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@  cointurtlemoose : (21 November 2015 - 06:39 AM) McHale might not have been a great coach, but he definitely was NOT the problem with this team...
@  majik19 : (21 November 2015 - 02:31 AM) our team is just embarassing
@  cointurtlemoose : (19 November 2015 - 07:11 AM) That was the most Corey Brewer thing I have ever seen
@  majik19 : (19 November 2015 - 04:20 AM) how the hell did that happen? maybe just switching from McHale to JB will change our bad luck...
@  Willk : (19 November 2015 - 03:58 AM) in my face
@  bboley24 : (19 November 2015 - 03:55 AM) So that just happened
@  Cooper : (19 November 2015 - 03:53 AM) got the win
@  Willk : (19 November 2015 - 02:06 AM) fire McHale! playing like crap again
@  SadLakerFan : (18 November 2015 - 06:21 PM) It's unfair, but it's the right move because it's the only move major move they had available to them. But, it seems just a tad premature - I wonder what was really said in the player meeting.
@  majik19 : (18 November 2015 - 06:03 PM) So much for building off continuity now that the core is in place... It's probably about time for another "Morey's Plan" article from Rahat.
@  txtdo1411 : (18 November 2015 - 05:26 PM) No problem. He definitely made it clear that changes will continue to be made until we are winning again.
@  cointurtlemoose : (18 November 2015 - 05:19 PM) Thanks for the link, txtdo; good words from Morey, I thought
@  cointurtlemoose : (18 November 2015 - 05:14 PM) Wow, I expected this 6 or 7 games from now if things didn't change... This seems a tad early. And they better have a replacement actually in mind and ready to hire, otherwise this seems like a misguided move
@  txtdo1411 : (18 November 2015 - 05:13 PM) Its going on right now.
@  txtdo1411 : (18 November 2015 - 05:13 PM) http://api.viglink.c...9&title=Rockets Press Conference 11am - ClutchFans&txt=http://www.khou.com/videos/news/loca...7/29/12651418/
@  slick shoes : (18 November 2015 - 05:12 PM) Anyone know where to listen in to the DM press conference?
@  DenverRocket : (18 November 2015 - 04:50 PM) Shocked too, but then again not. Something had to give. I can't see JB being given the reins f/t. Surely they have a contingency? Thibs?
@  txtdo1411 : (18 November 2015 - 04:48 PM) I wonder if the plan is to find a replacement fairly quickly, or to give JB a shot. I'm trying to understand how things would change, since JB has been in the locker room all year. The players are going to give him effort now just because McHale is gone?
@  majik19 : (18 November 2015 - 04:22 PM) just shocked. I feel like this is now a lost season. We were struggling under McHale, but do we really think J.B. can lead us to a championship?
@  thenit : (18 November 2015 - 04:19 PM) Its becoming a winner or becoming Melo, great scorer but not coachable


Member Since 11 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:53 PM

#20084 Dwight Howard Free Agency Watch

Posted by thejohnnygold on 11 June 2013 - 06:43 PM

I'm on a roll now :)


Here is another Howard/Asik set:



So, Harden is up top.  This is not very different from our current offense; in fact, I think this will please you 2016.  The three wings run over-lapping screens and picks until someone "gets a step" on their defender (akin to what Miami does sometimes).  At that point they drive to the hoop.  The defense must react, but how?  They can't leave their man, but if they don't the dribbler will get a lay-up.  If they do leave their man this is where the pull-up jumper becomes lethal.  Either shoot the short jumper and let your rebounders work, or (what I would prefer) it's a fake pull-up jumper.  Once the dribbler sees the defense has committed to stopping them they pull up for the jump shot, but really they are just getting position to make the easy pass over the top to whoever the defense left alone for an easy dunk/lay-up.


Further, if say after 15 seconds the wings can't create their own space we can still drop it into the post with Howard, or have one of them slide up for a high-post screen and run a play off of that.  Options abound!

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#19784 Dwight Howard Free Agency Watch

Posted by thejohnnygold on 07 June 2013 - 03:23 PM

I think it is also important to note who is playing these small ball line-ups.  When you trot out the Heat, Spurs and Thunder as examples of small ball working you are ignoring the talent differential.  With Lebron, Durant, and Duncan you can run just about any offense and succeed.  Given the talent around them they maximize themselves by going small.  If Miami had a legit center like Hibbert they would go big all day long.  The Spurs run a ton of Duncan-Splitter-Leonard line-ups (that's 6' 11", 6' 11", and 6' 7").....not exactly small.


This small-ball thing reminds me of the run-n-shoot offense.  When you have the personnel it works great (and the defense to back it up), but you can't just throw 5 wide-outs on the field and think you're going to score 35+ per game.  Defenses always catch up to offensive innovation--the only constant is that talent overcomes all.

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#19783 Josh Smith - Would ya?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 07 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

Wolves don't need a PG or a C--they have Rubio and I think they will do their best to retain Pekovic.


The Hawks might conceivably bite on a Lin/Asik trade--because I think they desperately want a strong defensive C to put alongside Horford.  Howard and Smith would be a monster interior combo for us.


As 2016 noted, that 17.3 PER for his opponents when playing PF is mildly troubling; however, I think he was somewhat hampered this year by nagging leg injuries including a hip strain, knee (unspecified), and ankle sprain--the knee seemed to follow him throughout the season (clicking through his player news section there are repeated reports about this injury and the others throughout the season.)  This could mean that, after some off-season rest he will return to form or that his legs are deteriorating and this is a sign of things to come....who knows?


For some reason, his bad games are magnified while his good games are diminished in the spotlight--not sure why this is, but if you take the time to check his stat lines from this seasonthe guy is a beast--like Harden he posts some ugly games, but for the most part he plays well and often plays amazing.  Despite the higher than expected opponent PER, more often than not he outperforms his opponent and for the season registered + Net production at SF, PF, and C.


For me, I see a player that was stuck in a situation he no longer loved, playing for a coach he didn't like that ran a terrible offense not suited to his players, and is ready to break out for his next team.  If the Rockets get him I think his detractors will change their mind once he's posting 24 and 12 averages running pick n rolls with Harden.


Here are some nice variations we could run with Mr. Smith on board:



And this is a nice 4 minute break-down of the basic pick n roll by Mike D'Antoni



We replace Felton with Harden and Fields/Stoudemire with Parsons/Smith/Howard/Asik (it all depends)--looks good to me!

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#18930 The Great Stats Debate

Posted by thejohnnygold on 24 May 2013 - 09:15 PM

I think we're not all on the same page regarding these "long 2's".  I don't think any of us are interested in long 2's as well agree that taking the extra step back and shooting a 3 is way better.  When discussing mid-range I liken it to 12'-18' (visualize it as 1 step inside the free throw line and on out to the "YMCA" 3-pt. line).  That's where the gap is.


The statistics for those shots tend to get lumped in with the "long 2's" and so are considered equally bad.


Like Miketheodio was saying, bringing this new wrinkle in can only be good.  It's not about changing the whole system, but just adding a new dimension that ultimately strengthens the already established one.  I believe this is what Feelingsupersonic is pointing out (I strongly agree with his post earlier, btw, people should re-read it).  The basic framework is being established and it's core principles are the "3&3" or whatever we're calling it.  It must evolve.  It will certainly depend on personnel (as has been noted), but I expect a full arsenal of post, mid, and long range shots that are set up in a variety of ways.  Taking wide open 15 foot jumpers (essentially free throws) is never a bad thing--it is one of the most practiced shots on the court and has a very high chance of going in because of that.

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#18893 Don't give up on Jeremy Lin

Posted by thejohnnygold on 24 May 2013 - 02:46 PM

I'm with you on this one, Miketheodio.  The Rockets would benefit from shooting some mid-range (12-18 ft.) just to keep the defense honest--it will open up the inside and outside so that we can then shoot even more efficiently from those spots.  Predictability is something good NBA defenses will smother and destroy.  Zach Lowe just wrote a bit about this from the Clipper's perspective.  His criticism was that once plan A breaks down there is no plan B.  Plan B doesn't have to be a mid-range jumper every time, but if that is what the defense is leaving open then why not take it?


Kevin Mchale quipped (I can't find the quote), when being asked about shooting percentages on mid-range shots, that what matters is who is taking them.


I think the thing that is being overlooked in these efficiency discussions is that a shot with even a 40% success rate is better than no shot at all (0%) or a rushed, highly contested shot (likely lower than the par level for efficiency standards).  If we can get good looks from our preferred shot locations then by all means--do it.  However, once the defense has keyed in and focused on making these shots much harder their efficiency will decrease--despite the overall numbers indicating otherwise.  Surely, we can all recall watching the Rockets stubbornly continue to repeat the same offense when obviously the opposition had it snuffed out.  There's a difference between sticking to your guns and being stubborn.


Further, there is greater variance on three pointers.  Because of the distance from the basket the shots require more precision and accuracy.  The accuracy must be there first, but then the precision to make them in bunches must also be there.  This is why we more often see high volume three point shooters vacillate between going 4-7 one night from "3" and then 1-7 the following night.  This makes their offensive contribution less reliable from one game to the next.  When they're falling in it's great (think Golden State, Utah, etc.) but when they're not dropping it's cringe-worthy.  Over the course of a season, we will see a median score settle into place; however, the path to that score is not linear.  Rather, it is more like the ship that must tack back and forth zigging and zagging along towards it's destination.


With the mid-range jumper your base percentage (accuracy) may be lower (when viewed from the scoring perspective of efg%); however, your precision should be higher and more stable.  You are not as likely to see the wild swings from one night to the next.  Thus, the shot can be a reliable part of the offense night in and night out.  They don't call it, "living and dying by the three" for nothing.


Regarding Jeremy Lin, this was a big part of his game during Linsanity in NY.  He mixed it up with drives, threes, and pull up mid-range jumpers to keep defenders on their heels at all times.  By eliminating the mid-range option defenders knew immediately how to react once he made his first move.  It goes against perception from the stats, but in real-time basketball I believe it bears true.

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#18395 Grading James Harden

Posted by thejohnnygold on 17 May 2013 - 02:30 PM

you gave harden an INC for the year in you first post in this thread. that's how this discussion started. you said you wanted to wait till next year. that the jury was still out. I gave harden an A right from the beginning. I understand all of the concerns you list. however I don't need to see next year in order to grade this year. if he fails to improve his grade will be lower next year. another A next year will be harder to receive because expectations will be higher.


Yeah, I amended it later because I realized that this thread was dealing directly with this year and gave him an A--in that same post I said the same as you that next year's grade will be tougher as expectations rise.  I think we more or less agree on Mr. Harden despite doing it in different fashions.


As for more shooting stats and Kobe comparisons....I just don't know.  I think something that is often left unaccounted for is timing.  Kobe is considered so great not for the shots he made, but when he made them.  Same for Jordan.  Nobody remembers the 2nd quarter lay-up, or 1st quarter 25 footer that swishes through the net.  For years, in the last 2-3 minutes of a tight game there was nobody you wanted to see less on the other team than Kobe.  He may have gone 2-14 up to that point...and then finishes 3-3 to seal the victory.  So, to blindly look at those shooting numbers now without the context skews their importance to each game.


I think it is one of the most under-rated skills a player can have--timing.  Baron Davis (when he gave a crap) had it.  Tim Hardaway had it.  Reggie Miller had tons of it.  Mario Elie.  Robert Horry.  Olajuwon had it as well.  It's not "can you do it"...it's "can you do it right now?"  Those guys could. 


I'm not saying Kobe was one of the greatest shooters of all time (although I do think it could be argued....at times, it was like he was bored with regular shots and would increase difficulty levels just to make it interesting for himself...how many times has he taken, and made, crazy turn-around, fall-away 20 ft. jumpers with a hand in his face?)...back to the point, not one of the greatest shooters of all time, but one of the greatest gamers of all time--I say yes.  I think it is this quality that draws so many comparisons to Jordan--that and the ring count and they play the same position.


This is something Harden lacked most of last year and will need to improve on if he wants to climb up to Kobe's level.  Harden made, what, 2 memorable late-game shots (I know you're all thinking about that SA game right now :))?  That's fine.  I'm not chiding him for that--there is time to get better and those moments were valuable lessons.


And thank you, thenit, for getting the game logs out and posting those--that is exactly what I am talking about--no more, no less--and like all of you I think we will be fine moving forward.  Still, it was something that concerned me--even moreso than his defense as I have to believe the coaches will not let that persist.


So, I'm staying old-school on this one.  I love Harden's advanced metrics and the like, but I also want some good old fashioned put the brown thing in the round thing basketball.

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#18114 Dwight Howard Ejection

Posted by thejohnnygold on 11 May 2013 - 09:28 PM

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Howard can post up.  Presuming he gets back to 100% healthy he commands a double team.  There is also the pick n roll.  There's also offensive rebounding, alley-oops, and easy dishes from Harden/Lin/Parsons off the drive.  Since our offense mostly shuns the 12 foot jumper I guess I'm not overly concerned that Howard and Asik won't be shooting them.  I'm presuming our coaches can work out the details.

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#18101 Kevin Love

Posted by thejohnnygold on 11 May 2013 - 05:13 PM

Here is a link that explains win shares: LINK


It's another metric that is a little weird. It focuses on points scored/allowed to produce a total win share (offensive + defensive = total).  Once again, it fails to consider context at all and focuses largely on the black and white of points.


Look at last night's Heat/Bulls game.  Lebron was 6-17 (with 11-11 on free throws) for 25 points.  Effective but inefficient.  Yet, it was Lebron knocking down two crucial shots in crunch time that sealed that win (along with another three pointer from Cole for good measure).  Yes, Bosh and Cole dominated throughout the game, but when they needed it most Lebron made it happen.  If I had only one win share to give--I'd give it to him.


I also believe it is based on the team's total wins so a team that wins more has more win shares to give.  This seems imbalanced right off the start as no credit is being assigned for losses (which should be deducted from a player's win total to be fair) and there is no basis for how the team as a whole affects one player's individual score.


It came as no surprise when looking at the leaders board that there are only five players from losing teams in the top 50 for total win share.  Thaddeus Young (33), Amir Johnson (34),  LaMarcus Aldridge (36), JJ Hickson (42), and Ryan Anderson (47).


The name that stands out is Aldridge, of course.  I would feel very safe assuming Aldridge's score increases if he takes Chris Bosh's (20) role on Miami.  Players that scored higher than Aldridge: Blake Griffin (10), George Hill (12), David Lee (18), David West (19), Tiago Splitter (25), Al Jefferson (28), Jose Calderon (31), Ty Lawson (32), and the aforementioned Young and Johnson above at 33 & 34. 


This leaves me wondering what exactly does this stat tell me?  It tells me whether a player was part of a good team or a bad one mostly.  Although, we must also be careful about the "good stats/bad team" guys.


So, what I see is a statistic that is heavily based off of team scoring statistics being applied to individuals to try and forecast a player's contribution to a team.  Further, it becomes largely useless when trying to convey that score to another team--namely, the Rockets.


If you want to take Millsap's win share score, subtract our PF's collective win shares, and then add that to see what you get then I guess you can.  Without including Delfino, Patterson, or Morris that score is 5.5.  So, Millsap gives us +2.1 wins.  For $10M that's not very much, is it?


In my opinion this stat is fun to look at, but has very little value--even within the context of it's own team as it does not consider a player's contributions outside of scoring and applies points allowed indiscriminately. 

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#17975 Morey on 610

Posted by thejohnnygold on 08 May 2013 - 11:28 PM

I'm starting to get the feeling that somehow this Summer Morey is going to make a move that none of us saw coming...despite having put forth hundreds of scenarios.... :lol:

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#17859 Kevin Love

Posted by thejohnnygold on 05 May 2013 - 04:26 PM

I definitely don't want Smith playing Bosh's role :lol:


I think he can do well off the pick n roll, hand offs, and as a cutter as he averages over a ppp on those according to mysynergy.  Iso, posts, and spot ups are where he is less consistent.  If Lin, Harden, and Parsons can draw the defense I think he will be a potent weapon cutting into open space and towards the rim.


I think Love is a good player--certainly.  My concern is if he is the player we need and if he can stay healthy.


I do like Aldridge as well, but acquiring him costs assets...


Thanks for the link....I'm still a little dubious of this metric as it relies on +/- stats coupled with a "non-linear aging/experience curve".


Some of the ratings I saw that raised an eyebrow:


Lebron James 1.4 on defense

Russell Westbrook .3 on defense

Tim Duncan a 1.2 on offense

Dwight Howard a .4 on offense

Paul George .5 on offense

LaMarcus Aldridge 2.0 on offense


I just don't get it...what does this number equate to?  I just feel like it cannot correlate context/circumstance of applying a team stat like +/- to an individual player.  I think this stuff should only be applied to teams--that makes more sense.  From there, one could look for consistencies within to try and pinpoint causality.


As an example, Steven has been harping on Greg Smith's +/- of -16 from the last Rocket's game.  Yet, when looking at the game log, it is apparent that the OKC guards got hot from outside, and then, once wing defenders started over compensating for that they began to drive past and get easy buckets inside.  None of it was directly related to Smith; yet, on his stat line there is a big old -16 +/-.  Further, on offense, he took zero shots (2-4 on free throws) while his teammates went on a binge of turnovers and missed shots.  Without watching each game the +/- stat can be very misleading.  Thus, when trying to use these overall ratings I just feel like they are not very useful.

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#17823 Thanks for the ride, Houston Rockets

Posted by thejohnnygold on 04 May 2013 - 09:49 PM

And in the 7 minutes he played the Rockets went from up like 5 to down 5 against the Thunder's scrubs. In the first game others were missing shots, but Smith was outmatched. Everytime he stepped on the court it was 4 vs 5. At least Perkins gave the Thunder some grit an toughness. Smith gave them nothing.


No one is arguing that.  The problem is we don't have a viable back up--that is Morey's fault, not McHale's.  So, if you want to call for someone's head that is the one to call for.  Instead, try to recognize that Smith was the best option and he tried his best.  This Summer I envision The Rockets filling these gaps in the roster.


As for Jeremy Lin--seems a bit reactionary.  Jeremy Lin is not why we aren't going to the second round of the playoffs.  He is a developing player.  To look at him in a static manner is a mistake.  As mentioned by others, trading him for value would be extremely difficult at this point.  He still has lots of room to improve so let's sit back and watch him do it.


Some of you guys act like Chandler Parsons didn't post a 4-11, 7-23, and 4-12 in this series with a couple of 5 turnover games.  Guess we better send him packing.  Patrick Beverley posted a 4-10, 3-10, and 4-11 in three of Houston's losses.  Better get rid of him too!  James Harden shot 39% from the field for the series.  Out you go!  Do I sound ridiculous?  Exactly....


We just played the #1 seed (Westbrook or no Westbrook that's a good team) as an incredibly young, first-time playoff team....what exactly were you expecting....?  We did awesome.  Next year, we'll be even better.

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#17561 Dwight Howard Ejection

Posted by thejohnnygold on 01 May 2013 - 06:59 PM

I dislike Howard--a lot!  Yet, there is no denying his talent, however crude it may be, and the fact that he will make the team better.  Injury risks?  Surely.  Free throw shooting?  A mild concern, but not a huge one.  He does have a hook shot or two in his arsenal but they are ugly, low percentage chucks at the rim more than anything else (I'm always a bit surprised when they go in).


Despite all of that he provides efficient scoring, rebounding, defense, and can collapse the defense to open up three point shots.  Like him or not, he will make us better.  I'd rather root for Asik (and I'm a huge proponent of keeping him even if we sign Howard), but Howard is in a class of his own.  If he is interested, we have to sign him.

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#17384 Game 4: OKC Thunder @ Houston Rockets

Posted by thejohnnygold on 30 April 2013 - 02:50 PM

I am loving patrick beverley's play as much as anyone, but let's remember he is doing this against Derek Fisher and Reggie Jackson.  At this point, I'd say we have a bona fide battle for the starting PG position that will play out over the next year or so as I can see both of these guys improving their games during that span.  Houston, we have a good problem...

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#17205 Josh Smith - Would ya?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 27 April 2013 - 02:41 AM

Almost missed my daily Josh Smith post!  This came up in another thread, decided to consolidate and move it here.  These are the defensive stats for Josh Smith, Serge Ibaka, and Omer Asik from mysynergysports.com.  I know his defense has been in question so I thought comparing his numbers to two well-known elite defenders would be useful.


This one is Josh Smith's (bad cropping job)







I say his numbers look pretty solid.

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#16865 Josh Smith - Would ya?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 24 April 2013 - 02:37 PM

Here's a couple of quotes from Zach Lowe's April 9th Submission....I think they have been posted before, but they are poignant here and worth re-reading:


"• Versatility. Ask coaches what the next logical step in the evolution
of defense might be — the counter to the counter, so to speak — and many
of them will suggest an uptick in switching, both on and off the ball.
There is almost a reflex distaste for switching, among both coaches and
fans; it just looks so obviously stupid to voluntarily get yourself into
a situation in which Kevin Durant is posting up Ty Lawson. But
switching can be a natural antidote to offenses designed specifically to
bait defenses into help contortions and uncomfortable rotations;
defenses that switch everything can avoid overhelping and/or sending two
defenders to contain one player — or at least avoid such compromising
moves until late in the shot clock."


-Like it or not, Josh Smith nails this criteria.  Having interchangeable pieces on defense stymies the offense's plans to create mismatches and get people out of position.



• Passing. This is the one that came up over and over in
conversations with coaches and executives. Passing is obviously a good
thing, and always has been. But the people running teams increasingly
value above-average passing at every position, and express a deeper
distaste for players — again, at any position — who are either unwilling
passers or just don't show a sophisticated understanding of passing,
timing, angles, and reading layers of defense. "Passing is just becoming
so, so important," Boylan says. "If you want to be a good offensive
team, you have to have good passers."

The league, as always, is evolving. No sort of evolution will ever
change the fact that All-Star talent is the most important ingredient in
building a champion. But evolution will make subtle changes in what
defines a real top-10 or top-15 player, and teams that understand and
exploit long-term changes the fastest will gain real competitive
advantages when the talent gap narrows. The smartest teams are already
thinking ahead to what the next changes might be — even if we haven't
seen them on the court just yet."


-Used properly, Josh Smith should be able to post a tidy 16 points, 8+ asts, and 8+ rebs operating from the high post and facilitating a big chunk of Houston's offense (also, this will drastically reduce the Harden "Hypno-Beard" Offensive sets that we have grown to loathe).  Smith sees the passing lanes and has the size to get passes over the defense to open cutters (Imagine Asik never having to fetch a bounce pass near his ankles and instead getting the ball at shoulder height and being able to just go up and finish--we've all seen the difference).  Further, in the post Smith should command a double team with his 66% conversion rate near the rim, and 60% overall in the paint--that leaves somebody open...Smith is quite possibly the perfect cog to make this Rockets machine run--on both ends of the floor.

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