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@  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
@  rockets best... : (14 September 2015 - 02:29 AM) I agree totally. I got to watch his Rocket days and the man was a hell of a player. BIG MO R.I.P.

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Huq's Pen: How the Houston Rockets went down in predictably clueless fashion


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 03 May 2014 - 02:50 PM

    New post: Huq's Pen: How the Houston Rockets went down in predictably clueless fashion
    By: rahat huq

    • Any way you want to look at it, the Houston Rockets' 2013-2014 season was an abject failure.  No amount of revisionist apologetics can change that.  This team's end game, the litmus test by which it would be judged, was postseason success.  No, a title wasn't the bar.  But progress could only be defined as achieving newer heights....at least making the second round.  Instead, the Rockets went down last night in Game 6 of the first round, just as they had one year ago, only this time they were the favorite, matched up against the Conference who presented the most favorable matchup.
    • I thought about it last night and I realized I'm not really heartbroken about the result.  I'm very sad, yes; disappointed, of course.  But its much different this time than it was back in 1997 when I was 12 and Damian Lillard was white and named John Stockton and got free due to a Karl Malone bearhug on Clyde Drexler rather than overall coaching ineptitude.  It's much different.  It was socially acceptable to cry at that age, but apart from that, those Rockets were one game away from the Finals and had a legitimate chance to win the whole thing against a Bulls team against whom they historically fared well.  These Rockets?  Even pushing this thing to six games was house money the way they laid eggs in the first two, squandering the home-court advantage.  I'm not heartbroken this time because it quickly became clear early in this series that this team was too glaringly flawed to do anything of significance this season - we were just hoping for the ride to not end.  I, of course, naively predicted Houston in 5, willfully ignoring the problems that plagued this team all year, problems which the Rockets' superior talent was able to overcome during the regular campaign, and problems which are skillfully exploited in the postseason when attention to detail becomes a premium.  For those who watched the season, really, none of this should come as a surprise.  The way it went down, the only surprise should be the irony that it happened exactly the way it was going to go down all along.

    • The Rockets lost the season on a play, not where they were just beaten by a great individual effort, but where they didn't even seem to have a coherent strategy, as has been the case all series long.  For Damian Lillard to be that wide open is indefensible.  Here's the play:

    We are going to break this down now frame by frame to see what went wrong.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/1_zpsb9abeb9e.png

    The first odd thing to note here is that Beverley actually starts out on Lillard with Parsons on Mo Williams.  But James Harden appears to be ordering a switch before the inbound.  Why?

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/2_zpsdfd19b79.png

    Notice now that upon Harden's command, the two Rockets defenders have switched.  That whole odd sequence is captured better with this GIF:

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/Lillardlastplay-Hardenswitch_zps6caaac8b.gif

    Why do they come out of the timeout not knowing their assignments?  More troubling, why is Harden the defensive strategist?  I want to think that seeing the Blazers set up, Harden ordered Parsons onto Lillard anticipating the need for a later switch, eventually pitting Beverley onto Lillard.  But that switch of course never happened.  Just bizarre.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/3_zpsc59341d6.png

    Now with this set up, after Mo Williams turns, with no time on the clock for a pass, it seems to have become clear what's about to happen.  Unfortunately, the Rockets don't practice, so they are unprepared.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/4_zps4c56cc7c.png

    A better shot above of the Blazers now bunched up as Lillard appears set to come off a double screen.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/5_zpsb238c365.png

    Now it is already too late.  The second screen, set by Mathews, would have snuffed out Beverley had he tried to switch.  The logical thing here would have been Harden switching to Lillard, especially with just .9 left.  But again, the Rockets don't practice so they aren't prepared for in-game situations.  Parsons, as you see, doesn't even have a chance.

    http://i1283.photobucket.com/albums/a559/RedNinetyFour/6_zps0c1cec41.png

    And lastly, you see, Parsons isn't even in the vicinity of Lillard when he receives the catch.

    So many things about that sequence are so troubling.  Many people have noted that there was no purpose in having Jones guard the inbound.  I disagree.  That's pretty standard and moreover, the pass could have still gone into Aldridge with Lillard as the decoy.  What bothers me most is that Lin wasn't in the game.  This play was just a continuation of Kevin McHale's long-held fetish of having Parsons guard point guards when that strategy hasn't ever seemed to work; Lillard abused the latter earlier in the series as well.  You at least have to have one of Beverley or Lin on Lillard to give yourself a chance.  Parsons gives you no chance and never has against small point guards.

    Why did Harden order a switch before the inbound?  Did these guys really come out of the timeout not knowing their assignments?

    Watching that postgame clip of McHale, he seemed pretty satisfied with the execution, saying, "Lillard just took off running and got the first step.  Chandler just never caught up."  It seems, from McHale's comments, that the plan all along was to have Chandler on Lillard and to have him fight through the pick.  Why he thought that would work is beyond me.

    • The first order of business for this franchise this offseason will be finding a real coach.  That's not to say that Kevin McHale is without merit.  He was a good hire for his time, signed when the team was in need of a figurehead to usher it through a painful rebuilding stage.  But now, with the foundation set, the Rockets can ill afford to waste more precious years of Dwight Howard's prime without a tactician befitting of their players' superstar talents.
    • You're usually sad your team loses because, obviously, it means they have been eliminated and won't be winning the title.  But I'm sad for different reasons this time around and can finally relate to the fans of other teams, notably the Spurs.  For one, this was the first year since maybe 2009 when Houston's end game was the postseason.  In years past, we were excited to see what talent would be acquired in the offseason and how it would mesh in the regular season; we anticipated the growth of our young players.  But now, the regular year is just a drag.  Nothing else matters except getting back to May.  Not only that, but yet another year of Dwight Howard's precious prime has been wasted.  Many of you scoff at the notion of Dwight Howard's demise, but it is a very apparent thing.  To wit, he has shown progress offensively, even statistically speaking.  But close observation, particularly defensively, shows he is no longer the same man he was just three years ago.  The tape from Games 1 and 2 shows Howard laboring to rotate back to LaMarcus Aldridge after showing on the pick and roll.  In '09 and '10, Dwight would regularly blow those plays up by himself.  Yeah, you still see the blocks at the rim and the points, but the little things like the pick and roll coverage are no longer there.  That is depressing but is a reality of life.
    • And of course, 'Melo watch 2014 becomes effective immediately.  There will be ample time for speculation of such possibility, but to me, the decision over whether this would be a wise idea stems from one concern: can Chandler Parsons and James Harden coexist?  Forrest Walker opined on our latest podcast that with an actual defensive strategy, the two wings indeed could.  I am not so sure.  And if a more natural fit would be replacing Parsons with a defensive small forward, the logical extension would be the acquisition of an offensive oriented power forward.  Enter Anthony who would give new meaning to the term 'stretch 4.'  I think the team is set with Howard, Harden, and Beverley at three of the five positions.  They will need to sort out the forward slots to gain my confidence.  But a coaching change is the first order of business.

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    #2 txtdo1411

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    Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:17 PM

    Losing like this makes teams and individuals hungrier. Hopefully they take this loss, and use it to have their best offseason yet. It shall be fun to see what happens with the coaching staff, as well as the expiring contracts. I'd almost like to give the Asik/Howard pairing another shot... almost


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    #3 timetodienow1234567

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    Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:31 PM

    I disagree wholeheartedly. Beverley is not a starting calibre player. If we don't get Melo, I'd like to see us trade Lin. Sign Bradley(if he's 8 mil or less) or go after Chalmers. In addition we might have money left over to get Diaw.That would upgrade our starting 1 and 4 and we get to keep Asik.
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    Why so Serious? :D


    #4 FIRST TAKE This

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      Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:36 PM

      Change the coaching..172 career wins without a playoff series win. Come on man
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      #5 Richards

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        Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:40 PM

        Can't believe you say PG position is set. Bev is a one trick pony. The main job for PG is to manage the game, help and assist his teammates. Other than his excellent defensive quality, Bev's game management was horrible. Even TO prone Lin did assist more with less minutes and less usage.

         

        Bev can be a good backup. We should try to upgrade PG if we can.


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        #6 RyanB

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          Posted 03 May 2014 - 03:47 PM

          Coaching change is the first major step

          with this current team under Thibs or Pop we would've won


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          #7 thejohnnygold

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          Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:21 PM

          Coaching change is the first major step

          with this current team under Thibs or Pop we would've won

           

          You mean the Popovich who may not get out of the first round either?  The Popovich who had a 5 point lead with 30 seconds left in game 6 of last year's finals and allowed a last second three by a lethal 3 point shooter to beat him?  That guy?  Weird how when it happens to us it's a coaching failure....when it happens to him.... :unsure:  Pop is great, but don't discount having 3 clutch, reliable guys in crunch time on the roster...that makes coaching a lot easier.  When he runs Parker ISO three times in a row at the end of the game he's a genius....because Parker makes all 3--two of which were just crazy good shots.


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          #8 Cooper

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            Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:28 PM

            Pop drew up a play for Patti mills to win the game, if he was in houston thats like going to Jones for a game winner he'd get raked across the coals.


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            #9 Buckko

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              Posted 03 May 2014 - 04:48 PM

              Trade lin, 1st, parsons, and a second for rondo. The rockets should be able to get rondo without paying as much considering, he's an expiring contract. I don't know if they would have the cap to go after Ariza, maybe try James Johnson from Memphis who would be much cheaper.


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              #10 Itssagurllie

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                Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:01 PM

                First time poster here. Sucks that the Rockets lost. Just curious to JohnnyGold. Are you stating these things about popovich, implying that he would NOT be an upgrade in comparison with McHale?
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                #11 Mario Peña

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                Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:17 PM

                Welcome Itssagurllie.
                 

                 

                Obviously not the best time to be on Rocket fan forums considering the heartbreaking loss and unexpected end to what was a pretty exciting season.

                 

                 

                As far as johnnygold goes, what you are asking is not the case. johnnygold is just trying to point out that Popovich is not perfect. In fact as I have found before there are probably Spurs fans calling for him to get fired, which is crazy. What it does tell us is that every fan base has crazies and irrational types stuck in the moment that can think of nothing more than to fire coaches. Truth is most ideas presented in blogs aren't far removed from fans' imaginations and 9 times out of ten are still closer to good ideas in a vacuum than in reality.

                 

                Speaking of reality, it chaps my hide to no end when people talk about Popovich as a comparison or replacement. It makes absolutely no sense. If most of us were asked to realistically imagine a perfect coach it would be Pop and comparing McHale to him is laughable.


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                How sweet it is!

                #12 TheHolyBeardedOne

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                Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:21 PM

                I can not stop watching that shot..... I just can not comprehend from a basketball perspective how on earth he could shoot that wide open. 

                 

                The other thing is what about Melo's defense. Do you think he is willing to play both ends of the floor? That would be a very big question no matter his offensive game 


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                #13 Mario Peña

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                Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:25 PM

                I can not stop watching that shot..... I just can not comprehend from a basketball perspective how on earth he could shoot that wide open. 

                 

                The other thing is what about Melo's defense. Do you think he is willing to play both ends of the floor? That would be a very big question no matter his offensive game 

                 

                I have a hunch Morey doesn't care too much about his defensive game except maybe to the extent of how it effects his offensive game and foul trouble.


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                How sweet it is!

                #14 Baller93

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                  Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:29 PM

                  That's weird.  Not sure who has more pull here to order a defensive switch.  McHale or Harden.  The clueless coach or the worst defender in the NBA ordering defensive assignments on the last play of the game?  If they get rid of either the McHale or Harden, it would be fine with me.  Let Dwight be the dominant force and everybody play a role aka Rockets in the early 90s (Hakeem and the Pips).

                   

                  I never really appreciated Dwight till the playoffs.  I always thought he was a great player, but hole smokes, he is DOMINANT when he wants to be on both ends.  Welcome to Houston, Dwight.  I'll buy you a drink if I ever see you around town.  :-D


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                  #15 timetodienow1234567

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                  Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:33 PM

                  FSS, I am finding it hard not to curse at you right now. Just because there is a vocal majority who want mchale gone, they are "crazy and irrational types". If this is the standard you as a SENIOR member of this forum are setting, why do you ask others not to post things like this?
                  • 0

                  Why so Serious? :D


                  #16 Tgards79

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                    Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:42 PM

                    It is incredibly obvious that Harden should have switched. With .9 seconds and Lillard doing a long sweep around the picks, if Harden had simply read this and jumped out, that first option would have been thwarted rather easily.

                    I, too, think Lin should have been in and either he or Beverly been on Lillard, but even in that instance the Harden switch was a no-brainer.
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                    #17 miketheodio

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                      Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:46 PM

                      there's more than enough evidence to support a mchale firing. whether the organization does it, who knows. supporters will be a minority.


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                      #18 webattorney

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                        Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:46 PM

                        On the last play, Dwight would have taken care of LAD getting a good look; therefore, Rockets just had to guard against a 3 from the top, which shot in all likelihood was going to be taken by Lillard.   The fact that Rockets could not even guard against this simple defensive play speaks volumes about their coach and the players. 

                         

                        Also, whether Lin is with Rockets or not, Bev is not the answer.  Bev will be destroyed by any good PG.  Bev is at best a 20 minutes back-up player.  In addition, Harden's lazy D will be exploited by good opposing teams during playoffs.  Therefore, glaring weaknesses of Rockets will still exist next year.  This all points to the likelihood that Rockets is not going very far in playoffs during next 3 years or more.


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                        #19 Tgards79

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                          Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:51 PM

                          One other thing. Neither Carmelo Anthony nor James Harden will ever win an NBA championship, except perhaps as role players late in their careers, a la McAdoo. They will join players like Dominique Wilkins and George Gervin as human highlight reels for individual scoring who could not function within the requirements of championship caliber play.
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                          #20 Buckko

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                            Posted 03 May 2014 - 05:56 PM

                            Who's up for Rondo?
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