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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.


Fighting for Seeding - 2014/2015 Edition

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#1 Drew in Abilene

Drew in Abilene

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 08:16 PM



That's right, it's mid-November, which means it's time for another installment of our forum's over-analyzing of schedules and match-ups. After re-reading through last year's thread, it seems as if the model used towards the end of the year was the best received, which means I'll be updating semi-regularly with the latest on how the standings are shaking out, complete with analysis on other Western Conference foes as well as the most beneficial and least desirable match-ups for the Rockets in the playoffs. Let's dive in!


At 8-1, Houston looks like a completely different team than the one last seen slinking off the court in Portland last spring. The addition of Trevor Ariza, coupled with jettisoning Lin, Asik, and Buffalo Jeans, seems to have sparked a completely new mindset. This team is currently allowing only 91.6 points per game, which is the best mark in the entire NBA, which fits in nicely with their tied-for-best record in the league. The only loss suffered was to a full-strength Golden State squad while the Rockets were missing Howard, Beverley, and Jones. Despite leaning heavily on a bench full of relatively unproven youngsters (Motiejunas and Canaan), rookies (Papanikolaou and Black), and grey beards (Terry), the Rockets have beaten both of last year's NBA finalists, as well as quite a few of the dregs of the league. What a great start to the season!


Also holding strong at 8-1 and sporting a defense giving up only a tenth of a point more than Houston, the Grizzlies are in the process of reminding everyone why they have been so feared when healthy. Adding Vince Carter seems to have been the offensive jolt Memphis needed in order to vault even further into contention. With former-Rocket Courtney Lee providing the last second go-ahead score over the Kings, things are looking up in Tennessee.


The Warriors seem to be blossoming on offense much more under new head coach Steve Kerr. Rumblings that Mark Jackson's offense was nothing more than a steady stream of isolation plays make Golden State seem even more of a threat this season. The last few years of Curry, Thompson, and the rest scoring from all over the floor were enough to make them seem like potential upstarts ready to overthrow the established order of the West. With a coherent offensive game plan under their belt, Oakland could have a genuine contender.


As if watching the end of Game 6 wasn't hard enough, the NBA has decided that it is the perfect clip to show repeatedly in commercials. Such a choice makes it hard for me to think rationally when considering the first few weeks of Portland's season. So far, the Blazers are rebounding at a very high level. They are defeating teams that aren't great while losing to upper/middle tier playoff teams. And I hate them.


Another case of a team that is beating the teams it's supposed to but falling short in games against upper echelon foes, the Mavs are sitting at 6-3. Their season got off to a rough start when they took the defending-champion Spurs down to the last second, only to miss an open shot for the win. I may have forgotten some of the details of that finish, but for their sake I hope the guy who missed the shot wasn't their highest-paid player who they lured to Dallas through chicanery and subterfuge. If that were the case, I'm sure no Houston fan would vindictively yell, "Buffalo Jeans!" triumphantly as that player's shot clanged off the rim...


Are the Pelicans a legitimate threat to reach the playoffs? They look the part after nine games. Stellar play from Anthony Davis coupled with a strong showing from Tyreke Evans makes that eighth seed look achievable. If New Orleans can reach the postseason, that vaults the Brow squarely into the MVP conversation, right?


I see you there, San Antonio. Resting your starters on a back-to-back. Dealing with injuries. Looking like you spent a bit too much time partying in Europe to celebrate your championship. Just know that your 5-3 record doesn't fool me. Or anybody else. We know you're ready to turn it on in the playoffs. You will not be underestimated in this thread. Despite my frustration with you, it was a thing of beauty to watch you dismantle the Lakers and hold Kobe to 1-14 shooting.


Chilling in the 8th seed is a popular pick to make the finals, the only relevant team in L.A. The Clippers are not looking like the same team that made waves in the West last year. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are still both excellent players, but their has been something missing for both of them thus far. Though I expect them to right the ship as the season progresses, they certainly don't look like the juggernaut many considered them to be.


Sacramento and Phoenix are both lurking just beneath Clippers in the standings. The Suns were expected to build on their surprising showing last season, so it makes sense for them to be here, but Sacramento? This was a team that few saw making a leap into contending for a playoffs spot, even after Cousins played well in the FIBA World Cup. We'll keep an eye on both, especially since a top seed for Houston could result in a first round match-up against either of these teams.


Injuries have ravaged the Thunder. With Durant and Westbrook wearing suits, OKC has struggled to a 3-7 record. Many words have been said and much ink has been spilled debating whether this perennial powerhouse will heal in time to push for the playoffs. My feeling is that a path to the finals will go through Oklahoma at some point, but just in case, their ups and downs will be chronicled in this space.


Finally, here is a list of each potential playoff team, ranked by perceived difficulty in a playoff series versus Houston. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of the analysis or the rankings. Several of the comments last year swayed me into switching rankings around.


Houston Rockets 8-1 (2nd in West)

  1. Spurs 5-3 (7th)
  2. Thunder 3-7 (12th)
  3. Grizzlies 8-1 (1st)
  4. Clippers 4-3 (8th)
  5. Warriors 6-2 (3rd)
  6. Trailblazers 6-3 (4th)
  7. Mavericks 6-3 (5th)
  8. Pelicans 5-3 (6th)
  9. Kings 5-4 (9th)
  10. Suns 5-4 (10th)

After sweeping the season series against the Spurs last season, you'd think I would have more confidence about playing San Antonio, but their ball movement makes me nervous. I toyed with having OKC in the top spot, but with a hopefully healthy Beverley and Ariza to slow down Westbrook and Durant, I'm not quite as terrified of the Thunder. The Grizzlies have the big men to pound us down low, and Houston isn't super deep at the four or five. I'm not sure if the Rockets would be favored in a series against the Clippers or Warriors, but both seem very winnable. Portland and Dallas are teams we should beat in a series, although I'm not as confident as I'd like to be after a bad experience last spring. None out of the Pellies, Kings and Suns put the fear in me, and if Houston could work hard enough to earn a first round match-up against any of them, I'd be elated.

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