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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

Photo

Houston Rockets 113, Brooklyn Nets 99 - Don't wake the beard


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 13 January 2015 - 04:45 AM

    New post: Houston Rockets 113, Brooklyn Nets 99 - Don't wake the beard
    By: Forrest Walker

    If you want to sneak up on a better team, don't throw the basketball at their head first. The Brooklyn Nets learned that the hard way after a sudden and unexpected altercation erupted four minutes into the game. Kevin Garnett took exception to Dwight Howard's play under the rim and gave Howard a bit of a shove, the beginning of an exchange that included a headbutt from Garnett. Kevin Garnett walked around the court shouting (and being held by various players) before the altercation finally ended. When the dust settled, Garnett was ejected and Howard was given a technical foul. Then the rest of the dust settled, and James Harden was standing atop the rubble of the Brooklyn Nets.

     

    The Rockets might have been vulnerable to a bit of ennui, just complacent enough for a veteran team with a veteran coach to get the better of. We'll never know if a languid Houston team might have fallen, because Kevin Garnett woke the beard, and sometimes the beard eats you. The Nets were scoring at a mighty clip to begin the game, and actually hung around for a good while. In the second half, however, the Rockets slammed the door shut quickly, calmly, and directly on the head of an already hurting Nets team. The game tightened up significantly in garbage time, which lasted nearly the entire fourth quarter. It was a tremendous blowout, which is the best possible way to curtail minutes for the starters.

     

    The Nets were able to take advantage of some porous defense and some disappointing play from Dwight Howard to rally within two points, led by Mason Plumlee's 24 points (on 10-11 shooting! Not Dwight's best cover). The less said about Howard's performance, the better. He had 8 points and it took him 9 shots to get there. His 5 boards were atrocious, even for a lower-than-average 28 minutes of burn. He didn't look in rhythm all night and was getting pushed around down low by Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee. As long as he gets right by the time the Rockets come home to host the Thunder, all will be forgotten.

     

    James Harden, however, had no such troubles. Instead, Harden had 30 points on 13 shots, shot 4-7 from deep, dished out 6 assists and only turned the ball over twice. Oh, and he did it in 30 minutes. Harden's consistently torching everyone he comes across, and he's scoring in every conceivable fashion. Layups? Threes? Dribble drives? Coming off screens? Fading away at the elbow? Crossing over and posting up? Check, check, check. He's earning himself a long rest during fourth quarters, all the better to keep his energy up on both sides of the ball. This incarnation of James Harden is otherworldly, deadly, and most surprisingly looks sustainable. If he and a certain other MVP candidate meet in the playoffs, the parquet might just light on fire.

     

    Any night when Donatas Motiejunas leads the team in minutes played (37) and the Rockets win is a great outing. He notched yet another double double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, all while shooting an incredibly efficient 8-11 from the field. He's been scoring in the post with contemptible ease, and handily defending his starting position from the usurper Josh Smith. We'll soon see if he can keep this assault up against the tougher fours in the league, but so far he's been utter poison when paired with James Harden. He promised years ago that he would catch up to Dwight Howard, and right now he looks like he spends every day working toward that goal.

     

    Trevor Ariza quietly broiled the Nets, knocking down 3-5 from downtown on the way to 12 points and 4 boards. He was only credited with one steal (and the team with 9), but it looked like a lot more than that as he played the passing lanes with the precision and dexterity we've come to expect. The last starter, Patrick Beverley, has a solid if not flashy 11 points on 10 shots, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. It was a team effort for the Rockets in Brooklyn.

     

    Even Josh Smith got to have some fun. He only shot 5-15 (get used to him taking the most shots on the team, by the way) but his six rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal are nice peripheral stats for a player who seems to be sliding into the sixth man slot. Against second units, he's creating havok (for both teams), and sometimes that's what's needed. If his headband comrades Corey Brewer and Jason Terry had shot better from deep (0-5 and 3-7 respectively), his unit would have looked even more impressive. The jury remains out on Josh Smith, but with him off the bench, deliberations are going a bit better.

     

    The Rockets are still figuring out their rotation, but it looks as if they're creeping toward that chemistry they had when they were rolling in November. This game against a seriously depleted Brooklyn team may not have been much of a challenge, but it was a test they aced. There's room for optimism, here, something that Houston will surely need against a schedule that's about to come down on them like a ton of bricks. Today, however, the beard is in charge.


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    #2 thejohnnygold

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    Posted 13 January 2015 - 06:16 PM

     

    That video of D-Mo speaks for itself.

     

    As for Dwight, ignore the numbers.  The best thing he is doing is just being on the floor.  Defenses are drawn to him like he has his own gravity.  Does anyone remember that article about Kyle Korver last year?  It's about Korver scaring defenses to the point his coach can construct offense around it.  Dwight has been doing the same for us.

     

    On pick n rolls he rarely gets to touch the ball because defenses swarm him (which somehow makes people think he doesn't run the pick n roll), but those corner threes sure are wide open.  I can't wait for D-Mo to get double teamed every time he gets the ball in the post (teams have to start doing this, right?)  An open Dwight on the weakside (or Josh Smith) is unthinkable, but that's what is going to happen.  On post ups, Dwight's double team opens up the weak side for offensive rebounding as well.

     

    Dwight is still averaging 17 & 11 for the season, but that's not important.  In January (7 games), he is averaging 13 & 10 and, more importantly, doing it in just 30 mpg.  His usg% is down to 21% and has been for the last 2 months after being in the upper 20's earlier.

     

     

    This chart from basketball-reference.com is interesting.  It shows the positive effect rest is having for Dwight and also that his optimal minutes range seems to be around 33 mpg.  Ignore the individual stats and check out the +/- (or overall team effect).  That's what I care about.  When Dwight is on the floor and well-rested things seem to go well.

     

    Everytime I think he's lost a step I'll see him sky for an alley-oop and quickly remember that he can still do Dwight things.  I think he is on permanent cruise control until the playoffs.  In the meantime, Motie and Beverley are becoming more integral parts of the offense (particularly in acting as creators in lieu of Harden doing it all.  Bev is averaging 10, 4, and 4 in January and his 3 pt. shooting has held up (NO JINX!).

     

    Josh Smith....I guess I will just have to live with the fact that people are going to take pot shots at Smith forever.  

     

     

    It's easy to focus on "bad" Josh Smith.  It's also easy to blow things out of proportion.

     

    His ft% is atrocious.  It's true.  Good thing he rarely shoots free throws then, isn't it?

     

    His 3 pt.% is atrocious.  It's true.  Good thing he rarely shoots threes then, isn't it?  (the 1-5 in the CHI game has been addressed--many of his threes have context and aren't "just Josh being Josh").

     

    He shoots too much.  Not true.  Notice that his high FGA games coincide with his high ORB games.  The guy has an uncanny ability to get his own rebound--which inflates his FGA numbers, but on a per possession basis works out quite nicely.  Also, there are quite a few games where he barely shoots at all.

     

    He shoots too many mid-range jumpers (the cardinal sin for Rox fans).  Guess what?  That 5-15 last night included but one mid-range shot.  Since his arrival he shoots 18% of his shots from mid-range--or slightly less than 1 out of every 5.  Considering he is averaging 10.8 shots per game that is hardly the team killer people want to make it out to be.  

     

    Look at his minutes played.  Look at his peripheral numbers.  Realize that, eventually, he is going to figure out where people are on the floor and stop passing to ghosts.  Realize he is playing solid defense.  Realize he makes game-changing plays--often.  Realize that Smith is not what crazed basketball fans say he is.

     

    Let's try not blowing things out of proportion.  That's all.


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    #3 cointurtlemoose

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      Posted 13 January 2015 - 06:59 PM

      I thought I heard Worrell say something during broadcast last night about Dwight saying that the knees have been bothering him again, and that they're kind of slowing him down. Don't know if that's common knowledge, but I hadn't heard it till then, and it explains a lot of what we've seen the last 6 or 7 games.

       

      Get well Dwight!

       

      I'm just glad to see most of our spot up guys hitting their wide open threes again!


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      #4 thenit

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        Posted 13 January 2015 - 10:51 PM

        Dmo must have one of the softest hands in the NBA, those hooks and lay in are soft like butter on a warm summer's eve


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        #5 bboley24

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          Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:22 AM

          Id say sit Dwight...  Dmo at center, Smith at PF and let Dmo go to work.  Let Dwight do what he has to do and now I see TJones coming in and making a difference.


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