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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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Reasons why the Rockets will improve this season despite common belief


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Poll: Will the Rockets win more than 54 games this season? (20 member(s) have cast votes)

Will the Rockets win more than 54 games this season?

  1. Yes (13 votes [65.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 65.00%

  2. No (7 votes [35.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.00%

  3. What a joke! The Rockets probably won't even make the playoffs! (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 Mason Khamvilay

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Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:10 AM

I keep hearing talk on general NBA forums about how the Rockets took a step back, and the people saying this sound very sure of themselves. Personally, I think these general fans are overlooking a lot of information or are simply not aware. The reasons the Rockets will improve trump the reasons they took a step back in my opinion, and I won't even bother to include the likely possibility the Rockets aren't done making moves. 
 
- Asik struggled with knee problems, he wasn't really making a huge impact until the final 20-30 games of the season. If Joey Dorsey, one of the Rockets new signings who was widely regarded in Europe as the best defensive center, can be more healthy than Asik was last season (high probability) then he will likely contribute to more wins. Just like Asik, Dorsey is a limited offensive player with two specific strengths--defense and rebounding
 
- Jeremy Lin had a very disappointing season, his impact was average--this impact will not be hard to replace. Isaiah Canaan and Troy Daniels are two elite snipers with an itchy trigger finger, and they're both eager to prove Lin's departure is a blessing in disguise for Rockets fans.
 
- Kostas Papanikolaou is looking like a veteran in summer league, with sneaky fakes and Scola-esque scoop shots under the arms of shot blockers, which is no surprise because he spent a few years developing in Europe. Just think of him as a solid bench player who gives the Rockets depth and SF and PF, but he has the potential to be more than just solid. Whatever the case, he's definitely ready to help the Rockets win games. 
 
- Dwight and Harden. I expect Harden and Dwight to have a much better season now that Dwight is 100% and the chemistry has improved. Dwight is now 280lbs but his vertical this off-season recorded as high as it was when he was 240lbs in Orlando. Even Hakeem who has been training with Dwight for a year recently said that he's impressed with how much better Dwight is moving, Dwight is doing things he couldn't do 6 months ago. Dwight even added a dribble-spin move to his game. 
 
- Harden is a better defender at SF as proven during his OKC days where 52% of his minutes were at SF. Ariza doesn't only improve the Rockets defense with his own defense, but he improves Harden's defense too by switching defensive assignments with Harden when it's ideal.
 
- Perhaps the biggest reason of all: this was the youngest team in the playoffs last season, and I'm confident those young players will also show improvement. I'm not just talking about young guys on the bench like Donatas Motiejunas but also two of the Rockets starters--Terrence Jones and Patrick Beverley. Now going into their 3rd year, all three guys are prime candidates for serious improvement. Just these three guys alone combine for roughly 80 minutes per game, which needless to say is a pretty big chunk of minutes, so you can understand why I say the Rockets youth is arguably the biggest reason the Rockets will likely improve from last season. 

Edited by 2016Champions, 21 October 2014 - 06:18 AM.

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#2 Alituro

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    Posted 21 October 2014 - 12:45 PM

    Nice post.. I belong to the school of thought that believes we will be better this year too, agree with the points here. One aspect of Joey's game that remains to be seen, that Asik excelled at was setting picks. The clip you added had a nice one set where he rolled in for the put-back. As Thejohnnygold has stated, now we are in a situation, where our core has had a season together to get used to each other (and did very well that season). But, we are also in a place where each of our role players know their roles and aren't expecting anything more out of themselves other than to fill that role the team needs. Last season, with Lin and Asik on the team, we tried to force them into roles where they weren't well suited. We also had the impossible task of masking terrible wing defense. Jones and Beverley should progress nicely, for one, Beverley isn't constantly trying to prove he deserves the starting spot in competition with another, he can relax and play his game. Jones is ranked 3rd in points in the paint among 2nd year players, so there's a little glimmer of his potential.

     

    Our starting 5 has improved, our bench is deeper and replete with dead-eye shooters and guys who embrace their roles. I find it hard to find any reason why we wouldn't be better this season.


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    #3 thenit

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      Posted 21 October 2014 - 01:05 PM

      I think we will win less games than last year due to a combination of inexperience bench with unknown factors. The bench will take half a season to gel and will cost us a few games. A lot of the teams in the west are better this season like Dallas, Pelicans etc. The scrub teams in the west will be harder to beat. And the east is slightly better where we won a lot of our games. Due to lack of experience it will cost us a few wins. I think in time after the all star break the team will know their rotation and play much better.
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      #4 Buckko

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        Posted 21 October 2014 - 02:18 PM

        A bench gelling is a very small problem.
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        #5 marbony81110

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        Posted 21 October 2014 - 03:28 PM

        I don't think the Rockets will win more games, but I do think they will end up with a similar record. I'm thinking 53 wins to account for a slow start while figuring out the rotation. I have little confidence in McHale. If the rotation comes together early then it is possible to see them closer to 56 or 57 wins. I do think this year's team is better.The contributions of Lin and Asik have be overblown. Lin had a below average PER and Asik was not a factor for 75% of the season. Parsons will be replaced by Ariza nicely and our bench has some good talent. Howard and Harden are going to do their thing no matter what. With better effort on D by Harden there will be a big difference in the team's defensive effectiveness. I am excited for this year. Rockets are going to tear you-know-what up!
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        #6 Steven

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          Posted 21 October 2014 - 04:25 PM

          Asik sulking hurt the chemistry last season.

          Ariza > Parsons

          Canaan > Lin

          Pap > Casspi

          Daniels > Garcia

          Lightbulb came on for D-Mo.

          Harden is a year closer to his prime.

          Howard another year removed from back surgery.

          Another year of added development for T-Jones.

          Beverly in a contract year.
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          #7 Mason Khamvilay

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          Posted 21 October 2014 - 05:43 PM

          A slow start should not keep the Rockets from reaching 54 games. They had a slow start last year due to the failed twin towers experiment. This season the starting 5 is already set in stone, and I think that unit will come out the gate guns blazing.


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          #8 thejohnnygold

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          Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:00 PM

          This was a tough pick.  It feels like a Vegas line.  I think we could wind up anywhere between 50-58 wins, really.  It all depends on luck, health, and all those other things that will shift a couple wins here and there.  I voted for +54 wins, but mostly because I tend to be an optimist.  I won't be hurt nor surprised if it's a bit lower.  


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          #9 RudyT1995

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            Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:13 PM

            I think we'll win around 56 games this year.  The bottom rung of the West is going to be pretty bad and that will provide a few more easy wins.


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            #10 txtdo1411

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            Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:40 PM

            I chose the over, but like JG said I could see us feasibly winning between 50-60 games depending on injuries, luck, etc. I do think we have better chemistry this season, and believe everyone knows and is happy in their role, which will lead to our bench being more effective. The team seems to have a more serious and disciplined attitude, with an added emphasis on defense. If that proves to be the case when real games start, then we are going to be a tough out for any team. Our offense should be fine (I expect around 6th in points per 100 possessions), but if our defense lives up to it's potential we could also have a top 5 defensive unit. 


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            #11 timetodienow1234567

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            Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:42 PM

            I think we'll win around 56 games this year. The bottom rung of the West is going to be pretty bad and that will provide a few more easy wins.


            Who's at the bottom?

            Denver will battle for a spot. So will Phoenix. Sacramento will be better than people think(I think this is cousins year to shine). The Lakers should be an easy win. Utah will be better than last year but should still be easy wins. The Pelicans will also battle for a playoff spot.

            Aside from the Lakers, jazz and TWolves, there aren't any subpar teams in the west.
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            Why so Serious? :D


            #12 Steven

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              Posted 21 October 2014 - 06:57 PM

              8 teams who made it last year make it this season as well.
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              #13 RudyT1995

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                Posted 21 October 2014 - 09:59 PM

                Who's at the bottom?

                Denver will battle for a spot. So will Phoenix. Sacramento will be better than people think(I think this is cousins year to shine). The Lakers should be an easy win. Utah will be better than last year but should still be easy wins. The Pelicans will also battle for a playoff spot.

                Aside from the Lakers, jazz and TWolves, there aren't any subpar teams in the west.

                 

                I think the Jazz, Lakers, Twolves, and the Kings will make up the bottom rung.  We lost a combined 5 games to them last year.  I don't think we'll lose 3 combined to them this year.

                 

                Jazz and Lakers will be as bad as they were last year or worse.  Twolves took a big step back, and they took a game off us last year. Sacramento will be worse too, and they took two off us last year. 

                 

                Above that, I don't think New Orleans and Phoenix will be as good as some people think.  I don't know about Denver.


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                #14 cointurtlemoose

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                  Posted 21 October 2014 - 11:32 PM

                  Very well thought-out post. I said less than 54, but I think it'll be low 50s.

                   

                  - Hadn't thought about the newly acquired ability to play around with Harden-Ariza defensive assignments.

                   

                  - I love Papa's basketball smart playing. He's got big potential to be a very solid rotation guy I think. Just hope he starts shooting more efficiently. His shots seem like smart shorts.

                   

                  - And Jones is maybe the biggest x-factor to me. He can play his ass off, yet he can also totally disappear. He is young. But if he is to take that next step in consistency/reliability, I think we're going to need to start to see some of that, at least a little, this season. The second x-factor is Ariza playing well in a non-contract year. He's looked great though so far in preseason.

                   

                  - I like all your reasons. Perhaps the one area though that I think we actually did take a definite step back is we lost two effectual creators off the dribble in Parsons and Lin. Could actually be a blessing in disguise to develop more of an offensive system.

                   

                  - Lastly, I think we may be too down on Lin. I mean we didn't get Linsanity in Houston or anything. And he was pretty streaky. But acting like we're better off without him is pretty exaggerated. On the other hand, his contract is gone...


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                  #15 thejohnnygold

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                  Posted 22 October 2014 - 12:14 AM

                  Very well thought-out post. I said less than 54, but I think it'll be low 50s.

                   

                  - Hadn't thought about the newly acquired ability to play around with Harden-Ariza defensive assignments.

                   

                  - I love Papa's basketball smart playing. He's got big potential to be a very solid rotation guy I think. Just hope he starts shooting more efficiently. His shots seem like smart shorts.

                   

                  - And Jones is maybe the biggest x-factor to me. He can play his ass off, yet he can also totally disappear. He is young. But if he is to take that next step in consistency/reliability, I think we're going to need to start to see some of that, at least a little, this season. The second x-factor is Ariza playing well in a non-contract year. He's looked great though so far in preseason.

                   

                  - I like all your reasons. Perhaps the one area though that I think we actually did take a definite step back is we lost two effectual creators off the dribble in Parsons and Lin. Could actually be a blessing in disguise to develop more of an offensive system.

                   

                  - Lastly, I think we may be too down on Lin. I mean we didn't get Linsanity in Houston or anything. And he was pretty streaky. But acting like we're better off without him is pretty exaggerated. On the other hand, his contract is gone...

                   

                  I disagree that we are going to experience a huge drop off from Parsons to Ariza in regards to his "play-making".  Ariza has not been asked to fulfill that role for the past two seasons, but that does not mean he cannot do it.  He is a supremely gifted basketball player and, believe it or not, he can drive and dish.

                   

                  This preseason, for what it's worth, Ariza is averaging 9.6 pts, 4.2 rebs, 2.8 assists, and 2.0 steals in 20 mpg (bonus 40% 3fg).

                   

                  If we extrapolate that out to a per36 his numbers would be roughly 17 ppg, 7 rebs, 5 assists, and 3.5 steals.  Now, I am not going to say these numbers will directly translate to a regular season game--that would be silly.

                   

                  By comparison, Parsons is putting up 13, 5, and 4 with 1.4 steals playing 27 mpg while shooting 29% from deep.

                   

                  That extrapolates to roughly 17, 7, & 5, with 2 steals on a lower % on a per36 basis.

                   

                  Again, I cannot emphasize preseason enough, but this is a very good indicator in my estimation.  We're getting roughly equivalent offensive play-making with better efficiency and better defense.  I honestly believe it will not take long for people to see it is systemic for our SF's to make some plays as they are asked to do so and have guys like Dwight and Jones to dish to or Harden, Bev, etc. to kick out to.

                   

                  (as I am about to hit "post" Ariza just threw the ball to nobody...thanks, Trevor.  :(.....but he did just follow it with a made three!!!  :lol:  )


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