3-on-3: Three Pressing Questions on the Houston Rockets

3on3 truehoopnetwork 1101 3 on 3: Three Pressing Questions on the Houston Rockets




Fresh off the success of the 5-on-5 project, ESPN.com is bringing the round-table flagship to the pages of the TrueHoop Network.  In that vein, we’re kicking things off by posing three of the hottest questions to our three main contributors.  If you’d like to hear our takes on any specific topics, shoot me a line at [email protected], @RedNinetyFour on Twitter, or on the Facebook fan page.  We hope you enjoy our first installment of 3-on-3-Houston Rockets, with many more to come!

1. Do you agree with the Rick Adelman firing and Kevin McHale hiring?

Michael Pina: I believe the Rick Adelman departure was more a mutually beneficial departure than a “firing”, but regardless, the move was a good one. The Rockets are smack dab between rock bottom and world champion, the least enviable position an organization can find itself in. The team’s season by season win total wasn’t increasing in his four years, and a new head coach, especially one in the Hall of Fame, shouldn’t hurt.

Eric Todd: First of all, to say that Rick Adelman was fired, from the way I understood the situation at least, is not exactly accurate. Is Adelman a good coach, and could the team have made a greater effort to keep him? Absolutely.  Is McHale a better fit? Ask me again this time next year.

Jacob Mustafa: If David Kahn immediately hires the person a team just let go, a good decision was probably just made; however, does that assumption pass muster if the former team subsequently hires Kahn’s own predecessor? McHale cuts an imposing figure, in terms of both legacy and sheer size, but saying that his résumé pales in comparison to Adelman’s goes beyond understatement.

2. Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard will likely be on the block this winter.  Do the Rockets have a chance to obtain him?

Michael Pina: If Houston makes everyone on their roster, short of Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry, expendable (similar to what New York with Denver) then yes, they’re definitely in the hunt. They have enough pieces, and following in the footsteps of Hakeem Olajuwon and revitalizing Houston’s large market is an easy sell for Dwight. Obtaining him would instantly transform Houston into a title contender—unless, of course, Jordan Hill is lost in the deal.

Eric Todd: As much as I’d love to see this happen, I’m not convinced it’s a realistic possibility. The Rockets would have to start off the season very well, with a solid majority of its young assets showing off genuine potential, to persuade Dwight that this is a place he could win.

Jacob Mustafa: The proposed “Melo Rule” might make an in-season trade impossible, but whenever Howard becomes attainable, Houston should find itself nicely situated for getting the big man’s services. Supes’ reasons for coming to the H seem manifold: fantastic assets for a sign-and-trade, a glut of upcoming cap space, warm weather, eminent management, even tons of mega-churches to cater to Howard’s piety.

3. General manager Daryl Morey’s stated goal during his tenure has been to land a ‘star.’  If, within the next two years, he fails, will his time here have been a failure?

Michael Pina: Daryl Morey is one of the most popular GM’s in the league and widely regarded as a transcendent figure in his profession. Whether or not he obtains a superstar is partly out of his control—2/3 of the league is in the same positon—and the major injuries certainly didn’t help. It’d be tough to call the man a failure, even if he can’t grab a top flight superstar.

Eric Todd: I wouldn’t view it that way, no. By ‘star’ I believe what Mr. Morey means is a superstar, of which there are only about 10 players in the league who qualify for such a conversation,  9 of whom are still with the teams that drafted them. So, no, I wouldn’t say that having or not having the kind of luck it takes to land a superstar plays very much into how successful or competent I believe a GM to be.

Jacob Mustafa: Morey changed this team’s culture for the better, upgraded the team at every position (at which a former All-Star didn’t physically implode), started a mini-revolution without all of the carnage and vestigial anger… but without that game-changer, his run will have disappointed. What can I say? Competent management raises expectations, at least beyond “perennial best team not in the postseason”.

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