offense. Dragic is a risk in that if we trade for him we could wind up with nothing. He will want a max deal next Summer....if Morey doesn't view him as the "third star" there is no way he will trade for him knowing he won't re-sign him after this season.

    Again, it's not that I don't think the upgrade would help--I just think given the current situation we aren't going to acquire one. Maybe things change by the trade deadline. Maybe we get one in free agency after this season. For now, I think we are going to stand pat and that is ok--Beverley is going to do well for us.

    I have also been a staunch supporter for the PG upgrade to offset our "free-flow" offense. I know why the anti-McHale contingent want the upgrade (we've had this discussion multiple times) and I agree with them.

    Do you think emptying the coffers for a potential one-and-done situation at PG is a solid move? I don't. Surely, if Morey could get one of those three PG's for a player and a pick it would already have happened. Those teams are likely demanding some combination of multiple firsts, a star player, and/or multiple prospects. Since the star player is out for us that means a combo of picks and players.

    If I were Phoenix, I would not accept less than 2 1st rd. picks, D-Mo, Nick Johnson, and Covington.

    Boston is in the same boat. Perhaps, once Kevin Love has moved to Cleveland they will be more willing to move Rondo, but that won't come around until the trade deadline and they will likely be fielding multiple offers.

    In this kind of market, I hope Morey does not get impatient. I agree with you that we have the assets. The price just needs to come down first. No need to overpay for a position that is in good shape.

    In the back of my head, I'm waiting for Morey to blow everyone's mind with a deal that somehow nets us DeMarcus Cousins (who has fallen out of trade talks completely) for a bundle of prospects/picks. With him at the 4 (a position he can handle inside and outside) we would have the most fearsome front line in basketball with the SG to boot.

    I know it is a stretch, but if Sacramento is sitting on the outside looking in at the deadline I think they might consider blowing it up. Gay comes off the books after this season and with Cousins shipped out they would have almost nothing on the books and lots of youth to work with. (it's not a PG upgrade, but wow...that would be a heck of a line-up: Beverley, Harden, Ariza, Cousins, and Howard. Nobody wants to face that in the playoffs.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    Beverly is a solid PG. though I was critical of him, he is a good fit for this team. Yes I expect him to be better this year, but we still need an upgrade. JG I disagree that what we are looking for is unavailable. Dragic or Bledsoe would fit nicely into what we have......Rondo too. I also believe we have the assets to acquire one of the aforementioned PG's. you say those that detest McHale are pushing for the PG upgrade..........that's because I don't trust our coach running our offense

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I would argue Beverley is clearly the best overall PG the Rockets have had since the Championships.

    If this is true then we are definitely in great shape moving forward :)

  • timetodienow1234567 says 1 month ago Wow. I disagree completely about Bev. He's a good player and fit next to harden, but I'm not ready to say that he's better than Dragic or Lowry.
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago Count me as one of the few that continue to be a Beverley fan going forward. Is he Chris Paul? Is he Rajon Rondo? Is he Derrick Rose? Is he John Wall or Kyrie Irving?

    The answer is pretty clear................no.

    However, he brings the necessary attitude and belief everytime he laces up his shoes for the next game up.

    I would argue Beverley is clearly the best overall PG the Rockets have had since the Championships.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I hope you guys are right,

    but Beverly is a role player at best.

    Not sure if he is an elite defender.

    Having Dwight on the back end helps when you get beat off the dribble most of the time.

    Our perimeter defense was bad and that was with Beverly playing heavy minutes.

    This what we have at the Point guard position

    Beverly 41% fgm

    Canaan 35% fgm

    Smith 42% fgm, and smith played in 70 games last year for phoenix and avg. 3.7 points a game.

    i think we need upgrade. i like Beverly but man i just don't see any other coach in the league starting him just to hide one player on defense.

    Nobody is saying Beverley isnot a role player, Mr. Harden. Clearly you subscribe to the Bev-is-all-style-and-no-substance stance on his defense (despite the efforts I have made to dig through the numbers and prove that it is more than meets the eye). Truly, I would love to know which PG in the entire league is shutting down his opposition on a nightly basis. You can search all you want--that guy doesn't exist.

    You assert that Beverley played "heavy minutes". Apparently 31.3 mpg is heavy minutes to you. I really thought the threshold was closer to 37-38.

    You isolate our perimeter defense as bad; yet, it was the entirety of our defense and primarily our team defense that was the back-breaker. individual players are going to get beat due to the elite players and the rules that favor them on offense. It's the team defense that must be solid to be successful in the NBA--look no further than Chicago to see it in action.

    If you want to talk fg% you have to include context or your just politicking.

    Yes, Beverley shot 41.4% for the season. What is important in that number is 53% of his attempts were from deep (where he shot 36%). From inside the arc, Beverley shot 47.3%. It's still not great, but let's realize that shooting that many threes will cause your average to dip considerably.

    Canaan, to no one's surprise, shot 63% of his shots from deep. He took about 12% from mid-range (where he shot abysmally) and the rest at the rim where he was a decent 50%. He wasn't a killer, but he was a rookie. He has shown the ability to fill up score sheets and shoot lights out. Maybe we can give him some time to adjust to the NBA--most players need this.

    Ish Smith took about 67% of his shots within 10 feet of the goal and only 8% of his shots were 3's. He shot 57% at the rim (that's good) and 43% from 10-16'. Did you know that when Smith was first on our team he shot 38% from deep? It was a mere 28 games, but he can do it. It's all moot--Smith has the speed and handles to create offense for himself and others.

    By the way, the 70 games/3.7 ppg you mentioned for Smith excluded the 14 mpg he played with a low usg rate. His per 36 numbers were 9 pts, 6 assists, 5 rebs, and 2 steals.

    Again, nobody is saying we have a crop of stud PG's here. We're saying that they can play and help us. Well, I'm saying it. They all have high level skills and abilities and the Rockets chose them for a reason. It wasn't to come in and be the cornerstones of the franchise--it was to fill a role....and that's a good thing.

    Coming in and saying, "Beverley is a role player at best" as if it is some kind of insult or revelation is missing the point entirely. We know he's a role player, and we're glad.

    Yes, the call for a floor general is strong (especially among the "McFail" contingent), but the days of J-Kidd and Steve Nash are gone. Most PG's are shoot-first scoring machines that can draw defenders and then whip a pass to the 3 pt. line or maybe drop it off to a big underneath--that's it. Jason williams--gone. Rajon Rondo--a year away since we aren't trading for him. Dragic--same thing. Rubio--possibly a worse shooter than any of our guys. Chris Paul--not coming here. So, this is the deal. This is who we have. We can pine for a pass-first floor general who is a dead-eye shooter all we want, but they don't grow on trees and there aren't any out there. No, Eric Bledsoe does not fall into that category--he is a scoring PG. Sure, he would upgrade the position but not nearly as much as one might think after considering the drop in usg rate.

    Wait and see. Bev is going to impress this season.

  • datruth says 1 month ago

    I hope you guys are right,

    but Beverly is a role player at best.

    Not sure if he is an elite defender.

    Having Dwight on the back end helps when you get beat off the dribble most of the time.

    Our perimeter defense was bad and that was with Beverly playing heavy minutes.

    This what we have at the Point guard position

    Beverly 41% fgm

    Canaan 35% fgm

    Smith 42% fgm, and smith played in 70 games last year for phoenix and avg. 3.7 points a game.

    i think we need upgrade. i like Beverly but man i just don't see any other coach in the league starting him just to hide one player on defense.

  • Dayak says 1 month ago Even if we get Dragic, i still want Bev to start. He is a good fit next to Harden, but i don't think he is a good playmaker to lead the 2nd unit as a Sixth man.
  • thenit says 1 month ago Bev is a good fit for us but his turnover rate is overrated. His usage is fairly low but also he very rarely initiates the half court offence or drive to the rim and kick it out to a spot up shooter of slot it in for Dwight. If you never really do that of course your turnover average would be low. He is not a playmaker and that is fine for us. We need him to play D and spot up. I'm more concerned over who will initiate the offence when harden sits. Canaan is a prospect but we won't know if he can run an offence and same thing could be said about nick Johnson. I would love to get a vet PG for our bench just to be safe if those players don't pan out.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    Ish Smith is a much improved player from the first time we had him. he has always been a good facilitator, but couldn't shoot. well he's a better shooter now. while he's no S-Curry and will never be......he is much improved if his time in Phoenix is any indicator

  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    Yeah, I don't know much about Ish Smith. Pre-season will go a long way to determine his role on this team.

    Willk, Bev's turnovers will increase some with usage, but I agree he is more responsible with the ball than most.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Willk

    I agree with your point. "we can not have high turnover rates from ancillary players" however I think we can cut down on Harden's turnovers as well by adding a better facilitator to this team

  • Willk says 1 month ago

    I am surprised at how you guys are viewing Beverley's contributions and abilities. His role was to be a floor spacer and spot up from three last season. He was fourth in line for "play making" and it went in this order: Harden, Lin, Parsons....and one could argue that he was fifth behind Howard who was asked to "make plays" in a different way. If anyone wants more evidence of his "role" just check out his usg rates of 15.4% (2013) and 14.8% (2014).

    Is he an elite passer/playmaker? Doubtful, but I've seen him make the same pocket pass that Harden draws raves for. He can hit Dwight with an alley-oop. He can drive and kick.

    According to NBA.com, he led the team in secondary assists per game--that has value (or they wouldn't track it). According to basketball-reference.com, Bev's per36 numbers from his first season had him at 5.9 assists and that plummeted to 3.1 for last season (again signalling the role change). For reference, Lin's per36 assist numbers from the last two seasons: 6.8 (2013) and 5.2 (2014). James Harden? How about per36 numbers of 5.5 (2013) and 5.8 (2014). So, he is right in line with our two best play makers when put into that role.

    I would not be so quick to judge Bev from his assist numbers. He's no Paul or Rondo, but he can manage the offense and distribute the ball. Sure, we can pine for other players, but I think Bev is going to impress and be a solid contributor for us on offense.

    Another thing people are forgetting about is his low turnover rate. With Harden & Howard, you cannot have another high turnover player on the floor. Your superstars are going to have TOs because of how much they touch the ball but your ancillary players cannot have high turnover rates. That was another reason why you had to start Beverley last year.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    don't get me wrong.......I like Beverly. however because I don't want Harden as the primary facilitator I would rather see a high assist caliber PG takeover those duties. Beverly while solid is not a creator. I like him, but am not blindfolded when it comes to sizing up his talent.

  • Buckko says 1 month ago Mmm, interesting stats JG. I'm also curious if Ish smith will be a viable contributor, bench warmer, or training camp casualty. He is a much more pass first PG, but isn't a quality shooter or scorer. We have shooting and scoring, but our 2nd unit does lack a prime playmaker.
  • thejohnnygold says 1 month ago

    I am surprised at how you guys are viewing Beverley's contributions and abilities. His role was to be a floor spacer and spot up from three last season. He was fourth in line for "play making" and it went in this order: Harden, Lin, Parsons....and one could argue that he was fifth behind Howard who was asked to "make plays" in a different way.If anyone wants more evidence of his "role" just check out his usg rates of 15.4% (2013) and 14.8% (2014).

    Is he an elite passer/playmaker? Doubtful, but I've seen him make the same pocket pass that Harden draws raves for. He can hit Dwight with an alley-oop. He can drive and kick.

    According to NBA.com, he led the team in secondary assists per game--that has value (or they wouldn't track it). According to basketball-reference.com, Bev's per36 numbers from his first season had him at 5.9 assists and that plummeted to 3.1 for last season (again signalling the role change). For reference, Lin's per36 assist numbers from the last two seasons: 6.8 (2013) and 5.2 (2014). James Harden? How about per36 numbers of 5.5 (2013) and 5.8 (2014). So, he is right in line with our two best play makers when put into that role.

    I would not be so quick to judge Bev from his assist numbers. He's no Paul or Rondo, but he can manage the offense and distribute the ball. Sure, we can pine for other players, but I think Bev is going to impress and be a solid contributor for us on offense.

  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @SLF

    I agree the assist stat is my biggest problem with Beverly. he doesn't create for others and I'm not satisfied with Harden as our primary facilitator.

  • SadLakerFan says 1 month ago The assist stat is indicative that Beverly is not the answer.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @Steven

    no doubt Canaan will be better than Lin, however that isn't hard to do. I was thinking and upgrade to the starting spot which would create a upgrade at backup. Bledsoe is still unsettled with Phoenix and even if they settle could we get Dragic off them. they just signed I-Thomas. they are unlikely to keep all three at over a 30 mil cap hit........then there's still the Rondo possibility.

  • Steven says 1 month ago Canaan is better then Lin, there is the upgrade at PG.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @datruth

    I agree we need an upgrade at PG, but Beverly is a quality player. YES he has flaws, but he fits with this team. he may not be an offensive juggernaut, but there's no doubt we need his defense. while I too want an upgrade I still want Beverly on this team. as for his growth........in many ways like T-Jones......Beverly saw his first full year as a starter. he will be better from having been around the block before. the more familiar he becomes with the competition the better his personal adjustments will be. Beverly is a late bloomer who for the first time had a chance to spread his wings last year. I'm sure he'll better have the flying thing down this year

  • datruth says 1 month ago

    I forgot another thing he takes 9 shots a game to score 10 points. Folks we need a upgrade.

  • datruth says 1 month ago

    Man, Rockets need to upgrade at Point guard.

    i like his heart, but PBev has played in 97 regular season games.

    and he has played in 12 postseason games.

    His regular season average over the past two years is ..41%

    His playoff average is .41%

    over the past 2 years he average playing over 25 minutes a game, but he only averages 2 assists a game.

    PBEv has played in over 100 games and played heavy minutes,

    i don't really see anything getting better.

    Those are bad numbers coming from any player that averages the minutes that he averages.

    Most of his points come from the corner three on open jumpers.

    PBev benefited from players that drove to the rim and kick the ball out to him so that he could score.

    Two of those players are gone now.

    I disagree that he will improve.

  • Jatman20 says 1 month ago Or the PER posted by Ibaka of last year (19.6)...nothing like a good "farm-system!!" Morey does a good job evaluating talent. Canaan, Troy, Nick Johnson (nice basketball I Q) have a chance to contribute to a greater extent than last year.. Let's not call them "role-players"; they are all, "Super-Stars!!!!" Even the ones with slightly higher than the average PER of 15 (Parsons 15.9). Nothing beats some good playoff experience thou for a win-now-attitude.
  • rockets best fan says 1 month ago

    @JG

    I agree Beverly should see continued growth this year, however I'm still on board for upgrading the PG position. I also think the player who has the biggest potential to break out this year is T-Jones. I felt this past season only scratched the surface of his potential. I expect more than just a step this year.............I expect two steps. he should be at16 and 9 nightly.

  • Jatman20 says 1 month ago I think so Thenit....I was referring to Lin about the jersey-Melo wearing number 7.... Which I commend Lin for later saying it was all about nothing. It would have been better if Morey smoothed things over instead of a Harden tweet; by saying Parsons will be missed; but our team shows great promise still. Emphasis on the continued positives....like (According to BasketballReference.com) Terrence Jones posted a PER of 19.1 last season(Bosh 19.0). I posted before the trading deadline how most of the PF's in the West (Griffin/Z-Bo/Duncan/Ibaka/Nowitzki/Aldridge) would school Jones in the post-season. Now Jones has gained some valuable lessons about playoff basketball.
  • thenit says 1 month ago

    Depends on ones perspective, like an over-hyped movie that leaves you feeling underwhelmed. The Rockets brass sent messages saying they needed to get that third star in order to win. I'm in the belief that "Role Players", such as Beverley/DMo/Terrence will get better. So Hardens comments are meant to counter most individuals current depressed state with the old , "no one is irreplaceable bit." "As long as D12 and I are balling, we have a chance."
    I'm sure that comment is directed to season ticket goers. Harden also recoginizes he was a "Role Player" while with OKC. Just means a complimentary piece.....no harm no foul. People need to get a thicker skin (Lin and Parsons).
    I'm the one who went to the over-hyped movie not expecting much.....and actually felt good about what I saw. Defense wins championships.
    Now the Rockets present defenders at 3 positions (C/SF/PG)......the offense will still be there regardless. BTW I saw Harden in clips from USA basketball game. He looks like he has lost some of the belly fat...... it appears.


    Lin agreed with hardens comments. It was the supposedly dispute between parsons and harden that created this situation.
    The only guy who think parsons is a star is parsons himself.

    Anyways JG I agree with most what you said about Bev, and his biggest asset is his tenacity and self awareness on what he can do and can't do. Therefore he never ends up with the ball in a bad spot. One thing though I don't think he is a good finisher around the rim and absorbing contact. He is better off with that good floater of his.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    The guy who I think is going to surprise is Patrick Beverley. I have said it before, and will continue to do so...the guy has an NBA-caliber offensive game. He doesn't have any elite skills on that side of the ball (aside from grabbing offensive boards, perhaps), but he can shoot from deep, beat his man off the dribble, has a step back jumper, a floater, a runner, a spin move, can initiate contact while finishing, and just needs to work on his left hand (sound familiar?) to round it all out. I think he knows his limitations and will play within those to maximize his effectiveness (Detroit has two guys who don't get this: Jennings and Smith...and that's why they lose a lot...both are actually very good players). I think they will have sets for him working from the wings with guys cutting to the basket/spotting up from either corner. He can make those passes and his floater is soft enough to give easy put-back opportunities for the cutters. Plus, defenders will be focused on Harden/Howard which always helps.

    Since we are all basketball starved here is another one of those "11 minute videos" that we all love. This one has P-Bev's 2014 highlights. It's a lot of spot up threes, but you can see his all-around game if you watch it all. Enjoy.

  • Buckko says 2 months ago

    I feel like harden will truly compete for an MVP this year. He showed us he could definitely crank it up another gear after the ASB and I expect that for the whole season.

  • Jatman20 says 2 months ago Depends on ones perspective, like an over-hyped movie that leaves you feeling underwhelmed. The Rockets brass sent messages saying they needed to get that third star in order to win. I'm in the belief that "Role Players", such as Beverley/DMo/Terrence will get better. So Hardens comments are meant to counter most individuals current depressed state with the old , "no one is irreplaceable bit." "As long as D12 and I are balling, we have a chance."
    I'm sure that comment is directed to season ticket goers. Harden also recoginizes he was a "Role Player" while with OKC. Just means a complimentary piece.....no harm no foul. People need to get a thicker skin (Lin and Parsons).

    I'm the one who went to the over-hyped movie not expecting much.....and actually felt good about what I saw. Defense wins championships.
    Now the Rockets present defenders at 3 positions (C/SF/PG)......the offense will still be there regardless. BTW I saw Harden in clips from USA basketball game. He looks like he has lost some of the belly fat...... it appears.
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @JG

    agreed.................it's all a matter of perspective. most of the writers who put out negative articles watch less than a handful of games a year. to believe what they say is creditable against my own eyes is foolish. the fact that most considered Parsons a risingstar player told me the lack of knowledge they had pertaining to what is really happening within the team and organization. I think some of it was backlash because of our recent run of successful moves. some even have leftover hate for D-!2 or Harden, but the vast majority have very little concrete knowledge because they simply don't watch enough. I seen David Thorpe todaysaid Parsons guarded Durrant better than any other player in the league and started laughing. he must not be paying attention when Durrant is torching us for 30 and 40 point games. he must not have heard Durrant proclaim we couldn't hold him last year while he did it :lol:my point is if you need creditable information about us you're unlikely to find it in a national story. they simply write from past opinions more than current facts

  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    What is positive about this off season? Let me think.......

    Lin is gone. Asik is gone. We got a major defensive upgrade at SF. All of our players have had time to work on their games and improve. Clint Capela. Nick Johnson. Alessandro Gentile. The Hornets' draft pick. A lot of young, hungry players who are going to be fun and exciting to watch. Finding out who the new assistant coach will be. The crazy Lin fans are (mostly) gone. We inked Troy Daniels. The League has not issued any new rules that affect drawing contact fouls at the rim. Despite what most everyone else thinks, we did not get egg on our face by not signing Bosh or Melo. So far, they have not altered the jerseys to anything atrocious. Clutch won the Mascot Leadership Award (yes, that's real). Our rivalry with Dallas just got better. Tim Duncan is a year older. Manu is a year older. Tony Parker is a year older. Kevin Love is going to the Eastern Conference. Kevin Love did not join the Warriors. The Lakers still suck. The Jazz still suck. The Blazers added Chris Kaman. Kevin Durant is likely going to leave OKC in 2 years. We are still a legit title contender with this roster.

    Other than that....yeah, I guess the sky is falling. :P

  • timetodienow1234567 says 2 months ago What is positive about the offseason? Unless you're biased for the rockets, this offseason was a swing and a miss. Now the amount of bad publicity the rockets are getting is a bit much. On the other hand, I have seen positive articles about nick Johnson on bleacherreport.
  • rockets best fan says 2 months ago

    @Richard LI

    good chart, but I agree with JG most Rocket haters already have chosen spots. I think it's not the amount of attention that our main complaint was targeting........it's the fact that all of the press no matter the amount was negative. I can count the articles that gave favorable review to the Rockets on1 hand, while the negative review articles were spread across the web like frosting on a birthday cake. it seemed the media was looking for anything they could to trash the organization and team.

  • Steven says 2 months ago I say Rahat comes in and changes the name of the author of this column to himself. For he is the Godfather. The rest of you writers are just pledges. ;)

    Nice read Richard.
  • thejohnnygold says 2 months ago

    Thanks for the article, Richard. Two thoughts.

    First, you leave out the context that Harden was being askeda question by a reporter not just strolling into the office, locker room, what have you and announcing his greatness. Yes, he could have been more delicate--we all agree there--but I don't think I agree about the severity of it nor the way you paint the picture.

    Second, the Google chart is interesting; however, I am not sure it is representative of the demographic doing the majority of the trash-talking. Most NBA fans who are serious enough about the sport to bother hating Houston already have their go-to sites bookmarked and whatever forums they use locked and loaded. They most likely will not show up here; rather, the casual fans who hear "water cooler" talk will be the ones doing the searching to figure out what other people are talking about.

    Still, I do agree that it is overblown from our perspective. There is a loud, vocal minority that leads the way for those who prefer others do the thinking for them. The bottom line is none of their opinions make any difference in the end.

    Also (in case anyone missed it), Reports are that Parsons and Harden "kissed and made up" in Vegas while practicing with Team USA. I'd lay money that when our first game against them arrives reporters/broadcasters will dredge up the "feud" and ignore the part where they both agreed it was a non-issue and the media was fanning the flames of that fire.

  • Alituro says 2 months ago

    We probably raced against each other, I was on JV two years and then ran part of my third year with varsity before I also lost interest to the party scene. I guess we were just role players on those cross country and track teams no?

    Yes indeed, just role players, case in point: '89-'90 District JV CC meet in Kingwood, 4 miles. I came in 12th in the race, but alas, my points didn't count because I was the 7th to finish on my squad. :o

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago We probably raced against each other, I was on JV two years and then ran part of my third year with varsity before I also lost interest to the party scene. I guess we were just role players on those cross country and track teams no?
  • Alituro says 2 months ago


    Alituro I remember McCollough. I ran for Humble from 1988 to 1990 in cross country, the 800, the mile and two mile. Y'all were dominant for sure.

    Brother! Cool, I'm sure we've shared the same field at some point. I got out of CC in '90 never better than JV squad. I can honestly say that outside of my parents, my coach was without a doubt the single most influential figure in my life, bar none. Even at that young age as I exited athletics for the partying scene, his voice was always the bug in my ear telling me to keep it cool. He taught me to give everything my best effort or don't bother doing it if I wasn't willing too.

  • feelingsupersonic says 2 months ago I agree with the part that it's just not news, or at most a blip. Watching basketball for a long time now I have to say in another era what Harden said would go unnoticed. One because normal media coverage is an absurd distortion of reality oftentimes and two because people are just too dang sensitive. Why would I worry about Harden's teammates feelings about what he said that was taken out of context? I like basketball not soap operas, just let the lockerroom do what it does.

    Alituro I remember McCollough. I ran for Humble from 1988 to 1990 in cross country, the 800, the mile and two mile. Y'all were dominant for sure.
  • Jeby says 2 months ago

    You're right Richard. I'll just stick to writing about corner threes.

  • Alituro says 2 months ago

    Apparently that blip in interest is caused by vulture hacks (not you, Richard) hungry for news, any news. Damn this is a slow time of year for an NBA fan.

    Unfortunately big egos are a huge component of professional athletes, and tact is not. While a certain individual may have taken to pouting and moping after hearing this from the team leader, I think these guys will rise to the challenge to prove they are more than just role players. Let's hope this lights a fire under their ass. I ran Cross Country in HS, and our coach was an accomplished marathoner as well as being a legendary coach. During the middle of a 5:30 mile in a workout, he would race up from the back of the pack and scream in your ear: "I'm an old man, and I'm running circles around you (he was) pick it up, get your ass in gear!" only to continue to the front of the pack where guys were running sub-5 minutes to do the same, and drop back to the 6 minutes guys and freshmen, rinse and repeat. ALL. DAY. LONG. EVERY. DAY. The result was district and state championships and 7/14 guys on our varsity squad earning all-american honors. McCullough '89-'90.