The Rockets Daily – August 29, 2013

ICYMI – Defensive specialist Ronnie Brewer’s signing is official, bringing the number of players signed to the team to 19. Just to review, an NBA roster holds 15 players, the active roster holds only 12, and most coaches–including McHale play with about an 8-man rotation. Allow me a few inferences:

  • Chances are that less than half of those players will make a meaningful contribution to winning this year.
  • Training camp may call to mind the pre-1989 days when the draft had seven rounds, and the struggle for roster spots probably looked like this.
  • The role-redundancy on the roster–every position has at least 3 potential rotation guys–may be Morey’s way of maintaining the flexibility to make a blockbuster trade mid-season while still winning on the way to a high playoff seed. Virtually no one on the team outside of Howard, Harden and Asik cannot have his production conceivably replaced by other guys on the roster. That’s not a knock on Parsons and Lin as much as an endorsement of the depth of talent at the point and on the wing.

J.B. Q & AThe interview with assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Rockets.com might be the most interesting thing you read about the team all week, and sheds some light on the team’s coaching philosophy. Pull-quotes after the jump.

On playing Lin and Beverly together in a super small-ball lineup against OKC in the playoffs:

What we figured was that we had to put as much skill on the floor as we possibly could. That’s not a knock to our big guys, but (Oklahoma City) was just crowding the lane and living with our big guys having to catch and shoot and taking the ball out of James’, Chandler’s and all our playmakers’ hands.

So we figured the more spacing we could put on the floor, and the more guys who could catch the ball and then make plays from the perimeter – driving their bigs, making Ibaka have to guard a guy on the perimeter and have to slide his feet – that was what we were going to have to do to have success.

To all of you who would trade Jeremy Lin in a heartbeat for Ryan Anderson: go back and read his comments again. Then go watch how the Heat beat the Spurs in the Finals again. Good defenses in today’s NBA force complementary players to put the ball on the floor and make plays. Lin is the team’s second-best playmaker. You could replace him with a one-trick-pony role player who looks more efficient in the regular season, but when that one trick is taken away, that role player becomes a liability. Exhibit A: Danny Green’s game log for the NBA Finals. Rant over.

On playing Howard and Asik together:

We’ve got a roster of very talented people and, at the end of the day in this league, talent wins. So we have to do a great job of being creative and getting our best five players on the floor. If that ends up being (Asik) and Dwight more often than not, then so be it.

But I think when you look at the teams that win, they put talent on the floor. We can’t sit back and say, ‘Oh well, these guys are too big to play together.’ We have to be creative enough on both sides of the ball to put them in positions to succeed, and if it’s together then so be it.

On pace:

We’re going to play up-tempo. If it’s going to be as fast as we played last year I don’t know. Obviously again: we’re going to play to our guys’ strengths. Our bigs have proven that they can run. Our smalls have proven that they can play fast. We still believe that things happen easier in the first part of the clock. So we’re going to try to get up and down, but we’re not going to do it to spite our strengths. We’ve got bigs who can get busy in the paint – if we need to hold for a second to get them down there, then we’re going to hold it for a second to get them down there.

On chemistry:

It’s not always easy. It could go seamlessly but you never know. Some guys, when they play with other elite players, they end up being too unselfish; or guys who are used to having the ball in their hands all the time, now they’re not as aggressive or as instinctive because they’re thinking too much out there. The game changes. There’s a transition process that has to take place and it doesn’t always go according to your timetable.

Just go read the whole thing. It’s a good late-August basketball fix.

HypeThe Dream Shake has some great media analysis of the pressure being placed on the Rockets this season. One salient point was that some pundits will put championship expectations on the team, not because they expect the team to be able to win a championship this year, but because making this season a referendum on Dwight’s decision will be a good storyline in lieu of the Lakers having a decent team.

Let me put it in a little more vulgar terms: some media members will root for the Rockets to implode because that storyline will create content that millions of Laker fans will devour, which will be good for business. Money talks.

It’s not much different from what teams in L.A. and New York endure every year, but it’s the new reality for Houston. If the Lakers perform as badly as expected, plenty of Laker fans will be hate-watching Rockets games, looking for validation in Howard’s failure.

Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to jeby901@gmail.com or message @EbyNews on Twitter.

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Total comments: 18
  • redfaithful says 10 months ago

    Joining the public opinion, you're dailies are great!

  • ale11 says 10 months ago

    ^^^ Ditto, keep it up, Jeby!

  • 2016Champions says 10 months ago

    Thanks. Sorry I missed a couple days this week. Confluence of busy life/slow NBA week. The start of football season pretty much coincides with the nadir of basketball news. I'll be back Monday.

    Well, you know what they say, quality over quantity. I don't know if I speak for everyone when I say this because it's called a "daily", but personally I prefer writers who are consistently good over writers who write a lot more at the expense of consistent quality (an example of the latter would be Bill Simmons) so it's not a big deal if you miss a day or two. With that being said, you're practically writing a little something everyday and it's always good (and you seem to have improved over the last couple of months unless I'm mistaken) so kudos to you for that. The fact you're coming up with consistent content during the slowest time of the year makes it all the more impressive. In addition to your consistency, I have to add that your quirky humor is what really makes these such a fun read. Keep up the good work!

  • Jeby says 10 months ago

    I'm still loving these dailys, you're very consistent Mr. Eby :)


    Thanks. Sorry I missed a couple days this week. Confluence of busy life/slow NBA week. The start of football season pretty much coincides with the nadir of basketball news. I'll be back Monday.
  • 2016Champions says 10 months ago

    I'm still loving these dailys, you're very consistent Mr. Eby :)

  • RYLIU says 10 months ago

    >> "I didn't know they allowed pimps to work for the NBA"
    Barkley is just hilarious sometimes. I remember he said to Kenny "Hakeem couldn't kick your ass cuz you were too close kissin his!"

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    It's true. I think he may be colorblind. I had a science teacher in Jr. High that was colorblind and he dressed in a similar manner.

    Sager's got money.....pay someone to pick them out for you if you know you have this problem. I remember one night Barkley commented "I didn't know they allowed pimps to work for the NBA". I was rolling on the floor laughing because that night he had a suit that looked like it was straight out of the Disco era. it was the type of suit that in an arena of 19 thousand people it stood out like a sore thumb. I know some of it is just to get attention, but on occasion he crosses the line between attention and down right ugly :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 10 months ago

    It's true. I think he may be colorblind. I had a science teacher in Jr. High that was colorblind and he dressed in a similar manner.

  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    Great stuff! I'm doing my best to stave off my excitement until the season gets closer. Reading stuff like this gets me fired up though. I can't stop picturing Howard's dunks. I'm excited to see if Parsons makes the spin move a permanent part of his game or just once every 30 games or so. I'm excited to have the first backcourt in history to average 10 assists apiece (it could happen B) ). I'm excited to see the opposition's frustration after going scoreless for 6+ minutes with Dwight and Omer going twin towers. I'm looking forward to the day Parsons tires of the pretty boy look and goes full Lebowski with the long hair and beard. I'm excited to see Lin and Beverly compete for PG supremacy. I'm excited to see what we get from our PFs. I'm excited to see what McHale calls out of a timeout at the end of a tight game. I'm excited to see what psychedelic suit Craig Sager will be wearing during the Lakers/Rockets game. I'm just excited!

    speaking of Craig Sager's suits.........I thought Calvin Murphy's was bad, but Sager is on a whole different level :lol:you know what's the killing part...........their expensive suits. most of his suits are from top designers. he must look long and hard to find the worst because you can't be consistently that bad without consistent effort. :lol:

  • Jeby says 10 months ago

    "Some guys, when they play with other elite players, they end up being too unselfish; or guys who are used to having the ball in their hands all the time, now they’re not as aggressive or as instinctive because they’re thinking too much out there."

    This sounds like the problem Lin had much of last season: Lin would defer too much to Harden. Can anyone think of anyone else Bickerstaff our be referring to?

    I think he was actually referring league-wide, as in Miami in 2011 or L.A. last year.

  • Linsane47 says 10 months ago "Some guys, when they play with other elite players, they end up being too unselfish; or guys who are used to having the ball in their hands all the time, now they’re not as aggressive or as instinctive because they’re thinking too much out there."

    This sounds like the problem Lin had much of last season: Lin would defer too much to Harden. Can anyone think of anyone else Bickerstaff our be referring to?
  • timetodienow1234567 says 10 months ago

    I'll tell you what really got me...........I expected the Laker nation to be pissed.....after all I wouldn't expect them to like getting spurned. their so use to having their way, I expected some fallout from them. However.......what I didn't expect was the fallout so much in the media. they were like sharks on a whale carcass. even from the moment he was about to release his decision different reporters were in such a frenzy to be the first to break the news that they caused it to look like D-12 was wavering and when it was later found out he didn't they still slammed him for it. I continue to hear article after article about leaks from insiders on the Laker meeting. how D-12 didn't want to play with Kobe. how D-12 ask the Lakers to fire Pringles :lol: (that's what Laker nation calls him). whatever made D-12 really leave is history now and yet stories continue to be written about it.....I bet they can't wait till the season starts so they can crank up the hate machine again


    I agree to a point. But it is relevant because it would mean he got one coach fired and tried for a second. That's troublesome to me. But hopefully it isn't true.
  • rockets best fan says 10 months ago

    Sort of a tangent but I am really suprised and really annoyed at all of the continued story lines about LA bitterness, Howard failure, etc...

    Are people in LA really that self centered and the media that LA biased to dwell on the Dwight leaving LA thing over and over and over and over again.

    This is really just sad. I mean the nerve of some people much less a superstar to not want to play in LA... get over it!

    Any young to in their prime player would be foolish to play in LA with that aging roster unless they were purely motivated by money.

    It is just really sad that so much energy has to rehash Dwight leaving and how bad he is really (now that he is chosen another spot other than LA). There are bad losers and then there appear to be Laker fans... a new level of whining.

    I'll tell you what really got me...........I expected the Laker nation to be pissed.....after all I wouldn't expect them to like getting spurned. their so use to having their way, I expected some fallout from them. However.......what I didn't expect was the falloutso much in the media. they were like sharks on a whale carcass. even from the moment he was about to release his decision different reporters were in such a frenzy to be the first to break the news that they caused it to look like D-12 was wavering and whenit was later found out he didn't they still slammed him for it. I continue to hear article after article about leaks from insiders on the Laker meeting. how D-12 didn't want to play with Kobe. how D-12 ask the Lakers to fire Pringles :lol:(that's what Laker nation calls him). whatever made D-12 really leave is history now and yetstories continue to be written about it.....I bet they can't wait till the season starts so they can crank up the hate machine again

  • BrentYen says 10 months ago

    Sort of a tangent but I am really suprised and really annoyed at all of the continued story lines about LA bitterness, Howard failure, etc...

    Are people in LA really that self centered and the media that LA biased to dwell on the Dwight leaving LA thing over and over and over and over again.

    This is really just sad. I mean the nerve of some people much less a superstar to not want to play in LA... get over it!

    Any young to in their prime player would be foolish to play in LA with that aging roster unless they were purely motivated by money.

    It is just really sad that so much energy has to rehash Dwight leaving and how bad he is really (now that he is chosen another spot other than LA). There are bad losers and then there appear to be Laker fans... a new level of whining.

    I can not wait to see the game @Lakers.......
    I guess LA fans carry a lot of pride, they think it is impossible that DH left.

    I saw some ridiculous comments usually structured like "how they hate him but think he should stay"....arrrrr???

  • John P says 10 months ago

    Sort of a tangent but I am really suprised and really annoyed at all of the continued story lines about LA bitterness, Howard failure, etc...

    Are people in LA really that self centered and the media that LA biased to dwell on the Dwight leaving LA thing over and over and over and over again.

    This is really just sad. I mean the nerve of some people much less a superstar to not want to play in LA... get over it!

    Any young to in their prime player would be foolish to play in LA with that aging roster unless they were purely motivated by money.

    It is just really sad that so much energy has to rehash Dwight leaving and how bad he is really (now that he is chosen another spot other than LA). There are bad losers and then there appear to be Laker fans... a new level of whining.

  • rockets best fan says 11 months ago

    Well written article. I don't really sure, but I really doubt that ROX will implode like those Media have hoped.

    I agree...................................Hey Jeby I see you stuck a little shout out for Lin in there :lol:

  • thejohnnygold says 11 months ago

    Great stuff! I'm doing my best to stave off my excitement until the season gets closer. Reading stuff like this gets me fired up though. I can't stop picturing Howard's dunks. I'm excited to see if Parsons makes the spin move a permanent part of his game or just once every 30 games or so. I'm excited to have the first backcourt in history to average 10 assists apiece (it could happen B) ). I'm excited to see the opposition's frustration after going scoreless for 6+ minutes with Dwight and Omer going twin towers. I'm looking forward to the day Parsons tires of the pretty boy look and goes full Lebowski with the long hair and beard. I'm excited to see Lin and Beverly compete for PG supremacy. I'm excited to see what we get from our PFs. I'm excited to see what McHale calls out of a timeout at the end of a tight game. I'm excited to see what psychedelic suit Craig Sager will be wearing during the Lakers/Rockets game. I'm just excited!

  • BrentYen says 11 months ago

    Well written article. I don't really sure, but I really doubt that ROX will implode like those Media have hoped.