Terrence Jones and perception

Terrence Jones is now averaging 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on the young season, shooting 53% from the floor and 48% on 3’s.  Per 36 minutes, these numbers come out to 15.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks.  The 21-year-old has thus far posted a PER of 19.1 (15 can be understood as the ‘average’ NBA player) while his team has posted a whopping 119 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor.  As a starter, Jones has averaged 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds and his team has gone 8-2.  By the testimony of most interested observers, Jones’ insertion into the starting lineup (in place of center Omer Asik) has been the catalyst for Houston’s sudden turnaround after a disappointing early start.

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The Rockets Daily – December 2, 2013

Or Best Offer? – Last week, the rumble around the NBA was that the asking price for Omer Asik was high. How high? Here’s Alan Hahn of MSG Networks (via ProBasketballTalk) with the alleged details:

The disgruntled center can be had, but Houston isn’t just giving him away.

In fact, the Rockets are setting the market high for Asik, with a demand of two first round picks in any deal.

Last year, that wouldn’t be a high price. This year, with immense talent at the top of the draft and the fortunes of “playoff” teams (New York, Brooklyn, Chicago, Memphis) looking fickle enough to slide into the lottery, the idea of trading one pick before Christmas is risky, let alone two. Trading a pick for Omer Asik sounds like a great idea until your star player gets injured, your team falls apart, the pick turns into Julius Randle and you look like an idiot. The GM’s of the world are a few months away from being that desperate.

Shenanigans – Andrew Lynch at Hardwood Paroxysm has had it with the hijinks of coaches like Jason Kidd (“Hit Me!”) and Kevin McHale, who kinda sorta maybe intentionally interfered with an inbounds play against San Antonio. He writes:

So in the span of a week, we’ve had Cup-gate and now Sideline Shenanigans. I’m pretty well terrified of what a coach is going to try next. It’s almost enough to make a person nostalgic for the days of Vinny Del Negro’s sideline stomps. [read more…]

in columns

Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz on 12/2/2013

It’s been a good week for the Houston Rockets. They won all four games, including a come-from-behind win against a division rival in the Memphis Grizzlies and a real barnburner against the San Antonio Spurs, one of the elite teams in the league. Terrence Jones is coming into his own, James Harden has returned from injury, and the bench seems to be gelling. They’re on cloud nine and nothing could bring the Rockets down now.

Actually, a gut-punch loss to a tanking team right after a huge, tough win might do it. The Utah Jazz have been many things to the Rockets over the years: rival, stumbling block, and lately fodder. Being the trap in the trap game would just be the latest incarnation of a decades-long rivalry. The Rockets are the better team, and should expect to win this game handily. Houston just passed a test of grit and determination in San Antonio. Now they have to pass a test of vigilance in Utah, against a young squad ready to hop on the Rockets if they show complacency.

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