Postmortem Dissent: No Time To Panic

The Rockets lost to the Warriors, again, for the fourth time in five years. This year’s ignominy, after missing 27 threes in a row in last year’s Game 7, was failing to take a game from Golden State after their best player, Kevin Durant, was injured.

This season, far more than the previous two Durant-on-the-Warriors seasons, Golden State has looked vulnerable. The 2018-2019 Warriors won fewer games; their defense slipped; they sacrificed depth for an injured and ineffective DeMarcus Cousins; and their heart and soul, Draymond Green, had his worst season in years while reportedly feuding with Kevin Durant.

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Huq’s Pen: Houston Rockets 2018-2019 postmortem, Part 2

  • One thing that’s always been difficult for me is the fact that the more one tinkers with their roster, the more removed you become from the emotional highs and lows of success and failure, particularly when and if the pinnacle is ever reached. Had the Rockets toppled Golden State this year, they would have accomplished that feat without Trevor Ariza, a major part of last season’s team. If they go on to move either Clint Capela or Eric Gordon this offseason, and then get past the Warriors, it would leave just James Harden, Chris Paul, and P.J. Tucker as holdovers from the 2018 loss. It would be sweet, but just wouldn’t feel the same. This is without even mentioning how much institutional knowledge and experience is lost with each transaction. The new guys next year won’t be able to dig deep and lean on the past failures as an outcome to overcome. But I guess that’s just how it goes in the modern NBA. To stagnate is to die. And it’s what makes this Warriors run so unique. Because of a perfect storm of events (such as Steph Curry’s injury history leading to a below-market deal), they’ve managed to maintain the same core group through this entire run.
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Huq’s Pen: Houston Rockets 2018-2019 postmortem

  • I’ve already tweeted a lot of my initial reactions in the hours since the loss, but I kind of see this place as a refuge for more nuanced takes. That’s the thing I hate about Internet culture today, particularly with respect to politics but also seeping its way down to sports. No one wants to hear about some white paper and the impact on GDP and other economic indicators of some policy position; all that matters is “TRADE DEFICIT!!11” or “MOAR FACTORY JOBS CREATED!” or whatever else can be bundled up conveniently into a catchphrase or sound bite. Truth really doesn’t matter. Explanatory facts are another phrase for whining. The stance that ‘wins’–or I guess the one that gets adopted as narrative into conventional wisdom–is whichever one is less conducive to public mockery.
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