NBA basketball is changing. Rules changes and new methods for measuring and developing talent usher in new styles of play, new styles of player, and new styles of winning. Teams like the Miami heat are reaping dividends by throwing out the idea of standard NBA positions, and so-called “small ball” is pushing the league to ever higher scoring heights. Never one to sit idly by, the Houston Rockets have joined in as a pioneer of new styles of basketball. While the Miami Heat may have brought the positional revolution to the average NBA fan with LeBron in the post and Chris Bosh starting as the tallest Heat player on the court, the Rockets are having their own quiet revolution.

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in essays

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During the Morey era, the Rockets have had a higher rate of roster turnover than any other franchise in the league, practically fielding a completely new team every season.  The end–establishing a high growth foundation–justified the means, but in the process, some old friends were lost.  I thought I’d take a moment to check in on these former fan favorites through channeling some colleagues on the ‘sphere.

Note: Every player on this list, to some large degree, was a lovable figure exuding the grit which had defined this franchise for the past few years.  Except for Trevor Ariza.  He is here for no other reason than that a figure so polarizing simply could not be left off.

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in conversations

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While losses are never a good thing, I was not that particularly frustrated with the previous losses to the Hornets and the Celtics.  The Hornets defeat from my perspective was the result of a night where the Rockets could not make a jumper and the referees briefly allowed the return of Rileyball in the lane, while a large part of the Celtics defeat could be attributed to a night at the foul line which according to the Rockets broadcast tonight, was the second worst shooting percentage at the line in the history of the team.  While it was on the second night of a back to back, I did have confidence that Houston could defeat a Philadelphia team which barely had a .400 record and had lost five straight.

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in game coverage

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The brutal January schedule continues for the Rockets tonight as they visit the City of Brotherly Love in the second half of yet another back-to-back. The Rockets hope to snap a two game losing skid; however, the 76ers also have a much worse five game losing streak they hope ends tonight.

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in game coverage

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Most basketball junkies, especially ones who follow the Houston Rockets, know of the importance of the free throw shot.  Moneyball or Moreyball eschews the mid-range long 2 pointer in favor of free throws and 3 pointers.  The latter gives the most reward when a shot is successfully made, and the former is the easiest shot in basketball, as most basketball players can shoot the ball at percentages which normally outclass the points earned per possession during a game.  There are exceptions to the rule, which is why the Hack-a-Shaq can be a viable tactic at times, but teams avoid giving up fouls for this very reason.  The Houston defense in particular emphasizes avoiding fouling and at times seems to prefer giving up layups to fouling, especially since the former means that they can still push the ball at their high pace.

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in game coverage

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