• So this was odd.  ESPNs Brian Windhorst reports on some apparent acrimony between former Heat teammates Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Lebron James, with the two holdovers presumably harboring some resentment towards the league’s best player.  It’s understandable that Wade and Bosh may be hurt a bit by how things played out, with James leaving, but…really?  This is where self-awareness is invaluable.  Wade reportedly stated in a recent interview that “he didn’t have fun last season”, leading one to wonder if that might not have been the case had he actually suited up for a majority of the team’s games.  As for Bosh, this gives rise to an interesting question.  Would he have preferred James stay, causing him to sign for just $10mill-$13million, or would he prefer the rich $120million extension he landed upon James’ departure?  
  • We touched a little on the Kevin Durant injury in this week’s podcast (which, as will be the case with all future podcasts, is embedded into the sidebar to the right of the page), unexpectedly finding ourselves in stark disagreement over the ramifications.  I think the Thunder toil along at .500 until Durant returns, digging a hole for themselves that will ultimately prove insurmountable.  My esteemed colleague felt OKC wouldn’t really miss much of a beat, except against the league’s elite.  Regardless of how things ultimately play out, the gap between Houston and the Thunder is larger than most around here believe, and that gap has only widened since the departure of key players this summer.
  • As excited as I am for the season, it’s a bit discouraging to realize we again are back at the “waiting game” we thought would be over by this point in time.  Any honest observer knows this team, as currently composed, cannot compete for a championship, without some significant addition.  Most feel that addition will eventually come, but developing chemistry with that missing piece will also take up valuable time.

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in columns

It’s been three years since the Rockets played their last NBA game, and even an ugly preseason game is like a sip of sweet water in the desert. Well, it may have only been a few months, and the water may not have been that sweet, but a grudge match win over a division rival in the Dallas Mavericks is a relief for the Houston Rockets and their fans. It was among the longest and most grueling affairs ever to unfold in preseason, and may have ended on a comical, if appropriate, note, but a win is a win. Even if the win doesn’t matter.

Why was the game so ugly? There had been 49 fouls by the end of the first half, and the game ended with a total of 81. The Rockets and Mavs split 109 free throws, with the Rockets hitting only 64% of theirs. The game came in at three hours long and featured Dwight Howard fouling out in under sixteen minutes of play. The Rockets couldn’t buy a bucket to save their lives in the first half, and for much of the game Howard led the team in free throw percent with 50%. It was a horrible, awful, no-good game… that the Rockets ended up winning.

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in game coverage

The new NBA season is just around the corner, and it can’t come soon enough. It’s time to get ready for the next chapter in Houston Rockets history, and therefore it’s time to make serson predictions. Until the first game ends, everyone starts out undefeated and all the potential is untapped. But what will the Rockets look like at the end of the year?

The most direct question is also the most obvious. How many games will the Rockets win? A simple question with a simple answer, right? Simple? Yes. Easy? Nope. Predicting wins in most seasons is hard enough as it is, but with the off-season the Rockets have had, the challenge is doubled. Challenge or no, there’s an answer to that question and a process to that answer. [read more…]

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The Red94 Podcast: Episode 56

In today’s episode, we picked our team MVP and LVP for 2014.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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ericbledsoe

You can read Part 2 of this series here.

Initially, a reader has taken great exception to the fact this discussion (continued on this week’s podcast) has not made mention of Bledsoe’s troubling injury history.  I’ll dissect that matter in the next installment.

In Part 2, I compared Eric Bledsoe’s defensive stats with those of Pat Beverley’s, concluding the two players were comparable on that end of the floor.  Offense is trickier.  In that assessment, Beverley was a logical starting point because a) he’s the incumbent, but b) he’s elite.  With whom do I compare Bledsoe on offense?  I could do Rondo, under the discussion of trade target preference, but is Rondo the true opportunity cost?  Again, I think the best bet here again is Beverley.  If we understand the degree of disparity between Bledsoe and Beverley on offense, already having concluded similar value defensively, we can gauge Bledsoe’s reasonable market worth.  (I’m fully aware I could just compare him to both Rondo and Beverley, but I don’t have that kind of time).

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