I sit down in this most recent episode with Mike Pina to preview the upcoming NBA season.






in multimedia
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Ball Don’t Lie’s Houston Rockets season preview is pretty much a must-read.  A snippet:

Omer Asik, as much as those legs can handle, will be given starter quality minutes in Kevin McHale’s system. The former Bulls center’s fouling rate dropped significantly in his second season in 2011-12, and his defensive presence improved, somehow. This is a player that, by himself, could halve Houston’s 17th ranking in defensive efficiency — and yes, we’re aware that the Rockets field a backcourt of Lin and Kevin Martin amongst a group of rookies and youngsters. If Asik can play around 2600 minutes in total this season and come through with an approximation of his Chicago effectiveness in spite of the fatigue that comes from the minutes increase, you could have a real haughty column in his defense on your hands come May, when Dwight Howard walks away with another Defensive Player of the Year award.






in musings
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via Daryl Morey’s twitter (@DMorey):

More preseason info: @ScottMachado is leading all players in NBA preseason in assists per teammate FGM & assists per touch

We’ve known for some time that the Rockets track their own proprietary metrics in various nonconventional categories.  (For instance, if memory serves, they ranked Tracy McGrady at tops in the league in hockey assists, a stat which perfectly correlated with the ‘eye test.’)

The above was of particular interest due to my own observations on Machado.  On October 14th, in recapping the match against the Spurs, I wrote:

I thought Scott Machado looked tremendous running the second unit.  At one point I counted consecutive direct basket assists from him in the second half.  I think you’ll probably see him as the backup at shooting guard.  Keep in mind, though, I haven’t seen Livingston at point yet.

I’ve only watched two games this preseason.  (I’m not switching providers nor will I be pestering my existent provider.)  Machado played in one; Douglas the other.  From what I saw, Machado was far more impressive.  My understanding, however, is that Douglas will man the backup spot.

Machado has this uncanny knack for finding, not just the open man, but the open man in scoring position.  It’s a rare talent.

If it were up to me, I would be playing Machado, along with White, along with anyone else under 23 who has a chance to help this team when it once again matters.  But it’s not up to me.

 






in musings
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  • Patrick Patterson has definitely improved.  By the third, as I write this, he had hit a three pointer, and made two fluid jump hooks.  He couldn’t have dreamed of either task last year when his wrist seemed as if it was made of stone.  I predicted that Pat would lose his starting spot by January.  But if he keeps it up, who knows?  We know for sure, the Rockets love his defense which is borderline elite in some aspects.
  • Terrence Jones reminds me a little bit of Carl Landry’s rookie year the way he seems to jump out of his shoes at times.  But unlike Landry, he can handle the ball a little bit too.  Notice how he’ll get low when dribbling, something uncommon for big men who are uncomfortable in that position.
  • I thought Jeremy Lin looked awful.  Then I looked at the scoreboard and saw he had 11 assists.  He airballed a few shot attempts, lending weight to the theory that what has hindered him is the recovering leg.

[read more…]






in game coverage
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Red94 is looking for some new contributors

As I said yesterday, I’ll be running this request until November.  I’m looking for a few new contributors to the blog, primarily to assist with postgame recaps.  If you have something else in mind which you’d like to contribute, feel free to include a pitch on that as well.  If you’re interested, drop me a line at rahathuq@red94.net with a writing sample attached.

A note: Several of you yesterday expressed a concern that while you were interested in contributing, you did not have CSN.  That’s fine.  I’ll be at every home game, so until this dispute is settled, my on-site recaps will have to suffice.  We’ll just have to do without road game discussion in the meantime.  It’s not ideal, but I don’t see any other way around it.  (Aside from the legality issues surrounding the online feeds, they are just too much of a hassle to ask anyone to deal with.)






in from the editor
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