When I hatched the idea of a Rockets Daily (also briefly known as Rockets Blast), I was skeptical. A daily news gazette isn’t anything unique in the sports blogosphere, but I wasn’t sure I wanted such a thing on Red94 – some days there’s just not enough news and the piece itself could appear as fluff. That’s why it’s such a tough loss losing John Eby who, for the last year, wrote these Dailies filling in the pieces with his own editorial touch. It’s been pretty neat coming to my own site every morning to get filled in on the day’s news and I’m fairly certain you, dear reader, have gotten the same utility out of Mr. Eby’s writing.
A lot more goes in to running a blog of this scale than just what you see appear on your page. In the early days, when it was just myself and Durvasa, I handled everything on my own. Now, with a staff that has ballooned to 11 writers, in addition to four forum moderators, there’s a lot of juggling that takes place behind the scenes. In addition to the Dailies, Mr. Eby coordinated the schedules every week to ensure that a preview and recap went up for each game in a timely manner in accordance with each writer’s availability. That was a task that I just could no longer handle on my own.
John, as you know, will be retiring from the Dailies due to the expected birth of a child. He’ll still be with us, penning his DwightLife series, however. Taking his place, I’m excited to introduce Mitchell Felker who we were lucky to find after a very extensive candidate search process. Mitchell is a native Houstonian and a former Army air traffic controller. Below is his first Daily. – Rahat Huq
The Houston Rockets have five players on the 2014 All-Star Ballot this season. Some of them, like James Harden and Dwight Howard, look like shoo-in candidates for the All-Star game. Jeremy Lin is getting votes but seems unlikely to make the trip to New Orleans. Ömer Aşık being on the ballot is now more embarrassing than anything else. One player, however, occupies a different space. When Chandler Parsons was revealed on the All-Star Ballot, many wrote him off as being another cursory inclusion, and his chances of getting in seemed slim at best. Now, however, the climate has altered. Could Parsons be an All-Star after all?
It’s true that Houston’s hope for Chandler Parsons has always been an All-Star appearance. It’s also true that this is their hope for literally every player they ever sign to any contract. Ask general manager Daryl Morey about the long-term goals for rookie Robert Covington, and chances are he’ll slip in that he hopes one of the rookies develops into an All-Star caliber player. Parsons was selected 38th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, putting him in the early second round. Expectations were low when he was drafted, and his under $1m a year contract reflected it. [read more…]
Dwight Howard’s arrival in Houston signals the arrival of one of the most dominant players in basketball, along with one of the most polarizing personalities in sports. Here at Red94, we are embracing the drama of Superman’s first season as a Rocket with a weekly column: “DwightLife.” This is the 11th installment.
Dwight Howard has no shooting touch; this much we know. Howard is also being mentored on his post moves by Hakeem Olajuwon, whose pure midrange fadeaway figures prominently in some of the Dream’s greatest moments. When you look back at many of the highlights of Hakeem’s post play, it’s obvious that he used the respect opponents gave to his jumper as a weapon to get into the paint. Of course, fadeaways are not option number one. They are a concession to a good defense that won’t yield shots in the paint.
Dwight Howard, on the other hand, has no baseline fadeaway. He finishes exclusively at the rim. The result is a shot chart that is a sabermetrician’s dream. [read more…]