More on Donatas Motiejunas and Dwight Howard

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I previously wrote about the differences between Donatas Motiejunas and Dwight Howard. Defensively, they are comparable. Offensively, DMo is much more capable. I dug up some additional data that supports the latter conclusion.

In the first piece I wrote, I mentioned that DMo’s FG% increases by almost three percentage points when he dribbles, whereas Howard’s decreases by almost six percentage points. This suggests that DMo is much better at putting the ball on the floor, such as posting up or driving, than Howard is. It also means that Howard should concentrate on catching and finishing, rather than manufacturing offense himself. Amazingly, despite these differences, Howard still dribbles and holds the ball more than DMo and almost every other center.

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in essays
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Wait…Dragic can be had for a draft pick?

There it is.  For months now, there’s been speculation surrounding this sort of thing, but no concrete report until now.  I’m shocked….but I’m not?  I had given up hope completely some weeks ago that Phoenix would part with its star point guard, but after their recent slide, it looks like maybe they’re seeing the writing on the wall.  If they think they’re going to miss the playoffs, and might lose Dragic anyway, it’s better to deal him now.  The logic makes sense but damn, I didn’t think it would come to this.  If I were Phoenix, I’d be looking to deal either Eric Bledsoe or Isaiah Thomas, either of whom could fetch more than Dragic on the market, for the sole fact that those two players are locked into long-term deals.  Then I’d ante up for Dragic in the summer.  Why sell low on Goran in such a terrible market?  But hell, why am I rationalizing this?  If they’re really thinking of dealing him, I’m in.

To those who were asking me, this is of course as close to a no-brainer as it gets.  While it’s true that you may not want to go “all in” this year, given Dwight Howard’s health, if you’re not willing to go “all in” in the year that you have the MVP, when the hell will you?  Moreover, Houston won’t be able to create the type of cap space it would require to acquire a player of this caliber in the summer in free agency without gutting its team.  And until they get that “third guy”, they remain in that holding pattern of needing to value flexibility.  For once, they have enviable depth.  If they can lock up that third guy, they can start going over the cap to keep other pieces around instead of letting guys walk.

What would it take?  The Pelicans pick and I’d bet one of either Terrence Jones or Big Papa.  If they can keep Jones, you’re looking at a rotation of James “the MVP” Harden, Goran Dragic, and Pat Beverley in the backcourt, Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer on the wings, and Dwight Howard, Donatas Motiejunas, Josh Smith, and Terrence Jones up front.  Oh my god, my mouth is watering.  Please God let this happen.  For all of the heartache I experienced this summer when we didn’t get Bosh, please God let this happen.  While there would certainly be questions over whether Dragic and Harden could share the ball together, it would not be the awkward fit the Beard and Rajon Rondo would have been had the latter been acquired by Morey, given that Dragic can actually shoot.  And besides that, we’re at a point where we can’t worry about that.  This team desperately needs a second ball-handler.  But you don’t need me to sell you on Dragic, so enough on that.

The question is whether this can happen.  Who else out there even wants a point guard?  And a rental at that.  The only other team that was looking for a point guard was Dallas and they just got Rondo.  (Do you get now why Morey didn’t push his chips forward for Rondo?  This is for all the Mavs fans that swamped my timeline gloating about Cuban getting over on Morey.  Wait, I shouldn’t gloat yet, this hasn’t happened.)  Other than that, there’s no one out there willing to part with real assets for Dragic.  So essentially, I’d think this just simply comes down to whether Phoenix wants to deal.  If they do, as the report indicates, I don’t see any other destination but Houston.






in musings
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It’s time for the All-Star break, a good week-long breather in which the sport of basketball is celebrated and teams can forget about stupid losses. The Rockets, minus Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones, lost a stupid game to the Clippers, minus Blake Griffin. Why did the Rockets lose this game? Oh, so many reasons. There’s a huge pile of causes for a loss that was equal parts disappointing and boring. They all sort of combine together like Voltron to point their sword at Houston’s 1-11 record vs the Clippers in the past four seasons.

James Harden, true to form, had a terrible game. No, not his everyday amazing form, his form against the Los Angeles Clippers. His 3-12 shooting actually brought down his career 35% field goal percentage against the Clips, and missing all 7 threes of course lowered his 25% three point shooting. The Clippers seem to have Harden’s number, or he just happens to always be massively hung over in Los Angeles, or he always has food poisoning or something, because his numbers are abysmal against this team. His 5 rebounds and 6 assists were mediocre for him, and his 3 steals were the only part of the night worth remembering for him. The quicker he drops this 9 point outing from his memory, the better.

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in game coverage
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[sponsored] James Harden t-shirt giveaway

Red94 has teamed up with Levelwear just in time for All-Star weekend.  Levelwear is an officially licensed vendor with the NBA with a focus on player graphic product.  Here is their James Harden collection; this is just the All-Star collection, but much more is yet to come.  Here is some more of their stuff:

RocketsStrikeForce HardenSinister

Levelwear is giving away two Harden all-star tees.  To enter the giveaway, like their page, and comment on the photo posted.  And if you just decide to purchase on your own, enter RED94 at checkout for 15% off.






in from the editor






in multimedia
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