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@  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/
@  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


Member Since 11 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Today, 12:11 AM

#48897 The 2015-16 Schedule: To Grouse Or Not To Grouse...

Posted by thejohnnygold on 13 August 2015 - 02:58 PM

It's here.  Our destiny has been laid out for all to see.  Now is the time for all Rockets fans to peer into that crystal ball, predict how our fate unfolds, and curse/praise the Gods whose meddlesome nature knows no bounds.


LINK to the schedule.


Someone else did the counting, but I'll pass the info along.  There are 5 teams with 20 sets of back-to-backs this season: Houston, LA Clippers, Golden State, Milwaukee, and Detroit.


The good news is 2 of our main conference rivals suffer the same fate as we do.  The bad news is 3 of our other conference rivals do not (MEM, SAS, OKC).  I do not consider Portland or Dallas a threat.  Phoenix is still up in the air.


Looking at our early schedule I can easily see us getting off to a slow start.  We will be missing Lawson at the beginning of the season (15 games?) and we even lose Dwight for the opener against Denver.  We could easily be 2-5 (or worse) before getting into a little softer bit of the schedule.


Of course, we are very, very good and could be 7-0.  Who knows???  


I think we will need to be patient and know that we close the season on a seemingly easy set of games with good amount of non-playoff caliber teams over the last 12 or so games.  Odds are we make a little run at the end so stay strong Rockets fans--it's going to be a bumpy ride.


What does everyone think?

  • 1

#48869 Lowe: Terrence Jones at $15million?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 10 August 2015 - 03:30 PM

As a follow-up to my post about replacing Jones I wanted to bring this to the discussion.  I used Earl Clark as an example of a player who is available as a possible cheap replacement.  I just ran across this snippet from Rotoworld.com:



The Nets will waive Earl Clark.

He wants to pursue a deal overseas and the Nets will accommodate him. Clark was at Summer League with the Nets and wasn't impressive even against the inferior talent, so he wouldn't have made a big impact anyway. Aug 3 - 9:08 PM


Perhaps I should choose better when I pick a player to replace Jones.


According to RealGM, there are some players out there I think qualify for this hypothetical: Jeff Adrien and Jason Maxiell (who may play in China this season).  Both are under-sized, but we know what they bring to the table.


I don't want people to think I dislike Jones--that is not true at all.  I think he is awesome.  I believe he has a slight mental problem in that his mind thinks he is a finesse player when he should be focused on using that big body of his to destroy people.  (I've made this assertion before comparing him to UT's Henry Melton a 6'4"/280 running back who wanted to run like Barry Sanders instead of Earl Campbell).  Can he figure it out?  I don't know.  It's my biggest concern with him, and I (like many others) truly believe Chuck Hayes was brought in to fix him.  If Chuck can't do it then I think Morey will not make a substantial offer for him nor fight for him if another team does.


If Chuck does fix him then this conversation changes.  Does anyone remember Eddie Jones?  You should.  He played from '94-'08 and could be seen doing things like this in just about every game:


(...wait for it....)



...and in his better games you would see this...



Now, Jones was a 6'6" SG/SF.  My comparison is that our Jones can be the same kind of player for us.  Eddie played best when surrounded by talent that he could feed off of and complimented them well.  He played strong, athletic defense and on offense he was able to attack defenses when they were pre-occupied with other guys and knock down outside shots when needed....and dunks....lots and lots of dunks.


Eddies Jones was never a "star" player.  Yet, he was a great player.  He did play in 3 all-star games over his career ('97, '98, '00).  He was crucial to his team's success.  Terrence can be that guy for us at the PF position.  Draymond Green (sorry, but it fits) is that guy for GS.


Unfortunately, right now Terrence is not that player.  He's close.  Really close.  If he can get that little bit better on offense (which I think he can and will) and figure out how to use his obviously strong lower body on defense (Come on, Chuckwagon...) and do it consistently then Jones would be worth every bit of $15M per year.


Consistency and defense--two things that come with experience.  Terrence Jones has played 128 NBA (regular season) games in 3 years for a total of 3243 minutes (James Harden played 2981 last season).  So, in reality, Jones has just over 1 season's worth of NBA game experience.  I have to remind myself of this when judging his progress.  He suffers from "rookie" stuff.  Up to now, that is pretty much what he has been--a rookie.


Terrence Jones may very well break out this season and unleash a flurry of awesome that makes reporters and bandwagon fans forget all about the likes of Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, and every other NBA flavor of the month.  I would like nothing better.


Having said all of that, it still comes down to economics: supply and demand.  Motiejunas is a rare commodity and if he can improve a little on both ends of the floor (as he should) he'll be a top 5 player at his position.  Read that again.  A top 5 PF in a league saturated with top-flight PF's.


I'm serious.  You're talking Davis, Aldridge, Griffin, Cousins, and....who?  Kevin Love?  No thanks.  I'll take D-Mo.  Paul Millsap?  No thanks.  Nene, Favors, Ibaka, Nowitzki, Randolph, Fareid, Duncan, Garnett, Bosh, and whoever else you can think of.  All of these guys lack something: youth, size, defense, offense...something.  D-Mo has it all and is getting better.  Obviously, prime Bosh or Dirk or Garnett, etc. trump this, but that's not the case.  Over the next 4-5 years, D-Mo (assuming health and marginal improvement) will be a dominant PF in this league.  If Houston won't let him blossom here playing with Harden and Co. he will go elsewhere.  He's too good.  


I imagine I sound delusional to a lot of you (all of you?).  The reality is Terrence Jones, even at his peak, would not qualify as a top 5 PF because he is a peripheral player.  He has to be surrounded by talent to thrive.  It's just who he is.  Motiejunas will be good enough to be a #1 option for a playoff caliber team.  That's who he is.


Jones is a great role player to have.  D-Mo is no role player.  I believe this season will bear that out.  Each will do very well, and it will become obvious who they are as players.




This is the future of Rockets basketball.

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#48832 Lowe: Terrence Jones at $15million?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 05 August 2015 - 04:26 AM

Rahat, your well thought out response to Lowe's premise is excellent and appreciated.  Mine is....slightly different....


It's as simple as this...




...or put differently....







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#48741 The keys to the Houston Rockets' season: #3 - the emergence of Donatas Mo...

Posted by thejohnnygold on 29 July 2015 - 10:41 PM

D-Mo has assured Lithuanian media that he will be 100% healthy for the season....not sure if anything local has been reported.


I have to admit I am a bit surprised at how many people prefer Jones, but it does make for good conversation.


Here are some numbers to ponder.


The Rockets were 31-6 (83.7%) when Motie played 30+ minutes last season.


The Rockets were 12-3 (80%) when Jones played 30+ minutes last season.


The Rockets were 17-3 (85%) when Motie grabbed 8+ rebounds.


The Rockets were 10-5 (66.7%) when Jones grabbed 8+ rebounds.


The Rockets were 29-10 (74.3%) when Motie shot 50%+.


The Rockets were 16-3 (84.2%) when Jones shot 50%+.


(All above  stats from basketball-reference.com)


Here are some more interesting stats (per 82games.com)


While Jones grabs more off. rebounds than Motie both in volume and in percentage of chances, the team fares better with Motie than it does with Jones.  With Motie on the floor we grab 29.5% of off. reb chances.  With Jones, it is 27.2%.  Interesting....


Now, it must be noted that Jones' #1 5-man group from last season (as far as most minutes played together) included Motie with a somewhat small 156 minute sample size.  What that means I have no idea...


82games.com also does something I kind of like (despite my disdain for PER).  They show opponent per/48 PER by position.


Motie surrendered a 14.3 opp. PER when he played PF (his actual position).


Jones surrendered a 16.4 opp. PER when he played PF.


My opinion is that Jones excels at a couple of things that Motie doesn't (particularly Off. rebounding and getting to the rim on cuts which lead to dunks and foul shots).  Those things bump his off. ratings (like PER) as well as his fg%'s.  Motie takes far more threes, and far more 3-10 shots while also creating more of his own offense.


Jones is a really good role player who plays off of others very well on offense.  On defense, he is lacking in overall effect despite his very nice block numbers.


Motie is not as good as Asik defensively, but their style is similar in that it lacks the "wow" factor, but gets the job done.


I like Jones with the second unit.  A group with some combination of Bev/Lawson, Thornton/McDaniels, Brewer/McDaniels, and Capela plus Jones will be fascinating to watch.  I think relegating Motie to the second unit, while useful in it's own right, is less useful than it can be with the starters.


I can't wait for pre-season so we can get some glimpses of the line-ups they are cooking up.  So many options.

  • 1

#48736 The keys to the Houston Rockets' season: #3 - the emergence of Donatas Mo...

Posted by thejohnnygold on 29 July 2015 - 03:27 PM

I think the rebounding numbers are skewed and should be taken in context.  Every single player at the other positions rebounds very well.  According to NBA.com, they all win the rebounding battle with Josh Smith and Brewer coming in last at 55% of rebound chances.  Dwight leads the pack at 70% (which compares with the likes of Drummond and Anthony Davis).  Harden, Ariza, Beverley, and even guys like Prigs, Nick Johnson, and Jason Terry all rebound well for their position.  That means fewer opportunities for our PF's.  Also consider how often they finds themselves out near the perimeter guarding the "small 4's" and I think there is less concern.  Yes, I have seen them get out-muscled down low, but I wouldn't automatically say they are weak rebounders based off of volume comparisons with other high-flying/bruising PF's.


Terrence Jones comes in at 53.8% and D-Mo is at 52.7%.  They are still winning the rebounding battle (barely).


I say that considering they play next to a guy who gobbles up rebounds (Dwight) and a bunch of wings who do the same it's no surprise that their numbers aren't as good.


Here's where it gets interesting.  According to NBA.com, contested rebound % for Houston players was a different story.


Our top 3 from last season: Tarik Black (50.4%), Joey Dorsey (44.9%), and Capela (44.4%).


Terrence Jones shows up next at 42.7% followed by Dwight at 42.3% and D-mo at 41.8%.


(I still lament losing Tarik Black--loved that guy)


To me, that is a broader problem.  Is it coaching?  Effort?  Lack of ability?  I don't know, but seeing those three all within 1% point of each other is interesting.  I think the coaches need to look at it and see how they can increase that number.


As for T-Jones being a better offensive player than D-Mo....I disagree....for lots of reasons.  Jones is pretty good operating from the left block, but he doesn't have near the arsenal that Motie does.


Also, watch that video I posted above and tell me Motie can't do all the things Jones can do (including leading the break).  His handles aren't quite as good, but his bball IQ makes up for that.  I will also repeat my simple litmus test: who would you rather run your offense through as a #1 option: Jones or Motie?  I am pretty sure Motie gets picked 10 out of 10 times here.

  • 2

#48603 Houston Rockets offseason check-in

Posted by thejohnnygold on 14 July 2015 - 02:22 PM

I was watching McHale's mid-game interview at one of the Summer League games and he was talking about player development.  He said they focus on one thing.  Get good at one thing--really good.  Then try to add a second and so on.  He said they do it that way because otherwise you get a guy trying to get good at a lot of things and winding up not being good at anything.


With that in mind, I'd guess that Nick Johnson is working on his shooting (which is standard for all Rockets players) and his "one thing".  Is it the pick n roll?  A cross-over move?  Running the fast break?  We'll probably be able to tell once he gets on the floor.


I like Nick Johnson.  I think he can become a solid role player in the league--I'm thinking Derek Fisher solid (sorry to bring his name into this).  He's not developing into the next Gary Payton, but I think he can play the point, run some basic offense, knock down shots, and play solid defense while being a leader for the team in terms of heart, attitude, and effort.


I understand if the Rockets opt to trade him, but I like what I see in him and think McHale and Co. can develop him into a solid NBA player.


Speaking of trades and what-not...We just signed Marcus Thornton and the word is we are re-signing Terry.  Daryl Morey has established a pattern of over-stuffing the roster (with Les Alexander's blessing.  Spending a few extra million up front pays dividends down the road.) and sorting it all out later.


Yes, there will be cuts, but I still feel a trade is coming.  Thornton is an interesting addition (TheDreamShake has a nice breakdown of what he can bring to the table offensively HERE), but I do not think he is the secondary creator the team needs/covets.  The fit should be good and, allegedly, he turned down more money elsewhere for this reason.  Fit, playing for a winning team after spending 6 years on losers, and moving closer to home (Baton Rouge, LA) all likely factored into his decision.


I like this video as a one-stop example of what he can bring to the table.  He goes off against the 2013-14 Pacers defense with a 42 point (0 assist) performance.



I can see him fitting into our offense quite well, plus I think he can rebound pretty well for his position and he doesn't turn it over much (likely because he doesn't pass much).


Back to the roster.  It is pretty full.  Assuming Terry does re-sign here is where we are at:


Bev, NJ, Prigioni

Harden, Thornton, Terry

Ariza, Brewer, Dekker

D-Mo, Jones, Papanikolaou, Harrell

Howard, Capela, Dorsey


That's 16 players plus we inked Christian Wood and I think a couple other guys to partially guaranteed deals.  Certainly we intend to use the MLE on one of Josh Smith/KJ McDaniels which takes us to 17 guaranteed salary slots.


No big deal, we can waive some guys and eat the salary.  Yet, a trade is better.  Waiving Dorsey seems fine, but he was really useful for us last year and Capela is not ready to be a full time back up (yet).  In fact, he reminds me a lot of John Henson.  Milwaukee fans are still waiting for that to happen.  He doesn't have the range to play PF and he doesn't have the bulk to play center.  Capela also has near Joey-Dorsey-Level fouling issues to resolve.


No, Morey needs to find a 2-1 deal that involves Prigioni, Jones (because he has more value than Papa and we aren't moving D-Mo), and a future first to get help.  The problem is salary matching for anyone worthwhile.  Those two only combine for $4.2M in salary (not sure how the pick factors in) and I believe we are just over the cap which means any trade has to be within 125% salary matching.  That's $5.25M.


So, we either have to convince someone to take Papa, add a third player, or shop in the discount bin for a PG upgrade.  Now, it doesn't have to be a true PG--combo guards can work here.  Players who fall under the $5.25M mark and might be available:


Dion Waiters ($5.14M)

Darren Collison ($5.01M)

Mario Chalmers ($4.3M)

Marcus Smart ($3.4M)

Evan Turner ($3.4M)

Randy Foye ($3.13M)

DJ Augustin ($3M)  I just put this here because so many people think he is available after the Kanter signing.  I say, "No way, Jose!"  That's a solid back up PG for $3M on a team with only a rookie back up PG behind him and they are thinking Finals this year.  Not Available...unless you want to overpay.

Tony Wroten ($2.18M)

Steve Blake ($2.1M) --again, not likely since SVG brought him to Detroit for a reason.


You get the point.  By now, we should just keep Prigioni because we are no longer upgrading much.  I have long been a fan of getting Randy Foye and I doubt Marcus Smart is available and if he is it isn't for scraps.


As much as we want a bigger name at PG, the opportunity cost is going to be big most likely.  Who knows what Sac-town does with Collison?  When does SVG move Jennings?


I don't envy Morey's job right now.  He's no longer just shopping for whatever good pieces he can find.  He's got to find that last, perfect piece without screwing up the rest of the puzzle in the process.

  • 1

#48422 2015 Offseason

Posted by thejohnnygold on 18 June 2015 - 08:10 PM

Where are all the writers at?  No articles on the Rockets' cap situation?  No articles debating the merits of Sergio Llull, Jerian Grant, and Tyus Jones?  Nothing about Collison vs. Lawson?  (...or Brandon Jennings  :rolleyes: )  No talk of LMA or Love?  Weird...


Well, we've touched on the Collison Lawson thing.  Reports keep bubbling up about Llull finally coming over, but he won't officially announce until June 28th (or later) and the Rockets can't say anything until after the 1st.  Regardless, it looks like one of Grant/Jones will fall to us in the draft so we will be getting some help at PG.


Personally, I really like Grant.  He's got size, poise, leadership, plays both ends, and can play the 1 or the 2 for us.  He fits Morey's mold of a 4 year player and he wasn't just all conference...he was a consensus 1st team all-american last season.  Playing at Notre Dame means he's got a good head on his shoulders as they maintain rigorous academic standards.  If he is there at 18 I really hope we take him.  The only knock against him is his 3 pt shooting, but that can be fixed.  He does everything else very well.


He is not likely to become a star, but he certainly looks capable of being a rock solid player the same way Wesley Matthews plays Robin to Lillard's Batman.


What's nice is this gives us options regarding Beverley and Nick Johnson.  Suppose Llull comes over and we draft Grant.  Suddenly we've got good depth at the 1 and can consider a trade that adds to our depth at another position.  Is Capela ready to play 20 mpg?  Is Terrence Jones going to spend the off season learning how to play interior defense?


I saw a mock draft that had us taking this guy in the 2nd round.  He's another tall, skilled, euro player that needs to develop a little longer.


I see lots of chatter about us being able to snag Aldridge in a sign and trade that doesn't require us to empty the cupboard.  I'm not buying it for multiple reasons, but that's very interesting.  Odds are D-Mo gets shipped out in that deal.  Personally, I'd prefer to keep D-MO versus adding Aldridge.  Maybe I'm an idiot, but at this point I think that is the better move.  Aldridge is about to decline while D-Mo is close to being the 2nd best player on our team (if not already).


I mostly just wanted to get the ball rolling as this place has gone silent.  What does everyone think about Llull, Grant and Jones?  If we get two of those guys do we keep Beverley?  Is Beverley gone regardless?

  • 1

#48215 All Quiet On the Western Front

Posted by thejohnnygold on 19 May 2015 - 07:50 PM

If the Rockets are even going to be competitive with the Warriors in the WCF they need to up their variance on offense and continue to work their tails of playing defense. Their is no other way. Morey and McHale understand this. The Clippers are better at everything basketball related than the Rockets. They perhaps are the strongest NBA team since the 1997 Bulls.


The only available way to increase variance on offense is to take more three point shots. Many more three point shots. Look for McHale to go with the hot shooters in every game. Look for many "slow" fast break corner threes. The Rockets really need to hit 40%+ from beyond the arc to have any chance of going to the finals.


Unfortunately, increasing variance has a dark side. If those threes are not falling expect the Rockets to get run out of the building. I foresee several 20+ point defeats.


I'm not sure I agree with you here.  I don't think we want to try and straight up out pace them on offense.  Sure, jacking 38-40 threes a game could work if we are hitting them, but the odds of achieving that 4 out of 7 games is a bad gamble in my estimation.  Just like in Vegas, you can roll the dice and get lucky once or twice, but if you let it ride too long the odds almost always get you.


Instead, I truly think this series hinges on the defensive side.  It can be done.  The Grizzlies held GS to 101, 90, 89, 101, 98, 108.  Part of that was pace, and part of that was limiting their 3 pt. shooting.  The 2 wins for Memphis coincided with identical 23.1% shooting from deep for the W's.  In fact, the box scores are eerily similar for both Memphis wins:


Golden State: 31-74 fg's, 6-26 3fg's, 22-28 ft's, and 19 assists in game 2.  32-74, 6-26, 19-28, and 20 assists in game 3.


In their 4 wins they shot 42% from deep once and above 46% 3 times.  It's not a  mystery.  The three point line must be defended.  We've got Dwight, Josh, and Terrence.  The perimeter players have got to trust them to make plays and, more importantly, they have to make some plays.


I think it is more important to avoid long stretches without scoring.  As long as we keep a slow and steady supply of points we can endure any spurts they put together and not feel "blown out".  What happens is they will pair up a string of 4-5 threes and a couple break aways with a drought from the opposing team and in the blink of an eye they are up 20 points.


I think offensive rebounding will be crucial for this.  Jason Terry has a knack for killing opponent runs.  Drawing fouls and shooting free throws will help as well.  Limiting turnovers.  That has to be the broken record for the Rockets the last 3 years.  The good news is GS coughed it up a lot against Memphis.  Hopefully we can do the same.


I think we are going to need one thing for sure in at least 2 games...maybe 3.  James Harden has to do this:





  • 1

#48208 All Quiet On the Western Front

Posted by thejohnnygold on 19 May 2015 - 03:13 PM



This is where the Rockets (and their fans) find themselves.  It's quiet.  Too quiet.  Here we are, entering the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors.  It seemed destined since the beginning of the season.  The Warriors and Rockets broke out of the gates strong and, as the season draws to a close, are pitted against each other to determine which team will hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy.


My apologies to the Cavs and Hawks, but this year's champion is coming from the Western Conference.  Thus, in this fan's biased opinion we are watching the true NBA Finals starting tonight.  History won't record it this way (nor should it).  As fans--as people who live, eat, and breathe this game--we owe respect and acknowledgement of this reality to both the Warriors and the Rockets.  One of them has to overcome a champion-caliber juggernaut just to earn the right to play for the actual trophy.


Technically, this has already occurred for both teams.  Houston toppled a very good Clippers team after dispatching short-handed Dallas while the Warriors overcame a strong Grizzlies team (thanks, Tony Allen's hamstring) after giving Anthony Davis his first taste of post season competition.  I think most of us agree that any of the 4 teams in the Western Conference Semis was good enough to win it all.  In the end, there can be only one.


In my excitement for this upcoming series I scoured the internet for some Rockets articles to help feed the fanatic in me.  It's been....disappointing.  It's almost as if no one wants to stick their neck out and hype the Rockets for fear of appearing foolish since, apparently, we are 100% losing this series.  What!?!?!?


There are lots of reasons this series is up for grabs.  There are lots of reasons to be excited beyond the joy of simply being here.  We can win this thing.  I'm completely serious.  WE CAN WIN THIS THING!




That was us.  Yet, instead of becoming extinguished under the power and the pressure of the NBA playoffs something else happened.  We rose up.  We grew stronger.  From coach to player, everyone found a new, deeper level.


I have seldom found myself inspired by Dwight Howard.  Awed?  Amazed?  Amused?  Aghast, even?  Yes.  Yet, in game 6, after getting two early fouls, there he was on camera waiving off Coach McHale who wanted to sub him out in order to protect him from further hindrance.  Two things happened.  First, McHale believed in him and allowed him to stay in the game.  Second, Dwight came through playing 40 minutes, posting a 20 & 21, and playing his butt off on defense while netting only 2 more fouls.  Dwight inspired me with that performance.  It showed me that he gets it--he is ready.  (He tried it again in game 7, but McHale wasn't going to roll the dice two games in a row--which I also agree with).


Josh Smith will always be Josh Smith...and I've made my peace with that.  Yes, he makes risky passes, jacks unnecessary threes early in the shot clock, and is just as likely to fill a box score as he is to leave it empty.  Yet, there he was taking it to Blake Griffin, making him work on defense and offense.  There he was, in the biggest of moments blossoming under the pressure--not wilting.  His path has not been easy and the meat grinder the public and media have run him through over the years would have left most people a rattled mess--at best.


People will continue to pick on his flaws, but what I see in Josh Smith is a guy whose resilience and lack of fear make him a nightmare for other teams.  Combined with a quiet determination, a knack for defense, and a skill set that would please Bruce Lee if he were here watching the NBA.




Combined, I believe Dwight and Josh make each other better and stronger mostly because they truly love one another and don't want to let the other down.  You can't measure that and it cannot be over-estimated.


James Harden takes a lot (read: tons and tons and tons...) of flack for just about everything he does.  Even compliments come through clinched teeth and are usually delivered in the most back-handed fashion.  I suppose if I only read box scores and Twitter I'd feel the same way.  The reality is he is an MVP and opposing teams know it.  Take a look at this and think about the level of defense/game planning he has had to fight through to achieve it.



That's seriously good, people.  He's playing less and producing more.  He's also got a .618 TS%.   B)


The Warriors will test him with Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala along with having Green and Bogut help inside.  I don't think the Warriors will offer much more resistance than the Clippers did.  Redick and Paul played inside James' jersey as much as the referees would allow and DeAndre Jordan is an excellent rim protector (despite popular opinion I can't understand).  I actually think James will have a better go of it against the W's defense.


The W's will have to prove they can defend our pick n roll sets.  They will have to keep Bogut out of foul trouble.  They will try to force us into playing small ball only to realize we are also good at small ball.


Personally, I want us to try and shut down everyone else and let Curry go wild.  It won't be pretty.  It may hurt us at first, but I think he will wear down over a series as fatigue and pressure begin to burden him.  It is a strategy that requires diligence to see it through and is risky considering who he is.  I believe it takes a team to win and I believe taking his team away from him (as best we can) will work.


Our role players--that filthy, nasty term--are what will make this series.  Harden will be there.  Dwight will be there.  Josh, Corey, Trevor, Jet, Pablo, and Terrence are what we've got to stack up against the W's group of Green, Barnes, Livingston, Iguodala, Lee, Barbosa, Speights (who is out for game 1), and Ezeli.  Yes, they are deep and talented.  They have speed, length, size, offense, and defense on their bench.  Whatever is needed they can adapt to.


The challenge is real, but so are we.  Be patient as there is a strong chance we come home down 0-2.  That is ok.  We all know it's not over until one team wins 4.  I have yet to find a single soul outside of the Rockets' camp who thinks we stand a chance.  That's just the way we like it...



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#48199 Houston Rockets 113, Los Angeles Clippers 100: I love this game

Posted by thejohnnygold on 18 May 2015 - 02:46 PM

Where's the love for Pablo?  He notched a team best +20 on/off and was crucial for us despite his 4 point, 4 assist, 3 stl, and 0 turnover stat line.  


Even his Wikipedia page gave him more love...


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#48030 Los Angeles Clippers 117, Houston Rockets 101: You actually have to try

Posted by thejohnnygold on 05 May 2015 - 02:10 PM

Wow.  Quitters.  Quitters everywhere.  (OK, two people just posted some positivity as I type, but the Shoutbox is still atrocious)  No wonder people are so upset....must feel like looking in a mirror.  Is that too harsh?  Probably.  It's shameful the reactions I am seeing here and around the net.  The Houston Rockets seem like they are doing a fine job of representing their fans.  Completely and utterly shameful.  Hypocritical judgment as far as the eye can see.


Sorry if that is upsetting, but it needed to be said.  We're better than this and so is our team.  How would you feel if the players/coaches reacted this way?  Honestly, I couldn't be a fan of a team like that.  Thankfully, they aren't just going to lie down like so many fans are doing.


Here, try applying some scale and relativity rather than melodramatic overreaction.


This is a compiled list of outcomes from all sports and the NBA for playoff series that begin 1-0.  Check it out.  LINK



As you can see, the next game is very likely to go to the home team (Yay!).  Further, in all sports the road winner of game 1 only takes the series 56.4% of the time and in the NBA it is 50%.  Yes, winning the game would have statistically put us at 88% chance of winning, but that still guarantees nothing just as the loss guarantees nothing.  Just like coin flips, each event is unique.


The team needs the city's support, not a giant cloud of negativity based on the pain of previous losses/disappointments that have nothing to do with this team or this moment.  In relationships that's called baggage and it can easily ruin a good thing.  Let it go, people.  Love freely--it's the only way.   :wub:

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#47896 Houston Rockets 111, Dallas Mavericks 99: Flush city

Posted by thejohnnygold on 22 April 2015 - 02:08 PM

Josh Smith shot 1-5 from deep last night....and nobody cares  :)  He played strong defense while shredding the Mavs on the other end.



That doesn't include the Brewer assists nor this DUNK!!!.  Congrats, Mr. Smith and thanks for the show.


EDIT: Forgot to put the NSFM tag on that video.  (Not Safe For Mav-Fans)

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#47800 Sort of a Houston Rockets playoffs preview, but more of a wrap up of thoughts

Posted by thejohnnygold on 17 April 2015 - 06:00 PM

I think it's time to put the "mediocre" tag to rest.  It's all about perspective and the subjective measure of success.  Here's an interesting statistic:


Since 1984, the Houston Rockets have posted 3 losing seasons.  That's a fact.  Check for yourself HERE.


While that hasn't translated into a ton of playoff success, it does include three finals trips with two wins, 1 trip to the conference finals, 4 trips to the 2nd round, and a slew of first round exits.  Only 9 years since 1984 have we missed the playoffs.


It hasn't worked out the way it did for Jordan, Bryant, O'Neal, Duncan, or James....but then, look at those names....remember that outside of Spoelstra, Jackson and Popovich have dominated the Finals (Larry Brown gets a mention).  Top level players and coaches.  


If that's mediocre then so be it.  I see things differently.


As for the Mavericks, I don't think anyone is over-looking them.  If they are they shouldn't be.  Houston will need to play well to win this series.  

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#47665 Collapsing down the stretch

Posted by thejohnnygold on 12 April 2015 - 03:46 PM

@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.




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.




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.




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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#47630 Houston Rockets 98, San Antonio Spurs 110: Here Come the Spurs

Posted by thejohnnygold on 09 April 2015 - 07:37 PM



Ladies and gentelemen, rocketrick.


Thank you, rocketrick, for your thought-provoking insight.  Truly you have a dizzying intellect.




I suppose everything is subjective and relative, but "pathetic"?  Really?





No, my guess is last night's loss upset you a bit.  It's ok.  It was upsetting to watch; however, lashing out at others won't make the pain go away.  Remember the 1st law of thermodynamics--energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed.  Thus, the best we can do is take that sadness, sorrow, worry, and anguish, turn it around, and find a way to be positive moving forward.


Speaking of, Alituro embodied that ideal in his post above.


I think anyone who questioned the quality of PBev's defense is getting a grim dose of reality at this point.  Tony Parker (fresh off his achilles injury  :rolleyes: yeah, right) had his way with us.  The good news is there is about 15 minutes of game tape we can watch to see what we did well....and there is about 33 minutes of tape to see what we did not do well.  I think Nick Johnson is going to be called upon to try and slow down Parker on Friday.  He's got the quickness and energy to do it and he looks more comfortable lately than he did earlier in the season.


KJ McDaniels reminded everyone why we traded Canaan for him.  Holy cow that was amazing.  For those who did not see, click HERE.  For those who did see, click and watch it again!  Was there any doubt he was going to block that 2nd shot?  He looked like a leopard stalking his kill.  I still think he is too raw to see serious court time this season, but Morey needs to keep him around to see how he develops.


Nick Johnson reminded us that he also has some spring in his legs with this DUNK.


I will agree that Josh Smith looked like someone slipped him a couple benadryl before the game.  Where was his mind?  I don't know.  Jones was so ineffective McHale couldn't bear to watch it anymore.  Brewer was not himself....they should check the gatorade and make sure the coyote mascot didn't slip something in there before the game.


As for Capela over Dorsey....I know we want to believe it's a good idea, but it's not.  I'd love for him to prove me wrong though.


As usual, people are on McHale because he doesn't shout enough.  I'd like to believe that fans might eventually realize that he's just not that type of coach.  What is it....judge a fish by his ability to climb trees...  I felt like the look on his face was testament enough to how he felt about them.  He looked like a cat had pooped in his mouth.



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