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@  majik19 : (13 October 2015 - 09:09 PM) Apparently we claimed Arsalan Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks today... yet another undersized (6'7") power forward for Morey's cupboard.
@  Mario Peña : (10 October 2015 - 01:12 PM) If your part if the Red94 Fantasy Basketball League check the thread to vote for the date and time for the draft event. Thanks y'all!
@  jorgeaam : (07 October 2015 - 08:47 PM) Guys we need 1 more owner for the Red94 fantasy league, if interested please comment on the post in the fantasy basketball thread
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 06:50 PM) Kobe ranked one spot higher than Ariza? Is this based on legacy or...??
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 04:13 PM) It was hard to keep up with both the Astros and Rockets at the same time. Should be interesting on Thursday with the Texans and Astros on simultaneously.
@  Mario Peña : (07 October 2015 - 04:09 PM) It was fun to have the Rockets on last night! Right now I'm watching the Celtics versus Milan and Alessandro Gentile is impressive.
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Well, thinking twice about it, I'd rather have him score less and have the team as a whole do better. Lawson should take a lot of his load off
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Loving that, hope he hits 30 PPG this year
@  thejohnnygold : (06 October 2015 - 06:15 PM) Someone is feeling confident :) : LINK
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 05:54 PM) 10 Teams done, will need 2 more
@  Mario Peña : (06 October 2015 - 02:35 PM) Alright guys, if anyone is interested in joining the Red94 fantasy basketball league we could use one more player to get us to 10 teams (or three to get us to 12 teams). Just check the thread in the Fantasy Basketball forum. Thanks!
@  thejohnnygold : (05 October 2015 - 06:23 PM) I use leaguepass here in Austin with no problems...
@  skip 2 my lou : (05 October 2015 - 03:14 PM) Hey fellas, I'm a rocket fan but I live in the heart of Dallas. Does anybody know if I buy NBA Leaguepass if it's too close to be subject to blackouts?
@  Losthief : (02 October 2015 - 02:24 AM) tks jg
@  thejohnnygold : (29 September 2015 - 05:16 AM) FYI, it was media day today. Interviews are up at NBA.com
@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK

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Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors on 2/20/2014


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 20 February 2014 - 02:02 PM

    New post: Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors on 2/20/2014
    By: Paul McGuire

    With the rise of both James Harden and Stephen Curry, the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors always seem to be compared to one another.  Both are led by charismatic coaches with somewhat shaky playbooks who had long and successful NBA careers, have a star perimeter player known for hitting 3’s, have a center renowned for his defense, and a third great wing player.  Many preseason predictions had either the Rockets at 4 and the Warriors at 5 or vice versa, creating the enticing prospect of seeing the growing rivalry between the two teams in the playoffs.  But now over 50 games later, while Houston is looking stronger than ever after annihilating the Lakers last night, Golden State must forget about a championship and realize that they could very well find themselves in the lottery come May.

    So, what has gone wrong for Golden State?  To some degree, it can be blamed on injuries.  Andre Iguodala missed 17 games with a strained hamstring, and even though he has been back for over two months, the effect still linger.  Meanwhile, Andrew Bogut has missed the last four games and is currently questionable for tonight’s game.  Jermaine O’Neal has finally returned from a wrist injury, and everyone worries about Curry’s ankles.  But the reality is that Golden State’s injuries are not that much worse, if at all, than what the Rockets have dealt with.

    A bigger problem for the Warriors is their youth.  Most Rockets fans at the beginning of the season were hoping that just one of either Terrence Jones or Donatas Motiejunas would turn out to be a useful rotation player.  However, both of them have made significant strides, and even Chandler Parsons has developed into a borderline All-Star and Dwight is looking more like Orlando Dwight by the day.  In contrast, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson have had disappointing seasons after an impressive playoff run last season.  Thompson seems to bounce from “unstoppable” to “doesn’t belong in the NBA” from one game to the next, while Barnes has been stuck in a 6th man role which he is not really suited to do.  Still, the Rockets will need to pay great attention to Klay and Stephen Curry – because it is shooting guards who like to run off screens for jumpers that give James Harden the biggest trouble on the defensive end.

    It is Houston’s offense however which will have the biggest challenge.  The shooting and flashiness of Stephen Curry and the Warriors make people believe that they are a high-flying offensive team with a mediocre defense, but they are in fact a defensive titan that depends a bit too much on shooting to generate points – for example, they are ranked 3rd when it comes to defensive rating.  A lot of this defensive impact can be traced to Andrew Bogut, who would be a credible Defensive Player of the Year candidate if Roy Hibbert didn’t exist.  But even if Bogut does not play tonight, Andre Iguodala is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, one who made things extremely difficult for James Harden last year when Iguodala was a Denver Nugget.

    Also, a final note as Houston looks to secure its place in the standings: 10 of Houston’s next 12 games will be against teams with a plus .500 record.  This includes the Miami Heat twice, as well as contests against the Clippers, Oklahoma City, Indiana, and Portland.  From my perspective, there is not that much difference between Houston getting the 2nd and 3rd seed – but there is a HUGE difference between the 3rd and the 4th.  The Western Conference may be as difficult as ever, but the Oklahoma City Thunder have just shown themselves to be on a completely different level from every other Western team, with Kevin Durant a likely MVP and Russell Westbrook returning tonight from injury.  The later Houston can put off dealing with them in the playoffs, while praying that someone else knocks them out, the better.  If the Rockets can make it through this tough stretch winning more games than they lose, that alone will be a big boost in the standings.

    Tip-off is at 9:30pm CST.  Game will be on ESPN tonight.


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    #2 Sir Thursday

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    Posted 20 February 2014 - 07:59 PM

    IMO the major difference between the Warriors this year and last year is that they are no longer solid when Stephen Curry sits. Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry provided an awesome bench unit that kept the points flowing, so they kept up their intensity for the full 48 minutes. This year though, the Warriors' numbers plummet with Curry is off the floor (he and Andre Iguodala currently lead the league in per game +/-) and that has been their downfall. With his injury history you can't bite the bullet and put him out there for the full game, but if they don't then the team loses.

     

    That's why I think the addition of Steve Blake may make a difference for the Warriors. He's not an amazing player, but he's definitely an upgrade at backup PG and should help facilitate for the bench unit much better than the previous incumbents. IMO backup PG is one of the most underrratedly important positions in the league. As Rockets fans we've been spoiled in recent years with the glut of talent the team has had at the position. But remember the agony of early last year when watching Toney Douglas trying to play the point was an exercise in eye-ball clawing? That's not something a championship contender can afford to have. 

     

    I'm not going to be able to watch this game, unfortunately, but I'll be interested to see whether or not the Rockets can bait Mark Jackson into calling unwise iso matchups like he has done in previous games. Harrison Barnes or David Lee posting up is a much better outcome for the Rockets than Curry in the P&R or Thompson spotting up.

     

    Also on defence the Rockets should be blitzing the P&R if Curry gets a screen from anyone other than David Lee. Lee has the passing skills to convert the ensuing 4-on-3 opportunities when Curry passes out of the trap, but none of GS's other bigs have the wherewithal to deal with it properly. It worked very nicely last time we played them and forces the ball out of Curry's hands.

     

    ST


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    #3 Losthief

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    Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:01 AM

    games on tnt not espn tonight fyi.


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    LoSTHieF

    I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Skilled


    #4 Buckko

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      Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:29 AM

      Refs. 


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      #5 Red94

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        Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:43 AM

        New post: Golden State Warriors 102, Houston Rockets 99 - Down but not out
        By: Forrest Walker

        There are bad losses, Bad losses and BAD losses in the NBA. Losing to the Los Angeles Clippers by something like a thousand points was Bad. Losing to the Thunder and setting an NBA record for offensive dysfunction was BAD. Losing to the Warriors on their home turf in overtime? Every loss is bad, but this one was survivable. This was the first game after a strangely tepid trade deadline, and the Rockets nearly came from behind for the win. There are still issues to work out and defense to work on, but they're the same issues and problems the team had yesterday. Losing stings, but this is pain you can live with.

        As for the Golden State Warriors, they looked like the competitor everyone expected in the summer. Their offense was desultory, but so was Houston's. Both teams were on the second night of a back to back, which tends to cause shooting to suffer and defense to become more important. The Warriors are the more steadfast defensive team, and at times it looked like Houston couldn't get anything they wanted. When any Houston players found themselves open, they clanked the shot more often than not. Even at the free throw line, the poor shooting persisted.

        If this sounds like time to panic, it's not. James Harden had a monster 39 points on 14-27 shooting along with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Harden took over the game late and looked like a star. He even defended David Lee quite capably on multiple occasions. If your Rockets Game Bingo has "good post defense from Harden" on it, you may have just won big. If, like the rest of us, it says "good post play from Dwight Howard" on your sheet, you're out of luck. Dwight's 24 rebounds and 4 blocks may have been huge for the team, but his 4-13 shooting and 3-8 free throws were cause for dismay. Jermaine O'Neal brought it to Dwight on both ends of the floor and enjoyed an amazing game, including a crucial block in overtime that prevented Parsons from taking the lead.

        The biggest reason for concern for Houston was free throw shooting. At 16-25, any of those misses would have helped avoid overtime in the first place. The Rockets, while sporting dreadful numbers from the stripe to begin with, 64% as a team is a recipe for disaster. The downside is that there's little to be done about it, but the upside is that this will largely correct itself with time and rest. It stings to know that those missed shots could have saved the game, but says little about Houston's prospects.

        There's not much to be learned from a game where all but two players on the team shot less than 50%. There's little takeaway from the end of the game except that James Harden and Steph Curry are both amazing. There's no good reason to be afraid of Jermaine O'Neal any more than the day before. Ugly losses hurt, and seeing that win streak fall apart hurts even more. That's all true, but in a mid-February regular season game, none of them are impossible to survive.


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        #6 Knickabokkaz

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          Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:45 AM

          So who to blame? I blame Lin, I blame him for not taking the ball and actually running an offense and running ISO-Harden, Hero Ball. I blame Lin for not having supersonic speed to get open when Hardens killing the clock and he passes it to Lin in the corner with 2 seconds left while covered and he has to run around 2 guys just to get an open look, and yes I blame him for slipping. I blame Lin for hesitating to take shots because he's supposedly not suppose to, the "superstar" is suppose to. I blame Lin for Parsons shooting 8/24 an D12 going 4/13. And yes I definitely blame Lin for Parsons getting stuffed on a dunk, he should have held the 40 yr old down from blocking Parsons.

          Sorry Rahat we didn't see the 1-2 PnR which would have been the ideal play when you called it, but the dumb coach and a huge ego prevented all of that.

          Btw incase we haven't figured it out yet... Hero ball = FAIL. And I blame Lin for that too
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          #7 Mario Peña

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          Posted 21 February 2014 - 07:50 AM

          The silver lining is that the Rockets grinded this game out and made it competitive on the Warriors home court. Considering how off Dwight and Parsons were I consider the Warriors lucky to get the win. How about Harden with the steal on Lee, the shot to take the lead and then the dish Parsons couldn't capitalize on? Pretty impressive crunch time play.
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          How sweet it is!

          #8 shirtless

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            Posted 21 February 2014 - 08:32 AM

            It's kind of unfair that someone can do something right for 45 minutes, but if they mess up in the last 3 minutes that's what people focus on. Oh well, that's what I'm going to do, too.

             

            Hero ball is not the way to go, EVER. Every analytic shows that isolation is the least efficient play for pretty much every team that does not have Kevin Durant on it. And I don't have to tell you how much less efficient it becomes when the other team actually knows you're going to run it and can prepare for it. Even the announcer (who weirdly kept saying Parson Chandlers) pointed it out a few times. He said that the Rockets are comfortable isolating Harden in key moments, and that once he gets the ball you know what's going to happen. In overtime he even said that the lack of ball movement was hurting the Rockets.

             

            I just don't get why the Rockets are the most analytically focused team for 45 minutes and then turn into cavemen for the last 3. I've said it before, but if Harden actually makes a shot in those situations, it's the exception, not the rule. I hate to say it but a very small part of me kind of wants him to miss just so the Rockets will kick that habit before the playoffs begin. 


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            #9 SadLakerFan

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              Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:17 AM

              That was a very enjoyable game. If the team learns to hit free throws even when they are dead tired the Rox win this game.
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              #10 linonlyfan

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                Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:29 AM



                Its kinda strange, one of the most effective plays i think i seen the Rockets do, is what Lin calls the back side screen and roll. Usually Lin starts with the ball and goes into a pnr, but its actually a decoy with Harden setting up on the other wing to get the ball and immediately go into another screen and roll. As much as Harden can seriously create some ooh ah isolation offense, he seems much better attacking a trailing closeout. I think the Rockets are lacking the patience and experience to get into quality offensive sets sometimes and sorting this out would prevent end game situations that we see today. I really dislike it when the game becomes zip ball around perimeter and whoever has it tries to take his man, it looks far too much like the pickup games i play at the neighbourhood court.

                At end of day, what is great to see is that the team is starting to sort of get the defensive side a bit better. That was the biggest gap and its closing somewhat. I hope the tough run of games we have will get us into a lets now improve how we play offense mindset. The best part is this season is showing us there are no real talent gaps, and however much Hardens ability spoils the team into isoball sometimes, thats the sort of ability you need to get to top 2 in the league. Just need to learn how to apply it best.

                Pat Beverley shot up the power rankings for me today. He really brings a battlers mindset that the team needs so bad.


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                #11 Willk

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                  Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:45 AM

                  The silver lining is that the Rockets grinded this game out and made it competitive on the Warriors home court. Considering how off Dwight and Parsons were I consider the Warriors lucky to get the win. How about Harden with the steal on Lee, the shot to take the lead and then the dish Parsons couldn't capitalize on? Pretty impressive crunch time play.

                  You knew the streak was going to come an end at some point. The Rox did a good job battling on a night when they did not have it.

                   

                  So who to blame? I blame Lin, I blame him for not taking the ball and actually running an offense and running ISO-Harden, Hero Ball. I blame Lin for not having supersonic speed to get open when Hardens killing the clock and he passes it to Lin in the corner with 2 seconds left while covered and he has to run around 2 guys just to get an open look, and yes I blame him for slipping. I blame Lin for hesitating to take shots because he's supposedly not suppose to, the "superstar" is suppose to. I blame Lin for Parsons shooting 8/24 an D12 going 4/13. And yes I definitely blame Lin for Parsons getting stuffed on a dunk, he should have held the 40 yr old down from blocking Parsons.

                  Sorry Rahat we didn't see the 1-2 PnR which would have been the ideal play when you called it, but the dumb coach and a huge ego prevented all of that.

                  Btw incase we haven't figured it out yet... Hero ball = FAIL. And I blame Lin for that too

                  Knickabokkaz or Yo B or whatever name you are using now,I thought you promised you were not going to post. Can you keep a promise?


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                  #12 rocketrick

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                    Posted 21 February 2014 - 11:51 AM

                    It's kind of unfair that someone can do something right for 45 minutes, but if they mess up in the last 3 minutes that's what people focus on. Oh well, that's what I'm going to do, too.
                     
                    Hero ball is not the way to go, EVER. Every analytic shows that isolation is the least efficient play for pretty much every team that does not have Kevin Durant on it.


                    James Harden was the one and only reason the Rockets even had any chance of pulling out a win against Golden State earlier last evening.

                    BTW, Harden played the entire second half and overtime period. And seems that he suffered a tough injury early in OT.

                    And the Harden ISO haters come out like droves, simply blaming Harden for losing this quite winnable game.

                    Whatever.

                    Eventually, most Rockets fans will be in the majority looking forward to those last moments in tight games in tough playoff games that James Harden is on our team determined to win the game.
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                    #13 Bigtkirk

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                      Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:04 PM



                      Given how little the Rockets got out of the PG position in this game, it's remarkable that it was as close as it was.

                      I sure hope T. Jones hasn't hit a wall. He has been struggling lately.


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                      #14 Mario Peña

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                      Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:43 PM

                      I agree Bigtkirk. And the Rockets still have a losing streak coming and hopefully it's not more than a handful of games and that they all learn lessons from.
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                      How sweet it is!

                      #15 Cooper

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                        Posted 21 February 2014 - 02:55 PM

                        There were several points were the rockets could have sealed the win and only one was a missed ISO play by harden. Plus he backpacked the team the entire second half, when it seemed Parsons and Howard couldn't buy a bucket. Not taking the first look he had off the set of screens to end the game might have been his biggest mistake and he still got a good look it just didn't go down. And he found parsons on a great back cut it just so happend the corpse of jermaine oneal had a little lift left in him. How many times out of ten is he able to make that play? 2-3 maybe. A OT road loss to a playoff team isn't a big deal.
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                        #16 Steven

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                          Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:33 PM

                          So who to blame? I blame Lin, I blame him for not taking the ball and actually running an offense and running ISO-Harden, Hero Ball. I blame Lin for not having supersonic speed to get open when Hardens killing the clock and he passes it to Lin in the corner with 2 seconds left while covered and he has to run around 2 guys just to get an open look, and yes I blame him for slipping. I blame Lin for hesitating to take shots because he's supposedly not suppose to, the "superstar" is suppose to. I blame Lin for Parsons shooting 8/24 an D12 going 4/13. And yes I definitely blame Lin for Parsons getting stuffed on a dunk, he should have held the 40 yr old down from blocking Parsons.

                          Sorry Rahat we didn't see the 1-2 PnR which would have been the ideal play when you called it, but the dumb coach and a huge ego prevented all of that.

                          Btw incase we haven't figured it out yet... Hero ball = FAIL. And I blame Lin for that too

                          So hero ball failed when Harden made an Iso jumper all in Klay Thompson's grill with 7 seconds to go. No. What failed was the Rockets defense on the next play. They had a foul to give and Parsons should have used it the second Curry caught the pass. Curry then made a nice layup over Howard. And Lin did get the ball only to leave his jumper 10 feet short of the rim as the buzzer rang. When the Rockets were as atrocious offensively as they were last night, besides Harden, I don't expect them to beat a playoff caliber team.
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                          #17 John P

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                            Posted 21 February 2014 - 03:54 PM



                            Agreed that this is a loss we can live with. The team D was good...strong even, but our offense just sucked outside of Harden. This is what I am worried about most.

                            Parsons and Howard are fairly dependable. The fact that they were off tonight we can live with.

                            But besides those 3 I am worried about consistency with the rest of the team. As mentioned below, where is Jones? Dmo was more impactful last night than Jones. Casspi? Did Cisco even hit the floor? Maybe Hamilton can help but Brooks' O was needed tonight when others were off.

                            We have great players in Harden, Howard, Parsons, but the next tier of players is inconsistent at best. Maybe this is true for most teams but if Lin, Casspi, Jones, etc... check out in the playoffs for more than a game or so we are toast.

                            One last point on Beverley. They guy is a stud. His box score may not say it, but his D was one of the big reasons that Curry was somewhat contained for large parts of the game. He got great fouls. Fouls for hounding the hell out of Curry. I don't have the quantitative data to back it up but it looks like he was playing great D all night long...till he fouled out in OT.

                            Also, Harden was invested in D last night too. Great to see and a huge key to playoff success.


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                            #18 bladad

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                              Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:09 PM

                              One last point on Beverley. They guy is a stud.

                               

                              Agreed.

                               

                              It's kind of unfair that someone can do something right for 45 minutes, but if they mess up in the last 3 minutes that's what people focus on. Oh well, that's what I'm going to do, too.

                               

                              Hero ball is not the way to go, EVER. Every analytic shows that isolation is the least efficient play for pretty much every team that does not have Kevin Durant on it. And I don't have to tell you how much less efficient it becomes when the other team actually knows you're going to run it and can prepare for it. Even the announcer (who weirdly kept saying Parson Chandlers) pointed it out a few times. He said that the Rockets are comfortable isolating Harden in key moments, and that once he gets the ball you know what's going to happen. In overtime he even said that the lack of ball movement was hurting the Rockets.

                               

                              I just don't get why the Rockets are the most analytically focused team for 45 minutes and then turn into cavemen for the last 3. I've said it before, but if Harden actually makes a shot in those situations, it's the exception, not the rule. I hate to say it but a very small part of me kind of wants him to miss just so the Rockets will kick that habit before the playoffs begin. 

                               

                              He had the hot hand when no one else on the team seemed to be able to buy a bucket. It's not hero ball when you're being efficient and everybody else is playing poorly. Is ball movement still a problem down the clutch? Yes, but when you look at the game as a whole instead of the last three minutes, you can understand the iso harden ball. If Dwight, Jeremy, or Chandler were playing well, the conversation would be much different.

                               

                              Inefficient offense is not going to be the reason why the Rockets won't have a chance to win it all. Repeated lapses in (team) defense will.


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                              #19 Rahat Huq

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                                Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:17 PM

                                1. I disagree with you guys about the heroball.  Yes, James was the only player who was doing anything worth a damn, but that doesn't mean just clear out 1-4 for him every trip down.  I have no problem with him taking all of the shots, but atleast put him in better positions to score.  But whatever, I've already lost my breath talking about this topic.

                                 

                                2. The main point I had on last night's game was the power forward play.  You all know how much I love D-Mo and Terrence Jones and had kept screaming for them to get playing time all year, but, almost paradoxically, continued to say I didn't trust them if I felt this team wanted to compete.  While I'm thrilled the two will get all the time they can handle now, we saw last night that they just aren't ready to help this team against the good Western teams.  Jones in particular was getting completely mauled by David Lee and had nothing on the other end: this was the first team I saw actually guard him intelligently, inviting him to shoot from the outside.  Ultimately, Houston's best option was to just play Harden at power forward.  


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                                #20 Buckko

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                                  Posted 21 February 2014 - 04:58 PM

                                  Harden is a great post defender, it's his off ball guarding that causes the YouTube videos.
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