The Rockets Daily – September 11, 2013

Patrick’s Day – Jason Friedman at rockets.com continues his series of interviews with each member of the roster, landing on Patrick Beverley this week. Each of these stories has been insightful, and the comments from the Tasmanian Devil are no exception. He talks some about putting on some muscle weight to help him get to the rim, then makes a prediction:

JCF: When fans see you in training camp and preseason, what do you think they’ll see about you that’s markedly different than the last time they saw you out on the court?

PB: I think they’ll see me more in attack mode. When you come to a new team, especially in the middle of the season, you don’t want to come in and be ball dominant. So this year you’re going to see me attack more and stay aggressive over the course of the game.

Despite Beverley’s athleticism and all-around aggressiveness, his ability to attach the rim was a legitimate weakness last year. He averaged 2.1 free throw attempts per 36 minutes (less than jumpshooters Steve Nash or Ray Allen). By comparison, Lin averaged 3.7 attempts, and Harden was the king of this stat with 9.6 attempts per game.

However, he shot a respectable 60 percent at the rim, and a stellar 50.9 percent from 3-10 feet–one of the most difficult shot distances in the league. But despite being an effective finisher and and 82 percent free throw shooter, he took more threes all season (120) than shots near the basket (100). Beverley is a decent three point shooter (36 percent), but not good enough to park himself outside the arc and let his elite athleticism go to waste. The next question will be whether he has the court vision to match his athleticism and aggressiveness–an area in which Lin still has an advantage.

Lin’s assist percentage was 29.4 percent last year, with a turnover percentage of 18.8. Beverley’s percentages were 24.2 and 17.5, respectively, revealing Lin’s edge as a creator (all stats from BasketballReference.com). With Howard in the fold, the ability to hit the roll man may prove even more valuable to the team than last year.

Back to Friedman’s article, the most surprising statement from Beverley was about one of his teammates:

JCF: I know you’ve played with just about everyone on the roster at various points of the summer – some guys you’ve obviously seen more than others – but who’s stood out and impressed you the most?

PB: I’d say Reggie Williams. Greg Smith is in incredible shape and a beast, and I’ve been playing with Terrence Jones all summer, but the guy I’ve played with who’s surprised me is Reggie. People don’t really see what he does off the court. He’s an extremely hard worker. We spent some time in Chicago together and worked out a lot together. I’m excited to have him.

Add that stick to the fire of speculation about which of the approximately 347 wing players on the roster will grab Kevin McHale’s broken pool cue and find a place in the organization.

Covetousness – The comment forums have been full of speculation about potential trades for an All-Star power forward, and count me in with the group that sees LaMarcus Aldridge as a good fit. Of course, the big knock on him is that he shoots lots of long twos (a skill that I believe will increase in value as defenses evolve to take away moneyball shots), instead of threes. Well, in this interview with Truehoop’s Henry Abbott, Damian Lillard says he thinks the big man will start launching from beyond the arc. If he does, then his value around the league would skyrocket. There are about zero 7-foot guys on the planet who can block shots, post up, rebound respectably and shoot threes.

That being the case, I would expect that Morey is pushing to trade for him before the start of the season at a discount, and Portland is holding out and hoping for a king’s ransom (including a top-ten lottery pick) come February.

Mockery – Chad Ford has released his first 2014 Mock Draft (ESPN Insider). He projects the Rockets taking Jarnell Stokes (PF – Tennessee) with the 23rd pick, based on a forecast record of 53-29. He describes Stokes as “NBA ready.” A couple of thoughts:

  • Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones need to take this as motivation, because it is a clearly a vote of no confidence in the ability of either one of them to nail down the starting spot.
  • Morey typically goes for talent over need. Stokes is rated as number 21 on Ford’s Top 100 Board. Unless he is rated even higher than that on the Rockets’ internal big board, chances are that the Rockets take a player with greater potential who happened to slip. Think someone like Gary Harris at Michigan State–a talented guard who could slip due to questions about his size (probably wouldn’t slip to 23, but still).

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Total comments: 22
  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    Got awhile back.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Buckko, please check your messages because I sent you one. If you do not that is fine but it will be taken notice of.
  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    He was pretty neutral and I honestly couldn't argue against any one of them. However if you find a better writer with more solid facts and statistics, please tell.

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago

    No doubt about it Bleacher Report has some good bloggers but there are a lot of below average writers flying their flag, it's really about knowing the writer and most aren't worth the time. As for Scaletta he had his own blog for a few years and was established unlike many trying to pass off writing for Bleacher Report.

    I am all for fairness but the flip side is why would I look to a Chicago Bulls writer for information on Lin, seems like a stretch. We all know there are writers both pro, anti and in between on Lin so choosing anyone is obviously a reflection more of the reader is it not?

    By the way, rockets best fan I like your new member title.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    In all fairness, I checked out the article. Might be the first time I left bleacher report thinking to myself, "That was actually pretty well done".

    He consolidates all the major stats, gives them equal weighting, acquires an objective score, and then pairs that with (his words) at least 2 hours of video on each player from mysynergysports.com where he subjectively scores each player on speed, strength, IQ, etc.. All in all, I was impressed. Regarding Lin, he basically rates him as average physically, but gave him a nod on BBall IQ saying he rarely makes mistakes and anticipates the progression of plays very well.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Did you even read the article, I doubt it so don't criticize. He goes in to such a statistical depth that its somewhat beyond me but he explains it well. Now go read the article so we can say I am right. :D

    I don't need Scarletta's article.......I have the stats......perhaps you should look at the real stats

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    Kelly Scarletta on B/R........surely you can do better than that.......I gave you stats to work with. look at the stats. numbers don't lie when viewed in proper context. Scarletta's opinion means about as much to me as yours. besides I think Scarletta is a LOF to have him that high. all that shows me is something I already knew.............LOF's stick together in defense of their guy :lol:

    Did you even read the article, I doubt it so don't criticize. He goes in to such a statistical depth that its somewhat beyond me but he explains it well. Now go read the article so we can say I am right. :D

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Potentially there just isn't that much drop off from Lin to Beverley if at all and that is why some of us believe moving Lin is the desired end. If there is some drop off its in areas that are negligible, for instance why do the Rockets need a point guard that takes as many shot as Lin? Also pointing out ball handling as one of Lin's strengths seems like a weak argument to keep him. Some of his locker room and off court intangibles might be positives worth mentioning before his ball handling. All the respect to Lin for his hardworking ways and all that but he just doesn't seem like starter/good money material to me or even a great fit here in Houston. I like Lin but good god his fans can be annoying, I am a Rockets first and always. Just my opinion.

    Now saying that, like I have said before about a dozen times this summer, we could argue this till the end of Lin's time here but the truth is the season has to play out. It's definitely a slow time of the year if y'all are still debating this that much.

    Also, Buckko check your messages because I have left you one.

    I totally agree on every point

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    By Kelly Scaletta on bleacher report. If you read some of his articles, you will understand why he is respected. Lin was rated 10th best, better than lowery, Bledose, chalmers, Williams, and holiday. He just finished all 5 positions. Asik was rated 8th at center and getting better. Dwight was 4th due to a down year with Noah at 1st and Gasol 2nd. I highly recommend reading those articles.

    Kelly Scarletta on B/R........surely you can do better than that.......I gave you stats to work with. look at the stats. numbers don't lie when viewed in proper context. Scarletta's opinion means about as much to me as yours. besides I think Scarletta is a LOF to have him that high. all that shows me is something I already knew.............LOF's stick together in defense of their guy :lol:

  • feelingsupersonic says 1 YEAR ago Potentially there just isn't that much drop off from Lin to Beverley if at all and that is why some of us believe moving Lin is the desired end. If there is some drop off its in areas that are negligible, for instance why do the Rockets need a point guard that takes as many shot as Lin? Also pointing out ball handling as one of Lin's strengths seems like a weak argument to keep him. Some of his locker room and off court intangibles might be positives worth mentioning before his ball handling. All the respect to Lin for his hardworking ways and all that but he just doesn't seem like starter/good money material to me or even a great fit here in Houston. I like Lin but good god his fans can be annoying, I am a Rockets first and always. Just my opinion.

    Now saying that, like I have said before about a dozen times this summer, we could argue this till the end of Lin's time here but the truth is the season has to play out. It's definitely a slow time of the year if y'all are still debating this that much.

    Also, Buckko check your messages because I have left you one.
  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago By Kelly Scaletta on bleacher report. If you read some of his articles, you will understand why he is respected. Lin was rated 10th best, better than lowery, Bledose, chalmers, Williams, and holiday. He just finished all 5 positions. Asik was rated 8th at center and getting better. Dwight was 4th due to a down year with Noah at 1st and Gasol 2nd. I highly recommend reading those articles.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Lin was rated as a top 10 defensive PG and shot 40%+ from the 3 and 17ppg the last 2 months of the season. Mind you the west has far better PGs than the east and Beverly's stats are inflated from 2nd units It just proves me right, Beverly can dominated 2nd units but he is not a starter. Not to mention he doesn't have the ball handling and facilitator skills as Lin and Lin is our only other ball handler besides harden. Proof enough?

    Lin was rated a top 10 defensive PG?.......................by who?........where's the stats on that? since you seem to think Lin is better than Beverly lets compare them......also you're argument that Beverly only plays against 2nd string guards is incorrect.........when McHale needed someone to close the game more and more often he chose Beverly......which means he played against the other teams closer......how can you call that cut rate competition.......however on to the stats

    PER.........Lin 14.9.......Beverly 15.4........the average NBA player is at 15.0.....which means Lin is slightly below average and Beverly is slightly above average

    per 36......Lin

    Beverly
    and I'm sure you don't even want me to bust out the playoff stats
  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago Lin was rated as a top 10 defensive PG and shot 40%+ from the 3 and 17ppg the last 2 months of the season. Mind you the west has far better PGs than the east and Beverly's stats are inflated from 2nd units It just proves me right, Beverly can dominated 2nd units but he is not a starter. Not to mention he doesn't have the ball handling and facilitator skills as Lin and Lin is our only other ball handler besides harden. Proof enough?
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Just because he beat up on a rookie backup PG and took out westbrooks knee, doesn't mean he's starter material. Everyone plays great against bad opponents. Lin is statistically better even with Beverlys inflated stats against second units and limited playing time.

    look at bev's and lin's per 36 after the allstar break both offensively and defensively.......you might be shocked at what you find

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    Just because he beat up on a rookie backup PG and took out westbrooks knee, doesn't mean he's starter material. Everyone plays great against bad opponents. Lin is statistically better even with Beverlys inflated stats against second units and limited playing time.

  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    True, but Beverley is not a starting PG. He can dominate many second unit PGs but still not starter material.

    Beverly may not be starter material to you, but he is IMO. he is better than Lin for this team IMO.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    True, but Beverley is not a starting PG. He can dominate many second unit PGs but still not starter material.

  • thejohnnygold says 1 YEAR ago

    We would have to trade Lin and LMA could never replace their combine game.

    In all fairness, you need to include Lin's replacement (presumably Beverley) and his stats in this. The problem is you are taking things out of context. No one can predict what Lin+Asik would do in Portland (Does he beat out Robin Lopez for playing time? Who sits so Lin can play--Beal or Lillard?). On this side of it, no one can predict what impact Aldridge has on this team. To use their combined stats as evidence of a disparity is just not very logical.

    That being said, I agree that it is a poor trade for Houston and we would not be wise to do it.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago We would have to trade Lin and LMA could never replace their combine game.
  • John P says 1 YEAR ago

    I love LMA, being a Longhorn and all. He is a quality guy, and was part of one of my favorite teams with Roy when they could have gone the distance except for those awful injuries.

    But that being said I don't see LMA on this team. He is a great player but I don't think his style of play will fit in with this group. Maybe it was just McMillian but he likes to post up, slowing the game down, etc... He does go out of the lane, which is good to let Howard and Harden go to work, but unless he really is consistent from deep or at least almost deep I don't think it is optimal.

    Ideally we need a D and 3 player. LMA is not that much of a D player....and also not much of a 3 player. Josh Smith has the D but no 3 (not to mention horrible decision making and locker room issues) and Anderson just seems to be only 3 and thats it.

    Anyway, we can speculate all day through the 4s and tall 3s to see who would fit but other than Bosh or someone like that I just don't see LMA being that perfect fit.

    One this is for sure though....you could alternatively rest Howard and LMA and Harden and Parsons at any one time and probably really never take that much of a dip.

    Also, getting LMA or Love or another great PF is probably automatically mean we are losing Asik. Is that worth it?

    Straight up Asik and picks for LMA in a vaccum is worth it. But if we are not going to utilize all of LMAs talents....and our post D suffers without Asik, maybe its not worth it at the end of the day.

    Does Miami really get the value of their big 3? True they have won but the skills that Wade or Bosh bring could maybe be filled by two players each for cheaper and give the Heat more flexibility and diversify away injury risk.
    Just a thought.

  • Buckko says 1 YEAR ago

    Kevin Love shoots killer threes and the best rebounder. No way in hell we would get him though.

  • 2016Champions says 1 YEAR ago

    The comment forums have been full of speculation about potential trades for an All-Star power forward, and count me in with the group that sees LaMarcus Aldridge as a good fit. Of course, the big knock on him is that he shoots lots of long twos (a skill that I believe will increase in value as defenses evolve to take away moneyball shots), instead of threes. Well,in this interview with Truehoop's Henry Abbott, Damian Lillard says he thinks the big man will start launching from beyond the arc.If he does, then his value around the league would skyrocket. There are about zero 7-foot guys on the planet who can block shots, post up, rebound respectablyandshoot threes.

    This.