Dwight Howard made it clear during his interview (look in yesterday’s Daily if you missed it).  “We’ve got to get a win. A good win.” At this point, the drama of the off-season should be well out of sight in the rear-view mirror. It’s possible to manufacture storylines for this game, but the Rockets don’t need any. This is the easy stretch of the schedule, the time when their supposed to rack up wins and build up the feel-good team chemistry that will propel them to greater heights. The task at hand should be story enough.

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in game coverage

If you had asked me yesterday whether I think James Harden might reach the stratospheric level that LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul are currently playing at, I’d’ve probably just looked at you funny. But then I plotted his Game Score data over his entire career (just as I did last week for Dwight Howard), and now the idea doesn’t seem so wild.

Harden career in summary_1-8-14

(Reminder: Game Score is a statistic invented by John Hollinger and available from Basketball-Reference that aggregates all of a player’s box-score statistics into a single performance metric.)

There are two really encouraging things about this chart:
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in essays

The Rockets Daily – January 8, 2013

Down But Not Out – David Barron of the Chronicle’s Ultimate Rockets blog has a story detailing the latest proceedings in the involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed against Houston Regional Sports Network, the Astros-Rockets-Comcast partnership that owns CSN Houston.

The unanimous consent rule has been cited as a hangup in efforts to increase coverage for the network, which is available to no more than 40 percent of the area’s 2.2 million TV households. Limited carriage led to limited income, which led to the bankruptcy filing by four Comcast affiliates last year in an effort to prevent the Astros from retaking their broadcast rights after they were not paid for several months.

There still appears to be a long way to go in all this mess, with the Rockets leading negotiations with multiple possible investors who might be able to rescue the network from an escalating legal battle.

As someone who currently resides outside of Houston city limits, with a cable provider other than Comcast, I can assure you I’m at the top of the list of people hoping for a quick resolution.  A person can only watch so many iPad-streamed Rockets’ games and nationally televised, mediocre Lakers’ games as a way to get his basketball fix.

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in columns

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