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@  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.
@  Mario Peña : (13 September 2015 - 05:24 PM) Sad to see Moses pass. I don't remember watching him as a Rocket but I do remember his Philly and Hawks teams. He was the perfect man to mentor Dream. It's a very sad day for his family and friends and there are many.
@  majik19 : (12 September 2015 - 09:01 PM) i just saw a post wishing Yao Ming a happy 35th birthday... am I the only one whose mind is blown that he's only 35?
@  cointurtlemoose : (08 September 2015 - 01:17 AM) aaaah, thanks jorge
@  jorgeaam : (08 September 2015 - 12:21 AM) Love it how Hinkie and Morey always target the same players, but hoping he isn't another Covington
@  thejohnnygold : (08 September 2015 - 12:03 AM) Christian Wood has signed with Philly
@  jorgeaam : (07 September 2015 - 10:32 PM) If I'm not wrong, he hasn't been waived yet, they have until october 4th to do that
@  cointurtlemoose : (07 September 2015 - 05:39 PM) Anyone else surprised that Kostas hasn't gotten picked up by anyone yet? I wanna see that guy play somewhere
@  redfaithful : (05 September 2015 - 10:48 PM) Llull line from today loss to Serbia: 30MIN 1-10PG, 0-5 3PG, 4-4FT 6AST, 1TO, 4REB, +/- -11
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:27 AM) this dude's gun fired and all he got a misdemeanor at bush lol: http://abc13.com/new...ush-iah/815795/
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:26 AM) theres more articles all over, but the jist is houston (and texas) doesn't really arrest for it, they just recommend you leave it in your car when they catch it. So seems dwight got lucky he was in texas and not cali or the NE.
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:22 AM) honestly we should just be glad they caught it...
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:21 AM) response: http://nymag.com/dai...n_airplane.html
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 01:42 AM) one bullet left in the chamber is diff than fully loaded and ready to go. Still stupid...but not like he was prepared for a shooting spree.
@  jorgeaam : (02 September 2015 - 09:33 PM) http://www.tmz.com/2...t-get-arrested/

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Toronto Raptors 99, Houston Rockets 69: Just one day


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:59 AM

    New post: Toronto Raptors 99, Houston Rockets 69: Just one day
    By: Forrest Walker

    The Houston Rockets were the two seed in the Western Conference for just about twenty-four hours exactly. Rockets pulled back into a tie with Memphis for a few minutes, who holds the tiebreaker and more importantly then beat the Sacramento Kings to take back their half-game lead on the Rockets. The Western Conference is a cruel battlefield, where a severely undermanned squad on a back to back can't afford a loss to a four seed out east. The reality of the Eastern Conference is exactly opposite: a three point victory on the back of DeMar DeRozan's career high over a badly hobbled opponent is just what the doctor ordered to get things going again. The Rockets might only have held vice-court for a single day, but sometimes a single day makes all the difference.

     

    The showdown of the game was DeRozan vs James Harden, and today Toronto came out ahead in that matchup. Harden shot 9-22 and hung the only 30 point performance of the season on Toronto's defense with 31 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. He had it going in spurts, and got to the line 12 times, but wasn't able to make it through the litany of defenders Toronto threw at him. DeMar DeRozan, on the other hand, took over in the absent Kyle Lowry's stead and had a monster 42 point and 11 rebound night, including a game-clinching two right over Harden's defense. DeRozan was in rare form, and if he plays like that every night, the Raptors are in great shape.

     

    So, the good was Clint Capela. He dunked 4 times, scoring his first 8 NBA points (finally), grabbing 9 rebounds and swatting two shots in 19  minutes. He looked great on defense, and Nick Johnson joined him in that crusade. Johnson is as raw as they come, but his defense is tenacious and he's big enough to give players fits. The young guys came up big on a night when they absolutely had to.

     

    The bad was the headbands, who did not come up big and in fact combined to shoot 9-30 and score 21. They put together 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals with 60 minutes between them. That is not a good line. They tried hard and they played hard, but they were tired and overworked and it was bad. Even Trevor Ariza, who was good, was still bad. He shot 5-15 (15 points), which was bad, but he notched 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block, which were good. Overall, not great from the supporting cast.

     

    We'll get to the ugly, but first the pretty: a lovely game from Pablo Prigioni. He only took one shot, but he made it, as well as one free throw, to finish a strange but beautiful 3 point, 7 assist night. He was carving up the Raptors' defense in his 23 minutes, and he hasn't looked that confident all year. If Prigioni can be this Pablo in the playoffs, the loss of Patrick Beverley won't sting quite so much.

     

    Oh, the team announced that Patrick Beverley will get wrist surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist, and will miss the duration of the season. So, he wasn't playing. Dwight Howard wore a suit because he isn't allowed in back to back games yet. Terrence Jones continues to recover from a partially collapsed lung, Donatas Motiejunas suddenly developed a back strain, and Kostas Papanikolaou remains sidelined by an ankle injury that refuses to go away. The ugly was a team missing half its rotation while playing on a road to road back to back.

     

    The Rockets still almost won, and only sealed the deal with an impossible shot from DeMar DeRozan and a shockingly horrible play for a game-tying three at the very end. Ariza ended up taking and missing two desperation threes as the clock wound down and as the rest of the Rockets simply watched helplessly. This may have been a painful loss, but it could have been much worse. It was only disappointing because the Rockets went above and beyond and grabbed a lead for much of the game. If the Rockets can do this with so much leveled against them, it'll be interesting to see what they can do when things get better. They might even get back to where they were, the second seed, for just one day.


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    #2 cointurtlemoose

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      Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:24 AM

      Sucks to lose that game, since if one of a number of things go our way, we probably win (FTs, DeRozan not going crazy, the "jump ball", the headbandits' shots falling, any one of our four/five injured players being able to play...). But I agree that it's not a particularly discouraging loss. The loss seemed more just the product of a back-to-back, injury-affected, slightly unlucky game.

       

      Well, the only thing that discouraged me was the 4 or 5 offensive rebound the Raptors got in the 4th where we pretty much were just watching the ball bounce off of the rim and not even looking to box out anyone... Happened to Smith like 2 times in a row at the end...

       

      From here on out, Memphis has the easier schedule it seems to me (though not by much). It's gonna take disciplined play and little luck to reclaim the 2 these next/last two weeks.

       

      CLINT CAPELAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa........ his play got me super hyped. I don't even think I care about the loss, I just care about Clint Capela indiscriminately dunking all over everyone.


      Edited by cointurtlemoose, 31 March 2015 - 04:29 AM.

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      #3 Under estimated champion

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        Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:02 AM

        James Harden maturity has impressed me all season, and the elevation of his game has been such an uplifting revelation. I say all of this to say that these last 2days have completely made me worry lol. My concern with Harden is not his physical game, but his mental confidence.
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        #4 Alituro

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          Posted 31 March 2015 - 12:21 PM

          I think we were destined to lose from the get-go on this one. Let's face it, the squad we put on the floor would questionably even be a playoff team in the east. It's encouraging that even so depleted we are able to remain competitive. None of the games from here on out are particularly important to win, none nearly as important as making sure we have as many healthy bodies as possible come April 18th. This is a great time for pine riders, Capela, McDaniels and Johnson to get extended minutes even at the cost of some games to get into rhythm and shake out the jitters in order to prepare for the worst health-wise. Does anybody know if we are or are not seeking out a rental PG?


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          #5 thejohnnygold

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          Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:43 PM

          James Harden maturity has impressed me all season, and the elevation of his game has been such an uplifting revelation. I say all of this to say that these last 2days have completely made me worry lol. My concern with Harden is not his physical game, but his mental confidence.

           

          Harden's confidence?  I am truly curious what makes you question his mental confidence.

           

          I agree that we entered this game as the underdog.  Missing 3 starters and a key bench player generally spells L-O-S-S especially against a solid Toronto team on a road back-to-back.

           

          Josh Smith did look off last night--multiple shots blocked--didn't seem to have the same lift in his legs.  Prior to last night's game he played 36 and 40 minutes in the WAS and MIN games....he normally plays in the mid-twenties.  Hopefully it was just a little fatigue against a solid frontline of Valanciunas and Johnson.

           

          I don't expect us to go after a PG addition.  Prigioni is perfectly capable of manning the point along with Terry for the sparse minutes Harden won't be on the court for playoffs.  I also really like what Nick Johnson brings to the table--reminds me of Beverley with his tenacious defense and his absurd rebounding abilities against taller players.


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          #6 Alituro

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            Posted 31 March 2015 - 03:32 PM

             

             

            I don't expect us to go after a PG addition.  Prigioni is perfectly capable of manning the point along with Terry for the sparse minutes Harden won't be on the court for playoffs.  I also really like what Nick Johnson brings to the table--reminds me of Beverley with his tenacious defense and his absurd rebounding abilities against taller players.

             

            I hope you're right. Prig has looked pretty solid when it comes to protecting the ball. His shot kinda reminds me of Marion's though (ugly), but I hope he can find his stroke from there soon. Johnson has promise but is so raw, let's hope he can get much more burn from here on out so he can polish his game and feel more comfortable with his teammates. He does have good size, but I haven't been able to ascertain how quickly he moves. I fear with his build and youth, Terry's and Prig's ages, that the dynamo PGs in the West: Paul, Lillard, Westbrook, Parker, Curry, Conley... all except Rondo would absolutely feast on these guys. I don't think in this conference we can afford to play PG by committee.

             

            This is where McHale's reluctance to play young guys irks me. I think we could make good use out of KJ pairing him with Harden in the back court with Harden controlling the ball.


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            #7 majik19

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              Posted 31 March 2015 - 04:30 PM

              I know people keep saying we had 3 starters out... but Toronto didn't have their best player either. Plus DeRozan went off against a starter, Ariza, that we are depending on for defense in the playoffs. 

               

              We often discuss getting Harden more rest, but I'm afraid for Ariza too. Harden leads the league in minutes, but Ariza is 3rd. We need Ariza to be energized and active for the playoffs or we won't get far. Fresh legs could also help his shot. Unfortunately, with all of the injuries, it's hard to get Ariza much rest... but I think we need to find a way. Let Brewer start a game or two down the stretch. 


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              #8 Under estimated champion

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                Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:08 PM

                Yes like most of you all I expected to lose this game as well, but when our team showed we still had a fighting chance to pull the game out I would have liked for harden to have at least attempted to make a play at the end of the game. The last play of the Toronto game only concerns me due to the courtside post game interview harden gave where he failed to initially include himself in having to carry some of the pressure of taking this team on a deep playoff run. I know I am nitpicking especially in comparison to what harden has done throughout the season, and only reason this was even noticeable is due to the fact that he has displayed confidence and toughness throughout the season. I love harden, but I have to be fair and say that those two instances were signs of weakness.....In my opinion that is... It's only a concern for me due to the fact that the playoffs are right around the corner. @johnnygold

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                #9 cointurtlemoose

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                  Posted 31 March 2015 - 05:22 PM

                  I hope you're right. Prig has looked pretty solid when it comes to protecting the ball. His shot kinda reminds me of Marion's though (ugly), but I hope he can find his stroke from there soon. Johnson has promise but is so raw, let's hope he can get much more burn from here on out so he can polish his game and feel more comfortable with his teammates. He does have good size, but I haven't been able to ascertain how quickly he moves. I fear with his build and youth, Terry's and Prig's ages, that the dynamo PGs in the West: Paul, Lillard, Westbrook, Parker, Curry, Conley... all except Rondo would absolutely feast on these guys. I don't think in this conference we can afford to play PG by committee.

                   

                  This is where McHale's reluctance to play young guys irks me. I think we could make good use out of KJ pairing him with Harden in the back court with Harden controlling the ball.

                   

                  Yeah I would predict/hope that Johnson starts to get significant time from here on out, cause I see it as really our only option. Prigioni and Terry can be and have been good/sufficient for us, but not while playing 30+ min and defending elite PGs game after game. Johnson's D on Wall the other day was pretty encouraging, and hopefully with these last two weeks of games, he'll get at least comfortable on offense. But I really don't know what else we'd do, cause I agree that we probably won't be adding another player.

                   

                  And I too have wondered about the potential Harden-KJ pairing, and don't really know why we haven't seen it.


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                  #10 thejohnnygold

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                  Posted 31 March 2015 - 09:47 PM

                  Yes like most of you all I expected to lose this game as well, but when our team showed we still had a fighting chance to pull the game out I would have liked for harden to have at least attempted to make a play at the end of the game. The last play of the Toronto game only concerns me due to the courtside post game interview harden gave where he failed to initially include himself in having to carry some of the pressure of taking this team on a deep playoff run. I know I am nitpicking especially in comparison to what harden has done throughout the season, and only reason this was even noticeable is due to the fact that he has displayed confidence and toughness throughout the season. I love harden, but I have to be fair and say that those two instances were signs of weakness.....In my opinion that is... It's only a concern for me due to the fact that the playoffs are right around the corner. @johnnygold

                  .

                   

                  Well, see what you like.  I missed said interview and can't find it online (if you have a link please post it).  I don't think James needs to ooze bravado and machismo 100% of the time nor does he need to say whatever it is people think he should say.  He's done nothing but be awesome all season so, to me, saying he is showing "weakness" seems far-fetched.

                   

                  I do recall the Wizards' post game where James kept trying to deflect the interviewer's praise of him onto his team/team mates (particularly Dwight) and she wasn't having it.  He seemed bashful about being "the star", not weak and not afraid of bearing that burden.

                   

                  Once again, we find ourselves in the farthest reaches of conjecture.  No one here knows and most likely anything that is inferred is just a reflection of their own feelings on the matter.  There is nothing to fear.  We are going to the playoffs and something is going to happen.  That's good enough for me.

                   

                  As for other comments above....We all know Lowry missed the game.  Lou Williams filled in fairly well and I don't think Kyle Lowry alone is equal to Dwight, Jones, Motie, and Bev.  (If that were a trade would you do it?)  I am not concerned about minutes.  Coaches handle that and there is time for rest closer to the end of things....y'all do realize we could easily slip to the lower part of the bracket with a few losses?  The 6th seed is a mere 2.5 games behind us.  Home court matters.

                   

                  Regarding KJ McDaniels, I understand that everyone wants to take the new car for a spin, but he's a train wreck.  Yes, he makes awesome plays.  He also turns the ball over at a supremely high rate, shoots terribly, has a terrible +/-, and commits 8 fouls per 36 minutes.  The guy is a project and while he may see some court time--it won't be much.  

                   

                  There is no panacea for the PG's of the NBA.  People have railed against Bev's inability to stop them all year and now that he's out people are concerned?  Don't be.  The only way to stop them is with good TEAM defense.  We can do that.  Will it be tougher without Bev?  Sure it will, but we've got guys who can pick up the slack.  (KJ McDaniels is not one of them).

                   

                  In his incredibly small sample of 18 minutes played for us, KJ has amassed a -48.7 +/- score and a PER of -10.1.  :lol:


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                  #11 Jatman20

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                    Posted 31 March 2015 - 11:18 PM

                    I agree with you Johnnygold on most topics (and sub-topics) regarding the Rockets. With 12 games remaining I was hoping for 10 wins as a high water mark. The no back-to-backs x D12 throws a wrench in that wish. Capela will get some action and D-Mo/TJ are coming back soon. Where I disagree with you, is with KJ......I feel the Rockets want to hide that hidden gem as free agency hits him this summer as a RFA. I wish Bev could play in the playoffs......but I don't see him as important as years past. He doesn't/didn't seem the same tenacious Bev of the past.

                    I have said it before.....i would have to consider playing KJ in a GSW series, at the risk of exposing him to the world in the spotlight called the playoffs. KJ is second on the Rockets in blocks behind Josh Smith (their numbers for the season from the 76ers and Pistons).....and KJ hasn't played much for us at all. Rebounds and stls are something else he contributes. PG's vs the Warriors are rendered useless "defensively". Screen after screen with the fact that Klay and Curry only need a fraction of an inch to get their shot off makes it impossible to go under the screen with the point guard. They are too, "dead-eye" as outside shooters. Fighting over the screens is pointless as well as Curry just follows defensive center as he tries to keep in front of Bogut or D Green as they roll to the rim. In essence becoming a moving screen-barricade towards the heart of your defense. From there Curry does whatever he wants.....kicking out to wide open 3 point shooters, lobs to the roll man, floaters in the lane, or lay ups, picks up fouls. Nothing good for us. KJ is one year removed from college, where everyone practices full court press defenses......so he shouldn't be too lost in knowing where the open guys should be when teams try to full court press us when we run with no PG on the court. If Harden can maneuver thru a crowded restricted paint.....he should be able to, "HELP" bring the ball up the court.....along with Ariza and Brewer. I don't want Harden exerting too much energy bringing the ball up the court.....but that is the only reason I can think of for using a PG. Our team doesn't utilize a conventional PG as other teams do. Why have a little guy out there vs the Warriors. KJ's 29% 3 point shooting may improve with some reps (JSmoove and Brewer shot less prior to coming to us).......he can find some points thru hustle. It's the defense that is a must vs the Warriors. The Warriors have used 6'7" to 6'8" guys to play defense all year along by switching and keeping guys out of the paint with that collapsing D. Basically the Warriors have been playing Playoff basketball the whole season. What we saw (during the year) is what we will see in the playoffs (from the Warriors)". That is their flaw. Papanikolaou may get more playing time vs the Warriors.....I just don't think he is as athletic as KJ to stay with the Warriors players; but then again Papanikolaou has savy basketball smarts and anticipation!! Maybe we can still hide KJ.

                    Edited by Jatman20, 31 March 2015 - 11:26 PM.

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                    #12 Under estimated champion

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                      Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:18 AM

                      https://youtu.be/DeWa3gn3Qxs
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                      #13 Alituro

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                        Posted 01 April 2015 - 12:52 PM

                         

                         

                        Regarding KJ McDaniels, I understand that everyone wants to take the new car for a spin, but he's a train wreck.  Yes, he makes awesome plays.  He also turns the ball over at a supremely high rate, shoots terribly, has a terrible +/-, and commits 8 fouls per 36 minutes.  The guy is a project and while he may see some court time--it won't be much.  

                         

                        There is no panacea for the PG's of the NBA.  People have railed against Bev's inability to stop them all year and now that he's out people are concerned?  Don't be.  The only way to stop them is with good TEAM defense.  We can do that.  Will it be tougher without Bev?  Sure it will, but we've got guys who can pick up the slack.  (KJ McDaniels is not one of them).

                         

                        In his incredibly small sample of 18 minutes played for us, KJ has amassed a -48.7 +/- score and a PER of -10.1.  :lol:

                         

                        I understand a hesitance on KJ, but, honestly is 18 minutes enough to even make half a guess as to his possible immediate potential? Can you honestly say, "well we have Nick Johnson, no reason to insert or even experiment with KJ"?

                         

                        I still stand by my point that health and a squad prepared for a series without the starting PG and possibly others is more important than winning any of these games. More important than securing the home court. Today we are 27-10 at home and 23-14 on the road, and I'm sure much of the 4-loss difference can be chalked up to traveling B2Bs. Where is the advantage of home court here? I seem to remember a silly amount of HC advantages being lost after the first games of series in recent years. Health is definitely more important and adapting to forced rotation changes a close second.

                         

                        I've always stood behind Bev as our starting PG and never railed against him ever particularly when he's having a perceived slump. I've always thought he was a perfect complement to the rest of our roster. My fear stemming from his loss has little to do with defense. It has to do with ball protection, full court. Right now Pablo is the only true PG on our squad with the knowledge, ability and agility to avoid things like traps and make safe initial passes. It was refreshing to see a lot of off-ball movement from Harden with Pablo handling also, but it can only be done with the 37 year old handling. Harden is the only other one on the squad who can offer the same kind of protection, but doing so would tax his scoring abilities and energy. I fear that the badass PGs of the west would have no trouble and have to spend very little energy guarding that spot. With Bev in, our squad pretty much equals, betters or counters every team at every position, we had them all covered. Now there's a big gaping hole in our back court.

                         

                        On another note: The funniest thing about this impending postseason is we all know, deep down, how it's going to turn out, regardless of if we get past the first round or even to the WCF. With all of the emerging super-squads of the West: GSW, Memphis, Portland, Houston, LAC and all of the superstars amongst them: Curry, Paul, Aldridge, Lillard, Gasol and so on... Pops is going to waltz in and yawn his way to another ring, flipping the bird at the nation (with a smirk of course) as he hoists up yet another Larry O, and the whole nation throws up their hands in utter frustration and we all become hockey fans and sell off all of our NBA memorabilia. What would be the point in continuing to hope?


                        Edited by Alituro, 01 April 2015 - 12:54 PM.

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                        #14 thejohnnygold

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                        Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:03 PM

                         

                        Is that the one where you think he is being "weak"?  I thought you were referring to the Toronto post game.

                         

                        I think it's funny how he can't win.  If he says, "this team only guys as far as I take them", he is being arrogant and a bad leader.  If he says, "this team needs Dwight and we need to rally together to go far", then he is being weak and not shouldering the responsibility.

                         

                        How about we just look at what he does on the court and say to ourselves, "This guy is really, really good.  Whatever you're doing, James, keep it up".


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                        #15 thejohnnygold

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                        Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:41 PM

                        @Jatman & Alituro--

                         

                        Hiding KJ is a possibility, but I don't think Morey would do so if he thought it would help push us over the top to get a trophy.  One way or the other, we are going to have to rely on the defense of a rookie (Johnson or McDaniels) at certain points of this post season.

                         

                        Those numbers I referenced were from his 1300+ minutes in Philly--I did mess up and mis-read the 8 personal fouls per36 line--that was for Houston.  In Philly it was 3.3 per36.  That's much better.

                         

                        It's tough finding "defensive highlight" videos that aren't just blocks.  I like the way Johnson plays defense, but no one cares enough to post it on youtube.  I can't find anything for KJ outside of big time blocks.

                         

                        Check out the 2nd video clip from this article: LINK  He makes a ridiculous block....on the back up guard, Vasquez.  Watch it again and you will see him abandon his defensive responsibility who can be seen sliding over into position for a wide open corner 3 where a good PG would find him and KJ's block turns into Klay Thompson/JJ Redick/Danny Green wide open from the corner.  :unsure:  

                         

                        Further down that article is a college highlight video....where you can watch him abandon his defensive assignments over and over to score big time blocks....and I think NBA players will eat him alive for that in a 7 game series.  They are too smart and too good.  They are going to make the right reads and passes.

                         

                        I am excited about his potential down the road (I don't think Morey traded Canaan just to let this guy walk after this season), but right now I trust Johnson over him in trying to play solid team defense in the playoffs.

                         

                        I also think Johnson can bring the ball up for us perfectly well.  He is a combo guard and played that role often at Arizona.

                         

                        I can't argue that health is important....health is more important than just about anything else.  I will point out that the season ends on April 15th and playoffs begin April 19th.  With any luck we have secured our seed before then and can get guys nearly a week of rest/practice.  We have a back-to-back on the 12th-13th (NOR and CHA) and then close with UTA on the 15th.  It's going to be interesting to see how things shake out.

                         

                        I had to laugh at your last paragraph, Alituro.  I really, really hope that doesn't happen.


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                        #16 Alituro

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                          Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:07 PM

                           

                           

                          I had to laugh at your last paragraph, Alituro.  I really, really hope that doesn't happen.

                          You saw it here first... LOL.


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                          #17 Johnny Rocket

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                            Posted 01 April 2015 - 02:55 PM

                            The Toronto loss was a case of the probabilities evening out.  Our scoring margin suggests we should have a somewhat worse record than we have now, as the Rockets have won a number of close games (5-0 in overtime, for example).   In other words, we have generally been lucky.  That doesn't worry me, though.  We've managed to stay competitive in almost every game despite the injuries, and with Jones and DMO coming back and Howard looking up to speed, I feel good about matching up against any team in the West outside GS and possibly LA.


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                            #18 Cooper

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                              Posted 01 April 2015 - 05:32 PM

                              KJ put up some decent numbers in philly but everyone does, its nice to think they are hiding him but realistically he's probably just not ready. Johnson is nearly as good an athlete and has been around longer so Mchale justifiably trusts him a bit more. If KJ tears up the summer league and has a good training camp he will get his time but its unreasonable to toss him into a playoff series. Prigs and terry have limited ability on D but if Howard plays like he did vs port last year we will have one great anchor and a solid 3 other guys on the court that the coaching staff can gameplan enough to make it so they aren't getting torched regularly.


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                              #19 Under estimated champion

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                                Posted 01 April 2015 - 08:12 PM

                                @johnnygold


                                "It all relies on him"-James harden


                                Let me say this James Harden has been terrific this season. He has provided everything the rockets have needed, and he has easily been the best player in the league. I have only not watched two games this year and I haven't seen James Harden not accept the pressure when the time came. I have extreme bias towards him, and I have never made any negative comments towards him on any public forum, but I have to call a spade a spade. I personally believe he has grown tremendously in the leadership department, but I still think he is one step away from that next level. I personally have never heard a successful leader use phrases like "it all relies on him" and not be speaking about himself. I'm not saying he should put all the pressure on himself, but that phrase should not be coming from the teams best player and leader. What concerns me the most is the fact that it was said naturally and without hesitation.

                                Like I said before those comments only concerned me due to the fact that the following night he defered the pressure by not taking the last shot or attempting to even make a play. I have to admit that I also have last yrs playoffs in my mind as well, where I witnessed as did the rest of us witness James harden not show up when the pressure grew. People can argue that Portland had a great scheme to defend him, but with the eye test he didn't even look like he wanted to fight at times. I hate to use this word so many times, but during that series he defered to Dwight. I believe this team can win it all no matter who we face, but WE WILL NOT WIN IF JAMES HARDEN ONCE AGAIN "DEFERS". He has to go for the kill!!! He has to want to kill!!! He has to know that he is our killer!!! Lol
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                                #20 adonneus

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                                  Posted 01 April 2015 - 10:41 PM

                                  When everyone around you toots your horn, there's no reason to do it yourself. James has people on teams all over the country calling him MVP. In that recent SI article, Dwight said that he has told James on many occasions that James is the leader of the team and Dwight is deferring to him.

                                   

                                  During the summer before last year, James needed to exude a certain bravado, saying that he was the leader of the team and that he was the best player in the world. Now that those facts are obvious, there's no reason for him to say talk like that anymore. There's just nothing to be gained by it. If someone doesn't believe he's the leader, they're obviously not paying attention, and his saying it won't change his or her mind. However, if someone thinks that Dwight is going to play a smaller role after his injury and that the Rockets are worried about involving Dwight too much in their play after they did so well in his absence, James saying that Dwight is integral to their play can dispel those notions.

                                   

                                  I think the weak thing for Harden to have said would be something like, "Yeah. Dwight is back, but let's not forget that I'm the leader." That would show that the Rockets aren't a solid team, that Dwight's return is a threat to stability, and that the Rockets might not be that great now that he's back. And these were notions that I have definitely been hearing in the media. But James came in a squashed that notion right out of the gate in front of the other players, the media, and the fans, like a true leader, in my opinion.


                                  Edited by adonneus, 01 April 2015 - 10:42 PM.

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