Talking Rockets, Part II

The following is the second part of an e-mail conversation between Red94 founder Rahat Huq, and myself, Red94 writer Michael Pina. We talked about hypothetical trade situations, the possible optimism this offseason brings, and a little bit about the draft. [read more…]






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These are trying times for Daryl Morey.  After early acclaim, consecutive lottery finishes have brought out the skeptics in full force.  “How can one be deemed competent, much less some sort of genius, without tangible results?” the thinking goes.

As I’ve explained in all of my evaluations, of just about everyone from Kevin McHale to Tracy McGrady over the years, context and circumstances are what matter.

Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, GM’s in all of basketball.  And in truth, he’s done a great job, hitting on all of his high picks in drafting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden.  But look at the circumstances under which he took over that team.

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Talking Rockets, Part I

The following is an e-mail conversation between Red94 founder Rahat Huq, and myself, Red94 writer Michael Pina. It began with us debating whether or not the Rockets should go after Dwight Howard, and evolved into a more general discussion about the team, this offseason, and where things are headed next. This is Part I, look for more entries in the coming days. [read more…]






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Yesterday I tackled why trading for Rudy Gay could be Houston’s first step towards associating their basketball team with wins, prime time television slots, and clear identification. But when it’s placed in a vacuum, the acquisition feels inadequate. Gay is expensive, and to build around him—and him alone—would be a mistake.

After watching his entire career (including college) I get the feeling he’s too serene of a person to consistently lead others on the basketball court. That doesn’t mean he’ll never win a championship, only that as the best player on a team, he’d be a more marketable version of Joe Johnson.

When the Celtics moved the No. 5 pick for Ray Allen five years ago, it felt like the team just bought Paul Pierce a new car, only the doors were locked, and the keys were rendered useless on the driver’s seat. Then Danny Ainge jimmied the window open, sparked the ignition, and placed Kevin Garnett’s foot on the gas.

Today I’ll be covering a much bigger fish, giving reason to why Gay as a secondary option could take the Houston Rockets to the places they want to go. This ensuing transaction is the type of move that wipes mist off the windshield. [read more…]






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The last three years have been a torturous Groundhog’s Day for fans of the Houston Rockets. Where we currently stand as another season has come and gone, two (or one) more marginal difference makers are scheduled to join the squad after this month’s NBA draft. Last year, Houston begrudgingly accepted the 14th pick. The year before that? The 14th pick. This year they have the 14th and 16th selections.

The overwhelming emotion for anyone who watches this team on a regular basis is frustration. The Rockets aren’t stumbling, they aren’t bursting forward into a hopeful future, and they aren’t making noticeable changes. Despite a slew of trade deadline deals—not including a blockbuster preseason trade that was aborted by the league—and a shrewd draft pick, the end result for this team is dangerous preservation. When patience hits a brick wall, excuses aren’t tolerated. The only question worth asking is “How do we get better?” [read more…]






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