Checking in on the standings

Screen shot 2012 12 28 at 7.09.42 AM Checking in on the standings
 If the playoffs began today, the Rockets would be sitting at sixth and opening up in San Antonio.  I think you’ll see the Lakers start climbing a bit with Nash back at the helm while Memphis starts coming back down to earth.  It appears that Golden State is legit.  At the bottom seeds, things continue to look unclear.

I’m maintaining my earlier prediction that the Rockets will continue to improve as the year progresses.  That’s typically been the case over the past few years.  And I still believe, while there haven’t been any signs warranting hope, that one of the rookie forwards will break through and contribute.  Or perhaps Greg Smith should be considered this year’s breakout ‘rookie’?

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  • sircharles says 12 hours ago much rather have harden, love can shoot and get rebounds but his defense is pretty bad. he isnt the game changer that harden is
  • DaDakota says 1 day ago If you added Love to this team, it would be a championship contender.

  • Cooper says 1 day ago I would take harden over love a lot of loves big stats don't seem to affect the game as much as you would think.
  • kjunfood says 1 day ago Reading the month old comments...anyone change their mind, as of now, between the Love and Harden comparison?
  • Sir Thursday says 1 day ago Out of Golden State and Memphis, I would be more inclined to expect the Warriors to be the ones cooling off. They didn't look great when we played them but I think that was back-to-back-itis. Would also expect Denver to start climbing once they get a few more home games, and the Mavericks will be stepping up too now that Dirk's back. It's going to start getting crowded in the standing soon, methinks.

  • Red94 says 1 day ago New post: Checking in on the standings
  • ale11 says 1 month ago I think both of them are pretty much at the same level, with a little advantage to Love....I mean, which team wouldn't want to have either of them? The slight difference in favour of Love is that he is more dominant offensively than Harden, I mean....there are other (not much, but still they are) superstar SG while I don't see much PF better than Love, or even at his level. Besides....can you imagine him rebounding with Asik? I don't see Minnesota trading him before the end of his contract unless he is really unhappy there and demands a trade (which happen in the case they constantly fall short of the playoffs, and I believe that Rubio is the missing piece for them, so coming to Houston's not gonna happen).
  • Chichos says 1 month ago Love is a better pure scorer than Harden, but if you count both ends of the floor you have to like Harden. Love is generally accepted as being a subpar defender. Even with all his off-season work and strict diet he is still a below the rim player. Unless he figures out a Battier level of position defense he will always be a liability on that end.
  • Stephen says 1 month ago Re Kevin Love.
    W/out Rubio his Minn teams have lost pretty consistantly.
    Once Rubio comes back,I'd expect Minn to really pick it up.
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago I agree for the most part with Rahat's take on the top 6 teams in the West likely to make the playoffs being the Thunder, Lakers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Clippers and Nuggets. Key injuries to any of these teams could knock any of them out, though, in my opinion. I'm more interested in seeing how much progress our team can make this year in terms of overall improvement, get an established player rotation going that becomes consistent over time, compete well against the best teams in the league, and at the end of the year, if the Rockets do make the playoffs, that will be a fitting capper to our season. It is important that the Rockets start playing some playoff games, if not this season, then starting next season, as that is when the cream rises to the top and there is nothing like playoff experience to solidify players careers. If the Rockets are patient with who they eventually choose to fill out our roster and not make a hasty decision, I can envision only good things from this franchise for a number of years including eventually competing for those rings and the trophy at some point.
  • rocketrick says 1 month ago However, Harden has the playmaking ability that Kevin Love as a big simply doesn't possess and assuming Harden continues improving on the defensive end of the court including making more steals that lead to fastbreak opportunities, the more valuable Harden is going to be as the season plays out. We already have enjoyed a taste of what Harden can do on the offensive end of the court with his driving abilities, shooting 3's and free throws proficiently, hitting the open guy for uncontested shots, etc. True, at this point Love is more consistent as it is very difficult for opposing bigs to cover as much ground as Love is capable of which leads to a lot of open looks from the 3 point line. However, at the end of games you want the ball in the hands of a playmaker, ala Harden and not someone like a Love. Love's teammates have to help him get open for his shots. I don't ever envision Love as a defensive stopper either.
  • blakecouey says 1 month ago I've got to disagree about Harden being a better player than Love as well. Love is a double double machine, and it's well over just 10 and 10. We have just a small sample size of Harden as a starter though, and he is being worked into a new offense so there is still time for him to surpass Love in my mind. I do believe it's possible for us to sneak into one of those two spots, although we need to have some help from some guys, namely Patterson.
  • Sir Thursday says 1 month ago

    Rahat Huq, on 26 November 2012 - 23:12 PM said:

    I am. Unless you're talking about a generational big like Duncan/Shaq, I personally would always go with the shot creating wing over the big if on the same relative level.

    Based on what I've seen of Harden so far I would have to disagree - I'd say that Love is a level above Harden at the moment. I have yet to see Harden match the consistency of Love on a night to night basis. Over the past couple of seasons Love has been posting excellent games night in and night out. Harden, on the other hand, blows hot and cold. And yes in today's NBA offence from the wing is probably more valuable late in games, but I'd argue that the mismatches that Love creates probably make up for that. he poses a problem to NBA defences in a fashion that few are prepared to counter, whereas for all Harden's brilliance he is doing something that there is a hard 'counter' to (remember his struggles against Iguodala and Allen? For all that people initially dismissed the "how will he fare with the best defender on the other team on him?" argument because of his hot start, I think there is still some validity to asking that question until Harden has shown he can break down an elite defensive wing or two). The one negative against Love is that it's harder to excuse poor defence from a big man than it is from a perimeter player, simply because of the need for an inside presence to function as an anchor in most defensive schemes.

  • Rahat Huq says 1 month ago I am. Unless you're talking about a generational big like Duncan/Shaq, I personally would always go with the shot creating wing over the big if on the same relative level.
  • PKM says 1 month ago Are you saying that Harden is better than Love? I would disagree, and I don't think it would even be that close.
  • Rahat Huq says 1 month ago Ah, not sure why I forgot to mention Memphis. Yes, I see them also as a lock. So that brings it down to two spots.
  • It_Was_All_A_Dream says 1 month ago You don't see Memphis as a mortal lock to make the playoffs? That squad plays nasty D and has two absolutely reliable scoring options in Gasol and Z-Bo


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