Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets on 12/17/13

In hindsight, the Rockets’ 2012/13 season was a blissful respite from the injury plague. Mostly healthy throughout the regular season, they were able to exceed expectations on the way to a playoff berth no-expected. This year the bug is back and putting a damper on the franchise’s most promising season in years, with several players struggling to fight off niggles. But even in times such as this, it should only take one look at gaping hole in the Chicago’s point guard rotation to have the Rockets counting their blessings. Thanks to the absence of Derrick Rose, the Bulls have dropped from being a title contender to being part of the morass of mediocrity that is the middle of the Eastern Conference. It’s an object lesson that someone always has it worse than you.

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in game coverage

Huq’s Pens: Odds and ends before it happens

  • This piece from Ken Berger had some interesting tidbits, namely that the Rockets are open to dealing Jeremy Lin.  The cited sentiment from Hawks general manager Danny Ferry also was enlightening.  More on that later.
  • One of my trusted moderators, John Gold, made a compelling case for Rondo which has me leaning towards the dark side.  As I just stated in my last piece, with as underwhelming as most of these reported Asik packages have been, part of me is hoping the team comes away with Rondo, despite my belief he’d be a terrible fit.  Even though my latest at the mothership was a 1,000 word tome as to how only basketball matters now, it’s just not Daryl Morey’s MO to settle for 50 cents on the dollar like this.  As bad a fit Rondo would be, he represents full value for Omer Asik and an asset that could easily be flipped along elsewhere in a later deal.
  • And while you had him, you could at least try and see if it works.  I don’t think it would work.  But this is a guy who was the lead dog of a team that featured three future hall of famers.  He earned their respect and anchored their offense.  Rondo would instill instant accountability to a team with guys that at times, seem like chickens with their heads cut off.  But again, I just can’t see it working…not with James Harden in this lineup.  He came here to be the man and to have the ball in his hands at the end of games so that he can step back and take bad shots with a hand in his face (can you tell the honeymoon is over?)…he’s not giving that up.  Some have pointed towards Harden’s coexistence with Russell Westbrook as proof that such a pairing with Rondo could work.  In response, I’d have to say that that dynamic was the stuff of a different hierarchy and at a time when Harden was just happy to be getting on the court (with Jeff Green gone) and getting a real chance.  Now he’s the man, he has the money, he has the beard, and he wants the ball.

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in columns

I know the question sounds ridiculous. I don’t mean to ruffle feathers or be provocative, I am just curious if I am the only one biased enough to believe that, over the next 5 years, Asik might bring at least as much to the table as Howard.

In order to help you identify my delusions, I have laid out my premises below. [read more…]

in essays

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