Locked Out of the Future: What missing games this season could mean for the Rockets next year

There has been a lot of discussion about how the lockout/now shortened season will affect the NBA landscape. Who will play the role of Shaun Kemp and eat his way out of professional sports? Which veteran team will be this year’s asterisk champion (Spurs again?)? How much will James Harden’s beard interfere with his ability to see the ball?

But for the Rockets, I think the more significant question might be how all this mess could affect the team next year. This season for the men in red was supposed to be about evaluating its young talent. Since it’s been clear numbers 1 and 11 regrettably have bones made of glass, the team has been steadily accumulating assets. But now with Yao and T-Mac officially/unofficially retired and there only being 3 players on the roster older than 26, this was supposed to be the year to evaluate these assets, to parse this pirate’s booty into genuine treasures and costume jewelry.

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3-on-3: Three Pressing Questions on the Houston Rockets

 

 

 

Fresh off the success of the 5-on-5 project, ESPN.com is bringing the round-table flagship to the pages of the TrueHoop Network.  In that vein, we’re kicking things off by posing three of the hottest questions to our three main contributors.  If you’d like to hear our takes on any specific topics, shoot me a line at rahathuq@red94.net, @RedNinetyFour on Twitter, or on the Facebook fan page.  We hope you enjoy our first installment of 3-on-3-Houston Rockets, with many more to come!

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ESPN: Five strangest things in the NBA in 2011

Myself and four others weigh in on the topic over at the mothership:

David Thorpe, Scouts Inc.: Gilbert Arenas traded to Orlando. I had heard this might happen back in the fall and I just laughed it off. There was just no way anyone would acquire Arenas at almost any price. I don’t care if he was in his last contract year, he was just too far gone as a player and too funky as a personality. The Wizards crowed as much as they could about how much of a leader he was, which was code for: “Somebody please get this guy away from our future superstar!”

Apparently, Orlando did not employ the right code breakers. Yes, Rashard Lewis was wildly overpaid, but he was a guy who did not cause problems and his deal ran out before Arenas’ did. It is simply beyond belief that a team actually wanted a player with major injury concerns, major professionalism issues and rapidly dwindling skills, yet one with a huge fat contract in front of him. It’s too strange for Hollywood. Perhaps it would make a good plot for Stephen King.

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Analyzing A Second Round Pick: The Chandler Parsons Story

The uphill path of an NBA second round draft pick is lonely; filled with obstacles and non-guarantees. It’s dark. It’s tantalizing. These players are so close to the dream they’ve dreamt since their tiny brains were capable of processing dreams and remembering them later. It sits on the tip of their tongue as they come to the realization that they’re sitting on the precipice of either entering a real life NBA rotation, or falling beneath the cracks, to the D-League or Maccabi Tel Aviv. Their heroes are few and far between, with every second round pick believing he’ll hit the lottery within a lottery, growing into a Monta Ellis, Manu Ginobili, or Gilbert Arenas. (At the very least they’re all confident enough to expect something along the lines of Glen Davis, Dejuan Blair, or Landry Fields.)

The second round pick is dispensable, but he also possesses the most to gain and the least to lose, entering the league with the firm conclusion that it was he who deserved the guaranteed money his first round rivals were afforded, and he who from this day forth will outwork all those selected before him. So close to his dream, yet still so far away. This is the life of a second round draft pick.

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Huq’s Pen: A year ago today

This time a year ago we sat checking news on Carmelo and Chris Paul, hoping for some mention of the Rockets as suitors.  The season was about to begin, Yao was healthy, and we were ‘almost-contenders,’ having a bright future on the strength of a pretty good team and really good ‘assets.’  Two guaranteed future lottery Knicks picks, a developing young big man in Jordan Hill, and a budding star in Aaron Brooks gave reason to believe that whoever wound up on the market could potentially be ours.

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