The Ninetyfourums: What to expect from the Rockets’ upcoming season: Small Forward - The Ninetyfourums

Jump to content

Welcome to The Ninetyfourums

Many of you who have posted will notice that you have the word 'Guest affixed to your selected username. That's not because of some restriction placed by me. The system attaches 'Guest' to your username if you post without registering; it's a way to allow visitors/lurkers to post. If you'd like to be a part of the community and have a normal username with a member profile, just register by clicking the link at the top right of the page. It's free and a pretty simple process. And as always, thanks for your support.
Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Page 1 of 1

What to expect from the Rockets’ upcoming season: Small Forward

#1 User is offline   RedNinetyFour 

  • Red94 blog content
    • Group: Moderators
    • Posts: 27
    • Joined: 30-June 11
    • LocationRed94 front page

    Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:42 PM

    It’s a tricky thing to discuss character in terms of sports, to say that one player is superior to another because of his or her mental, rather than physical, make-up. That sort of logic might lead to some absurd assertion like: “Dr. Jack Ramsey would take LeBron to school in a pick-up game,” or “John Hollinger could absolutely handle Dirk one-on-one!”

    But that’s exactly what I’m about to argue, not that any of us could play professional sports if we just studied hard enough, but that an NBA player’s mentality might be just as important his physicality.

    This consideration, I believe, is particularly relevant to the Rockets’ current cache of Small Forwards.



    Chase Budinger

    Budinger ended last season as the Rockets’ starting small forward and will most likely begin next season in the same position. He is a fantastic athlete, can finish on the fast break, dunk from the fifth row, and has a good (though odd looking) form on his jump-shot. When aggressive, he can drive and finish at the rim, hit 3’s, and generally convince everyone he’s really great at basketball.

    The problem is that he’s wildly inconsistent on offense and consistently bad on defense. Last year, he shot 50% or better from beyond the arc 26 times but also, though he took a three in every game he played, didn’t hit a single one in 30 games, five times going 0-4 or worse.

    The source of this inconsistency seems to be his confidence (Chase suggested as much himself in interviews last season). But this is a big problem (remember Luther Head?). Raw talent at just about anything isn’t enough to succeed. Success requires perseverance and commitment. Constantly being discouraged/disappointed can hurt your ability to improve, which, in a highly competitive environment like the NBA, can be disastrous. I hate to say this (and am prepared for the comment backlash) about a player with as much obvious potential as Budinger, but my hope is that the team can trade him this year while he still has value and before his confidence dips so much that he can’t stay on the court.

    Terrence Williams

    I was about to write a Williams’ preview/analysis when I noticed this article by Noam Schiller on Hardwood Paroxysm. Schiller extensively and eloquently articulates exactly how I (and many of us, I think) feel about Terrence Williams. Hopefully, this season he’ll prove us all wrong and live up to the potential he’s been teasing us with since his days at Louisville.

    Marcus Morris

    Morris is exactly the type of player that the two men above him on this list are not. His major limitations look to be physical, not mental. Honestly, he wasn’t a prospect I was especially excited about leading up to the draft as he’s not particularly a guy who screams star potential, but the more I read about him and the more tape I see of his days at Kansas, the more genuine interest I have in watching his development as an NBA player.

    He has fantastic footwork in the post, isn’t afraid of contact, and is crafty around the basket. He rebounds well, has good handles and a textbook jump-shot that should extend to NBA three-point range. He has great awareness on defense, active hands, and plays hard on every possession. He was named the 2011 Big 12 Player of the Year, led Kansas to a Conference Championship and the elite eight in the NCAA Tournament. But, most importantly, he improved his game every year he was at Kansas and seems committed to continuing to do so.

    So what’s not to like about the guy? He’s not exceptionally huge or athletic. I understand that to say this doesn’t matter in a sport that largely depends on hugeness and athleticism might seem naïve at best and plain ignorant at worst, but that’s basically what I’m saying. (Just ask Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Shane Battier, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Love) I’m not a betting man, but if I were, I would wager that Marcus Morris has a longer and more productive career than either Chase Budinger or Terrence Williams, precisely because of what he brings to the table mentally, and regardless of what he lacks physically.


    0

    #2 User is offline   Stephen 

    • Member
    • PipPip
      • Group: Members
      • Posts: 20
      • Joined: 04-June 11

      Posted 19 August 2011 - 05:21 AM

      The biggest question w/the Rocket SFs is,can they defend the position? Can they defend the SGs Martin can't?
      We'll ignore LeBron,Carmelo and Pierce as they're in the East.
      But there's Durant,Gay,Beasley(whatever his other faults,the kid can score),Wallace,the young energy guys who can go back-door for a dunk on one play and nail an open 3 on the next(Wright,Gallinari,etc),the physicality of Artest,the craftiness of Ginobili.
      Does Morris have the footspeed and lateral quickness to stay w/them on the perimeter,as they go thru screens?
      Will Williams want to play defense?
      Can Bud learn to play defense game in and game out?
      I have my doubts-and still think the team made a huge mistake in not drafting Singleton.

      As of now the only proven wing defender is Lee,and he's just not big enough for the taller,stronger SFs. I think there's a chance McHale would start Lee and Martin together,simply to get a defensive presence on the court to begin games.Yes it puts Martin out of position(or Lee if he's listed as the SF),but it balances the wings more and as of right now,w/no trades or FA signings I'd predict the starting lineup as Lowry,Lee,Martin,Scola,Hill and second unit of Dragic,Bud,Williams,Morris,Patterson w/a re-signed Hayes ready to step in if anyone falters.
      The thing is,I believe the Rockets will look substantially different when the season starts-assuming it does.

      While we can assume some GMs are taking vacations,just chillin',there are those who've played out a bazillion scenarios of what the Cap will end up being and what FAs will likely leave and what it would cost to sign them.(And GMs w/competent Organizations will have a pretty good idea of the range the Cap will fall into.) After going thru those permutations,they will start to look at trades to address needs-either player or financial. I would expect quite a few of them to have dozens of contingency trades agreed to. And this is where Stern's gag order about players has a beneficial effect-teams can talk freely among themselves w/out having to worry about any of it leaking. I would be shocked to learn Morey didn't have a bunch of trades agreed to if certain contingencies happen.

      As to the SFs on the roster,
      I agree Bud should be moved while he has substantial value. I've long thought his ceiling is as a Sixth Man and he would be the perfect filler on a trade-good player,name recognition,cheap contract. And the issues about Bud's confidence raised are the same ones that dogged him through-out his Arizona career.
      OTOH,I kinda see a Mike Miller carrer for Bud,someone who seems to have the talent to be a borderline star,but never quite seems to take that big step forward. And there's a lot to be said for having that kind of player on the roster. And if he learns to play acceptable D,he could end up owning the position for next few yrs.

      Can Morris make the transition to SF? That will be one of the three biggest subplots to the season(McHale and Patterson/Scola are the others). If he can the Rockets have good depth at the SF and can afford to move Bud-or Williams. If he can't he has to be able to play PF,not at starting level,but as key scoring reserve off bench,ala Landry. If he can do neither,Morey blew a Draft where there were a lot of solid role players to be found. If he can defend the SF spot-and the bigger SGs-and put up decent scoring numbers,the Rockets are a defensive C away from being a pretty d*** good team.

      Williams,ah Williams. So much talent,so little mental discipline. If McHale can get thru to him-and based on Williams track record,it's pretty doubtful-Williams would get that starting spot he so covets and plenty of chances to show his stuff. But a successful Williams might be a two-edged sword. W/McHale wanting to go inside,Williams getting his...are there enough shots left to keep Martin happy? This is not a knock on Kevin,he's paid his dues and shown he deserves #2 status and can handle primary scoring duties out of a set offense. But will he accept being the third option? Doubtful,as he's already dealt w/a shoot-first playmaker in Tyreke Evans and asked out. If Williams doesn't make a conscious effort to keep Martin fed,I can see Kevin asking out. Same w/Williams as w/Morris,if he can harness his talents into a team game,the Rockets suddenly look pretty good.

      The Rocket SFs are full of potential,just as they are full of big flaming balls of disasterability.
      Any of the three could lock down the position for next few yrs and could also be gone by the end of the season.
      0

      Share this topic:


      Page 1 of 1


      Fast Reply

        

      1 User(s) are reading this topic
      0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users