The Rockets Daily – December 19, 2013

Asikocolypse – The day of reckoning is upon us. Houston’s self-imposed deadline to trade Omer Asik has arrived. ESPN reports that Daryl Morey has options. I’m not going to link to every trade-rumor-related article out there, because by the time I do, all said links will be obsolete. Suffice to say that most rumors involve some combination of the following names: Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, Jeff Green, Anderson Varejao, and first round draft picks.

Look, I know that no kid really wants a couple of role players and a middling draft pick for Christmas, but it looks like that’s all Mom and Dad can afford this year, champ. Maybe if you’re really good, Santa will bring you a Paul Millsap,  but it’s been a tough year for Santa too. Keep your chin up.

Passing TestAndrew Lynch at Hardwood Paroxysm took an interesting look at the SportVU data for passes per touch. Guess which Rocket came in seventh in the league in percentage? Patrick Beverley may not have court vision like Jason Kidd, but he knows how to keep the ball moving. James Harden has the 17th stickiest fingers in the league, but he’s right there with scoring machines like Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. [read more…]

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Fake Trade Deadline Day

Clutchfans has reported, via Twitter, that the league has informed the Rockets that the deadline to receive re-tradeable players is actually tomorrow, so its unclear at the moment when this thing is going to happen.  But still, I wanted to use this headline and wouldn’t have been able to if I waited for tomorrow and they traded Asik today.  So there you have it.

A couple of things: From my interactions with some of you on Twitter, it seems many haven’t been watching Morey very closely over the past few years.  This rumored Lee, Bass, pick deal, in its current manifestation, should be dubbed the ‘Anti-Morey deal’ because it reeks of everything Morey, a highly principled manager, has been loath to do during his tenure.  Trade away the best player in a deal without getting back actual value?  Check.  Take on long-term salary?  Check.  Acquire players with presumable ‘immediate’ fit but little ‘liquidity’ value?  Check.  Hell, Morey is the same guy that refused to give his very best player at the time, Goran Dragic, a player option, simply because of his stance on long-term flexibility…he let the guy walk!  And you would have me believe he’s going to take on Courtney Lee for three more years just because “we need perimeter defense” and “aren’t getting anything from Asik anyway”…?  You’re missing the big picture.

Reader RollingWave points out that its questionable whether Bass would even represent an upgrade considering that Omri Casspi leads the team in +/-.  But even setting that aside, the point is that this just isn’t Daryl Morey’s style.  He doesn’t panic, he wouldn’t trade a guy just because said guy wants out (see: Martin, Kevin), and he certainly doesn’t subscribe to the “well, we’re not getting anything from player X right now so we might as well take this crap deal right now” train of thought.  Guys like Bass and Lee are of a mold of player that Morey plucks from the scrap heap for dimes; he doesn’t deal special talents for them at exorbitant lengths.

All of the above is why I’m convinced this leaked report is inaccurate and we’ll see a surprise either today or tomorrow.  I think you’ll see them either do a different deal altogether, you’ll see this same deal without Lee, or they’ll get two draft picks.  But I’d just be absolutely floored if Morey, knowing what we know of how we works, took this deal in its current form.  We’ll see.

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Houston got a solid win with a balanced offensive attack.  Everyone shot the ball well, 53% for the team, and the game was in hand after a 15 to 1 run to end the third quarter.  That run was propelled by the second team and Casspi especially.  In the first half of the third quarter it looked like the Rockets were going to let the Bulls back into the game.  But, the Bulls went cold and didn’t score a field goal for six minutes.

It was nice to see a game that went into the fourth quarter with the starters on the bench and McHale having the option to sit them a little more than normal. Only Parsons was on the court in the fourth quarter until the Bulls closed it to 14 with 6:47 left in the game and McHale put all the starters back in.  He pulled all the starters with over two minutes to go as the Rockets had one of their easier victories of the year.  Even Brewer got in the game and scored.

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