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@  majik19 : (13 October 2015 - 09:09 PM) Apparently we claimed Arsalan Kazemi off waivers from the Hawks today... yet another undersized (6'7") power forward for Morey's cupboard.
@  Mario Peña : (10 October 2015 - 01:12 PM) If your part if the Red94 Fantasy Basketball League check the thread to vote for the date and time for the draft event. Thanks y'all!
@  jorgeaam : (07 October 2015 - 08:47 PM) Guys we need 1 more owner for the Red94 fantasy league, if interested please comment on the post in the fantasy basketball thread
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 06:50 PM) Kobe ranked one spot higher than Ariza? Is this based on legacy or...??
@  slick shoes : (07 October 2015 - 04:13 PM) It was hard to keep up with both the Astros and Rockets at the same time. Should be interesting on Thursday with the Texans and Astros on simultaneously.
@  Mario Peña : (07 October 2015 - 04:09 PM) It was fun to have the Rockets on last night! Right now I'm watching the Celtics versus Milan and Alessandro Gentile is impressive.
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Well, thinking twice about it, I'd rather have him score less and have the team as a whole do better. Lawson should take a lot of his load off
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 07:47 PM) Loving that, hope he hits 30 PPG this year
@  thejohnnygold : (06 October 2015 - 06:15 PM) Someone is feeling confident :) : LINK
@  jorgeaam : (06 October 2015 - 05:54 PM) 10 Teams done, will need 2 more
@  Mario Peña : (06 October 2015 - 02:35 PM) Alright guys, if anyone is interested in joining the Red94 fantasy basketball league we could use one more player to get us to 10 teams (or three to get us to 12 teams). Just check the thread in the Fantasy Basketball forum. Thanks!
@  thejohnnygold : (05 October 2015 - 06:23 PM) I use leaguepass here in Austin with no problems...
@  skip 2 my lou : (05 October 2015 - 03:14 PM) Hey fellas, I'm a rocket fan but I live in the heart of Dallas. Does anybody know if I buy NBA Leaguepass if it's too close to be subject to blackouts?
@  Losthief : (02 October 2015 - 02:24 AM) tks jg
@  thejohnnygold : (29 September 2015 - 05:16 AM) FYI, it was media day today. Interviews are up at NBA.com
@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK


Member Since 11 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:19 PM

#16594 Is Jeremy Lin the Long-Term answer at PG?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 22 April 2013 - 10:27 PM

Not every point guard comes into the league and starts tearing things up--the ones that do tend to have freakish athleticism.


What would you guys say to a Chauncey Billups comparison?  In one regard this would be terrible as it took him until his 5th team to really find himself (Detroit in his 7th year).  Still, I can see their play style being similar--not having elite athleticism Billups had to rely on outside shooting to set up the rest of his game.  He developed a solid outside game and we all know about his clutch shooting.  In the Pistons' two championship seasons he averaged roughly 17 pts, 3 rebs, and 6 assists.  Not exactly blowing the roof off the building.  Lin has better quickness, is developing that shot and has shown glimpses of enjoying the pressure of late game shooting. 


I am confident that Lin can be a championship caliber PG once he has polished and honed his skills.  I think he has a slower learning curve than many other players, but I would venture a guess that he is attempting to "master" this game--not just "get it".  The process will be a bit slower, but the dividends will be greater.  That being said, I think most of us agree that he has shown improvement over the course of this season so maybe that is a good sign...


I can't imagine anything but recognition on his own part every time he jumps to pass and ends up turning it over.  He knows it.  He'll learn.  It's not like he has top notch guys cutting into the passing lanes that know how to get open, catch the pass, and finish.  They're learning too.


I think we should definitely keep him until his contract is up (barring CP3 coming to town).  I think 2015 Lin will be considerably better than this version--and this version wasn't bad.

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#16181 The day after, and three days away: Reflecting upon Houston's complete co...

Posted by thejohnnygold on 18 April 2013 - 08:10 PM

I'm more interested in the games we lost due to coaching....can we get a run down of those, please?


What about our run of luck earlier in the season when we kept catching teams with injured star players?


What about losses due to ridiculous last shots that somehow went in?...and the same for wins...


What about the complaint against McHale's defense when it is widely known that Kelvin Sampson (a popular replacement) is in charge of the defense?  (sidenote--I thought our defense (excluding 3 pt. defense...still do not understand this) was exceptional against the lakers).


Our record is an amalgamation of so many factors.  McHale is but one.  He and everyone on this staff and team tout the freedom he gives them to "take ownership" of their part of the team.  If it's him making bone-head declarations and decisions why has no one voiced anything to the contrary?  He wants the players to take ownership of the team--if "his" plays are so bad why are they not pushing for an alternative?  It was mentioned earlier, and I am of the same mind, that McHale is letting them learn the hard way.


And this--for all of us...



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#15489 Lakers believe Kobe Bryant has torn his Achilles

Posted by thejohnnygold on 14 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

I'll chime in...My desired outcome is not a popular one--as it is atypical--but I would love to see Howard brought in to play both center and PF...When he came into the league it was unclear which position he would play (Draft Express) and I do think it could work while retaining Asik.  Think back to the Memphis game--countering Gasol and Randolph with Asik and Howard.  Meanwhile, they would have to pack the paint so hard to stop those guys from tearing things up we could shoot the equivalent of practice shots from three (hyperbole?).  Spacing problems?  maybe, but if you are guarding Howard in the post and Harden/Lin drives can you really afford to rotate off to defend the drive?  I hope they do so we can watch a parade of Howard dunks and putbacks.


This solidifies our center position as Asik and Howard can anchor that as well as giving us the dominant (although not stretch) PF we desire.  Meanwhile, we have four PF's to choose from and develop/trade.  It also affords us injury insurance.  It gives us awesome line-up flexibility as far as going big and small.  I get why everyone thinks we have to trade Asik in this scenario, but I disagree and think we are way better off keeping him.


Further, this gives us a leg up over the OKC's, Miami's, SA's, and Denver's of the world as they do not have the ability to match up with a line-up like this (IMO).


Just imagine Dwight posting up PF's all day, and dishing to a cutter or Asik when the double team comes, or to open three point shooters.  Makes me smile.  It would look like what Shaq used to do in his hey-day when no center cold body him up and keep him from bulling his way to the hoop.  Smiling more...

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#15179 Is Morey signing J-Smooth as a piece for Love in 2014?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 12 April 2013 - 04:17 PM

RBF, it's tough to debate with you when you aren't reading my posts right.  I know they are too long for your liking which means you skim them, but if you aren't going to read the whole thing then you aren't going to understand my point and that makes your responses relatively baseless.


I will keep repeating this as it is ignored every time.  Josh Smith is a small forward--a really big, awesome small forward that has had to learn to play PF, because Horford (a natural PF) has had to play center because the Hawks can't seem to find a decent one--ever. 


Here are some quotes:


"With the return of Al
Horford and the departure of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams, Josh Smith
has spent a lot of time playing the small forward. Smoove has been at
the three for 10% of the Hawks total minutes this year per 82games.com,
while last year he played 0% (he played some, but not enough officially
to register). Josh has been average offensively playing the small
forward spot posting a 15.3 PER with 19.4 points (49.5 eFG%), 9.7
rebounds, and 6.4 assists per 48 minutes.

However, his improvement
defensively has been remarkable as he used to struggle to contain small
forwards. In 2010 Josh played 11% of the Hawks' minutes at the three and
allowed opposing small forwards to average 19.9 points (53.8 eFG%), 7.1
rebs, and 3.2 assists with a 16.9 PER. This year he is keeping opposing
small forwards to 16.9 points (42.6 eFG%), 6.4 rebounds, and 2 assists
per 48 minutes and a weak 8.1 PER."


--This information has been posted before, but is often ignored by many.  LINK



"Once upon a time, Smith was an extremely versatile small forward who
didn't have to play in the post every single minute. He could get out in
transition and get the easiest baskets of anybody on the court.

He could dominate small forwards in the post and take power forwards out to the perimeter. But now?

still overwhelmingly athletic, and that's how he pulls down almost 10
rebounds a game. He is still an incredibly versatile and game-changing
defensive player. He's averaging 19 points a game.

But I think he can do more as a small forward. He's learning how to post up power forwards.

what he could do as a small forward. Being the unique player that he
is, he could still pull down at least eight rebounds per game as a
full-time small forward while still getting out on the fast breaks.

short, he's not a natural post player, although he's not a bad one. His
natural position is small forward, and his versatility would allow him
to become a superstar if he moved back to it."


--This I will also continue to repeat as it is ignored.  LINK (warning: might contain bleacherreport URL :rolleyes: )


Oh, and one last thing: if bball IQ is so important when dishing out max contracts you might want to re-think giving $20M to Dwight Howard.

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#15036 Is Morey signing J-Smooth as a piece for Love in 2014?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 11 April 2013 - 09:44 PM

The question of stardom is interesting to me.  A lot of it has to do with popularity as the NBA will cater to public fancy and show the "favorite" players--not necessarily the best ones...just ask San Antonio, Indiana, or Portland.  I recognize that all stars are good, but not all good players are perceived as stars.  Josh Smith (since he is under question) has been denied all-star access primarily because he plays in the same conference as Lebron and Paul Pierce (who hog the all-star balloting) as well as Grant Hill (back in the day), Vince Carter, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Danny Granger, Gerald Wallace, Luol Deng, Carmelo Anthony, and Andre Iguodala.


Meanwhile, Smith has averaged 15, 8 and 3 over his career along with 2 blocks and a steal.  His best season was probably 2 years ago when he posted 19, 10, and 4.  All this while playing incredible defense and often playing at the PF--which is not where he belongs.  I cannot emphasize that last part enough because no one seems to take it into consideration much.  We would not be acquiring him to take over the PF.  I think he and Parsons can both simply play "forward" and depending on the team match up with whoever they feel gives the team the best advantage.


Those numbers are slightly deflated as the Hawks typically fall in the bottom third of the league regarding pace of play--meaning fewer possessions.  I think Paul George and Danny Granger both fall in the same category--on a different team their numbers would increase slightly simply due to more opportunities.  It doesn't matter...those are his numbers.


The thing is, it's not about his perceived status in the league.  Chicago saw Asik as an expendable back up center.  We saw him as arguably one of the best defensive centers in the game with room to grow and function in our offense. 


I think we have a similar case with Smith.  If you look at his skill set alone and ignore everything else he is exactly what Houston is looking for (outside of Dwight).  He can shoot from anywhere (his shot selection has been panned ad nauseum here...some of us believe this will shift in a different system), he is an excellent passer, has good handles, and can finish around the rim better than Harden.  He is a strong rebounder (something that has been pined for around here) and an elite defender on the wing and a strong defender in the post.  He is everything the Rockets lack except a back-up center.  He comes with stigmas attached.  If you can get past those he's a no-brainer in my book.


Has he under-achieved?  Yes and No.  The Hawks fell short in play-off series against the Celtics (who won the whole thing that year), to Lebron's Cavs (who got bamboozled by orlando that year),  then to Orlando, then to the D.Rose Bulls (who almost beat the Heat w/ Lebron), and then the Celtics again (who almost beat the Heat if memory serves).  Every year but last year they made it past the first round.  They couldn't get over the hump, but management slowly stripped that team of talent every single year and now they are about to get rid of another piece with only Horford left.  It's tough, but sometimes that is just how it goes...CP3's record is worse, is it not?


Would Smith be a star here?  I don't know.  If he fits in the way I think he will and we post a 55-60 win season it sure will help--especially when he posts a 20, 9, and 6 season. 

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#14670 Is Morey signing J-Smooth as a piece for Love in 2014?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 09 April 2013 - 08:21 PM

Well, apparently I don't know how to do this.  Our site says it doesn't support .PNG formatted pics and that is how they are formatted...oh well.


The short of it is Harden is a better 3 pt. shooter by 7% and shoots more of those shots.  Smith is a better finisher at the rim by 7% and shoots more of those shots.  It doesn't matter as those who are against a Smith signing will disregard and dismiss this data.  They are both relatively dismal across the floor.


Referring back to the Lowe article, another aspect that is mentioned is on offense and it is the value of passing.  Smith is an above average passer--especially from the post where he can draw a double team and then deftly find cutters heading to the rim or shooters on the wings.


I am surprised at the perception that Kevin Love, Eric Gordon or OJ mayo are seen as superior talents to Josh Smith.


I have taken to mostly avoiding this discussion, but got sucked back in for a bit.  There exists a rigidity in the thinking that pervades this discussion.  Josh Smith will allow us to play outside of the age-old norms of NBA basketball.  Analyzing his impact based on the old is missing the point.  In reality, we will be fielding a team that most closely resembles this:  combo/pg guard, 3 small forwards, and a center.  Harden is just a smaller-sized version of Lebron.  He does not perform the duties of a SG--as he is listed--but rather a SF, or combo forward.


This line-up will aid us on both ends of the court.


Also, before I am labeled a blind JSmith lover--please remember, I have gone into great detail on this matter before and acknowledged all of his faults.  Basketball players are like kitchen utensils in that they must be used properly to be most effective.  Try flipping your pancakes with a fork and eating them with the spatula...and then blame each for being poor at it.  This is the Josh Smith problem.  He is being asked to lead a vanilla offense with little motion or tempo that is as predictable as the sunrise.  He is ideal for where Houston's offense is heading--seeing will be believing...


I'm not saying this is what we SHOULD do.  I am simply advocating that this move would be very good for our team and in no way is it "settling" or "panic driven" or whatever else it has been called.  That is just dismissive verbiage designed to belittle a perfectly valid opinion.  Not once has it been put forth that, "we better sign Smith since he is the only player that will accept our offer anyways".  If that is what is being heard then it says a lot.  I know myself and others have taken great pains to make clear the reasoning behind such a move--and it isn't because we're settling or panicked.  We all know Morey will explore EVERY option--even the bad ones--as that is his job.  Some think Howard/CP3/Lebron are viable options....others don't...that's fine as we certainly can't know that. 

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#13698 New Poll about Mchale.

Posted by thejohnnygold on 01 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

I'm gonna help you guys out a bit--on both sides.


For the anti-McHale group....there is a distinct lack of tangibles to your argument.  There are vague allegations with little support--most of which is something like, "do i really have to explain that to you?..."  Well, yes.  Yes you do.  Please do.  I don't seem to get it.  Repeating your claims without substantiation is relatively futile as it devalues your stance.  Compel us with some information rather than emotion/intuition.


Here is something that would work nicely as an offering from that side as an option for a new, viable head coach: Popovich Endorses Kelvin Sampson as NBA Head Coach.




As for the pro-McHale side....data has little value here.  We are trying to evaluate the abstract as if it were concrete.  They have already said that everything that has occurred this season is attributable to someone other than McHale.  OK.  Let's see what we can find...


“I thought Kelvin [Sampson] did a tremendous job, I really did,” McHale said. “I left after the Memphis game. We went there and got beat up
pretty good by Memphis.
We had a two-point game for a while, but they exposed some stuff and I had talked to Kelvin and the coaching
staff about trying to do some other things. I thought they did a great job implementing that. NBA.com


--Kevin McHale talking about Sampson during his hiatus.  That spells it out pretty clearly.  McHale observes and reports.  Sampson and staff implement and scheme.


“For everybody, you’re trying to fill in a small piece of what we had with Mac. I think it falls on all the assistants to do that. Whatever is your focus, you have to up it. There are more decisions you have to make now, more you have to contribute because Mac is gone. I think everybody has to step up.” Houston Chronicle


--Kelvin Sampson on McHale's absence.  Here it is possible to infer the respect of his peers and the size of his responsibilities--however vaguely it is stated--that it umbrellas the entire team and staff.


"In a league in which many coaches employ Pat Riley’s “one voice” philosophy — no one other than Jeff Van Gundy was heard during his
practices — McHale prefers to have his assistants heavily involved. McHale keeps final say, but Sampson generally runs the defense;
Bickerstaff and Chris Finch help guide the offense.


“He allows all of the assistants to have a voice,” Sampson said. “We have strong voices in practice. We have strong voices in the locker room
with our players. And I think that’s a credit to Kevin. A lot of coaches are territorial about their team. I think that says a lot about Kevin’s confidence in himself and knowing who he is and being comfortable in his skin.”


“Mac’s watched our games. He’s got more important things to worry about right now than what we should be doing offensively or defensively.
Again, I go back to Kevin has empowered us to coach this team. He gives us so much freedom and so much free reign to make our own suggestions, I don’t feel like I have to do it a certain way.”




Just more great insight.  One more quote from Jeremy Lin...


Jeremy Lin said it was a bit strange to play without McHale in charge of the team.  "It was definitely different," Lin said. "He's our leader. He's our
But coach Sampson did a good job coming in, and we played hard. Obviously we can't wait for coach McHale to come back. Everybody
around here loves him to death." USA Today


So, both sides continue doing what you're doing.  I'm enjoying it. :)

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#13456 New Poll about Mchale.

Posted by thejohnnygold on 30 March 2013 - 08:37 PM

TTDN, I didn't put forth McHale losing his daughter as an excuse--I mentioned it only to try and bring perspective to what all has transpired this season--I don't see it as "disrespectful"; rather, I find it to be the opposite.  I am a little taken aback at your response.  If only something like that were so easy--I hope I never have to find out.


Getting back to basketball, there really is very little for us to judge McHale by given the small sample, topsy-turvy season, limited access, and being unclear on what he is and is not in charge of.


I think Asik is better today than he was in October.  I know Greg Smith is improving and I feel he is on the verge of becoming a consistent threat on both ends.  I want to wait until after the Summer to see where T-Rob and D-Mo are.  I think Parsons has hit a bit of a wall (probably mental) and will get past that soon enough, but he has improved overall.  The team seems to genuinely like one another and want to build a winning culture here.  Whoever gets the credit for that--I say, "good job".


I think we all agree that Lin's minutes are a mystery.  That's the thing, until someone comes out and gives a reason how can we be sure that this is a bad thing?  We speculate and project negativity because we want to see Lin succeed and it is easy to blame McHale.  I am withholding judgement on this until I hear some actual facts.

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#13426 New Poll about Mchale.

Posted by thejohnnygold on 30 March 2013 - 04:34 PM

Mchale took out all the starters in the 4th Quarter and just played the same 5 bench player for the whole 4th.

I'm a Mchale hater, but if he did it to send a message that they can't play without effort then I agree.


I don't think it is about resting players for the 2nd game tomorrow. Because the whole season he hasn't done that, so I am having

hard time believeing that he finally does think about it. There has been several games when we are winning or losing by +15 and Harden has been in there until the last minute of the game when the game was decided long ago. But maybe just maybe he has finally figured it out.


My opinion is that we made the playoffs despite Mchale. So take the above statements as very biased.


Morey is the one who built the system and brought in players who fits into the system of scoring in the paint, 3s or FT.

He is the one who found value with players who were undervalued like :


Parsons, Lin, Beverley, all our young PFs including the traded ones, he orchestrated the Harden trade to perfection,Asik etc.


I would love to have SVG as our coach.


In all fairness, as GM, that is exactly Morey's job--bring in the players.


McHale's job is take those players and get to the playoffs.


We can say they made it despite his presence....we could also say they made it despite having 4 first year starters (and 1 second year), no idea how to play NBA defense, trying to develop and implement a new era offense, and integrating a new group of players together--twice.  Oh, and dealing with the death of a child.  Surely, these things bear consideration for the sake of fairness.

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#13103 The Razor's Edge of NBA Success

Posted by thejohnnygold on 26 March 2013 - 08:47 PM

As Houston Rocket fans, we are all too familiar with the fickle nature of the human body and the fortunes lost and gained on the resilience, or frailty, each one possesses.  Ralph Sampson, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and Steve Francis are just some of the big names associated with this franchise that were unable to fulfill their potential due to unforeseen bodily breakdown.  Hakeem's knees ultimately betrayed him, but not before he reached the pinnacle of the NBA and enjoyed a lengthy career--many stars are robbed of this opportunity by fate.  Whether it is the misfortune of having a body that simply could not bear the demands of the NBA or that one fatal misstep that mangles a joint beyond repair--this is the reality each player faces every time they walk on the court.


I bring this up in light of our myriad debates over Houston's future--a future most of us would like to see highlighted with the addition of another star to play next to James Harden and lead us to Finals glory.  Most any fan would agree this is the Tao of the NBA--The Way.  The evidence supports that this is true nearly all of the time, but is it so easy?


Avoiding the subject of circumstance, i.e. playing in Jordan's era, or something akin to that--I would point to injuries as the biggest obstacle any team must avoid in its' quest for success.  Further, as a GM of an NBA team one must balance the risk and reward of relying on one to three players to achieve success...more on this later.


I found the idea of tracing the history of injuries derailing potential champions to be a bit daunting.  Instead, I will rely on my memory and a brief list of this year's major injuries to make a point. (I am also hoping that collectively, you guys can fill in some obvious teams/players I overlooked).  I am focusing on season-ending and lengthy injuries only.


2013 Major Injuries By Team

Boston - Rondo, Sullinger

Hawks - Pachulia, Louis Williams

Bobcats - Brendan Haywood, Diop

Bulls - Rose*, R. Hamilton

Cavs - Varejao

Pistons - Maggette, Drummond

Warriors - Brandon Rush

Pacers - Granger, West (6 games so far)

Lakers - Jordan Hill, Howard**

Grizzlies - M. Gasol

Bucks - Mbah a Moute

Wolves - Love*, Roy*, Malcolm Lee

Hornets - Jason Smith, Eric Gordon*, Anthony Davis

Mavs - Nowitzki

Knicks - Stoudemire*

Magic - Afflalo, Glen Davis

Sixers - Bynum*, Jason Richardson

Suns - Gortat, Channing Frye

Blazers - Elliot Williams

Raptors - Bargnani

Wizards - Barbosa, Wall

Teams without significant injuries this year

Thunder (Parker?), Rockets, Heat, Nets (D. Williams ?), Nuggets, Kings, Clippers (Billups?)


Even these teams had injuries to contend with....sprained ankles, nagging injuries that limit the player's effectiveness, etc.


Above, I designated certain players with *.  This was to denote a player with a history of injuries beyond this year.  These players repeatedly have the hopes of a franchise pinned all, or in part, on them only to find themselves unable to perform.  Each situation is unique.  Derrick Rose's injury ended a potential championship run last year and has left the team in the middle of the pack with no legitimate shot this year (realistically, that is what...1/7th of his career and he may never be the same?).  Dwight Howard makes the list as his all-too-public shoulder injury cannot be ignored despite playing most of the season.


In the playoffs, injuries are even more devastating as there is so little time to recover most any injury becomes season-ending.


The odds of successfully navigating an NBA season without losing key players to injury are not good.  By my count, which is subjective, 16 of the above teams suffered an injury to a key player that conceivably ruined their season--whether the goal was to make the playoffs or to make the finals--and we still have about a dozen games left.  That is 16 out of 30 teams--53%--so far.


Compounding this with the relatively short window any one player has for winning championships each lost year is a huge portion of opportunity lost.  Fate shows no mercy.  It is no surprise that the list of previous champions is also a list of players that were able to stay healthy throughout their careers.


The point of all this fear-mongering (which is not my intent) brings us back to the General Manager and risk versus reward.  We know that Morey plays the odds.  In this scenario there are two sets of odds to look at.  The odds of winning a championship without a star or two and the odds of staying healthy long enough to get there.


I contend that the Rockets may be better served by stubbornly refusing to sacrifice depth in pursuit of this other star.  Further, any signing we make must afford and allow us to maintain ample depth and re-sign the talent we already have in house.  I have already argued that the Rockets current roster has the depth and talent to develop into a title contender.  Morey has constructed this roster with the flexibility to be able to shed any players that end up not reaching that potential with relative ease.  If Houston adds a player it must be with great prudence for we are one step away from a lost season every single day.  By having strong depth at each position this risk is limited to Harden right now--and with the addition of one of the players listed below could be considered almost negligible.


The Rocket's future is bright and I am all for another star.  I think the list of players that fit this list over the next two free agency periods is limited to these names (based on ability and there being a realistic chance to sign them):


Dwight Howard

Chris Paul (really small, but I read a post earlier that convinced me it's not so crazy)

Josh Smith (I know it pains many of you, but he has the goods that, combined with everything else we have, will get us there)


I'm sorry, but The Lebrons aren't breaking up and no one else is on that level.  If we miss on those three (Howard, Paul, Smith) I believe it will be small moves, if any, until 2015.  In my opinion, that free agency class is superior in available talent plus we will have lots of financial options as a lot of money is potentially coming off the books.


Until then, let us all think positive thoughts about the legs, arms, backs, heads, and feet of our guys.  It's one thing to fall short because another team bests yours--it's a worse experience to watch time eat away opportunity and potential without ever giving it the chance to succeed--something we all know too well.

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#12940 Villains

Posted by thejohnnygold on 24 March 2013 - 05:15 PM

Although not a villain I do really despise the present day David Stern. How could I have forgotten that?


LOL, his smugness is so epic it deserves it's own bust in the Hall of Fame.



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#12434 What about scenarios involving two free agents?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 19 March 2013 - 04:28 PM

Good stuff guys.  Probably too much to address individually so I will give a collective response.


When I consider Josh Smith for the Rockets it is in the context of team--not individual.  It seems to me most people are looking at him solely in the context of what he brings to the equation before discerning how his presence affects everyone else.  I disagree with the contention that Smith's current squad is better than the one he played with when he had his best years. 


Smith is the caliber of player that, believe it or not, will make everyone else on the court better.  He is a very unselfish player that will make good passes to open teammates.  His strength of defense on the wing will allow our guys to stop sagging off on help defense so much--keeping them in better position to contest the three point line.  He can play post defense as well.  He will also improve our rebounding--if anyone wants to, they can check out his stat lines from last year's playoffs when he posted a defensive rebound rate of 36.6 and these stat lines:









That was against the Celtics and, presumably, Kevin Garnet and Paul Pierce.  Yes, his fg% comes under fire--I still contend that issue resolves itself in our system.


On offense, I have already addressed that he will collectively improve this team.  I'm not picturing him coming and going Lebron-style-1-on-5-stop-me-if-you-can offensively.  I think he will fluctuate within the offense anywhere from primary scorer to fourth option depending on the flow--much like everyone else not named Asik or Harden.  When playing in the flow of our offense his shot selection will adjust and he will be able to take advantage of the defensive shifts created by Harden/Lin/Parsons driving to the basket.  In Atlanta it's a lot of watching Josh Smith dribble and then shoot the 20 footer.  I do believe we are developing a sophisticated motion offense that takes time to grow into.  Smith will fit perfectly into this.


Kevin Love is quickly falling out of favor with me and I do not believe he gets us any closer to a championship than Smith does; in fact, I would say further away based on our defensive needs and his alleged lack of defense.  I can't find the article now, but I read recently that some people believe he is a stat padder and forgoes solid defense in order to garner rebounds.  Further, we must either wait until 2015 for him or trade a lot of assets to get him now.  The Rockets do not need another scorer--especially one with questionable defense.


Regarding the trades for other players--the cost aspect was never addressed.  I am not against those options, but what does it take to complete those deals?  They won't just take scraps unless Morey truly is a Jedi with mind powers.


If the Rockets are going to win a championship it will be collectively, as a team, with a powerful combination of offense and defense played by a group of very good players and led by one great one.  The whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.


That's fine if someone thinks Millsap is that guy...or Jefferson...or Love.  None of those guys are known for their defense...quite the opposite.


Smith's contract will be in the $16M range which still potentially leaves roughly $4M for filling a role or two beyond what we already have.  At $16M his contract is trade-able and not a team killer.


Regarding the contention that I'm "not trying" for Howard or CP3....I'm not actually an NBA GM.  I presume Morey & Co. will "kick the tires" for us.  I am making educated guesses and basing my thoughts off of those guesses.


Also, from what I remember reading no one named a player from 2014 (excluding Bosh previously) that we would want to sign....


I am intrigued by the notion that Morey is eyeballing more bench players....I'm all for it...but who?

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#12342 What about scenarios involving two free agents?

Posted by thejohnnygold on 18 March 2013 - 05:11 PM

Round and round we go....


For those of you tooting the "wait for 2014" horns--tell me what it is you want, and expect, to happen here.


Here is the list of players available


Oh yes, it is chock full of big names.  I'm not impressed.  A lot of these guys are old.  Do you want Dirk Nowitzki?  Vince Carter?  Duncan, Gasol, Stoudemire, Camby????


Next, are the guys who aren't going anywhere: Lebron, Wade, Bosh (I'll almost believe he is leaving...but not really), Tony Parker, Kobe, Paul George, and Carmelo aren't going anywhere--sorry.


So, who is left that you would be willing to give a lot, or all, of this money to?


I listed players earlier in this thread that would warrant a good, long look: Demarcus Cousins, Larry Sanders, Chris Johnson, Derrick Favors (forgot him the first time) and Bosh (a big ? for me).


Everyone else on that list is either at a position where we are set or not good enough to warrant consideration.  Of this list, Cousins is the only one that has "star" potential--right now--but will he have matured by then?....Sanders and Johnson both can be elite defenders....Bosh (if he leaves) would cost a lot of money and at that point he will be 30 years old.


So, what is so appealing here?  I just don't see it.  I see a lot of hype and hoopla with a few gems floating around....Maybe Ed Davis?....is he a star by then?  Doubtful...


Here is a nice article that gives a pretty solid picture of this year's star free agents and what their contracts will look like.


Bynum is taking the money from Philly.  Good.  Paying him $20M plus having to pay his medical bills is not a good deal.


Chris Paul is not leaving LA.


Dwight Howard is almost a lock to stay in LA


Brandon Jennings is going to get some GM fired.  You can lock that in.


This leaves Josh Smith who, ironically, fits the description of the need you said we needed to fill--Small forward.  I will refer you to the JSMOOTH thread to read all about why I believe in it (I am sure you have all read it).


I don't blame anyone for disliking the Smith Idea--it definitely has its' risks.  For me, after close examination he is everything we are lacking on this team, plus he just happens to be the best option out of what is available this year and next.


I welcome counter arguments, but you gotta give me a better alternative--you can't just poo-poo my ideas without offering any of your own....I want what's best for the Rockets so convince me :)

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#12234 J Smooth

Posted by thejohnnygold on 16 March 2013 - 08:00 PM

If everything goes perfectly, I think we could win a ship with Josh Smith in the 2015 (after suffering a heartbreaking loss in 2014 which we grow from). And as controversial as it may seem, the best way to go from there is trade him while his stock is still high so we can reisign Parsons, Lin, and Asik. From there we repeat with the much improved D-Mo and T-Rob. And so the Rockets dynasty begins.


I like the way you're thinking!


I read this article a while back (it is somewhat dated, but it's premise remains valid) about what it takes to win an NBA championship--it has guided some of my thinking in regards to what direction the Rockets should take....it's not very long.  Enjoy.

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#12144 J Smooth

Posted by thejohnnygold on 15 March 2013 - 05:00 PM

 Not sure what correct splits you're talking about. In the previous post the only thing you went into great detail about was how Josh Smith would be better offensively with the Rockets. As for defense, all you did was repeat the word defense several times, there was no insight into why he only improves his team's defense by 2 points per 100 possessions.


It's further up in the thread.


For me, debating this stuff is fun.  I have argued both sides of the Josh Smith thing (a while ago I was vehemently against him)...after having put so much thought into it I think signing him will make our team better.  Personally, I would like nothing more than to stick with what we have and watch them develop into a contender that, hopefully, can bring the championship back to Houston.


That being said and based on the cumulative shared thoughts throughout the many other threads we've had over the past few months--I am convinced the Rockets are looking to sign a high-level player this Summer.  I am not convinced Dwight is leaving LA.  It seems that the most logical available option is Smith.  Bearing that in mind, I have sought to understand why signing him would be good for the team and have found compelling evidence to suggest it would be.


We talk about stars and the need for them both in succeeding on the court and for succeeding in attracting free agents.  Smith fits both of these parameters.  I do not disagree that his performance leaves something to be desired, but I believe it is a "use" problem not an "ability" problem.  He, like most of the other stars in this league, has superior talent, athleticism, and skills.  He is no Jordan, but he can definitely be somebody's Pippen.


I feel I have beat this horse to death and beyond so I'm going to let it go...for now ;) .  Again, my preference would be to stand pat or take a one year test drive with Smith while allowing D-Mo and T-Rob to get another year to develop and fine tune their games--both of which have incredibly high ceilings.  If Morey goes for it with Smith I will understand and am confident he will be a solid addition to an already solid team.

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