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...]
In today’s episode, we picked our team MVP and LVP for 2014.
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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).
Management quickly moved to secure head coach Kevin McHale’s seat shortly after the team’s ouster from the postseason in the first round. I speculated at the time that the move was more a show of cohesion on the public front (with the team very much in the free agent market) rather than an actual show of confidence in McHale’s abilities. After all, even national observers scratched their heads collectively over some of Houston’s strategic miscues. I noted, at times, the team did not even appear to have a gameplan, appearing lost defensively; and there was, of course, the last play of the season.
But to delegate the assignment of “learning to use a clipboard” as McHale’s summer task would be unfairly reductive and an improper commentary upon the head man’s role within the organization. After all, he’s respected, liked by both his star players, and by all accounts, in ownership of full faith in his lockerroom. And he brought Dwight Howard to Houston. Those things are of tremendous value.