The Rockets Daily – November 15, 2013

Head Games – Dwight Howard was very candid with CBS’s Ken Berger about his free throw shooting.

“The games when I have good free throw-shooting nights, it’s because I’m in a good rhythm and I take my time and my head is somewhere else instead of being so …” Howard said, not finishing the thought. “There’s focus and then there’s too focused — where you focus so much that you over-think your shot and yourself.”

In other words, it’s all in his head.

“I just get in the game and I over-think it because that’s all I’ve heard was, ‘You can’t make free throws,’” Howard said. “On one hand, I’m trying to prove a point — and I’m trying to prove it so bad that I just miss it. So that’s something I need to work on.”

Against the Knicks, he went 5-8, including some key freebies in crunch time. Maybe that’s progress. Maybe not.

Bang – Just when it was starting to feel like Chandler Parsons was relapsing, he puts up 22 points and does this:

It’s so good to have The Hair back to form. Sartorial SplendorThe Rockets’ new sleeved jerseys have been unveiled, and they’ll be making a debut on Christmas day. Honestly, I’m not crazy about the whole big logo look. The logo along with the cut of the jersey just makes it look like a women’s t-shirt. In fact, if I saw a small one hanging on a rack, that’s what I would assume it was. NBA players can pull it off, but I’m not sure if it will be any more flattering for the typical flabby American make than the traditional sleeveless number.

Omergate- The worldwide leader reports that Omer Asik has again request a trade and that the Rockets continue to refuse. Asik logged his first DNP-CD in who knows how long against New York last night, so clearly McHale is getting a feel for how the Rockets could fare without the big guy.

This Tweet and Vine pretty much tell you all you need to know about Omergate:


Somebody find Omer a good home.

Injury Note – Greg Smith went down in a scary sequence last night in which he remained on the floor for almost two whole possessions until Houston fouled to halt play. Looks like it was an LCL sprain (knee), according to Ken Berger (via SI).

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Total comments: 12
  • BrentYen says 8 months ago

    No matter how bad McHale is, I think it will be a disaster to change the coach now, unless we get someone really reputable.

  • rockets best fan says 8 months ago

    I think McHale has made mistakes, but every coach had strengths and weaknesses. His strength is a focus in the basic structure of the offense, trying to establish the identity of the team and having the patience to let it work out. Hard to know how much if that is Morey. He was kind of a blue-collar player himself, so I suspect he thinks tinkering with particular designed plays is just frills and details and not that important. I don't think he's a great game-time coach, and I don't think he has much imagination. The guards he played with were not playmakers so that's why I think he lost confidence in Jeremy too quickly last year. Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge were gritty defenders who sometimes scored when there was opportunity, but didn't often have plays run for them.

    I tend to agree with this statement. I don't know if McHale is the right man to coach this team yet. he deserves the chance to try right now and be evaluated at the end of the year. he clearly has shortcomings, but considering what we're building...........Rome wasn't built in a day. we have a lot of pieces and right now we don't know how to best put those pieces together to form a unit. can McHale figure it out? I don't know, but the early returns leave much to be desired

  • bob schmidt says 8 months ago

    I am mostly satisfied with the progress shown by the Rockets so far this year, with one large exception, turnovers. Most 24 sec violations, and several wild passes per game are making some games too close and winnable games losses. These mistakes can be corrected with good coaching. The question is, will McHale pull a guy for making poor decisions as a teaching tool? If it is anyone named Howard, Harden, Parsons or Lin, I doubt it. (possible exception of Lin)

    Also, Asik not entering last nights game makes me think that he is probably gone very soon. They won't risk any injury if a trade is imminent, IMHO. If I am right, I will not be a happy camper.

  • 2016Champions says 8 months ago

    I'm not buying this thing about Howard's free throws being mental. His form is clearly inconsistent, so it's really just a matter of repetition with the right form. Some days he shoots by just flicking his wrist without moving his arm/elbow at all, and other times his elbow and wrist work together so his shot looks so much more fluid.

  • lawprofsr says 8 months ago But I actually like Dwight's awareness of the nature of his problem and I wonder if there's any evidence that a "mental problem" can't be solved. I actually did not pay that much attention to him during his Orlando years, so without the baggage of expecting him to return to that form, I like what he gives us. He could be more consistent in different ways, but I think this team is still working things out. It takes a lot of teams time--even in terms of years-- to get comfortable with each other and really gel, not just the current Heat team but others like Jordan's Bulls and the current Clippers. My recollection was that it took Jordan a few years to learn not just to be a scorer. Harden can learn that, too.
  • lawprofsr says 8 months ago I think McHale has made mistakes, but every coach had strengths and weaknesses. His strength is a focus in the basic structure of the offense, trying to establish the identity of the team and having the patience to let it work out. Hard to know how much if that is Morey. He was kind of a blue-collar player himself, so I suspect he thinks tinkering with particular designed plays is just frills and details and not that important. I don't think he's a great game-time coach, and I don't think he has much imagination. The guards he played with were not playmakers so that's why I think he lost confidence in Jeremy too quickly last year. Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge were gritty defenders who sometimes scored when there was opportunity, but didn't often have plays run for them.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago I haven't seen very much positive from Mchale but I agree he needs to see the season through since an in season coaching change would be a disaster. I hope he becomes the greatest coach ever. I just don't see it happening.
  • Rahat Huq says 8 months ago

    The play where Greg Smith went down and they didn't realize it for two whole possessions was one of the weirdest things I can remember ever seeing. It definitely wasn't because they were so locked in on defense.

  • rocketrick says 8 months ago

    So if the Rockets made bad moves, you'd give up on the team?


    As a long time fan of the Rockets (since the 1980's), I would never give up on the team. I just may not make the same financial commitment when the owner and GM are being absolutely stupid and impatient by giving up on a very explosive and athletic team so quickly.

    As I have stated on a number of occasions, it is much easier as a fan to criticize than to appreciate the process.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 8 months ago

    Wow, really, after 10 games as a Rocket, just bail on D12?

    Thank goodness you are not the GM or Owner of the Rockets. I certainly would not be continuing to buy season tickets each and every year with your shortsightedness.

    I personally believe the Rockets 3 point shooting will improve the same time D12 gets it together with his post moves which will require most teams to double D12 in the post resulting in wide open looks at the 3's.


    So if the Rockets made bad moves, you'd give up on the team?
  • rocketrick says 8 months ago

    On Howard's Free Throws: it is all mental which means it is probably never going away. Its not something you can coach. Maybe a shrink would help but I doubt it. he clearly lets people's opinions get into his head...and the media loves to torment him, so I expect this probably will continue there until he is no longer a top story in the league.
    On Chandler: he is sort of back...in that he has added a drive part to his game. But now that is all that he really does. CP catches every pass, always always always pump fakes, then maybe another fake, and then passes or drives. Thats it. Teams will start just no jumping with him. He and Beverly are obviously suffering from low confidence in their outside shots as they are routinely choosing not to fire when most 3 shooters will. They are young and need to learn but I think continuing to shoot is the only way to work yourselves out of a slump and get confidence back. Until they do that we will continue to suffer. CP is back ...and even better than ever when his 3 is regularly falling and he can drive. They he will be a more complete player than last year.
    On Omer, I saw trade Dwight for LMA and call it a day. Omer is less of a head case, plays just as good, if not better post D, and LMA can more than make up for Howard's O that Asik doesn't have.


    Wow, really, after 10 games as a Rocket, just bail on D12?

    Thank goodness you are not the GM or Owner of the Rockets. I certainly would not be continuing to buy season tickets each and every year with your shortsightedness.

    I personally believe the Rockets 3 point shooting will improve the same time D12 gets it together with his post moves which will require most teams to double D12 in the post resulting in wide open looks at the 3's.
  • John P says 8 months ago

    On Howard's Free Throws: it is all mental which means it is probably never going away. Its not something you can coach. Maybe a shrink would help but I doubt it. he clearly lets people's opinions get into his head...and the media loves to torment him, so I expect this probably will continue there until he is no longer a top story in the league.

    On Chandler: he is sort of back...in that he has added a drive part to his game. But now that is all that he really does. CP catches every pass, always always always pump fakes, then maybe another fake, and then passes or drives. Thats it. Teams will start just no jumping with him. He and Beverly are obviously suffering from low confidence in their outside shots as they are routinely choosing not to fire when most 3 shooters will. They are young and need to learn but I think continuing to shoot is the only way to work yourselves out of a slump and get confidence back. Until they do that we will continue to suffer. CP is back ...and even better than ever when his 3 is regularly falling and he can drive. They he will be a more complete player than last year.

    On Omer, I saw trade Dwight for LMA and call it a day. Omer is less of a head case, plays just as good, if not better post D, and LMA can more than make up for Howard's O that Asik doesn't have.