Rockets Game Discussion Thread
Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:03 AM
When you watch Beasley, this is sort of along the lines of what the Rockets are hoping for from Marcus Morris. While not the same skillset, they want to put a natural '4' at the '3' to overpower smaller perimeter players. If Morris can be as good as Beasley offensively, without the issues, the Rockets will have gotten themselves a steal.
Other thought: this is really a fascinating matchup and reminds me of a comparison I made some years back with the Oklahoma City Thunder when they were first getting good. The two teams had the same record roughly (Thunder and Rockets) but the Thunder had high-potential lottery picks while the Rockets were for the most part overachieving through hard work and grit. I wondered which team had more upward trajectory though I knew the answer. It's the same feeling now with Love, Rubio, and Beasley.
Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:52 AM
If you look at the Nuggets, they are a slightly improved version of the Rockets. They are an ensemble cast of B+ and B players. I would say the Rockets are a motley of B and C+ players at this point. As the cliché goes, the Nuggets are a product of synergy. We have heard a lot about how depth will benefit a team over a brutal 66-game stretch. Philadelphia and Indiana have been grinding it out on defense while Denver has been lighting it up on offense.
One concern that is evident with the Rockets lately is the tendency to sleepwalk during games. They either start flat or finish sloppily. That said, I'm not sure how much of a difference air pressure up in Denver makes. As a pro athlete who has been through so much, I feel that using such a factor is an excuse more than anything. 48 minutes of war, nothing less.
Anyway, it's important for Lowry to use those improved handles to take it to the hoop. Mozgov (left leg) won't be seeing action and you guys very well know that Nene is a defensive sieve. Watch out for Corey Brewer and Rudy Fernandez, those two get hot in a hurry.
Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:59 PM
Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:09 PM
Posted 07 February 2012 - 12:54 AM
- Parsons is going to have to play well to keep Galinari in check.
- At the moment I subscribe to the theory that Lowry struggles against quick point guards (I made a comment on that post about KLow's new handles explaining my reasoning), and Lawson certainly fits the bill on that front.
- Afflalo is a capable wing defender who could cause Martin some problems.
- Harrington playing as a stretch 4 is going to be problematic because neither Scola nor Patterson is all that adept at closing out 3 point shooters.
I've got my fingers crossed, but after taking the Denver altitude into effect I'm not hopeful of getting the win here.
Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:58 AM
Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:03 PM
Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:19 PM
I ranted about this on Twitter already, but it's hilarious to me that entering last night's game, the Nuggets had only 2 less losses than we did, yet a completely different media narrative. All you hear about the Nuggets is that they're a contender, are a testament to great team ball, etc etc. All you hear about the Rockets are how they need a superstar. Yet we had basically the same record. Go figure.
It is probably perception. The Nuggets were suppose to be in disarray from trading their "superstar". They were suppose to end up with a pu pu platter of Knicks rejects. Obviously that didn't happen. Somehow they ended up getting back competent players. They also managed to incorporate new players with pre-existing ones into a young (relatively), exciting team that plays hard. It also adds to the fact that the Knicks are playing like a D-League team. A part of the whole media thing is just the expectations they had for this team when it went down and how things ended up. How things turned out ended up being a surprise and the media loves good surprises and will cling to that until story line ceases to be exciting.
People look at the Nuggets as the exception. Melo is supposed to be in this superstar level and his team was suppose to fall off the cliff after trading him. The trade changed how things are viewed. It was obviously that the Nuggets had a decent team around Melo but now that he is gone, you can still see parts of it shine. There is also the view on Melo himself. He is not as great as many people thought he was going to be. This experiment with Amar'e is based on hope that a better PG, maybe a new coach and some better players can make their two stars co-exist.
As for comparisons with out team, as a record by record viewing, we are the same. However, the Nuggets have more potential with their young players. They have a glimmer of hope to what they may become. None of the Rocket's young players really have that.
At the end of the day, I can see why the Nuggets have this media aura around them. They have 'survived' Melo. They have been better off without therir star. They have rebounded in a decent way compared to the Cavs, Hornets, Raptors and by extensions the Suns when trading away their "star". The Utah Jazz have some of that aura since they are holding up decently without Sloan, Boozer and Deron. And you know what links Utah to Denver? The fact that they managed to get something of value back. It is one reason why the Magic haven't traded Howard yet. Maybe they haven't decided on whether they should go full blown rebuild or try to weather the absence of Howard and chug along like the Nuggets.
Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:03 PM
Here are some of the teams Denver have beaten: Dallas, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Miami, Philidelphia. Were it not for a blown layup by Gallinari they would have beaten the Lakers in LA as well as at home. At one point they were 14-5, good for 2nd seed in the West by a clear margin. Sure they're on a skid now, but to be honest when more than half of your starters are out you shouldn't expect to be winning. When a team breaks clear of the chasing pack like that, they get people looking at them and going "Hey, these guys are kind of good!"
In short, they've done things to deserve their spotlight, and we haven't (yet).
Posted 08 February 2012 - 11:27 AM
The Rockets cannot overstate how crucial this next game at Portland will be. Both teams are tied at 14-11. The Blazers will be raring for revenge after dropping a 107-105 overtime finish in Houston. The gravity of this game will have repercussions. Only three games separate the #2 Clippers (15-7) from the #9 Jazz (13-11). The Blazers aren't in the category of "wow, we actually beat a contender!" Far from it. Defeating the Blazers won't make the Rockets become Twitter's top trending topic unless Jeff Adrien goes off for 49 points. The Blazers will come out angry after losing last game on an ill-advised goaltending whistle.
Even though a Rockets win won't make too many heads turn, it will be a significant confidence booster because the Blazers are 11-2 at the Rose Garden and haven't lost back-to-back home games since March 2011. Coincidentally, that second straight loss came at the hands of the Rockets. What I am interested to see is how Coach Nate McMillan will balance his minutes in the backcourt. He started Crawford in place of the injured Felton against the Thunder. If Raymond Felton is a no-show again, inserting Crawford may pose a problem because his backup is Nolan Smith, who hasn't delivered the punch needed coming off the bench. That shallow guard rotation can be exploited by Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. How I wish I could type Jeremy Lin in that previous sentence...
Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:29 AM
Houston is currently 3-1 on the longest road trip of the season, something that will be pivotal down the stretch. The team could've easily been 0-4 with a couple of bad plays here and there. Their last two wins against Portland and Phoenix reminded us of two things that will define where the Rockets go this season. First, they are a team that lets opponents stay close and pull away no thanks to a string of turnovers and bad shot selection coupled with the other team heating up at the worst of times. Second, the depth is helping them close out games and deliver the finishing blow.
Here's a total of the bench production over the last four games:
@ Min - 26 points (Patterson with 14)
@ Den - 42 points (Budinger with 16 and Lee with 10)
@ Por - 66 points (Budinger with 22, three others in double figures)
@ Phx - 57 points (all five members of the second unit in double figures)
Am I making a case that any of them should be promoted to the starting lineup? Not at all. Just keep up this solid production going against a team that loves to light up the scoreboard. It's an additional blessing that there's no D in "Warriors."
Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:52 AM
In the postgame presser, McHale was pissed. He wadded up the stat sheet into a ball and at the end, chunked it at the wall. I didn't ask any questions - he was giving short answers.
What a terrible loss. It was literally like watching the red sea parting every time Pekovic or Love would roll down the middle. Rubio picked the Rockets' defense apart.
That Wolves team is going to be good. I don't know how many years Adelman plans on continuing to coach, but they'll be there if he's around. This year is sort of like that first year with the Kings when they still had Tariq Abdul-Wahad. Then they traded him for Nick Anderson. Then they trade Jason Williams for Bibby. Then they dropped Corliss Williamson and Hedo came of age. They'll be there. Rubio is the real deal and Love, while not a game-changer, though a statistical monster, gets it done. Pekovic is legit. If Adelman can continue developing the likes of Derrick Williams and Beasley, they'll be there. That team needs a veteran presence.
On Rubio: I hate giving in to hyperbole, but I don't know if I've seen a passer like that. There are better passers out there, like Kidd and Nash. But I don't know if I've seen someone have the ability to make more difficult passes. He has this ability to throw one-handed overhand passes that I haven't seen from anyone else. He had one tonight where he just perfectly tossed it over his man's head at just the right height to the rolling cutter. Just ridiculous.
Two more before the break. I think we beat the Jazz and lose to the Grizzlies.
Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:03 PM
1. Jrue has been awful all year against good/physical point guards this year
Holiday went 0/9 and posted a minus-20 in a loss to the Mavericks last week. Perfect, I hear the Rockets have a bulldog of a point guard and word is that he's pretty awesome too.
2. Hey Spencer Hawes: Get healthy man. Fast.
It looks like Lavoy Allen is not the answer at the center position. It could be much worse. The Sixers could have been starting the corpse also known as Tony Battie. Word is Hawes won't be back until after the regular season resumes on February 28.
3. On Andres Nocioni: The fact that he even saw the court versus the big and physical Grizzlies, let alone was in the first five, is an absolute joke.
So start Thad Young then.
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