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@  majik19 : (23 March 2016 - 02:44 AM) fitting that they lost on a dumb turnover.
@  thenit : (20 March 2016 - 02:40 PM) Its time someone in the team got into Harden's face. I don't even care what the reason was or if Jet was at fault, just good that someone is willing to do it
@  slick shoes : (20 March 2016 - 12:04 AM) did anyone just see James and JET get in to it? they had to be separated by Brewer.
@  thenit : (17 March 2016 - 09:25 PM) I don't know, Feigen tweeted that they had another meeting, and that Dmo said that we had 6 or 6 of those according to feigen. Basically said its no time to talk because nothing changes and walk the walk
@  slick shoes : (17 March 2016 - 09:19 PM) Who is calling these meetings? Does anyone even show up at this point?
@  thenit : (17 March 2016 - 08:48 PM) Its laughable, they had another players only meeting. I think its like the 10th one. Still no change. Its so stupid, like Dmo said whats the point of talking if we don't play hard.
@  slick shoes : (17 March 2016 - 02:54 AM) are you surprised? this is the same team that we've seen all season. so much talk from the locker room about improvement and change. the grizz win was a fluke.
@  Cooper : (17 March 2016 - 02:52 AM) on pace to give up 144 at half, pathetic effort.
@  RocketMan : (15 March 2016 - 11:34 PM) Per the references, yes.
@  slick shoes : (15 March 2016 - 12:51 PM) Is Terrence Jones even on the team any more?
@  majik19 : (12 March 2016 - 06:15 AM) didn't watch the whole game, but we actually looked solid on both ends. the defense was rotating appropriately. i can hardly believe it.
@  DenverRocket : (11 March 2016 - 08:51 PM) Great interview with DM: http://espn.go.com/e...lay?id=14951528
@  majik19 : (10 March 2016 - 02:20 AM) pathetic how close this game is...
@  thejohnnygold : (06 March 2016 - 12:48 AM) Those are some sweet socks. Have fun!
@  bboley24 : (05 March 2016 - 06:38 PM) Im going to the game tonight in Chicago. Ill be in the bright rockets sweater. Wearing my socks as usual. Then off to the Cleveland game in a few weeks as well! My wife is an amazing woman.
@  thejohnnygold : (05 March 2016 - 05:52 PM) Dekker and Harell looking pretty good down in RGV...especially Harell. LINK
@  majik19 : (03 March 2016 - 04:53 PM) the Rockets are so desperate they signed Michael Beasley to a 1+ year contract...
@  thejohnnygold : (03 March 2016 - 01:59 AM) Gotta admit, I like what I'm seeing so far...4 minutes left in 1st half and the entire team looks good...now if we can just get some of these 3's to fall...
@  slick shoes : (02 March 2016 - 09:10 PM) I wonder what happens to his share of the team now?
@  slick shoes : (02 March 2016 - 09:09 PM) "The Oklahoma City Police Department said he was traveling at a high speed and "pretty much drove straight into the wall.""


Oklahoma City Thunder 116, Houston Rockets 108: At least you tried

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 30 January 2016 - 04:57 AM

    New post: Oklahoma City Thunder 116, Houston Rockets 108: At least you tried
    By: Forrest Walker

    Some days, everything just goes wrong. Certainly, the Rockets had elements of their decision making, of their chemistry and their rotations they could have improved. Too many shooters were left open in corners, and too many plays devolved into isolation. The Houston Rockets have some issues to address following their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. But sometimes it really does just come down to a roll of the dice. Sometimes, it just comes down to how many open shots you can hit, or rather how many you can miss. Even with all the odd factors in this game, the Rockets could have won it. The game became a shootout, and the Rockets found their chambers empty.


    That score of 108 might imply that perhaps the Rockets didn't miss so many shots after all, and that it was a high scoring affair. It was, indeed, high-scoring. It was also high in possessions. After adjusting for pace, Houston had a defensive efficiency of 109.4 points per 100 possessions, which is about a point worse that the worst defensive team in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers. That was very bad. On the offensive side of the ball, the Rockets scored 101.8 points per 100 possessions, which is right on the money for the Denver Nuggets' season average, good for 20th in the league. neither of these numbers are good.


    When you compare some shooting numbers, however, things get nasty. The Rockets shot the ball 95 times and connected on 36 of them. They hit 27 of 43 free throws and 9 of 39 three pointers. This gives you an effective field goal percentage of 42.6%. True Shooting, which takes free throws into account, gives a more generous 47.4%. To put that in perspective, the Golden State Warriors lead the league with 56.3% EFG and 59.4% TS while the 30th place Los Angeles Lakers sport 45.6% EFG and 50.3% TS. The Thunder shot a mere 19 three pointers in that game and hit 9 of them. many of those were open, but so were many of Houston's.


    This is all to say that while the Rockets do indeed need to tighten up on defense, sometimes they really do lose games due to bad shooting nights. Corey Brewer and Clint Capela were particularly bad at layups and dunks, something which affected both teams early. The Thunder, however, found their footing and pulled out. The Rockets just kept shooting and missing. Whatever dark magic the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors use to turn all of their players into deadeyes, the Rockets need to emulate. There comes a point when a problem is endemic enough to speak to an organizational flaw, and I suspect we're at that point with Houston's sporadic shooting. It doesn't make sense to rank in the top 10 in EFG and TS and offensive efficiency and then be unable to hit the water from a canoe on other nights.


    Other "highlights" of this game include a couple moments which will undoubtedly become talking points, and which involve the referees. The whistle was seemingly arbitrary all game, and there were some moments that the team took umbrage to. First was the ejection of Dwight Howard with seven minutes left in the third quarter. He and Kyle Singler had become tangled up early in the game, resulting in a shove from Dwight which gave him his first technical foul. The second tech, which resulted in his ejection, was after a complaint to an official about a call. That street ran both ways, however, and Dion Waiters was later given a tech for complaining about a no-call on a dunk. The difference here, unfortunately for the Rockets, was that Dwight Howard was a key part of their game plan, and his absence left Houston vulnerable to Enes Kanter's 100% offense game. Dwight Howard, whether he likes it or not, whether he thinks it's fair or not, has no room to complain. That's best left to the coaching staff, who aren't needed to guard the rim on every possession. The Rockets were actually up by double digits most of the game until Dwight Howard was ejected. This can't happen.


    The other point of outrage for Houston was a very hard foul against Corey Brewer on a fast break which sent him careening into the stanchion and was totally missed by the officials. Patrick Beverley took a hard intentional foul on Russell Westbrook, and it was this which the officials reviewed to see if it was flagrant. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff had to calm his furious team, lest they get more players ejected. Unfortunately for Houston, coming out angry doesn't seem to do much for their game, and as they continued to feel slighted, they started to get railroaded by an increasingly confident Thunder team. Perhaps the atmosphere would have been different in Houston, but in Oklahoma City, the Rockets were unable to impose their will, even though they tried. The worst thing about the game was that Patrick Beverley re-sprained his ankle late, something which may become very important.


    This game was a mess, but if it had happened last season, it would be simply a blip on the radar. The fact that the Rockets kept ahead for most of the game (and even came within a couple possessions of tying while Russell Westbrook was building a triple double) despite their putrid shooting was encouraging for most of the game. The Rockets gave better effort, and they didn't give up, even if they didn't respond as stridently as one would hope. Sometimes, things go wrong. The best you can do it play it out and keep trying.

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    #2 DenverRocket



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      Posted 30 January 2016 - 05:22 AM

      Good write up, pretty much spot on.


      Just checked and Kanter had 20 of his 22 points after Dwight was ejected! He really needs to apologize to his teammates for his blatant stupidity.


      The Westbrook foul on Brewer was flagrant IMO - he was making a legitimate attempt to block the shot, however there was hard contact to the head whilst Brewer was in a vulnerable position. Not sure how all the officials missed it?!?


      Still, encouraging to see Smith hitting a few shots and surely it can only be a matter of time before TJ is traded?

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      #3 Sir Thursday

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      Posted 30 January 2016 - 11:29 AM

      For the first three quarters, I thought the Rockets did a great job on the defensive glass. OKC is a REALLY big team - they played large stretches of the game with 3 players 6'10" or taller. Usually that spells pain and offensive rebounds, but actually the team did a great job of gang rebounding and doing what ever it takes to secure the ball off missed shots. Unfortunately they could not keep that up in the 4th, when Kanter started to take control in a Dwight Howard-less game. But on a normal night Howard isn't going to be ejected - if they could keep that level of effort up I would be very pleased going forward.


      Worth also mentioning that the Rockets managed to build a double digit lead in the second quarter, but it was erased thanks to some Hack-a-Howard. It seemed like every freethrow Dwight took clanged off the back of the iron tonight.


      I thought Corey Brewer had a really nice game tonight. He missed a gimme layup in the 4th that would have cut the lead to 6 at a crucial time, but apart from that he terrorised the Thunder in transition. Several really nice coast-to-coast plays and you could see after the hard foul that Forest mentioned that he was pumped up (I think he scored on the next two possessions). Hopefully we get a little more of that.


      In the second quarter the Rockets ran a really nice play several times in a row. Beverley does a fake pick-and-roll with Capela that ends up with Capela holding the ball at the top of the key and then gives Harden a handoff on the curl. They ran it 4-5 times in a row and got something out of it every time. I think I remember seeing a breakdown of it somewhere else (possibly Rockets Insider?), but I might see if I can put together something on it.



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      #4 Sir Thursday

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      Posted 30 January 2016 - 11:48 AM

      Ah, Fist Up 2 was the play I was thinking of. Here are some videos of it in action:






      Edited by Sir Thursday, 30 January 2016 - 11:49 AM.

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      #5 thejohnnygold



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      Posted 30 January 2016 - 02:52 PM

      Thanks for that, ST.  I'd like to see more of this, and other similar plays.  I'd also like to see the other two guys initiating a secondary action on the weak side more so than just casually floating up for a kick out 3.  There is no reason those two can't perform actions that still get them to an outlet spot while also forcing their defenders to continue paying attention to them.  Those little half-seconds and half-steps count.  I think that is why a lot of times our offense suffers.  The half-steps and half-seconds are in the defense's favor more often than not.

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