Morris, Camby, Dalembert

Matt Bullard mentioned on the broadcast last night that the Rockets shouldn’t just bring in Marcus Morris and immediately run ISO plays for him.  It’s not possible for me to disagree any more with that statement.  As I’ve explained in the past, Morris’ only value to the team is as a one-on-one scorer.  That’s why they drafted him and why they hope to convert him to the ‘3’.  He isn’t a player like Chandler Parsons or Patrick Patterson who can be on the floor and help the team in other ways.  It’s a waste of everyone’s time having him out there and not feeding him the ball.  In the third, when Marcus Camby went out (more on this below), the team’s offense completely fell apart.  It’s too late this year, but without a star on the roster, a scorer like Morris is the type of guy the team needs to implement into its lineup going forward.  In the clip above, we see Morris make two big-time NBA moves.  First, he pivots and spins into a turnaround, hitting a shot that noone on this roster–Scola included–has in their arsenal.  Next, he comes down, smoothly crosses over and nails the pull-up jumper, demonstrating that the hard work he has put in on his ball-handling has paid off.  The points came in garbage time and were meaningless.  But they are a small glimpse of what Morris can provide.  Without isolation options in the lineup, the Rockets are forced to explore paths like Patterson in the post; teams can’t run motion sets every trip down.  Hopefully next year, Morris will get his chance.

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in columns

I ‘sort of’ live-blogged Friday night’s showdown against Phoenix, updating a game post during the timeout breaks.  However, I got feedback from some of you that this would work better if it were truly ‘live.’

The last time I used the liveblog plugin I plan to use tonight, the site crashed. But we’ll try again.  If things work, the page will update on its own with new thoughts, as they happen.  Fingers crossed.  Join me at 7, tonight.

UPDATE: I believe you have to refresh the page to see new updates.

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in game coverage

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in game coverage

April 13, 2012 7:18 PM The Rockets look to be trying to milk Scola early inside against Channing Frye.  He got point blank inside near the hoop but missed the layin on one of the game’s first possessions.

April 13, 2012 7:18 PM Camby swats away a Gortat turnaround in the paint.  Gortat’s first possession of the game

April 13, 2012 7:19 PM Both teams are running the same high screen and roll offense right now.  The score is 10-9.

April 13, 2012 7:20 PM This time down the floor, the Rockets use Parsons on the high screen and roll rather than Dragic.  The second-rounder demonstrates his versatility, dribbling smoothly around and then finding an open Luis Scola in the corner for the jumpshot.  The Suns call timeout.  When a 6’10 small forward can run the pick and roll effectively, it gives you options.

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The Playoff Push

As I write this, Hollinger has the Rockets at 79% odds to make the postseason. Myself and four others all chose Houston to get in.  The team sits in 7th, but tied in the win-loss with Dallas and Denver.  If postseason play began today, the Rockets would open up at San Antonio.

Including tonight’s showdown (on ESPN) against the Suns, there are eight games remaining.  Home for Phoenix, at Denver, home for Denver, at Dallas, at New Orleans, home for Golden State, at Miami, and home for New Orleans.

The two against New Orleans should be complete ‘gimmes.’  The Warriors have given the Rockets fits in recent years, but that was before the trade that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee.  At Miami is an expected loss but is winnable – in fact, any game against any team in the NBA is winnable for the Houston Rockets.

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in game coverage