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@  YaoMan : (23 October 2015 - 04:49 PM) Zach Lowe seems to think the Rox are the biggest threat to GSW: http://grantland.com...-16-nba-season/
@  cointurtlemoose : (23 October 2015 - 04:36 PM) Hey if yall want a good podcast to listen to, find the Dunc'd On Basketball Podcast on Itunes, Rahat just did a Rockets preview with the host.
@  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


Time to Look at This Year's Bench

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:53 AM

    New post: Time to Look at This Year's Bench
    By: Richard Li

    [caption id="attachment_14649" align="aligncenter" width="274" class=" "]Click for a full-sized interactive version Click for a full-sized interactive version[/caption]


    We now have enough data to make some observations about Houston's bench usage this season. The chart above is now updated with data through January 12, 2015 and shows the percentage of playing time occupied by everyone's bench, and the net ratings of those benches.


    Immediately noticeable is that bench usage for the entire NBA has increased. The current average playing time for a team's bench is over 38%. At the end of last year, it was less than 36%. The net ratings of the benches, meanwhile, have seen practically no difference. It seems that more and more teams have hopped on board the rest-your-starters bandwagon.


    The Rockets, like last year, are tied for 2nd to last in bench usage. The big difference is that there are quite a few teams occupying the same space as the Rockets. Five teams are tied for last, playing their benches 33% of the time, while two teams are tied with the Rockets, playing their benches 34% of the time. At the end of last year, the Rockets played their bench 31% of the time, so there has been a nominal increase in bench usage, if not a relative one.


    Last year Houston's bench was one of the best in the league in terms of net ratings. This year it's decidedly middle of the pack, with a slightly below average net rating of -1.8.


    Of course, Houston's bench has undergone significant change in a short amount of time, making aggregate evaluations difficult. It lost its two primary contributors (Asik and Lin) and started the season with KPop as its 6th man. An early injury to Terrence Jones also pushed DMo into the starting lineup, further depleting the bench. Mid-season moves brought in Corey Brewer and Josh Smith to fortify the unit. Once Jones returns, the bench should be further strengthened (and hopefully not because DMo becomes demoted).


    At the top, the Rockets are still riding their horses as hard as anyone. Both Harden and Ariza are top 10 in the league in terms of minutes played. That combination is also second in the league in minutes played out of all 2-man combinations (Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are first). Howard's injury scare (still somewhat mysterious) apparently didn't incentivize the coaching staff to take it easy on the other players.

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    #2 Johnny Rocket

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      Posted 14 January 2015 - 03:20 AM

      For the last 10 games, the key Rockets starters are playing significantly fewer minutes:


      1. Hardin:   32.4

      2. Howard: 31.1

      3. Ariza:     30.8


      The coaching staff, it seems, has gotten the message that players need rest, especially since we now have a strong bench.  The decrease in minutes also reflects a virtuous cycle in which big wins means more rest, which means more big wins down the road.

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      #3 Willk


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        Posted 14 January 2015 - 01:24 PM

        For the last 10 games, the key Rockets starters are playing significantly fewer minutes:

        1. Hardin: 32.4
        2. Howard: 31.1
        3. Ariza: 30.8

        The coaching staff, it seems, has gotten the message that players need rest, especially since we now have a strong bench. The decrease in minutes also reflects a virtuous cycle in which big wins means more rest, which means more big wins down the road.

        Thanks for pointing this out. It did seem like the starters have been playing less minutes.
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        #4 Alituro


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          Posted 14 January 2015 - 01:31 PM

          We've had to work with a depleted roster all year due to various injuries plaguing us through November and December. 3rd string guys were all of a sudden thrust into the rotation. It's understandable that they didn't perform with a good net rating, as well as understandable that McHale used them as little as he could. Dorsey, Black, Johnson, Canaan (sorry) and even Capela are not names we can expect to have many wins with if used heavily at this point. As we regain our health in the starting unit I fully expect us to revert back to the norm by playoffs.

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          #5 rocketrick


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            Posted 14 January 2015 - 01:52 PM

            Alituro, same as always, hit it right on the nail.


            The Rockets have been playing with a depleted roster to start this season.


            Probably explains the heavy reliance on Harden and Ariza while D12, Beverley, Terrance Jones amongst others missed a number of games already this season.


            One final point here:


            The Rockets HeadBandits have played together for about 10-12% of this season. Unless Morey and the Rockets make additional moves by the Trade Deadline, the Rockets HeadBandits seems to be the first 3 off the bench the rest of this season.


            So will be interesting for Mr. Lin to recalculate his numbers after another set of games have been played and Josh Smith, Jason Terry and Corey Brewer continue figuring each other out along with the other 2 guys on the floor in those specific minutes. I think that the "other 2 guys" will change over the next few weeks as the possibilities of Terrance Jones returning to health, Isaah Canaan returning to health, Niko (short for Papanikoulau, however his name is spelled) continues to impress, etc. Not to mention the possibility of additional depth by the Trade Deadline depending on unexpected opportunities that could very well arise.

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            #6 thenit


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              Posted 14 January 2015 - 10:29 PM

              The rotation has been better with the trades and healtier lineups, but a couple of the games has been skewed the average of the past 10 games. He sat the whole starting lineup after a few minutes in the 3rd Q keeping their minutes below 18 for all the starters in one game because McHale was pissed in a blowout loss. We also have a couple blowout wins. Its obviously good that they play a little less but I would like to see a roation where Harden averages about 34-36 min a game in tight games as well and not play 40+ in some. We want him fresh later on. Dwights min has been lowered a lot since coming back so I like that.

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              #7 Rahat Huq

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                Posted 14 January 2015 - 11:12 PM

                Say they are able to trade the Pelicans pick for a point guard, move Beverley to the bench with Jones...that's suddenly maybe the deepest second unit in the league.
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                #8 Red94


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                  Posted 04 March 2015 - 09:43 PM

                  New post: Updated Bench Data
                  By: Richard Li

                  [caption id="attachment_14649" align="aligncenter" width="274"]Click for a full-sized interactive version Click for a full-sized interactive version[/caption]


                  Time to see how the Rockets bench usage and performance has changed since the additions of Smith, Brewer, et al. Usage has increased a little bit from 34% to 35% since mid-January. Effectiveness has increased a bit more, from a -0.8 net rating to a 1.8 net rating. While the usage is still 3rd to last, the Rockets are now ahead of seven other teams who are tied for 2nd to last and last place. The net rating now puts the Rockets above the NBA bench average.


                  Worth noting is the overall increase in bench usage across the NBA. In late 2013, when I first started keeping track of this data, the NBA average for bench usage was a shade above 35%. It is now barely below 38%. Given the emphasis on player health over the past two seasons, this shouldn't be too surprising.


                  Also worth noting is how a team like the Golden State Warriors (I admit sometimes I reference them solely for the purpose of pissing off Rahat) has adjusted. In December 2013, they were dead last in the league with a 28% bench usage. Their bench's net rating was -2.7. That season I wrote that they were so dependent on their starters that a single injury would spell disaster. Then Bogut got hurt and I felt vindicated. Fast forward to this season. The Warriors now play their bench 38% of the time, slightly above league average. Their bench is also the second most effective in the league with a net rating of 5.9. Clearly there are several other factors contributing to the Warriors' recent success, but I think this is one of them. More importantly for them, it also predicts greater sustainability later in the season.


                  The Rockets have certainly improved in this regard, but can probably still do more given how deep the team has become. In last night's game sans Harden and Howard, the Rockets only played eight men. Each starter played at least 32 minutes. Notably, KJ McDaniels didn't play at all. It seemed like a pretty golden opportunity for him to stretch his legs and gain confidence against a quality opponent. Some old habits just seem to have a hard time dying.

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