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@  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/
@  jorgeaam : (02 September 2015 - 09:33 PM) So according to TMZ (I know, I know) Dwight Howard had an incident last month in which he took a loaded gun into an airport, but he was allowed to give it to a friend to take it back and wasn't arrested.
@  jorgeaam : (31 August 2015 - 10:45 PM) The Los Angeles Rockets, lol
@  redfaithful : (31 August 2015 - 09:51 PM) Seems that Chuck is also on his way to the Clippers.
@  slick shoes : (24 August 2015 - 06:14 PM) ill just leave this here...
@  slick shoes : (24 August 2015 - 06:14 PM) http://www.timeandda...04&font=cursive
@  timetodienow... : (21 August 2015 - 07:20 PM) At least in my opinion.
@  timetodienow... : (21 August 2015 - 07:20 PM) I love having Terry. But the main factor was that New Orleans will NOT compete for a championship this year and the Rockets will.
@  jorgeaam : (21 August 2015 - 03:57 AM) Things that make me like the JET even more
@  jorgeaam : (21 August 2015 - 03:57 AM) Jason Terry said that he turned down a more lucrative deal from New Orleans in order to return to Houston.
@  clydesmoustache : (19 August 2015 - 08:32 AM) A year ago who would have thought I would be so happy to have Jason Terry on my team. Welcome back JET! Hurry up October!
@  cointurtlemoose : (19 August 2015 - 04:45 AM) Terry I love yooouuuuuuuuu
@  jorgeaam : (19 August 2015 - 02:38 AM) Yay Terry is back!
@  majik19 : (15 August 2015 - 09:33 PM) and i thought these shouts were limited to some number of characters!

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The keys to the Houston Rockets' 2015-2016 season: #5 - length


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 22 July 2015 - 02:54 AM

    New post: The keys to the Houston Rockets' 2015-2016 season: #5 - length
    By: Rahat Huq

    I haven't written regularly in so long that I thought about making a useless list to rank items in preparation for the season.  We'll call it "the keys to the Houston Rockets' season", and cap it at five items because, who knows how long my attention span will last with this thing before I get tired and decide to end the series.  Spoiler: I already have all five items in mind.  So without further ado, I present to you, number 5...

    Length

     

    I keep thinking back to a quote from Kevin McHale sometime early in the season, on the radio, after Houston lost to Golden State.  It was before the Corey Brewer and Josh Smith acquisitions.  McHale, when talking about the game, said something like "in the second half, they went small, so we had to adjust, except all of their smalls are 6'8."  A few weeks or maybe months later, Daryl Morey landed both Corey Brewer and Josh Smith, transforming the dynamics of the roster.

     

    We saw the benefits of the Rockets' length in the early rounds, against Dallas and L.A., when the opponents simply couldn't match up.  Anywhere you looked, there were Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, Josh Smith, and Terrence Jones, jumping into passing lanes, running the break, and switching pick and roll coverage.  Unfortunately, Houston ran into an even longer team, the aforementioned Warriors, in the Conference Finals, more pertinently, running out of firepower.

     

    Ariza, Jones, and Brewer (thank God) are all back, but Josh Smith now resides with the Clippers, the team he tormented in guiding Houston to the Final Four.  In Smith's place are free agent pickup Marcus Thornton, and 6'6 sophomore K.J. McDaniels whose rights Houston secured for $10 million combined over the next three years.  McDaniels is particularly tantalizing, and its easy to see why Daryl Morey agreed to pay the former second rounder a sum befitting of a late lottery pick.  He's already shown glimpses of elite defensive ability and when given a chance, his athleticism should further fuel what looks to be, yet again, a devastating Houston fastbreak.

     

    https://youtu.be/zOiliGsq-ZA

     

    This is without even mentioning 6'7 rookie Sam Dekker who many predicted would be drafted in the lottery, but will likely have to earn his time in the D-League this season.

     

    Ariza, Brewer, and Jones are cogs in Houston's rotation, and should bring the same merits to the table which they did last season.  But will McDaniels crack the lineup?  If he can bring anything, even a few minutes per game, it will allow Houston to keep James Harden fresh, a task deemed almost impossible last season.  But to warrant playing time, the former will have to improve upon his disastrous accuracy (29% on 3's) or opponents will pack the lane, daring him to shoot.

     

    Yes, Brewer and Ariza alone will ensure Houston's athleticism on the wings, but the emergence of McDaniels--just one more added weapon--would lift Houston to a different stratosphere, helping close the gap with Golden State.  They could mix and match weird lineups, playing Harden at the '4', with two fellow wings, or even Harden at the '1', with three accompanying small forwards.  They could trap, switch everything, and put length on star point guards for the minutes when Patrick Beverley isn't hounding them.

     

    Again, length will be a key for the Houston Rockets, as they enter the 2015-2016 campaign.  How it seems just yesterday Carlos Delfino was the team's sole swing option off the bench.  So much has changed.

     

    In the next installment, I'll look at #4: the evolution of James Harden


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    #2 NorEastern

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      Posted 22 July 2015 - 04:29 AM

      On this deep Rockets team if KJ gets more than garbage time minutes it means that the Rockets have been devastated by injuries. Sophomore second rounders who earned what 34 minutes of playing time last season do not contribute to a team looking for a 'ship. I expect fans next season to scream and self-flagellate in protest of KJ's minutes next season. For all the good it will do them.


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      #3 majik19

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        Posted 22 July 2015 - 04:12 PM

        On this deep Rockets team if KJ gets more than garbage time minutes it means that the Rockets have been devastated by injuries.

         

        Part of me agrees with this, and part of me hopes that is not the case.

         

        But obviously, the math doesn't quite add up. Ignoring small ball lineups, we have 6 players (Lawson, Beverly, Harden, KJ, Ariza, Brewer) vying for 144 minutes. Best case scenario for Harden is to play no more than 33 minutes a night (that's how much Curry played last year). Ariza played way too many minutes last year, but even once Brewer was on board, he still played a lot of minutes. Let's just assume best case for him is also 33 minutes a night. I think Brewer's play time last year was about right, so take off 25 minutes a game. I think Lawson and Beverly could easily take up the remaining 53 minutes. However, let's assume that we never play with both of them on the floor at once (might be a safe assumption, we'd be pretty small). That leaves 5 minutes for KJ, best case.  

         

        Now we could play some small ball with Ariza at the 4, or even Harden, as Rahat suggested, in certain matchups. That may help limit Howard's minutes, if we're not comfortable playing Capela 20 minutes a game or so. 

         

        144

        -33 (Harden)

        -33 (Ariza)

        78 minutes

        -25 (Brewer)

        53 minutes

        -30 (Lawson)

        -18 (Beverly)

        5 minutes for KJ

         

        HOWEVER, I would love to see KJ play more so he can develop. Recent Spurs teams have done an excellent job actually playing the end of their bench and developing players - it gives us more depth in the long run, and keeps our main rotation players fresh for the playoffs. 

         

        Of course, given the monstrosity that is the West, we may not be able to rest key players too often and hope to get a decent playoff seeding. The Warriors were so good last year they could blow people out by the 4th quarter and then rest. I don't think they'll have that luxury this year, and I don't think we will either. 

         

        The other, more distant possibility, is that KJ can replace Brewer in the rotation. He's basically a Corey Brewer starter kit, though he's a bit shorter, he's probably a bit more athletic. If KJ could develop (and become a better 3 pt shooter, they're almost the same right now), then maybe Brewer can be traded for some shooting help or something. To be clear - this isn't a prediction, it's just a possibility. 


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        #4 NorEastern

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          Posted 23 July 2015 - 12:01 AM

          Part of me agrees with this, and part of me hopes that is not the case.

           

          But obviously, the math doesn't quite add up. Ignoring small ball lineups, we have 6 players (Lawson, Beverly, Harden, KJ, Ariza, Brewer) vying for 144 minutes. Best case scenario for Harden is to play no more than 33 minutes a night (that's how much Curry played last year). Ariza played way too many minutes last year, but even once Brewer was on board, he still played a lot of minutes. Let's just assume best case for him is also 33 minutes a night. I think Brewer's play time last year was about right, so take off 25 minutes a game. I think Lawson and Beverly could easily take up the remaining 53 minutes. However, let's assume that we never play with both of them on the floor at once (might be a safe assumption, we'd be pretty small). That leaves 5 minutes for KJ, best case.  

           

          Now we could play some small ball with Ariza at the 4, or even Harden, as Rahat suggested, in certain matchups. That may help limit Howard's minutes, if we're not comfortable playing Capela 20 minutes a game or so. 

           

          144

          -33 (Harden)

          -33 (Ariza)

          78 minutes

          -25 (Brewer)

          53 minutes

          -30 (Lawson)

          -18 (Beverly)

          5 minutes for KJ

           

          HOWEVER, I would love to see KJ play more so he can develop. Recent Spurs teams have done an excellent job actually playing the end of their bench and developing players - it gives us more depth in the long run, and keeps our main rotation players fresh for the playoffs. 

           

          Of course, given the monstrosity that is the West, we may not be able to rest key players too often and hope to get a decent playoff seeding. The Warriors were so good last year they could blow people out by the 4th quarter and then rest. I don't think they'll have that luxury this year, and I don't think we will either. 

           

          The other, more distant possibility, is that KJ can replace Brewer in the rotation. He's basically a Corey Brewer starter kit, though he's a bit shorter, he's probably a bit more athletic. If KJ could develop (and become a better 3 pt shooter, they're almost the same right now), then maybe Brewer can be traded for some shooting help or something. To be clear - this isn't a prediction, it's just a possibility. 

          Your arithmetic is outstanding, but where is Thornton in the conversation? He averaged 7.9 points in 15 minutes last season and is not a bad defender on the perimeter. He is 6'4" and 28 years old. McHale is one of the best NBA coaches at developing young talent. KJ will get some D-League time, some NBA court time, and will work on his shooting. And he is locked up and is payed well.

           

          But what realistically fascinates me is the possibilities for small ball layered into this Rockets roster. The most interesting part of that is D-Mo's promise as as a small ball center. D-Mo is quick enough and fast enough to function as a small ball center on the perimeter and also play big ball with any center in the paint. I probably need to write it up.


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          #5 Losthief

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          Posted 23 July 2015 - 12:50 AM

          Hopefully we pull a Spurs and start resting guys when we can/should. Get young guys minutes (against the likes of say the 76ers or Orlando) and keep our studs healthy and fit.


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          #6 majik19

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            Posted 23 July 2015 - 01:56 AM

            Your arithmetic is outstanding, but where is Thornton in the conversation? He averaged 7.9 points in 15 minutes last season and is not a bad defender on the perimeter. He is 6'4" and 28 years old. =

             

            I honestly do not expect Thornton to play much next season unless we have an injury. Or, remember early last season when we would bring in Canaan when the offense was really struggling to make shots? Maybe Thornton comes in then. Or maybe he's Harden's primary backup. Then again, I didn't think Terry would play much for us last year...


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