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@  majik19 : (20 May 2016 - 09:32 PM) I saw that report. Silas seems like a swing for the fences move, but isn't he exactly like JBB? Harden didn't respond to JBB, why would he respond to another longtime coach's son?
@  Mario Peña : (20 May 2016 - 07:29 PM) So Watkins is reporting its between D'Antoni and Silas.
@  Mario Peña : (20 May 2016 - 06:30 PM) In retrospect some of what has happened over the last few years going back to Lin, McHale and maybe a few other things seem to have Alexander's fingerprints on them and even if true to an extant that's troubling to me. Just when I thought things couldn't be worse, oh well.
@  thejohnnygold : (20 May 2016 - 04:58 PM) If so, this site will become more of a support group than a fan board.
@  slick shoes : (20 May 2016 - 03:14 PM) Is Les becoming the next Jerry Jones? Yikes...
@  majik19 : (20 May 2016 - 02:59 PM) oh i was half-joking haha.
@  slick shoes : (20 May 2016 - 12:21 PM) @majik19 Why screw the team long term with a decision that only affects them THIS season? I don't get it. If I was Morey and my boss kept over ruling my decisions, I'd give some serious consideration to stepping down.
@  majik19 : (20 May 2016 - 05:12 AM) @slickshoes - maybe thats why theyre considering D'Antoni - just want to make sure Dwight opts out.
@  thejohnnygold : (19 May 2016 - 04:38 PM) I think I have a bias against Rambis from his playing days. The thought of him being our coach just feels wrong...
@  slick shoes : (19 May 2016 - 03:11 AM) Does this mean Rambis is available?!
@  Mario Peña : (19 May 2016 - 03:05 AM) Hornacek goes to the Knicks.
@  slick shoes : (18 May 2016 - 11:05 PM) Who was the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2014 when Dwight left to come to Houston? None other than Mike D'Antoni.
@  Cooper : (18 May 2016 - 08:16 PM) very uninspiring if they do go with him.
@  thenit : (18 May 2016 - 07:13 PM) It will be so much fun having game totaling 250+ points. Oh and we won't win anything either
@  slick shoes : (18 May 2016 - 12:19 PM) @majik19: the story also said that if they hire D'Antoni there will be a defensive specialist as an associate head coach. does this send a message to the team? defense comes second?
@  Sir Thursday : (18 May 2016 - 10:41 AM) @majik19: Seems sensible to consider him, at least. When you come down to making a decision you want to be able to make a choice between very different options, and I think D'Antoni is that. I'd hope at the end of the day the Rockets brain trust picks someone else, but seems fine to have him on the shortlist.
@  majik19 : (18 May 2016 - 03:41 AM) i got a notification from ESPN saying D'Antoni got a second interview and is a serious candidate... Morey must really not care about defense.
@  slick shoes : (16 May 2016 - 08:29 PM) "Source said Kenny Smith was informed he will not coach the Houston Rockets. The team is in the process of getting to the finalist stage."

whew!
@  slick shoes : (11 May 2016 - 02:36 AM) dwight and kenny smith on TNT tonight showing love for each other.
@  slick shoes : (09 May 2016 - 08:13 PM) ...and we've got the great Kenny Smith coming in tomorrow.....

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Collapsing down the stretch


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 12 April 2015 - 01:37 PM

    New post: Collapsing down the stretch
    By: Rahat Huq

    • As of this moment, the Houston Rockets sit in sixth in the Western Conference, with a ticket booked for Los Angeles to open up the postseason, if the summer classic were to begin today.  They've choked in the manner they do every year around this time, relinquishing a firm grasp on what would have been the franchise's first division title in 20 years.  It's pitifully tragic, knowing what this team has overcome and endured this season, that their own undoing will keep them from the praise they deserve.
    • Many of you have asked me on Twitter who I think is to blame, wondering if this may be Kevin McHale's last dance.  I just don't think there has to be a culprit in every circumstance, and I just don't think there's a culprit here.  Stuff happens.  Houston fought all year, they lost two starters, Dwight Howard is just now getting into rhythm, and James Harden is gassed.  Consequently, the team has unraveled.  Kevin McHale certainly cannot be to blame for any of that.  McHale and the staff had one of the best coaching performances in the league in keeping this team atop of the conference all season.  They'll certainly get at least another crack at it with this group next season.
    • What has transpired hurts because it pushes this season's accomplishments into the dustbin of history.  If the team finishes sixth, no one will remember how they overcame all expectations all season, even expectations given for a team with a healthy Dwight Howard, hovering among the top seeds in the brutal West.  People will just look back and see yet another mediocre finish for a franchise that has only known mediocrity for the last two decades.  It doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things, but as a historian of the team, you can see how it bothers me.
    • Barring the miraculous, Friday's loss just about clinched the MVP for Steph Curry.  Several of you have suggested to me that losing the MVP may not be such a bad thing if it means a motivated Harden in the postseason.  First, if losing the MVP award is what it takes to motivate James, then we have a problem.  Second, this isn't the 90's.  I don't know that one star player playing out of his mind will ever again be enough in the new NBA.  Teams need balanced attacks with multiple contributors to navigate their way through four rounds against the best the league has to offer.  In the grand scheme, the MVP award really doesn't matter, but it would have been a very cool accolade for a local athlete, and the type of thing that remains the object of a franchise's pride for decades later.
    • I noted on Twitter, recently, that the great irony is that this Rockets team is something of an anachronism, equipped almost as if from the 90's or early 00's.  They have a smashing defense and, probably, the best player in the league.  They have three-point shooting.  And they don't have much of anything else.  In the olden days, that was enough.  You let your defense dictate one end, and then you handed the ball off to your star for the remainder of the 48, and allowed him to isolate his way to the victory.  Sure, there were the portions of games where you, as they put it, "got other guys involved," but on the whole, that was the recipe, and it was the recipe for championships.  But at least until the next basketball revolution, with defenses utilizing the new rules to box star players into unnavigable positions, that will never again be enough.  You need ball-handlers and passers that can make quick reads on the fly to react to in-sequence dynamics.  Aside from Harden, Houston has none of those.  They just have brutes on the glass, another boon relic from days past.
    • Friday was why I laughed at those of you throughout the year who suggested the Spurs would be a desirable matchup in the postseason.  Repeat after me: the Spurs are never a desirable matchup.
    • Anything can happen from this point forward, but whatever transpires, the biggest takeaway from this year is that the franchise has a man who legitimately can be the best player in the entire league.  The gravity of that development cannot be overstated.  Even more encouraging is that given his style of play, and physical attributes, you see Harden continuing to develop, and aging gracefully, with maybe even another six years remaining in his prime.  The challenge now, as it seemingly has been the dilemma for all of Daryl Morey's tenure, is finding the right supporting cast, especially with Dwight Howard seemingly on his last legs, no pun intended.
    • Harden will have to develop a floater at some point, just to avoid contact at the rim, which leads me to my last thought for today: I argued with several of you on Twitter Friday night, whether or not the block by Tim Duncan to seal the game was truly a foul.  I didn't think it was, and my opinion was validated by the league's review yesterday.  But those of you engaging me in that debate, were, I think, missing the greater point.  It doesn't matter if it was really a foul.  The issue at hand is that that sort of contact will never be called a foul at the end of a playoff game.  You can retort that "Kobe would have gotten that call" all you want, but it won't change things for the Houston Rockets and James Harden.  So rather than whining about ideals, let's think realistically.  What's the solution?  Harden obviously can't keep driving in like this as that is now two games (loss to Memphis) where he has drawn contact that affected his shot.  But conversely, competent scouting will know that James may now be more reluctant to drive, causing long-armed defenders to sit on his jumpshot.  Here's where a floater would help, but a floater James Harden does not have.  We'll just have to see what transpires.

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    #2 Jatman20

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      Posted 12 April 2015 - 02:40 PM

      Do the Rockets have the Clippers or Memphis as of this morning? I looked at the standings and the Clippers are in second place. Clippers were 5th yesterday. One day changes things in the West. A few months ago I started saying a first round knockout was ok or understandable in this brutal conference called the West. Since then Durant is out, W. Mathews is out, Affalo/Conely/Ibaka/LMA/Tony Allen/Splitter have their problems (Marc Gasol left the game last night with an ankle problem); Rockets have their own injury losses to deal with in D-Mo and Beverley. So many injuries on so many teams. I like our chances with a fully healthy Rocket team vs a fully healthy Spurs team.....if you want to be the best....you have to beat the best. I believe my record prediction for the Rockets was 58 wins before the season? We "May" finish with 56 wins ( with D-12/TJ missing a ton of games.....followed by Beverley and D-Mo). The addition of Corey Brewer and Josh helped. Pelicans are in as of this day as (8th). That troubles me more, since it dictates our draft pick. It needs to be a battle tonight (Holiday is back from injury).
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      #3 thejohnnygold

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      Posted 12 April 2015 - 03:46 PM

      *
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      @Jatman--Here's your answer: LINK  I've never understood taking more time to ask a question on a forum than it would take to find oneself.  Mostly, it seems you came here to remind everyone of whatever predictions of yours actually came close to reality.  Enjoy a golf clap.

       

      Men-at-work-Golf-Clap-Short-Charlie-Shee

       

      The more relevant answer is it doesn't matter.  At this point we sit back and let the last 4 days of the season play out.  Besides, this season has all been for naught, apparently, and we should all begin bracing for a first round loss and discussion of how much of a waste and failure the whole thing was.   :mellow:

       

      As for Rahat's post.....Seriously, I can't believe how quickly the negativity can overtake some.  Nothing is over until it is over; however, quitting early will almost always guarantee results.  It's a very effective self-fulfilling prophecy.  Oh look, Houston is mediocre again.  I shouldn't have let myself get my hopes up--we don't deserve to be special.  To borrow an old joke, I wish my lawn was as emo as this so it would cut itself.

       

      Look, outside of OKC, no team has come close to enduring the hardships this team has had to overcome this season.  Losing back to back games to San Antonio when they are doing their annual rev up for the playoffs while we are still adjusting to losing our PG and 6th man plus trying to nurse Dwight back to health is not an omen of mediocrity.  It's just an NBA reality.  They are 13-1 heading down the stretch with wins over Atlanta, Milwaukee, Dallas (2x), Memphis, Golden State, OKC, and Houston (2x).  I guess those teams should pack it in and go home too.  Seriously, it's like you guys are letting Popovich go full Obi-Wan Kenobi and convince you there is no hope with the wave of his hand.

       

      mindtrick.gif

       

      What happened to the cavalier seeding doesn't matter this year attitude that was trumpeted the entire season--that is, right up until we snagged 2nd place?  Then it matters all of a sudden?  Check yourselves and relax.  This is the same team (sans a PG and 7' of back up center/stretch 4) that had us believing.  Don't cry over split milk, count your chickens before they hatch, or any other cliche that applies here.

       

      This post is for any doom and gloom-ers who may be reading this.  You know who you are.  It's ok.  We have known all along that success was going to be hard to come by this season even at full health.  Now, it is that much harder and it has absolutely ZERO to do with our past 20 years of mediocrity.  Seriously, go kick a puppy off a bridge or steal an old lady's pillow and punch her in the face.  Take your angst out on someone else and leave our beloved Rockets out of it.

       

       S7UoY.gif

       

      I can't wait for the playoffs to start.  We've got 8 days until game 1.  Whoever our opponent is, I can guarantee they aren't excited about the task at hand.  They know Houston is a real threat.  There are 3 teams with a 54-26 record.  Houston sits at 53-26.  (time to panic!!!! OMG!!!).  Don't forget that Portland at 51-29 only sits at 4th because of stupid divisional rules.  We are 1/2 game from being tied for 2nd and heading into the playoffs with one of the league's premiere players and a strong supporting cast.  I'm excited.  We should all be excited.


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      #4 cointurtlemoose

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        Posted 12 April 2015 - 05:05 PM

        Agreed on some points, but it's injuries, more than anything else, that are holding us back. With DMo and Bev, we're comfortably in the second-tier contenders list. But forget the narrative that this is just some 'familiar Rockets collapse'. That's too simple.

         

        Losing back to back games to San Antonio when they are doing their annual rev up for the playoffs while we are still adjusting to losing our PG and 6th man plus trying to nurse Dwight back to health is not an omen of mediocrity.  It's just an NBA reality.

         

        Exactly. And if not for some Smith free throws, more missed bunnies than usual, and a tremendous block, we would have one Friday's game that incited the doom and gloom.

         

        I think we're fired up enough to win out, and the Grizz should lose their next game at GS. We'll probably end up in the 5, playing the Blazers.


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        #5 Jatman20

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          Posted 12 April 2015 - 08:31 PM

          Thank you Johnnygold.....you don't look spiteful all all. Did your predictions come close? The article states most of us predicted us to do poorly ( I was clearly stating I for one did not). I wanted to trade at the deadline to get us over the hump and out of the first round this year....but injuries can bite anyone; But our future looks bright and we might surprise this year still yet. D-Mo/TJ/Papan can improve further. Sergio llull, probably will join the team over the off season. The 3 point shooters and backup center will be the only questions unless Beverley doesn't resign and backup llull. I'm sure there are many things in life you don't understand. Such is life. The site at looked at this morning did not make their adjustments. But things are still changing and moving until the last day of the season. So what is today means nothing as it probably will change tomorrow.....between Clippers, Grizz and Spurs.

          Edited by Jatman20, 12 April 2015 - 08:36 PM.

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          #6 thejohnnygold

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          Posted 12 April 2015 - 08:53 PM

          Thank you Johnnygold.....you don't look spiteful all all. Did your predictions come close? The article states most of us predicted us to do poorly ( I was clearly stating I for one did not). I wanted to trade at the deadline to get us over the hump and out of the first round this year....but injuries can bite anyone; But our future looks bright and we might surprise this year still yet. D-Mo/TJ/Papan can improve further. Sergio llull, probably will join the team over the off season. The 3 point shooters and backup center will be the only questions unless Beverley doesn't resign and backup llull. I'm sure there are many things in life you don't understand. Such is life.

           

          I am a bit spiteful.  I tire of the knee-jerk negativity.  I consider most of us to be knowledgeable and experienced basketball fans.  Thus, when I see the lack of scale and relativity that I would expect from such fans I find it odd and out of place.

           

          I didn't make too many predictions.  I did say we were better off in the pre-season after the losses of Lin, Asik, and Parsons while adding Ariza, Papa, and Dorsey.  I predicted Tarik Black would be the one to make the last roster spot mid-way through pre-season.  I predicted we would win 55 games.  I had us slotted 3rd in a tight WC race with 1 game separating teams from 2-6.  All in all, I'd say my predictions have been pretty solid.  I also predicted Josh Smith would play better in our system than he did for Atlanta or Detroit, but not everyone agrees with that nor that it is good enough.

           

          I see you edited that last part from your original post, but not before I copied it here.  Sorry to have ruffled your feathers, but re-reading your post and remembering that you often come here to tout your "predictions" I don't feel out of line in my comment.  Such is life, indeed.

           

          Back to Rockets talk--I agree cointurtlemoose.  One of the things that got me was the inability of Dwight and TJ to pass to each other.  That was 3 (that I recall) sure-fire dunks that ended up being turnovers because of butterfingers.  I think Dwight and TJ need to practice playing some hot potato.


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          #7 Jatman20

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            Posted 12 April 2015 - 11:37 PM

            Ok....I wasn't sure exactly what your predictions were. I did remember our debate in which you said Jeff Adrien would be a stud on our team and that Ish Smith would be good for us. I said neither would make the team. I said Troy Daniels would not get much playing time if he didn't improve his defense.
            You disagreed.

            We are in agreement on Josh Smith. And you and I were one of the few that said Rondo would not fit with the Rockets. I try to stay positive, but realistic as well. A few months ago every team fighting for the playoffs in the West looked like world beaters. I was a bit negative then.....I'm actually more positive now as I see some teams limping into the playoffs.....Trailblazers, Grizz and a team with flaws in Dallas (I know you mentioned Dallas troubles you if we face them). Easiest thing in the world to do is to criticize others. I only criticize articles (last season on hero-ball)....not an attack on the authors........just the articles. Reason for that is because of Matt Schaub.......I felt that all the negative articles would effect Schaub mentally.
            Without a decent replacement....it was futile to complain constantly about him. Well then Schaub broke and was a shell of a player. I also think teams figured out Kubiak and Wade Phillips systems....But let's not debate that here. Harden could have been bothered by those endless articles last year. Instead he fought hard and is close in the race for league MVP.

            Edited by Jatman20, 12 April 2015 - 11:37 PM.

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            #8 Jatman20

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              Posted 12 April 2015 - 11:54 PM

              Oh.....let me include I have been critical on D-Mo because I felt TJ is better. They both bring different elements to the team.
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              #9 Cooper

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                Posted 13 April 2015 - 02:03 AM

                I think overall they are a better team than last year and still have a good chance at making the second round. We aren't so much collapsing (won 7 of last ten) as its just the clips and spurs have gone on a tear going 9-1 and 10-0. Cant realistically expect to match that.


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                #10 Jatman20

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                  Posted 13 April 2015 - 03:18 AM

                  You are right Cooper.....I was going to make that exact point as well after reading the article. We were 10-2 prior to facing two straight vs the Spurs. Two games in which Pops employed the Hack-a-Howard/Smith. A sign of weakness IMO.

                  Clips and Spurs split the season series 2-2. Clips play two easy games Den and Suns while the Spurs have just the Pels. If both teams win out.....I believe the Clips win the tie-breaker on Conference wins. Clips would be second seed.

                  If the Rockets win out and the Grizz lose vs the Warriors tomorrow......the Rockets would get Portland. With Houston having home court since the Rockets would have the better season record over Portland. Hornets look done (but no D12).......revenge vs the Jazz on the last game because of what they did a few weeks ago vs us. Barring further injury.....second round is obtainable. Amazing how much can change in the final 5 games of the season this year.

                  Edited by Jatman20, 13 April 2015 - 03:19 AM.

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                  #11 Alituro

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                    Posted 13 April 2015 - 12:44 PM

                    Yeah. I find it hard to get down because of our team, this season. Seriously? Aren't we right where we expected to be? Right in the middle of the playoff pack in the WC? The amazing thing is all of the adversity we've overcome to get here. If at the beginning of the season we knew Dwight and Jones were going to miss 50 games each would we still have predicted us to be where we are right now? OF course not! That's preposterous! Even with a full squad this team was predicted to not even equal it's previous seasons' wins. It was inevitable that we would exit the postseason at some point before the league finals from the beginning.. how has that changed?

                    This season would have been terribly disappointing if in fact we were healthy all season and still ended up right where we are now. That would mean Morey would have a lot more work to do structuring this squad and we aren't any where near contending for a title. But, that's not the case, this squad, fully healthy is as good as any in the league.

                    It's also easy to complain and say that well, if one more free throw, one made basket or one whistle had gone our way in each of our last games against our division rivals then we wouldn't be in this situation. A superior team wouldn't have had themselves in those situations, and well, we are not a superior team at this point in time.


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                    #12 bob schmidt

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                    Posted 13 April 2015 - 05:09 PM

                    Seems to me that many who comment on Red94 are more concerned about their individual powers of prediction than supporting the team and enjoying the competitive nature of the game. Maybe I am the guy who is out of step, but I could care less who predicted our win total before the season was played.

                     

                    The point is, the playoffs are here, and Houston will give someone everything that they can handle before all is said and done. The season has been brutal, and realistically, it has become a game of survival. This is why I enjoy sports. Nothing is a foregone conclusion, and that is the fun of it all. In order to win some playoff games, we will have to face a tough opponent and take them out in order to advance to the next round. That prediction you can take to the bank...

                     

                    I just hope that we don't forget to enjoy the Houston team that we have. We have been blessed with a highly competitive team that leaves it all on the court. It sure beats celebrating mediocrity, as we have in the not too distant past. Also, I do thank fellow posters for their efforts to add to the experience of enjoying Houston basketball. Thanks to all of you I have found many interesting links and info that I found valuable!


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                    #13 thejohnnygold

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                    Posted 13 April 2015 - 06:16 PM

                    Bob Schmidt, you are correct and thank you.  I mentioned my predictions solely in direct response to Jatman asking.

                     

                    Speaking of....Jatman, I am not interested in your pissing contest.  You say you remember me saying those things about Adrien, Ish Smith, and Dallas (seriously???) and I say you are not remembering correctly and are most likely taking things I said far, far out of context.  It doesn't matter.  Troy Daniels...if you want that one you can have it.  I hope it feels vindicating.  (pretty sure you are twisting that one as well, but he's long gone and it doesn't matter.  None of it matters.)  By the way, I was back and forth on Rondo and wrote as many words for him as I may have against him.

                     

                    You got bent out of shape because I called you out on coming here to boast and tout yourself.  You responded to that by boasting and touting yourself more while trying to knock me down a peg as well.  The only success you have had with that is the fact I have allowed myself to engage in this as long as I have.

                     

                    Your prediction skills are wonderful; although, anyone can throw a bunch of junk against the wall and see what sticks.  Wait a while, claim prophecy for the stuff that gets close to right and sweep the rest under the rug.  It's cool.  Good for you.  Politicians make careers out of this.

                     

                    At this point, I am done engaging on this matter.  If you would like to continue feel free to PM me, but Bob is right that this has no business here and is not contributing to the discussion.  I would appreciate it if you refrained from quoting me without finding any actual quotes as I feel you have poor recall and I don't like people putting words in my mouth--especially false ones.   Thanks and sorry to everyone else for the poor display.


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                    #14 Willk

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                      Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:16 PM

                      I want to keep this pissing match going a little further. I just want to point out my predictions before the season:

                      1) Troy Daniels would be the first guard off of the bench

                      2) Omer Asik would sorely be missed

                      3) The Rox would finish 4th in the WCF

                      4) K-Pap would have a better year than Chandler Parsons

                      I will gladly accept my prediction trophy


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                      #15 cointurtlemoose

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                        Posted 14 April 2015 - 04:33 PM

                        Oh I have bad predictions too! I picked us to finish 7th, for the Nuggets to be threats for the 8th seed, and for Lance Stephenson to have a breakout year... 

                         

                        And yes, I also thought the same about Daniels...


                        Edited by cointurtlemoose, 14 April 2015 - 04:34 PM.

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                        #16 thejohnnygold

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                        Posted 14 April 2015 - 06:24 PM

                        Haha....I have some pretty hilarious ones as well.  I too thought Stephenson was going to help lift Charlotte to the upper tier of the East.  I had the Bucks winning 19 games (they are at 41 with one to play).  I had the Nuggets at 48 wins (they are at 30).  I also had the Clippers winning the Western Conference with 59 wins and the Bulls winning the East with 57 wins.

                         

                        I posted the following in the "Bold Predictions Thread" at the beginning of the season:

                         

                        "James Harden averages 25, 8, and 5 while playing solid defense and being a great leader and team mate.  99% of NBA fans still find reasons to badmouth him and the Rockets."  He is currently at 27.5, 6.9, and 5.6.  Either way you slice it, that's a very good season.

                         

                        I'm sure there are more floating around.  

                         

                        Maybe we should turn this into a thing....start each season with the predictions thread and then re-visit at season's end to laugh and/or gloat.  :) 


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                        #17 cointurtlemoose

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                          Posted 15 April 2015 - 04:27 AM

                          At least I know I wasn't alone on Stephenson! I still think he can turn it on at some point, given the right team. There are some good ones in that thread though!


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                          #18 clydesmoustache

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                            Posted 15 April 2015 - 04:43 AM

                            I am not sure if i commented on it but definitely felt that Terry wouldn't have a single minute as a Rocket.
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                            #19 Steven

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                              Posted 16 April 2015 - 01:52 AM

                              Rahat, the 2nd seed is a collapse?
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                              #20 RudyT1995

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                                Posted 16 April 2015 - 02:29 AM

                                We got the 2 seed!  I want to see Chandler Parsons cry!


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