What is ‘toughness’?

The above clip perfectly represents an ongoing debate I’ve been having with readers about ‘toughness.’  The game is over, the Rockets have won, and Charles Barkley flagrantly fouls our team’s superstar player.  Vernon Maxwell angrily retaliates earning his second straight ejection.

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I’m excited about Jonny Flynn

I felt slightly embarrassed while typing that title.  But I have to admit.  I’m excited about Jonny Flynn.  In suppressing our intrigue and tempering expectations, we overlook the intrinsic uniqueness of the point guard position and the men who list it as their occupation.

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From the Ninetyfourums: Scola and “tanking”

From the Ninetyfourums, a reader, Sir Thursday, writes:

Past history has shown us that (at least under the current CBA) trades get you championships, not rebuilding projects. So my preferred strategy would be to continue to maximize our wins in the short term while waiting for the right trade to come along. Morey is a good enough GM to be be able to keep us in that state (many lesser GMs would fail, I suspect), and then when the big trade comes, it will be all the sweeter knowing that the organization has never stopped trying to put a winning team together.

The above comments were in response to my suggestion that the team ‘needed’ to trade Scola.  I do think I agree in theory with the reader’s thesis.  History is replete with examples of child ‘super-teams’ that never put it together: come to think of it, I can’t think of a single time it’s ever worked.  The Thunder are trying to break that curse.

Where I disagree though is that while stocking up on young talent by trading off veterans usually doesn’t work, you almost always have to get your ‘superstar’ through the draft.  And to get your superstar through the draft, you have to get really bad first.  So essentially, I’m starting to think that the ideal model for team-building is to trade off all of your veterans, get really bad, hit big in the lottery, and then stock up again on vets.

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Shook Ankles: One Team’s Trash Is Another’s Team’s Treasure

via Shook Ankles: One Team’s Trash Is Another’s Team’s Treasure « Shaky Ankles:

What people seem to forget when talking about/evaluating/processing basketball players, is their ability to improve in a relatively short time frame. Flynn averaged 13.5 points per game on 42 percent shooting as a 20-year-old starting point guard on the league’s most unfocused franchise. All things considered, that’s pretty good. He was then severely injured. So the result of all this? A trade? We’ve given up on the poor kid before he’s given a chance? I know this is sports, but nobody reaches their apex of ability at the age of 22.

Follow the link for the full story and a vicious highlight from the Rockets’ newest point man.

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Can the Houston Rockets acquire Nene?

via the Denver Post:

Nene will opt out of the final year of his contract worth nearly $12 million and, as a result, become an unrestricted free agent, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday night.

It means Nene can sign with any team he wishes without the Nuggets getting a chance to match the offer when free agency begins after the expected NBA lockout, which likely will start Friday.

The 28-year-old averaged 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season, shooting 62% from the field. Daryl Morey is likely salivating: Nene had the 5th highest PER among all centers in basketball and far and away the highest TS% at 66%.  If the current cap figures remain roughly the same, the Houston Rockets will have the ability to make a competitive offer though the Nuggets will have the ability to easily match; as an unrestricted free agent, the decision is ultimately Nene’s.

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