As a person who writes a column about the NBA, once per week, I am both thrilled and annoyed by the sheer amount of compelling news and media surrounding the sport, between each column. Usually, I react to the overwhelming question of what to write about by picking a manageable topic—like assessing the season’s wins-and-losses progress and prospects of various teams and players, throughout the league. And doing so in a purely basketball-focused way.
A report from Sam Amico has made the rounds alluding to a purported interest by the Rockets in one Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers. States Amico:
Houston is one team reported to have a keen eye on Indiana forward Danny Granger. The Pacers aren’t totally against keeping the 29-year-old forward, who has missed all of the season with a knee injury. But following the emergence of All-Star Paul George, they are taking and making exploratory calls.
A deal for Granger would fit the same rationale as would one for Pau Gasol: he expires in the summer of 2014. An acquisition of either forward would not be with the intent of landing ‘the final fit.’ It would be with the hope of upgrading the team in the interim and making it appear an attractive destination when bigger names become available. Lebron James can become a free agent in 2014; Kevin Love in 2015.
With the trade deadline sneaking up right behind All-Star weekend, trade rumors continue to swirl. But while the conversation centers on who and where, why is just as important to ask. The Rockets are certain to make a move at the deadline, as they have every deadline under General Manager Daryl Morey’s stewardship. What exactly that trade is speaks to the plans for the future of the team.
Stat Sheet Stuffer – James Harden put up his first career triple-double on Saturday night against the Bobcats. He had 21 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, one block and one steal. That’s a legit triple-double, as opposed to the JaVale variety. Fortunately, someone distilled every one of his buckets, boards and dimes into one video.
Stay classy, YouTube.
After the break: a breakdown of the Beard’s postgame interview, Patrick Patterson owns the 4th, and PED’s might be everywhere.
In a game like this against one of the worst teams in the league, the worst thing you can do is come out slow and complacent. Charlotte is not a team with a big come back in them. By putting up a big 20+ lead early and knocking the belief out of a team used to losing, you ensure you can relax later in the night, perhaps playing the reserves for a stretch. The mantra of “good teams know what to do in the crunch” isn’t really true, after all – if the level of the two teams is disparate enough, the better team should be pulling away in the first three quarters and not allowing there to even be a crunch time. The goal for the Rockets tonight was not just to win – that was expected – but to win comfortably against a team that is still in the NBA basement and only one year removed from the worst season in NBA history.