The Daily Blast – February 21, 2013

T-Rob Pros– To get an idea of how happy Rockets fans should be over yesterday’s trade that brought Thomas Robinson to town, look no further than the sadness of Kings fans. From

All in all – it’s a pretty disgusting below the belt punch from the Maloof family, who already had King fans on the ropes. Don’t get me wrong – Patterson is a very solid player who King fans will grow to love (hopefully long term, if the Kings are to remain) – but the Kings are the clear loser in this deal – the price too steep to pay.

Sentiments are similar at Sactown Royalty:

On a personal note, I am livid about this trade. It seems the Maloofs and Petrie found a way to stick it to Kings fans at least one more time.

And then there’s this nugget from the city’s flagship publication, the Sacramento Bee:

Robinson was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. The Kings were ecstatic to select him as they had him rated No. 2 on their draft board.

And finally, here’s some of what John Hollinger’s player profile (ESPN Insider) said about Robinson at the start of the season:

Robinson also has some skill to get shots at the basket, especially posting up or making quick moves off the dribble. He is a bit short for a 4 and shot only 50 percent on 2s, an indication that he may have some issues finishing against size. Similarly, his other stats are more solid than great.

Still, he’s such an overwhelming force on the glass that he almost can’t help but be a productive NBA power forward, and he is athletic enough that his game may evolve in several directions.

After the break: the cons.

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in columns

Why Houston won the Thomas Robinson trade

In the moments before last night’s thrilling victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, climactic word began to seep through the internet that the Houston Rockets had unsurprisingly become one of trading season’s first participants. It started with word that Marcus Morris was inactive; when Kevin McHale was questioned by the local media about it, he quipped “ask Daryl.” [read more…]

in essays

I didn’t expect to win this game when I knew the Thunder would be determined to win after losing 2 in a row.  I didn’t expect to win this game upon hearing about the Thomas Robinson trade, an impressive move which nevertheless meant that Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas, all rotation players on this team, never took the court as they departed to their new homes.  I didn’t expect to win this game when Chandler Parsons turned his right ankle past the midway point of the third quarter and had to be helped off the court.  And I certainly didn’t expect to win this game when the Thunder had a 109-97 lead with under six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

All of this is because I am but a mere worthless insect, unworthy to behold the sight of James Harden submitting not just the greatest performance by a Rocket this season, but submitting arguably the best game by any player in the league this season, and yes, that includes another King James.  A new career high of 46 points on 19 shots, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and while I have always been someone to favor the moneyball belief of “clutch is a statistic”, tonight was an absolutely inspired performance at the end of this game which made me a believer for one night.

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in game coverage

According to reports from several outlets, Thomas Robinson (this year’s 5th overall pick out of Kansas) is headed to the Rockets from Sacramento, Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich are headed to the Kings, and Marcus Morris will reunite with his brother in Phoenix in exchange for a second round pick. Tyler Honeycutt and Francisco Garcia are also headed to Houston.

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Update: ESPN reports Rockets are also sending $1 million to the Kings.

Update – Rapid comparison of strengths weaknesses of the two headliner PF’s in this trade: Thomas Robinson averages the exact same number of rebounds as Patterson (4.7) in ten fewer minutes per game, but Patterson bests Robinson in nearly every other category–PER: 15.68 versus 10.88 , True Shooting Percentage: 57% versus 45%, and Turnover Ratio 7.4 % versus 17.3%.

in musings

The All Star festivities are over and the players from 28 of the teams have headed back on the road to wherever the schedule may take them. When the dust cloud lifts, the Thunder and the Rockets will have assembled to take to the court for a game that, one would hope, should show a few more signs of defensive discipline than the dunk-fests that preceded it. The All-Star Break is an oasis of rest amidst the desert of recovery time that is the regular season grind. The question is, will the players return sharp from the lay-off or rusty from the partying?

The Thunder reached the All-Star Break on their worst losing streak of the season. This sounds like a promising sign until you hear the length of that streak – 2 games. A team that has not lost back-to-back games all year will certainly not be expecting to lose a third on the bounce. They will come into this game with a clean bill of health and with Durant and Westbrook keen to build on the feel-good vibes surrounding the weekend.

The Rockets dropped their final game before the break to the Clippers – tough opponents at the best of times but even more daunting a prospect without the services of Harden. The Bearded One didn’t seem overly affected by his ankle over the weekend, so he should be ready to play. It remains to be seen whether Toney Douglas will have recovered from the hip pointer he suffered against Portland, but with Patrick Beverley there to step in there isn’t much lost in the Rockets’ rotation. [read more…]

in game coverage

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