The Rockets Daily – December 9, 2013

Pricing Omer – Marc Stein worked the phones over the weekend to give some insight on where Omer Asik could land, and Philadelphia emerged as the no. 1 option:

Keep your eye on Philadelphia. Front-runner would be overstating it, but the notion that the Sixers are a viable destination for Asik is increasingly making the rounds. And that certainly makes sense given (A) Philly’s front office is run by a certified Asik fan in former Rockets exec Sam Hinkie and (B) Philly has a frontcourt player to send back to Houston in Thaddeus Young, whose skill set can click with Dwight Howard’s, albeit not as well as seemingly unattainable dream target Ryan Anderson; and (C) there really isn’t an Asik for Philly to draft with the high pick it’s likely to snag in the 2014 lottery.

I would say some things about this trade, but Rahat already addressed it at length on Sunday. To summarize, there are a couple of reasons to say “no” to this trade, and Terrence Jones just dunked one of them in your face.

Competitor – I pretty vividly recall looking at ESPN’s PER rankings on Saturday and being surprised to see that Arron Afflalo was a tad higher than James Harden. Whoops, not any more. On Sunday, both shooting guards took exactly 17 shots in a head-to-head matchup. Afflalo scored 16. Harden scored 27. You think maybe someone mentioned that PER thing to Harden before the game?L’Chaim – I went too long without mentioning this, but Omri Casspi was invited to the White House for the last day of Hanukkah last week. The Houston Chronicle has the deets:

Casspi left a gift with the president on the trip – a No. 18 Rockets jersey with “Obama” on the back. The number 18, which Casspi wears, is also a spiritual number in Judaism meaning life. It is often used as a symbol for good luck.

Casspi said the president told him he could come back to play basketball with him,

Now that I know that the number 18 is literally the numerical equivalent of l’chaim (“to life!)”, I’m totally yelling it whenever Casspi hits a three. That’s not to say that I wasn’t yelling it already, but this gives me another reason.

Prickly – Also from the Chronicle, Chandler Parsons has been getting acupuncture to help with his back spasms. Clearly, he’s seen a sharp increase in his production ever since he started the treatments. You might even call it a spike in production. In fact, last night he did a great job of penetrating the defense.

Ok, ok. I’ll stop. I think you got the point.

Kobe – Kobe Bryant made his return from Achilles injury last night, losing to a short-handed Toronto team. He scored 9 points (on 9 shots), had 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and an astonishing 8 turnovers in 28 minutes. With the caveat that this is just one game, here are a couple thoughts on how this relates to the Rockets:

  1. Dwight Howard’s decision to leave L.A. to play with Harden looks pretty vindicated right at this moment.
  2. The conversation for best shooting guard in the NBA has to begin and end with James Harden and Dwyane Wade, and Wade remains in the conversation because of his defense.
  3. Every time the Rockets win on the same night the Lakers lose, an angel gets it’s wings.

Contributor Needed I’m still taking applications for someone to replace me as news editor, which mostly involves writing the Daily. I’ll be writing less starting around Christmas. Email me at if you’re interested.

About the author: John Eby got on the Rockets bandwagon in 1994 and never got off. He is a public relations guy and recovering TV journalist living in South Carolina.

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