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:
- Dwight Howard’s decision to leave L.A. to play with Harden looks pretty vindicated right at this moment.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com if you’re interested.