- Those who had felt the buzzing, warm feelings of connection after first hearing Carmelo Anthony wanted the Houston Rockets to be his next stop should prepare for the inevitable heartbreak associated with loving someone so popular: he doesn’t want us anymore. Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears reports that Anthony wants to live it up in the big city, Babe-style, and has now listed only the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls as preferred destinations. While Morey may be able to melt ice sculptures with a stare and sprinkle the magic dust that causes second-rounders’ PERs to skyrocket, even he may have little to no chance of making this one work, a deal many Rockets fans question Morey even wanted to make happen. As Rockets fans begin to settle in to a roster that may stay together for a little longer now, the newly revamped (and vastly improved) Bulls are left wondering something a lot similar to the Rockets: is he even worth it? By the Horns‘ Matt McHale wonders whether the Nuggets wing is even markedly better than Chicago’s current inefficient former All-Star playing the 3: “Which begs the question: Is Anthony an upgrade from Deng? I can hear the howls of dismay already, but bear with me for a minute. Yes, ‘Melo scores more than Deng (about 11 PPG more last season). But his Usage Rate is 33.4 (third in the league behind Dwyane Wade and LeBron) to Deng’s 21.9. Denver’s offense runs through Anthony, and he was carte blanche to shoot the ball. Not so for Luol. Furthermore, Anthony shot the ball less efficiently than Deng. Last season, ‘Melo’s Effective Field Goal Percentage was .478, while Deng’s was .482… It might also be worth stating that Luol’s career field goal percentage (.474) is higher than Anthony’s (.459). Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that Deng is a better scorer. It’s clear that Anthony has the more complete offensive skill set. What I’m saying is that his shooting efficiency is lower than Deng’s and his PPG stats almost certainly benefit from extra looks.” Read More
As has surely been apparent, I’ve been beefing up the roster for the past month in preparation for what is expected to be a turnaround year for the Houston Rockets. Accordingly, I’m excited to introduce Huay-Bing Law, the newest addition to the team. As the Red94 video editor, Huay will compile highlights from each game next season for embedding within Rockets Daily. In addition, he will produce a weekly ‘Top 10′ and a ‘Player of the Month’ feature. He also has an on-the-ground interview piece in development for the season.
- In Istanbul, there is a man playing the best basketball in the world. Well, he’s scoring a lot of points anyway. Primarily against one of the NBA’s best post defenders in Anderson Varejao, Luis Scola channeled the divine and poured 37 points upon the heads of the weary Brazilians, who watched the lumbering power forward hit every shot he took in the fourth quarter. The Scolaratti certainly have had their arguments in favor of the Divine Argentine’s contract validated by his ridiculously impressive showing in the World Championship, but a few have noted that the incredibly high usage rate of Scola by his national team may leave his energy depleted going into the season (although Daryl Morey seems to think he’s doing just fine). Regardless of contract talk, Scola’s brilliance in this tournament cannot be denied, and as he flourishes in his prime, ESPN’s Chris Sheridan notes that almost nothing can go wrong for Scola right now: “Scola then was fouled on the ensuing inbounds play with 1.2 seconds left (in the game), made the first free throw and tried to intentionally miss the second in order to let the clock run out. Instead, it banked off the glass and went in to provide the final 4-point margin.”
- I’ve never been mistaken as being hard-working, but I’m certainly not lazy either: I arise promptly at 5 on a daily basis, weekends included, and I shower regularly without fail. Yet one domain where my ethic, or perhaps more appropriately, will, is lacking is that of food preparation. I just don’t have the stomach to spend even more than the bare minimum amount of time to create a meal. (Yes, the pun was intended.) I think it goes back to a compulsive need to over-rationalize all of my daily actions. I feel dirty spending more than five minutes preparing a sandwich that will take 30 seconds to consume, regardless of the enjoyment. This mentality is very unhealthy. In fact, I should probably seek help of some sort. Nevertheless, due to this intrusive thought process, most of my home-prepared meals taste like utter ****. (This is no way to live.) For most of my adult life, a sandwich consisted of two pieces of bread, a slice of meat, a slice of cheese, and some mayo. I never took the time to cut up vegetables. Even the shredded pre-packaged ones, I was just too lazy to have to unzip and zip another bag in that process of meal preparation. Anyways, I decided to go to the edge a bit last week and treat myself to a bag of shredded lettuce. Things were looking up regarding some circumstances in my life and I thought “why not live a little?” I sprinkled it on and by God, the taste of that first sandwich was orgasmic. (ok, it wasn’t really that great, but when you’ve been eating what amounts to cardboard for the last 25 years, your taste buds gain a certain sensitivity.) I’ve been using lettuce ever since and have a newfound enjoyment for lunch. Which leads me to my main point which I’ll create another bullet for…
- The final highlight of McGrady as a Rocket was appropriately brutal. For a man that had made “Houston Rockets” a YouTube search staple thanks to his ability to do things people shouldn’t be able to in 35 seconds, coming across the lane and putting one in the face of Tyrus Thomas should not have been an accomplishment that had to be lauded or elicited much hope. But, in 08-09, after weeks of questioning whether this team’s Big Three (such a mistake in concept that sports memorabilia are probably the best ways to have ever seen the three of them together) would ever be able to see the court together, seeing No. 1 springboard, even awkwardly and jarringly, anywhere felt downright inspirational. Things could be done. Line-ups could be penciled in. Titles could be discussed. Alas, looking back, it wasn’t much of a highlight. He looks unsure every moment of the drive, even as he saunters past Luol Deng, and almost falls backward after the dunk, barely avoiding the hovering Thomas’ hands that would have inevitably turned this last moment of glory into the demoralization it would eventually cause. The team’s reaction certainly couldn’t be called victorious; Yao Ming seems genuinely confused as to what has just taken place, and young contributors like Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry just seemed shocked, realizing that guy they saw in Adidas ads as a Magic really was their teammate. Only McGrady saw redemption in this moment, as evidenced in the sneer he projects a little too long in the face of Thomas, as maybe Tracy thought this was only the first of many jangling dunks en route to his first ring, or at least playoff success. As depressing and hollow as Tracy McGrady’s career has been, there isn’t much more tragic than looking at the high hopes of someone so obviously doomed. Read More