Matt Bullard mentioned on the broadcast last night that the Rockets shouldn’t just bring in Marcus Morris and immediately run ISO plays for him. It’s not possible for me to disagree any more with that statement. As I’ve explained in the past, Morris’ only value to the team is as a one-on-one scorer. That’s why they drafted him and why they hope to convert him to the ‘3’. He isn’t a player like Chandler Parsons or Patrick Patterson who can be on the floor and help the team in other ways. It’s a waste of everyone’s time having him out there and not feeding him the ball. In the third, when Marcus Camby went out (more on this below), the team’s offense completely fell apart. It’s too late this year, but without a star on the roster, a scorer like Morris is the type of guy the team needs to implement into its lineup going forward. In the clip above, we see Morris make two big-time NBA moves. First, he pivots and spins into a turnaround, hitting a shot that noone on this roster–Scola included–has in their arsenal. Next, he comes down, smoothly crosses over and nails the pull-up jumper, demonstrating that the hard work he has put in on his ball-handling has paid off. The points came in garbage time and were meaningless. But they are a small glimpse of what Morris can provide. Without isolation options in the lineup, the Rockets are forced to explore paths like Patterson in the post; teams can’t run motion sets every trip down. Hopefully next year, Morris will get his chance.
- As I mentioned above, the team fell apart when Camby exited. It flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but watching things closely, perhaps just simply due to the dropoff, I think Camby’s greater value to this team is on the offensive end. McHale likes to position him at the free throw line and bring Dragic around a pick; after the pass-back, Camby plays quarterback, feeding teammates from the high post. With Dalembert in the game, the Rockets have the center roll to the hoop as he can’t make those same passes. The only problem is that Bert is no Amare Stoudemire and hence you see some of the problems the team faces offensively at the ‘5’.
- Speaking of Dally, I wrote last week “to get used to the Camby/Dally” duo and that the team couldn’t be getting much better than this combo. I have to take this back. Dally’s drastic dropoff since the demotion combined with Dragic’s increased pricetag points towards the team likely waiving the former this summer. Depending on other variables (draft picks, Motiejunas), without Dalembert, the team could have roughly $12million of wiggle room with which to manufacture a trade. Bringing him back would bring them down to around $5million. Given his recent play, and the increasing confidence in Camby, I think the braintrust will opt to just give Greg Smith his shot.
- I do still think the team will make the postseason. Hey, they are what they are. A pretty good team that’s not as good as they have looked at times. It’s frustrating but it’s a reminder why one should not live off the highs and lows of the streaks within a season. The bigger concern is the club’s upward trajectory and path to improvement, a topic I’ve harped on ad nauseum at Red94. I’ll spare you the rant for now until May rolls around.
- The Rockets will give it another shot tonight at Toyota Center against those same Nuggets.