On the Durant injury

I forgot to include this in my blurb this morning, possibly due to the angst from which I scrambled to describe the Rockets’ three-guard sets.  But the Durant injury, as you all know, is not an insignificant development.  At the current timeline, he’ll be back prior to the postseason.  At what level of effectiveness is anyone’s guess.  This is not to say the Warriors are no longer the favorite to win the NBA championship.  But teams like San Antonio and Houston are still very much alive.

This takes me back to the argument I’ve been making dating back to last season: sometimes, it suffices to “just be good enough.”  Many argued this offseason that loading up on expensive signings was an exercise in futility in light of the seeming inevitability of Golden State’s ascension.  The same futility was cited at the deadline in arguing against relinquishing future picks.  I’ve maintained that aspiring to be #2 is a pretty good goal.  After all, anything can happen to #1.

The odds are that Durant comes back in time, shakes off the rust, and the Warriors cruise to the Finals.  But what if he’s not right?  What if he can’t make it back?  I’d hate to know the Rockets didn’t go all in when it was there for the taking, especially in a year when we have the league’s best offensive player.  Last year proved that opportunity should not be taken for granted.

in essays

More on Lou Williams, Ibaka

  • Watching these past few games, even in spite of the choke job against the Pacers, it is immediately evident how immaculate this team’s construction has become, in light of the Lou Williams trade.  I thought to myself last night, I don’t think even Serge Ibaka–who I had hoped the team would pursue–would have made as much sense as Williams.  In watching, Williams looks like such an obvious addition.  They rid themselves of their only poor scorer, in Corey Brewer, and cleaned the floor.  Now they have, at all times, a pick and roll scorer, shooters, a stretch ‘4’ in either Anderson or Dekker, and a roll-man in Capela/Harrell/Nene.  D’Antoni has slid up everyone one position (Beverley to the ‘2’, Gordon or Williams sometimes to the ‘3’, Dekker to the ‘4’, and Harrell to the ‘5’) and as a result, created a fast, aggressive juggernaut with shooters all over the court.  Harden’s unit speaks for itself, but every bench unit is a 3-guard iteration of some sort, flanked by Dekker who is faster than any opposing power forward.  Sure the rebounding suffers, but as I wrote the other day, who cares?  They’ll get beat on the boards every now and then but run teams off the court on most every other night.  You live with that tradeoff.

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in musings

The Rockets when losing

 WinsLosses
OREB%24.524.5
DREB%76.175.0
REB%51.347.0
FG%48.042.7
3P%38.930.2

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