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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 104, Utah Jazz 93: Houston Rockets don't seem to have lost much on the wings


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:23 PM

    New post: Houston Rockets 104, Utah Jazz 93: Houston Rockets don't seem to have lost much on the wings
    By: Rahat Huq

    • Trevor Ariza followed up his stellar debut in Tuesday night's opener with yet another strong showing last night, scoring 20 points and going 4-7 from downtown.  While we're just two games in, it's easy to see why so many (including myself) felt Ariza at $7million was a far better value than Parsons at his current pricetag.  He's defending and spacing the floor at the other end, and upon immediate reflection, appears to be the dream fit at small forward next to James Harden.  It's really hard to believe that this is the same guy who manned the '3' for this team just a few years ago, because he's done a complete and total transformation as a player.  Over the years, Ariza has seemed to gain self awareness of limitations and he's learned to play within his strengths and within the team's system.  Next to Harden and Howard, he's getting more daylight than he ever knew was even possible, and he's knocking them down with confidence.  Ariza still travels every time he puts the ball on the floor off the pump fake/triple threat, but he's been needing to do that less.  What he's eliminated completely, thank god, are the plays where he attempts to take his man one on one off the dribble, without any sort of help.  Related: the Rockets did not employ two superstar players during Ariza's first stint.

    • Big Papa continued on Ariza's assault from the bench, knocking down four triples in the first half.  It's clear so far that this guy belongs, as he's shown already a sweet stroke and a deft touch around the basket.  As I noted in the latest episode of The Red94 Podcast, Big Papa is deceptively quick, and almost always is able to get a step on his man.  He's showed off some slick passing in the first two affairs, already having formed something of a synergy with Donatas Motiejunas (who hasn't shown much of anything himself).  I'm racking my brain trying to think of who Big Papa reminds me of as the first thing any good analyst should do upon consecutive strong showings by a new player is to immediately make a player comparison, preferably to someone of similar ethnicity.  I don't think you can say Turkoglu, because while Papa can handle the ball, we haven't yet seen him attempt to create anything off the pick and roll.  Not that he can't do it, but we haven't yet seen it, but I'd love to see them test that out.  At present date, I actually think Papa is what Rudy T. thought he was drafting when he used the pick the team got back in trading Hakeem Olajuwon on one Bostjan Nachbar.
    • Several other people noted last night on Twitter, reaffirming my own observations, that Pat Beverley seems to have regressed offensively, though I have my suspicions regarding the cause.  He's not a good playmaker or finisher and I wonder if what we're seeing is more symptomatic of the absence of Lin and Parsons rather than an indictment of Beverley himself.  I'd rather withhold judgment here until a sizable sample of plus/minus data can be obtained, because with Beverley, the overall impact often cannot be visually deduced.  But this ties into my next point...
    • My main concern following the preseason, and now after two games into the regular season, is the load on James Harden.  The Rockets' offense has been rolling along, with Ariza and Papa knocking down the majority of their looks, but the system has been almost entirely dependent upon the brilliance of James Harden.  So far, he's been up to the task, but he's still a mere human.  I worry that a) he'll wear down and b) buckets will be hard to come by on those nights when he's bottled up.  While Parsons couldn't create off his own dribble, the biggest area where he'll be missed is his playmaking off the pick and roll.  I'm concerned that this team's upside is limited, barring the acquisition of another playmaker.
    • I don't know what else happened in the game, but they switched to highlights of Celtics-Nets, and the clips I saw seemed to indicate Rajon Rondo was putting on a show, where he had some passes where he was like, "oh you want a basket?  here you go" and everyone else on the court and watching on TV was like "I didn't even know that guy was standing there wide open under the basket."
    • My League Pass came in blurry on both the TV's in my apartment and this was really annoying.  I reset the receivers and still no dice.
    • Terrence Jones has at least one play every night that makes your jaw drop.  Last night, he had the ball in the open court and he threw a no-look, behind the back pass to Ariza (or someone, can't remember), for a flush.  Jones reminds me of those times in high school where me and my friends would go play pickup and there'd always be kids that were way taller and more athletic and they'd dunk all over us.  Yeah.  He just looks like a beast when he jumps or handles the ball.  I just wish he'd be more consistent, damnit.  But I'll write more about that tomorrow because I gotta go right now.

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    #2 Jeby

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      Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:33 PM

      I think the reason for the Big Papa deja vu is that his shooting mechanics are IDENTICAL to Omri Casspi, they look alike, and their games are similar. I think he'll be better than Omri, but still.

       

      Also, Ariza's performance with this year's team compared with his last stint as a Rocket is and will continue to be a perfect illustration of the Peter Principle.


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      "Assets" -- Daryl Morey

      #3 clydesmoustache

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        Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:45 PM

        Pap looked so relieved that those shots were going down. Hopefully this is the monkey off his back.

         

        Also I cannot believe Terry's production at the moment. He has already been around longer than I thought!


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        #4 thejohnnygold

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        Posted 30 October 2014 - 02:16 PM

         A few thoughts....

         

        After endorsing Dwight's post game, I would like to add that I, and the rest of us I'm sure, am still waiting for him to figure out how to properly execute a double move, or what most people call a "fake".  The number of expletives I have uttered in his name for this reason cannot be counted.  Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't know what is coming once he starts posting up?  In all fairness, he did try a fake once last night only to have one of Utah's guards strip the ball when he brought it back down.  I still like Dwight post-ups overall, but they can be....frustrating.

         

        I don't quite understand the concern for Harden's health.  I mean, I do--if we lose him then the season's ultimate potential is lost.  Jason Terry and Troy Daniels might be enough to keep us in the playoffs (a big maybe there), but we'd be a low seed and get blasted by whoever we drew in the first round.

         

        The thing is, it is out of our control.  Injuries are random as much as anything.  Harden is 25, looks strong as a bull these days, is visibly enjoying himself more than ever on the court, playing better than he ever has, and I don't think he is being over-worked at all.  In fact, I observed last night something I intend to keep an eye on.  In the LA game Harden drove to the basket a lot and ended up shooting 16 foul shots...in the Utah game, he opted for more jumpers rather than trying to get to the rim.  To me, at least initially, I think we may be seeing James learning how to conserve himself on a back-to-back.  He only took 6 shots (of his 18) within 4 feet of the rim.  Instead, he relied on his jumper and being a play-maker (10 assists).

         

        Again, we'll see if the pattern holds, but I think he is getting smarter and realizes that crashing into 7' behemoths, hardwood floors, and cameramen 18 times a night is not the best thing all the time.  In 3-4 years, maybe we can worry a bit about Harden's wear and tear.  For now, I think he is fine.  Which leads to my next thought...

         

        The concern about Beverley's anemic offense and Rondo looking like an answer.  Bev has looked a little off.  A lot of the floaters and little things that used to go in last season haven't been connecting.  One, it's only two games.  Two, it hasn't been that bad.  He is 5-12 overall (for 16 points) with 7 assists and 4 turnovers.  That's a night's work for most PG's.  Yet, the +/- shows that he, and all his shortcomings, is a big part of what makes this team go.  If Ariza, Jones, Terry, and Papa, et al. can continue doing good things then I see no problem with Beverley keeping the starting PG spot.

         

        The Rondo Dream is a lovely thought, but until the price drops it's a no go and I'm not going to worry about it.  I'm sure Ainge knows exactly what Morey is willing to give up for him and can pick up the phone anytime.  Ainge is the one on the clock, not us.  (well, in my opinion at least.)

         

        *In other news, did anyone else watch the Portland-OKC game?  Portland looked really, really good.  Better than a few months ago.  Maybe they just had one of those games, but...wow.  I hope we avoid them this post-season.

         

        EDIT: typo


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        #5 Cooper

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          Posted 30 October 2014 - 03:27 PM

          Okc was playing dleague guys and westbrook/ibaka, so maybe that helped them look a little better but I would definitely want to avoid them LMA and Dame would still wreck us. I think harden can handle the reg season workload but if we don't get/develop another playmaker I don't know how we get out of the first round if the team we play has a decent big to take Dwight they could be in a lot of trouble if Harden is the only guy you have to worry about. 


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          #6 Alituro

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            Posted 30 October 2014 - 04:29 PM

            I agree with TheJG...  We really shouldn't worry about superstar preservation measures until ours get to be Tim Duncan's age. If Harden's health is something that anybody is concerned to the point of calling for a severe reduction in minutes, then, as a fellow sports fan, I feel sorry for you. He's young, fit and at his peak age, nothing except a freak accident is going to take him out physically, reducing minutes obviously lessens the chance of such a freak, but absolutely does nothing to prevent it.


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            #7 Alituro

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              Posted 30 October 2014 - 04:46 PM

               

              I don't want to get ahead of myself (OK, maybe I do) after 2 games, but I sense something special happening on our team. It was evidenced by Ariza's demeanor in the post-game. He was genuinely happy, pleased to be coming to work. I get the sense that the entirety of our rotation feels the same way. It's been since the Yao-Tmac days since I've been able to tell the same. Since then we've always had some form of inner-team competition going on. Whether it's Lowry upset about being replaced by Dragic, D-mo and Jones trying to become "starters", Beverley and Lin competing for starting spots, Asik wishing to play more, and on and on... Now, I think everyone is happy where they are and can concentrate on winning as a team and filling their respective roles without having to "prove" anything against their fellow teammates. This is one reason Spurs have enjoyed great success over the years. I also notice, maybe as a result of the same, that McHale is more free with his rotations and is throwing a wider variety of line-ups at the opposition.

               

              So, a team with a group of individuals and 2 superstars playing together for the first time, won 54/82 games last year, since has progressed to being only a team, one single unit fighting opposition. This is a very dangerous formula for the rest of the league and they should be worried.


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              #8 timetodienow1234567

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              Posted 30 October 2014 - 05:01 PM

              Not to be a downer but it was the lakers and the jazz...
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              Why so Serious? :D


              #9 Losthief

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              Posted 30 October 2014 - 05:48 PM

              A.) i liked seeing papa at the 4. Looked good!

               

              B.) to answer the question rahat, i think papa looks a little like a slightly shorter/less athletic Andray Blatche. Same surprising ballhandling, leading breaks off the def rebound, the step back jumpers and the mid range fadaway. Just something that struck me watching him this year. I think papa's long range stroke is more pure though.


              Edited by Losthief, 30 October 2014 - 05:49 PM.

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              LoSTHieF

              I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Skilled


              #10 thejohnnygold

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              Posted 30 October 2014 - 06:23 PM

              Not to be a downer but it was the lakers and the jazz...

               

              Team Doom and Gloom strikes again.  It's okay to be excited for our team.  Of course we are going to lose some games.  We're not going 82-0.  Apparently, if you're not talking about our failure of a Summer, all the talent we lost, how all the other West teams are better than us, how dependent we are on Harden, how taxed he is, how much McHale sucks, how bad Bev is on offense, Howard's bad post-ups, our need for a second (third) play-maker, a third star, and whatever else that I can't think of then you are just being an unrealistic homer.  Egads, people!

               

              Enjoy yourselves then.  Take pride in every loss that promotes whatever self-righteousness bubbles to the surface.  It seems it is okay to write off D-Mo after 2 games, but if we praise anyone then it's "just two games against Utah and LAL".  I prefer to enjoy our team, be happy for what we have, and see where the season leads us.

               

              Call it rose-colored glasses (what's the opposite of rose-colored glasses?  Doo-Doo-Brown?), but I see Dwight being a leader (as in holding players accountable).  I see Harden having improved on both ends.  I see our SF position being better than last season.  I see Jason Terry looking very good.  I see T-Jones filling all the holes on our team on both ends of the floor--knocking down timely shots, grabbing boards, playing better post defense, and (gasp!) making plays.  I see McHale (and staff) developing our players into a team both psychologically and on the floor.  I see that we have 80 games to go before "final exams" begin and we have ample time to improve on all the great things that are already happening.

               

              I appreciate that there are differing opinions, but I feel like the scales are tipping far, far in the negative direction.  Nobody here knows the future.  We haven't even seen how we look against a play off team.  Have no fear, we will likely lose 25-30 games this season.  The NBA is really, really good, people.  Look at Sacramento--they have one of the best centers in the league, a dynamic SF, 2 solid PG's, two up-and-coming SG's, and serviceable PF's....and they are considered a guaranteed lottery team.  Well, crap.  Phoenix is in the same boat.  No playoffs for you!  

               

              As last year's playoffs showed, all that matters is simply getting into the playoffs in the West.  From there, it's a dog fight.  As I have mentioned before, OKC, SAS, and LAC all went to game 7's in their opening round series.  (I know the doom and gloomers won't allow for it, but I agree with Daryl Morey saying we lost that Portland series due to some horrific luck--I can isolate three plays that swung three games in their favor: two 4th Q buzzer beaters and one late-game Jeremy Lin mental breakdown).  Translation: that 4-2 series loss could have easily been a 4-1 series win.  (cue the rebuttals: Parsons bad defense, Harden's no-show, McHale out-coached by Stotts, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).

               

              I invite more positive posts.  Make your voices heard, homers!  Ultimately, it doesn't matter what any of us thinks--this team is good.


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              #11 timetodienow1234567

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              Posted 30 October 2014 - 09:35 PM

              I'm excited that we're winning, just that I'm not ready to crown them champions just yet as some are ready to. I want to see us beat SAS(at full strength), Chicago, Cleveland, Portland, Clippers, etc... We all knew this team was good, but is it great?
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              Why so Serious? :D


              #12 clydesmoustache

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                Posted 30 October 2014 - 09:57 PM

                Yes yes only two games in and against poor opposition but I think last year we lose that Utah game. Or if we don't we just scrape in after digging ourselves out of a 20 point deficit.

                I'm with you Alituro. The team seems real happy. Howard and harden obviously encouraging each other is massive and rare last year. Terry acting like he has been a rocket for years. Harden kind of having a poor game by his standards but finding contributors all over the floor. I am nervously excited!

                On a bit of a downer where has tarik black gone? I know young guys will be up and down but i expected a bit more especially due to our oppositions talents. Is there any chance we can pay Adrien a couple mill to be our team bus driver just so black and dorsey can see Adrien every day waiting for a slip up. Probably not the best for team morale! Scratch that! :)
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                #13 bboley24

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                  Posted 30 October 2014 - 10:48 PM

                  TERRENCE JONES.... STOP SHOOTING THREES.... YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM.  

                  Sorry... I thought my screen morphed there for a second.


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                  #14 Red94

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                    Posted 31 October 2014 - 01:12 AM

                    JG - My fear isn't about Harden getting hurt, but rather, wearing out.


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                    #15 Lucas Daniel Uribe

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                    Posted 31 October 2014 - 02:14 AM

                    I totally agree with your article. I hope Harden and Howard stay healthy and the backups step up.
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                    #16 SadLakerFan

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                      Posted 31 October 2014 - 04:07 AM

                      Agree with your article.  Have followed Ariza for years.  The difference between Ariza then (Rockets/Lakers) and now is that he is one of those rare players who somehow learned to shoot after nearly a decade in the league.   He can hit 3's and his work near the hoop has been made much easier because defenses are aware that he shoots FT's at nearly 80% (whereas he used to be in the 60% range).  Very rare.

                       

                      I think Rahat's concern about Harden's PT is less about injury than with fatigue during the postseason.  The last two years he has shot poorly during the postseason.  That could be playoff basketball rearing its head, or it could be coincidence (small sample size, obviously), of perhaps his legs were a little "dead".  You need to watch videos; if you see that shot flattening out or hitting off the back rim you at least need to be suspicious that he might be tired.  Anyway, every player is different.  As long as they can win, it's certainly safer to get his minutes down.  I love that video of Tony Parker arguing with Pop to stay in the game:  "But Pop, I'm fine! I'm 29 years old!"  


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                      #17 Alituro

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                        Posted 31 October 2014 - 12:37 PM

                        You guys maybe reading too far into what I said. I by no means am ready to crown our team favorites to win it all. I'm just saying there's a big difference in the dynamics between this season and last, in a very good way. All the sulking was painful to watch last season. I also don't understand the doom and gloom feelings about our team. This has been an underlying tone on this site all summer long. Being a sports fan is way more enjoyable when you watch and just hope rather than watch and just worry. Sports are not worth worrying about.

                        aen3.jpg

                         

                        As far as worrying about Harden. Like many thought about my positive post: We're only two games in, kids. Harden didn't play in the entire 4th Q of the Lakers game because he wasn't needed FTW, 31 minutes logged. Utah was a different story and our 3rd Q was paltry in a 22-17 pt favor to Utah, they had the momentum. Our best player was needed to pull that one out. If he had been pulled earlier, or put in later in the 4th, in the interest of preservation, and resulted in an L, then the cries would have been "Oh where was our clutch player when we needed him?! WTH, McHale why did you bench him, we needed his production?!" I mean... C'mon.

                        jimmy+from+south+park.gif


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                        #18 Willk

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                          Posted 31 October 2014 - 02:59 PM

                          Not to be a downer but it was the lakers and the jazz...

                          Yes, it was just the lakers and jazz, but last year the rockets lost a game to both. You have to beat teams like this. San Antonio had the #1 seed last year even though they started out 0-12 against teams with winning records. The next few weeks, the Rockets have a lot of games against bad teams. The Rockets need to win these games if they want to get home court advantage this year.


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                          #19 Willk

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                            Posted 31 October 2014 - 03:03 PM

                            "As last year's playoffs showed, all that matters is simply getting into the playoffs in the West.  From there, it's a dog fight.  As I have mentioned before, OKC, SAS, and LAC all went to game 7's in their opening round series.  (I know the doom and gloomers won't allow for it, but I agree with Daryl Morey saying we lost that Portland series due to some horrific luck--I can isolate three plays that swung three games in their favor: two 4th Q buzzer beaters and one late-game Jeremy Lin mental breakdown).  Translation: that 4-2 series loss could have easily been a 4-1 series win.  (cue the rebuttals: Parsons bad defense, Harden's no-show, McHale out-coached by Stotts, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)."

                             

                            JG - I agree. A couple of breaks and the Rockets would have been in the 2nd round. In one of his latest podcasts, Bill Simmons agreed with you. I like this team much better than last year's team. As long as the team stays healthy, there is no reason a 3 seed cannot be had.

                             


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                            #20 Dan G

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                            Posted 31 October 2014 - 03:27 PM

                            Team Doom and Gloom strikes again.  It's okay to be excited for our team.  Of course we are going to lose some games.  We're not going 82-0.  Apparently, if you're not talking about our failure of a Summer, all the talent we lost, how all the other West teams are better than us, how dependent we are on Harden, how taxed he is, how much McHale sucks, how bad Bev is on offense, Howard's bad post-ups, our need for a second (third) play-maker, a third star, and whatever else that I can't think of then you are just being an unrealistic homer.  Egads, people!

                            JG I think you hit the nail on the head with this paragraph. I think alot of people on this forum are a little scared of posting a strictly positive comment about the Rockets for fear of being labeled as a homer. There seems to be caveats to every comment. We won, but [insert negative criticism here]. Being a homer is not a bad thing as long as you are not a delusional homer such as some Laker fans who think they are going to make the playoffs and/or Kobe is going to be MVP.

                             

                            Are the Rockets favored to win the title? At this juncture, no we are not, but we are favored to make the playoffs, and knowing that is half the battle (GI JOE!!). The rest of the battle occurs in the playoffs, and for the foreseeable future, it will be a toss up to see who makes it out of the West from that point. For now, let's just relish in the fact we are winning games despite the flaws we have. It could be much much worse.


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                            :lol: All in the game, yo, :D all in the game :lol:!





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