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@  Mario Peña : (25 April 2016 - 02:40 AM) I can't stand the Warriors but I hate to see great players fall prey to injuries. Seems like Steph could be done till next season which is unfortunate since he does play on one team I root for, Team USA.
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 10:02 PM) down by 23 points and we have McDaniels AND Brewer in. WTF?
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 09:48 PM) the difference in this gme has been Brewer is in and Beverley is out
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 09:46 PM) Team gave up. I know it's hard when the Warriors won't miss and we can't hit anything, but man.
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 09:34 PM) can't believe they called a T on Howard there. Rockets need to hit some 3s. Why aren't they fouling Ezeli? They're clearly on a run.
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 09:30 PM) Rockets just not playing smart right now. Livingston has to get at least a T for that. Should be nothing on Howard.
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 08:27 PM) spoke too soon about Brewer - misses a wide open reverse layup (and why was it a reverse?)
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 08:22 PM) i am loving this Beasley-Harden offense. Simple but effective. Brewer actually being effective right now too!
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 08:14 PM) Warriors just got "Curry'd" by Harden
@  majik19 : (24 April 2016 - 08:03 PM) Bogut is pretty thoroughly outplaying Howard early.
@  ale11 : (22 April 2016 - 08:36 PM) I know everyone is already asking for KJ....but I have to say: I wish JBB tried putting KJ on Livingston, I'm sure he wouldn't get bullied in the post like Pat is. Depending on matchups, I'd like Harden to guard him as well. There would be no risks of gifting any 3's
@  txtdo1411 : (22 April 2016 - 07:09 PM) Finally JB sat Brewer. I wish we would stop playing Terry as well. Missed multiple wide open 3s, and was getting abused defensively. I'd much rather see KJ come in as a back up guard than Terry.
@  DenverRocket : (22 April 2016 - 04:35 AM) Ariza is having a tough time, but I reckon he will come back big in the next game - he just can't keep missing open threes.
@  Mario Peña : (22 April 2016 - 04:31 AM) Yes...
@  majik19 : (22 April 2016 - 04:28 AM) but pretty amazing we did pull that off. As Rahat said, without Curry we are at best as good as GS.
@  majik19 : (22 April 2016 - 04:27 AM) did anyone else notice that MICHAEL BEASLEY was defending green on that last play? lucky... also that inbound at the end Ariza almost gave it to them! at least throw it at our basket, not theirs!
@  majik19 : (22 April 2016 - 04:15 AM) everything on the line and ariza blows a layup. surprise surprise. Ariza should never, ever dribble.
@  slick shoes : (21 April 2016 - 10:46 PM) It's rumored that JVG has had his eye on our coaching role for a bit. I just hope that if he IS our guy, then he ends up being the guy we've all wanted. I would be curious as to how Harden responds to JVG.
@  DenverRocket : (21 April 2016 - 10:36 PM) Being reported that he's agreed to 5yrs for $35m with the Wizards. Looks like JVG could be our man.
@  slick shoes : (21 April 2016 - 12:12 PM) Let everyone chase Scott Brooks. I don't want him and thinking he'll lure in KD does not make sense to me.

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San Antonio Spurs 104, Houston Rockets 103: Well, this was a disappointment


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 11 April 2015 - 03:31 AM

    New post: San Antonio Spurs 104, Houston Rockets 103: Well, this was a disappointment
    By: Paul McGuire

    https://twitter.com/haralabob/status/586715170774233088

     

    I disagree with Mr. Voulgaris. What will change that rule is when the Clippers-Rockets series that became much more probable tonight becomes seven straight games of Hack-a-Smith-Howard-Jordan-Dorsey.

     

    The Rockets started off with the big lead, gave it away late in the third, and then came close before falling short in the final seconds. It was a disappointing loss which showcased much of the big problems which the Rockets will face in the postseason. And I am not just talking about the free throws.

     

    But let's start with the free throws. The Rockets give up an average of 106.7 points per 100 possession according to basketball reference. Therefore, a Houston player should have a free throw percentage of 53.35 percent or higher to make intentionally fouling him a mathematical mistake.

     

    Smith, Howard, and Dorsey are all worse than that. And hacking them is probably even more favorable for the opposing team because Houston's offense should be above 106.7 when Harden is on the floor, which he should be at the end of every quarter where Houston is already in the bonus. The result tonight was that Gregg Popovich hacked Josh Smith for over 6 in-game minutes. Smith went 12-26 from the foul line tonight and failed to punish Popovich for that coaching decision.

     

    There will be probably be serious debate about changing the hack-a-X rules in the postseason. But it is not the postseason and Houston must deal with the reality that all but one of their big men in the playoffs are vulnerable to hacking.

     

    They will also have to deal with how their big men are going to defend other big men. Duncan scored 29 points on 15 shots tonight, but it was how he got those points that was concerning. When Howard was on the floor, Duncan got them through the relentless Spurs system and finishing passes. The Spurs system cannot be completely stopped, but Duncan is not an irreplaceable part of that system.

     

    But when Howard was not on the floor, Duncan outworked Smith, Jones, and Dorsey in the post. Especially Dorsey. Dorsey relies on his lower body weight to prevent players from muscling him around ala Chuck Hayes, but Duncan has not played like that in years if ever. Duncan just used his skills and height to get good shots over Dorsey.

     

    Houston lost to Portland last year because by the time McHale found an answer to defending LaMarcus Aldridge, the Rockets were down 2-0. So, how is Houston going to defend Duncan again, or Aldridge, or Randolph or Griffin? The Houston offense is what it is at this point. But it is not a little disappointing that after seeing so much talk and actual accomplishments on the defensive end this season, it is that part which worries me in the postseason.

     

    So, what now with the postseason seeding? The Rockets fall to the sixth seed, but the sixth seed is better than the fourth or fifth. If the Rockets cannot draw Dallas in the first round, I do not particularly care which team Houston faces out of the Clippers, Portland, Memphis, or San Antonio ( though that is my preferred order of teams to face from best to worst). But Golden State is another matter. I do not think people get just how dominant the Warriors have been this season, or that they could absolutely destroy everyone they face ala the 2001 Lakers. And that even includes San Antonio in their 2014 SPURSKRIEG VERSION VI mode.

     

    Avoiding a matchup with Golden State for as long as possible is the most important priority, which means that if Houston cannot get 2nd or 3rd, they should fall to 6th. At the end of the day, tonight's game was a close loss. If a couple things are worked on, or a couple bounces go Houston's way, the Rockets would have won and everything would be just fine.

     

    Tonight's loss was a disappointment and Houston is not exactly closing this season out on a high note. But I do think Houston can defeat any other Western team even without homecourt - with the exception of the Warriors. That, and ensuring no one else falls over dead should be Kevin McHale's biggest priority during this final week.

     

    As a final postscript: Worrell and Drexler spent that last part of the broadcast complaining about how the Duncan block was a foul on Harden. It was not. And let me just say that game when Calvin Murphy announced instead of Drexler was one of my favorite games of the season.


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    #2 Jatman20

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      Posted 11 April 2015 - 03:12 PM

      Looked like a foul to me....Duncan plants his left forearm into Hardens sternum/face and then reaches out to tip the ball followed by contact to the wrist/forearm of Harden. Enough contact to call? Playoffs.....no. Spurs court....no. Houston court (regular season).....call it. Especially because of the hack-a-Smith tactic that the Rockets fans had to endure. I lost all respect of Popovich. He says his team doesn't need home court in the playoffs; yet resorts to such sissy tactics for long periods of the game. Forked-tongue.
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      #3 majik19

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        Posted 11 April 2015 - 04:04 PM

        Popovich is a relentless winner. Heck, his team even gets rest during the games when he does that. It's a win-win situation for him - keeping his guys fresh while still playing them. In the meantime, we get disinterested. However, I think that 3 that Harden hit from half court on one of the Hack-a-Smiths should have counted - it looked like continuation to me. 

         

        I agree with the end of this post - bring Calvin Murphy back into the booth, at least for the home games. I still like Worrell (though he's tried my patience with the homerism), but Clyde is just not good at it. Bull is okay. (But 3 guys in the booth are too many). 

         

        I feel like we're going into the playoffs with the same team we had last year. Same strengths, same weaknesses. I thought we'd made progress this year... but now I'm not so sure.

         

        Also, Harden's MVP campaign is over if we get less than 2nd. In fact, if New Orleans makes the playoffs and we're the 6th seed, I'd almost give it to Anthony Davis over Harden. 


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        #4 cointurtlemoose

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          Posted 11 April 2015 - 04:53 PM

          Soooo tired of Hack-a-player, and especially of being the constant victim of it. I hope there's a rule change, first for the biased motives of being a Houston fan, but also because it turns the game into not-basketball, IMO, like into some weird, boring and slow sport. And that's the thing: when it's happening it feels like a loophole in the sport, rather than an extension of the sport. That's the line where you need a rule change, IMO. Not Pop's fault for exploiting it though...

           

          And yeah it was a heartbreaker of a loss, and the 2 seed is pretty much out of the question now, but we kept pace with the champion Spurs. Might not have been their best game, but still, it definitely wasn't ours, and I'm not feeling too dejected about our ability to compete with pretty much anyone at this point.

           

          Race for 5! Blazers rematch! Dwight eviscerates Rolo, v.2! 


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          #5 Jatman20

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            Posted 11 April 2015 - 07:28 PM

            Corey Brewer quote....." If the Spurs have to resort to that to beat us." It's true. If JSmoove hits his avg at the free throw line the Rockets win last night. Hope we get the Spurs. Everyone thinks they are invincible. Like Arnold said in the movie, "Predator", "if it bleeds, it can be killed." Pop says he would trade FT's in place of the ball in Hardens hands. "Fear the Beard!" D12 will get more minutes in the playoffs. If D12, JSmoove,TJ can get 1 of 2 FT's at least ((when given two FT's)..... good will happen. Bring on anyone!!! Spurs included!!
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            #6 txtdo1411

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            Posted 11 April 2015 - 07:42 PM

            Popovich is a relentless winner. Heck, his team even gets rest during the games when he does that. It's a win-win situation for him - keeping his guys fresh while still playing them. In the meantime, we get disinterested. However, I think that 3 that Harden hit from half court on one of the Hack-a-Smiths should have counted - it looked like continuation to me. 

             

            I agree with the end of this post - bring Calvin Murphy back into the booth, at least for the home games. I still like Worrell (though he's tried my patience with the homerism), but Clyde is just not good at it. Bull is okay. (But 3 guys in the booth are too many). 

             

            I feel like we're going into the playoffs with the same team we had last year. Same strengths, same weaknesses. I thought we'd made progress this year... but now I'm not so sure.

             

            Also, Harden's MVP campaign is over if we get less than 2nd. In fact, if New Orleans makes the playoffs and we're the 6th seed, I'd almost give it to Anthony Davis over Harden. 

             

            I do think there is a difference in this years team. They actually have the ability to lock down defensively when need be. In the last 4 minutes of that game, we pretty much shut the Spurs down, and have shown it all year down the stretch. Having that is more than we had last year, and one of the big reasons I feel slightly more confident in the playoffs. 


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            #7 Jatman20

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              Posted 12 April 2015 - 12:54 AM

              Losing D-Mo and Beverley hurts. Dorsey and Capela won't get much playing time (other than trash time) due to their FT shooting. TJ and D-12 will get a ton of mins (about 38-40 mins a game....unless they have foul trouble). JSmoove will get tested by Spurs tactics if we face them. Spurs create problems because Ariza needs to be on Leonard defensively. Can KJ help?? Papan will need to play some PF mins. to help rest D-12 and TJ.
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              #8 clydesmoustache

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                Posted 12 April 2015 - 09:52 AM

                I can't imagine harden sitting when he is this close to an MVP trophy but would it be better to rest guys and be happy with sixth place? Remain fresh with no new injuries for the playoffs and give the young guys a crash course in what we may rely on them for.

                On a side note I know he can be frustrating with his limitations but you have to love Bev's commitment. Out of surgery where every one says he is done and he is still getting hyped about playing again this season.
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                #9 thenit

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                  Posted 12 April 2015 - 11:34 PM

                  Soooo tired of Hack-a-player, and especially of being the constant victim of it. I hope there's a rule change, first for the biased motives of being a Houston fan, but also because it turns the game into not-basketball, IMO, like into some weird, boring and slow sport. And that's the thing: when it's happening it feels like a loophole in the sport, rather than an extension of the sport. That's the line where you need a rule change, IMO. Not Pop's fault for exploiting it though...

                   

                  And yeah it was a heartbreaker of a loss, and the 2 seed is pretty much out of the question now, but we kept pace with the champion Spurs. Might not have been their best game, but still, it definitely wasn't ours, and I'm not feeling too dejected about our ability to compete with pretty much anyone at this point.

                   

                  Race for 5! Blazers rematch! Dwight eviscerates Rolo, v.2! 

                  Hack a player is a great strategy within the rules. Why should the game be tailored to people who can't hit a FT ? Its like changing the rules to Dunks should be 4 points because its exciting. I hate to watch it but wouldn't want to change something that really concerns about a handful of players. Sadly they are all american players who didnt learn how to shoot FT living off their athletic prowess. I don't even think they should have the last 2 min in Q rule either. Should be allowed the whole game. If you can just make 50% of your FT you are basically an average offence

                  its a tough loss but I think we still have a good season, and it would have been great to just have everyone healthy, but unfortunately there were never a time in the season pass Dec where we had a full roster.

                  We still have the best player in the NBA this season and if we hit our 3s we can still compete. But we have to be perfect.


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                  #10 clydesmoustache

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                    Posted 13 April 2015 - 12:19 PM

                    Hack a player is a great strategy within the rules. Why should the game be tailored to people who can't hit a FT ? Its like changing the rules to Dunks should be 4 points because its exciting. I hate to watch it but wouldn't want to change something that really concerns about a handful of players. Sadly they are all american players who didnt learn how to shoot FT living off their athletic prowess. I don't even think they should have the last 2 min in Q rule either. Should be allowed the whole game. If you can just make 50% of your FT you are basically an average offence

                    its a tough loss but I think we still have a good season, and it would have been great to just have everyone healthy, but unfortunately there were never a time in the season pass Dec where we had a full roster.

                    We still have the best player in the NBA this season and if we hit our 3s we can still compete. But we have to be perfect.

                     

                    I used to feel the same about this. I love basketball and I don't want it dumbed down or bastardised but I think this strategy is doing just that. Basketball rules are constantly evolving, especially in the NBA and have been altered due to the influence of one player before let alone a corrosive strategy used by multiple teams. Just think of all the silly things you can get a technical foul for in the NBA. Don't touch the ball after a dunk, don't taunt - no reignman point after a massive dunk - no wag of the finger Dikembe (even though all the highlights show this in his hall of fame induction video) but you are allowed to intentionally foul a player without the ball in a game that is supposed to be noncontact. Its not only unentertaining it just doesn't make sense. I'm not sure what the solution is but I would like something like an intentional foul off the ball means that the team shooting foul shots gets to choose the shooter. I like flopping better than this strategy as flopping at least has some semblance of skill even though I don't want basketball to become soccer.


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                    #11 thenit

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                      Posted 13 April 2015 - 02:24 PM

                      How often is this strategy used? Like I said its a handful of players, it would be different if it was systematic and occurring every night. Its not hard for a promising player or a NBA player to work hard on your FTs if you fall into that category to work it up to +50% from FT line. I can't recall any European Big man shooting below 50% on ft. Its an indictment that american players don't get taught to show something so basic. I think this will change and american players relying less on physical excellence. If you are to take rules and change it for more entertaining plays and reward fun plays like alley oops then you change the fundamentals of the game. If it was epidemic and people couldn't shoot FTs I would be ok with a rule change. Even future 3 p line change might be ok to change if it ends up being everyone shooting only 3s in the future. So I agree that you can change it if it is happening all the time. As a Rocket fan, we never had that issue until last year and this year is gotten worse because all of our big men can't shoot FTs except for TJ and DMo. There is a reason those two dont get hacked because they are around 60%

                       

                      In regards of flopping, I think its a lot worse, you are not taking advantage of a rule, you are basically cheating, hoping to fool the refs.

                      I would accept the flops if you were to be caught should be fined x amount and then doubling the fines for consecutive offences so forth. 


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                      #12 majik19

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                        Posted 13 April 2015 - 02:34 PM

                        The NBA is about entertainment. Was anyone entertained during Smith's free throw parade? That was why they ruled it out inside of 2 minutes - the last 2 minutes of a close game are undeniably the most entertaining, and hack-a-whoever ruins that. 

                         

                        I think, if you use the strategy for one possession, then it's not a problem. It's basically like a timeout - you're trying to break the flow of the opposition's offense. 

                         

                        I think the rule should be amended - one intentional hack, per player (e.g. per player getting fouled), per quarter and not inside 2 minutes of the half. Or make an intentional hack count as 2 fouls against a player - then you run the risk of fouling guys out (or running out players who will be ineffective on offense, thus hurting the strategy). 

                         

                        I really do believe professional basketball players should be good enough to make this strategy ineffective. But I also believe this is entertainment, and if the Rockets and Spurs meet in the 1st round and this happens every game, the series is going to have lots of people tuning out. 


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                        #13 cointurtlemoose

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                          Posted 13 April 2015 - 04:14 PM

                          ^Yeah, I would even be okay with limiting it. Like three times per quarter, or something. At least then it might feel like it has some strategic assignation within the game. It's when it goes on and on that it feels exploitive, like a loophole in the game that is "technically" within the rules.

                           

                          And good points, thenit, and you may be right that with the rise of pace and space offenses and "stretch" big men (who can shoot), the hack-a-player strategy could eventually fade out.


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                          #14 thenit

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                            Posted 14 April 2015 - 12:03 AM

                            For us fans its entertainment, but as a someone who played pro soccer for a couple years, its about winning and sports rather than entertainment.

                            If it was purely to make it for the fans alley ooops and dunks should be worth 3points etc. 

                             

                            We won't agree on this and thats okey. I get your point though, I rather not watch it either, but there are less than 5 players this would be effective against in the league, and the stratetgies arent used that often anyways. I can't recall many games that it happenned to us. Its been a couple of  games for a min or two but Spurs took it to another level. 


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                            #15 clydesmoustache

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                              Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:10 AM

                              For us fans its entertainment, but as a someone who played pro soccer for a couple years, its about winning and sports rather than entertainment.
                              If it was purely to make it for the fans alley ooops and dunks should be worth 3points etc.

                              We won't agree on this and thats okey. I get your point though, I rather not watch it either, but there are less than 5 players this would be effective against in the league, and the stratetgies arent used that often anyways. I can't recall many games that it happenned to us. Its been a couple of games for a min or two but Spurs took it to another level.


                              No i don't agree with you but i feel you did bring up some good points. I can imagine someone suggesting more points for dunks which would be terrible but u should realise tweeks to rules happen all the time due to entertainment and the spirit
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                              #16 clydesmoustache

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                                Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:47 AM

                                No i don't agree with you but i feel you did bring up some good points. I can imagine someone suggesting more points for dunks which would be terrible but u should realise tweeks to rules happen all the time due to entertainment and the spirit

                                of the game. The shot clock, three point line and cutting the hole in the peach basket are a few that have been based solely on entertainment.

                                Less than 5 players in the league? We have four on our team but i get your point. Though I don't understand where you are coming from about American players. I know Pop has said he would rather coach international guys but when it comes to skill and athletic ability America is still miles in front. To stay on point look at the free throw percentage leaders there are a few euro guys but mainly Americans. Also I can name a raw euro big that relies on his athleticism Clint Capela!
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                                #17 thejohnnygold

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                                Posted 14 April 2015 - 01:55 PM

                                I like a couple of the ideas put forth here.  One I think might help without being too influential on the game itself is to run the shot clock/game clock down to zero on any intentional off-the-ball foul possession.  This will limit a team's ability to use the strategy.  I also like the idea of letting the fouled team choose who shoots in these situations.  That would end it completely.

                                 

                                It is obviously a loophole rule and will get fixed.  The league wants the most talented players on the floor and the most exciting ones.  I agree with those who think any professional basketball player should be able to shoot 60% from the line, but that's just my opinion.  If I wanted to watch a free throw shooting contest then I'd go to the park and watch people play "21".


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                                #18 Sir Thursday

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                                Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:17 PM

                                To me the solution seems obvious - make an intentional off-ball foul a technical. Problem solved - you can still foul a player involved in the play (where it makes sense - did you hear the Pelicans players yelling "FOUL HIM!" as Howard went for a layup the other night? It's culturally acceptable to stop layups with fouls in that situation, and wouldn't be a technical in what I'm proposing), but doing the thing where you run up to a player who is nowhere near the ball (often having not even passed half-court) would no longer be allowed. To me that's the egregious part of hacking they have to get rid of.

                                 

                                They already do something to dissuade other teams from hacking in the last two minutes - why not just extend that? The fact that the prohibition exists in the last two minutes indicates that the rule-makers don't want to see hacking deciding games. It would seem logical just to make that permanent.

                                 

                                ST


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                                #19 thejohnnygold

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                                Posted 14 April 2015 - 06:26 PM

                                That makes good sense, Sir Thursday.  I like the technical since it affords the team 1 free throw from a good shooter and seriously shifts the percentages away from favorable for the offending team.


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                                #20 rocketrick

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                                  Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:02 PM

                                  I have the easiest solution of all.........just make the GD free-throw! You make milions of dollars and expect millions of dollars more with the new CBA.......just make the GD free-throw! (sure to be censored...)
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