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@  timetodienow... : (20 August 2013 - 01:15 AM) Good insight, ST.
@  Sir Thursday : (19 August 2013 - 10:12 PM) On a radio show or TV interview you have a lot less time to police yourself. In a forum like an AMA, Morey has much more time to decide what responses are OK and doesn't have to be so guarded. That's my hypothesis, anyway.
@  timetodienow... : (18 August 2013 - 09:42 PM) I can see that. He's always very circumspect when he's talking on camera compared to doing these AMAs. I don't think he's uncomfortable speaking but he's more in his element chatting online.
@  feelingsuper... : (18 August 2013 - 04:23 PM) I think you're on to something timetodie but I wouldn't say he is uncomfortable speaking, we just gleam more insight from what he writes.
@  timetodienow... : (16 August 2013 - 10:35 PM) Has anyone noticed that Morey is more comfortable typing than speaking?
@  2016Champions : (16 August 2013 - 08:53 PM) Daryl Morey's reddit AMA today: http://www.reddit.co...eason_addition/
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:54 PM) (Although having said that, Cleveland and Washington being improved mean that there might actually be some competition towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket for once).
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:53 PM) They may end up with the 8th seed again this year, but they'll be a team on the up rather than a team that's reached its peak.
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:52 PM) That's a lot of shooting, anyhow. And they've filled the bench with serviceable players, too.
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:49 PM) (or maybe you put Gary Neal in for Delfino)
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:48 PM) It's not a roster completely devoid of talent, anyway. Knight/Mayo/Delfino/Ilyasova/Sanders seems like a reasonable starting lineup.
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:45 PM) A lot depends on if they can develop their young guys. Knight, Henson, Antetokounmpo...
@  timetodienow... : (16 August 2013 - 06:41 PM) Although this signing does make them look better to me.
@  timetodienow... : (16 August 2013 - 06:40 PM) Maybe. I don't really care all that much, but it just seems like he's being underpaid. And why would he want to stay in MIL? Have you seen the moves they've made thus far.
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:36 PM) A player with 7 years' experience qualifies for a bigger max contract, right? Maybe he's angling for that
@  timetodienow... : (16 August 2013 - 06:33 PM) I hope he has an ETO. That would make the deal make sense in my mind. Otherwise why not play next year and get offered the max by a desperate team and have MIL match?
@  timetodienow... : (16 August 2013 - 06:32 PM) Then why not get a 5th year?
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:31 PM) And if Sanders doesn't mind Milwaukee then he would probably want as long a contract as possible...maximise guaranteed money and all that.
@  Sir Thursday : (16 August 2013 - 06:30 PM) Milwaukee probably have a bit more leverage than most teams do in contract negotiations in that [a] it's an extension rather than a resign, so they could just let him to to RFA; and [b] they have a really deep front court rotation.
@  timetodienow... : (16 August 2013 - 06:29 PM) True about Pek, but I don't consider them elite rim protectors like in the vein of Duncan/KG/Asik/Howard/Gasol/Noah/Hibbert(showed improvement last year). Drummond and Sanders are potential candidates for rim protectors in my opinion.

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How Many Games Will the Rockets Win This Season?


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:00 PM

    New post: How Many Games Will the Rockets Win This Season?
    By: Forrest Walker

    It’s mid-August, and that means that NBA coverage is at its most sparse. The schedule was already released, all the free agents who will have a real impact have been signed, and training camp is weeks away. Season previews, predictions, and pre-season games are all down the road, while July’s excitement is in the rear view mirror. While there’s a moment to breathe, let’s take a look at what the Rockets have done, what they have to do, and how many wins we should expect from them this season.

    The Houston Rockets are going to be better this season. This shouldn’t be a controversial statement (though, surely, some will disagree), and it’s the springboard for all predictions for this season. No matter how you figure wins, be it by a strength of schedule style analysis, a look at the calendar, point differential metrics, or a gut feeling, it’s critical to know and admit that, yes, they’ve improved. In fact, the ways they’ve improved are honestly fairly straightforward.

    The biggest improvement was adding Dwight Howard. This isn’t brain surgery. When healthy and motivated, he’s the best center in the league, and when injured and unmotivated he’s still better than Ömer Aşık in nearly every way. By no means is any of this meant to disparage Aşık, who’s clearly one of the best centers in the league. Unfortunately for him, he’s now the best backup center in the league. The new dynamic might not be good for Ömer, but it’s huge for the Rockets, who now have the absolute best center rotation in the league. That’s big. That’s twin towers big. That alone is a marked upgrade in the wins column.

    But, strangely, general manager Daryl Morey continued to do his job after signing Dwight Howard. Thomas Robinson and Royce White may have been punted out the door to make room for Howard, but the rest of the offseason saw very little turnover and a large degree of hiring. Carlos Delfino may have hoofed it back to Milwaukee to rejoin the Bucks, but the (honestly superior) Francisco Garcia stayed on, signing a renegotiated veteran’s minimum deal. The Rockets picked up Isaiah Canaan in the draft, and he looks like a promising prospect in future seasons. B.J. Young, Robert Covington and Jordan Henriquez all went undrafted and are all hoping to spend their rookie years with Houston. Marcus Camby decided to return to his adopted home of Houston, rounding out a nice center rotation. Omri Casspi, Reggie Williams and Ronnie Brewer all signed minimum contracts in hopes of having renaissances on Houston’s roster.

    That’s actually quite a bit of talent added on top of the already present reserves. In fact, that’s too many players. Given that every NBA is required to retain no more than 15 players when the seasons starts, training camp may be very competitive. The addition of Brewer means that even waiving the three undrafted rookies and stashing them in the D-League isn’t enough. Houston may release one of their new additions, such as Casspi, Williams or Brewer, or they may try to move one or more of these players in exchange for an upgrade or at least a future draft pick. The point is that Houston has, if anything, too many worthwhile bench players, and will have more depth than last year while still signing a megastar.

    Unsung in all of this is the simple fact that Houston’s core is going to improve. James Harden, Jeremy Lin, Chandler Parsons, Ömer Aşık, and last year’s remaining rookies (Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejūnas) are all young and still developing. While it’s unlikely that all of them improve this season, it’s even more unlikely that none of them do. We’ve seen, from teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, that simply retaining young talent and keeping the core together can have a very positive effect. Even if Houston had made no offseason moves, you could confidently pencil them in for more wins.

    So, with all of those factors together, how many more wins will they have? Well… some? Definitely some more wins. Mitigating factors such as the western conference improving in general, and the southwest division improving in specific, will hinder Houston’s hopes at a 60 win season. In the east, that might be very doable. Out west, one expects something closer to 55. All those positive changes surely account for more than ten more wins, but a stronger division and many looming question marks bring that number back down to a clean ten.

    If we look at the season schedule itself, this isn’t too far off. Taking into account back to back situations and road trip situations, there are probably somewhere around 40 games the Rockets really should be winning this season. (For what it’s worth, lots of them are all together in January, which might be a great month for Houston.) There are around 17 games they’re probably going to lose, and the other 25 could reasonably go either way. If, for simplicity’s sake, we assume the Rockets will win about half of those games, that gives us something in the 52-53 win range. That’s within a couple games of that theoretical 55, suggesting that at the least this prediction is consistent. If we split the difference there, we can settle on 54 wins, a respectable number for a team that won 45 last season.

    If the Rockets do indeed land at 54 wins, that very respectable number might turn out to be woefully insufficient. That was good for second in the east last season, but would have been a mere sixth in the brutal west. There’s no reason to believe that the west will be any less brutal, save for the fact that the Denver Nuggets seem to have nosedived. Houston may very well be looking at a fifth seed if they put together 54 wins, a testament to how competitive the western conference is likely to be this coming season and into the playoffs.

     


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    #2 Steven

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      Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:34 PM

      73 with anyone other then Lin as PG. 50 with Lin.
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      #3 BrentYen

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      Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

      Rox had some bad lose in the beggining of last season, e.g games with POR. I think the biggest factor for the win-loss record is how DH12 plays with the remaining ROX for the 1st H of the season.


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      #4 BrentYen

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      Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:41 PM

      73 with anyone other then Lin as PG. 50 with Lin.

      I think you mean 73 losses... :rolleyes:


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      #5 NorEastern

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        Posted 23 August 2013 - 03:55 PM



        I see it a bit differently:

        1: General improvement of Lin, Harden etc. - 3 games.
        2: Having an offensive playbook at the beginning of the season - 3 games. Last season the Rockets entire offensive strategy was trashed 72 hours before the season's first game.
        3: The addition of Howard - 4 games.
        4: Having a top 8 center backing up the best center in the league - 4 games. The Rockets were 7th in the league defensively with Asik on the court. They were 27th defensively when Asik sat.

        59 wins. Without even considering the fact that the team has had a season of play together, as opposed to being tossed into the fire when no one had played with experience playing with each other.


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        #6 BrentYen

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        Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:00 PM

        I see it a bit differently:

        1: General improvement of Lin, Harden etc. - 3 games.
        2: Having an offensive playbook at the beginning of the season - 3 games. Last season the Rockets entire offensive strategy was trashed 72 hours before the season's first game.
        3: The addition of Howard - 4 games.
        4: Having a top 8 center backing up the best center in the league - 4 games. The Rockets were 7th in the league defensively with Asik on the court. They were 27th defensively when Asik sat.

        59 wins. Without even considering the fact that the team has had a season of play together, as opposed to being tossed into the fire when no one had played with experience playing with each other.

        I don think each of those points are uncorrelated, but pretty fair assesment.


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        #7 Cooper

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          Posted 23 August 2013 - 04:44 PM

          There is only a few teams in the west you can pretty much write in a win for on the schedule and I think that competitiveness will drive down the win totals of all the playoff teams i think only the spurs or okc will be at the 60win mark with everyone else bunched in the high forties to mid fifties.
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          #8 Freebird

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          Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:23 PM

          I feel 54 is a touch low, but for somewhat unrelated reasons.  I honestly think Denver is out of the playoffs at this point, and Golden State had some questionable moves, as well.  The Clips either improve drastically under Doc, or take more time to learn his system than thought.  And San Antonio is pretty long in the tooth - they have to slow down at some point.  Memphis is also learning a new system with an overhauled coaching staff.

           

          That said, are we worse than Memphis or LAC?  Not really.  I could see SA having their renaissance continue through this year, but other than a hot SA and OKC, I really don't see any of the others competing with us for the 3 seed.  Poor wording there - they WILL compete, and anything can happen - but you get what I'm saying.  Hopefully.  :)


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          #9 rockets best fan

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          Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:42 PM

          There is only a few teams in the west you can pretty much write in a win for on the schedule and I think that competitiveness will drive down the win totals of all the playoff teams i think only the spurs or okc will be at the 60win mark with everyone else bunched in the high forties to mid fifties.

          I agree that the overall competitiveness will drive down the win total of some of the top seeds, however I still expect the Rockets to pull out 57 to 58 wins. I think there were at least 5-6 games last year we lost that should have been wins. ie...Phoenix twice and the Lakers at the end of the season. I think we will be right there with OKC, San Antonio and the Clippers. I think a full training camp together and a more stable roster will spell at least the 57 win mark. I think many NBA writer's have underestimated what effect D-12 will have on our roster. I can't tell you how many times I said last year that we needed a post game in our offense. that's why I believed D-12 and Houston are a perfect match. he needs a team like us and we needed him to round out our overall game. I think as the season rolls along the Rockets will become stronger as the chemistry builds from the team starting to figure things out. by playoff time we should be ready to take the crown by force :rolleyes:


          Edited by rockets best fan, 23 August 2013 - 05:43 PM.

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          #10 RollingWave

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            Posted 23 August 2013 - 05:58 PM



            54 is about right, if injury is particularly bad, they'll be between 50 to 60 win depending on how quickly the team comes together. though watching last year give me a good dose of confidence that it'll be sooner rather than later, really, fitting in Dwight is much MUCH less daunting then fitting together an entire team where no one ever started a full season.


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            #11 CC.

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            Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:23 PM

            51-57 Wins, nothing less nothing more, pure gut feeling but very possible.


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            #12 Buckko

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              Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:50 PM

              <br /><br /><p>I can see us 4th or 3rd seed, but we should be a wrecking ball in the playoffs due to a great bench, rested starters, young and healthy players, versital lineups and our ability to matchup with anyone.</p>
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              #13 Sir Thursday

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              Posted 24 August 2013 - 12:10 AM

              I'm planning on running the Win Prediction competition again this season - will be interested to see what people end up putting down for the Rockets.

               

              Personally, I think the thing that's going to win us the most extra games this season is depth at C. There's a reason why the Bulls were able to grind out those huge win totals in 2010/11 and 2011/12, and it wasn't just Derrick Rose. They played significant chunks of those seasons without him and were still able to rack up the wins on the strength of their bench. In the regular season, a strong bench really helps and I think that will drive the Rockets comfortably past 50 wins this year.

               

              ST


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              #14 Jeby

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                Posted 24 August 2013 - 03:45 AM

                <br /><br /><p>I can see us 4th or 3rd seed, but we should be a wrecking ball in the playoffs due to a great bench, rested starters, young and healthy players, versital lineups and our ability to matchup with anyone.</p>

                I agree with the idea of Houston being more dangerous in the playoffs because of matchup versatility, although some of that will fall on McHale's ability to manage the rotations and exploit mismatches. Houston can roll out with both of the extremes that typically account for upsets in the playoffs: quick scoring guards like Lin and Brooks (think of JJ Barea on the Mavs dismantling the Lakers two years ago) and a bruising frontcourt like Howard and Asik (think Grizzlies v. Spurs). When you face the same team for 7 games, you can adjust and then beat the other guys to death with a matchup that they just don't have an answer for. The same advantage doesn't carry to the regular season, when you're going with about the same 8-man rotation every night to establish identity and chemistry.
                That last sentence is why I don't think the Rockets will have a terrific regular season record. The players will be figuring things out about each other that the Spurs, Grizzlies, Thunder and Clippers have already worked out. I would include GSW in that group, but I think people underestimate how much Jarrett Jack made that team click last year. Iguodala is unquestionably a better player, but Mark Jackson is have to make serious rotation changes to make sure a playmaker is on the floor at all times. Toney Douglas is a 3andD backup PG, but you don't want him running your offense.
                But if the Rockets, in their first real training camp in three years (lockout, then Harden trade) can work their rotations out, then they're capable of churning out 55+ wins. All the talent is there.
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                #15 Buckko

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                  Posted 24 August 2013 - 04:19 AM

                  I don't see the chemistry as an issue like everyone else overstates. Dwight will slide right in, because when they got bogged and didn't get their transition points, they had no half court game besides a bad PnR with asik. Now they can throw it to howard for his touches or work a far improved PnR system. The rockets only need to add one or two role players into the main rotation, insert Jones into the starting lineup and have demo as the 6th man with his scoring ability. Very minor issues if you ask me, its just people need to overrate these problems to trash on houston.


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                  #16 BrentYen

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                  Posted 24 August 2013 - 06:30 AM

                  I don't see the chemistry as an issue like everyone else overstates. Dwight will slide right in, because when they got bogged and didn't get their transition points, they had no half court game besides a bad PnR with asik. Now they can throw it to howard for his touches or work a far improved PnR system. The rockets only need to add one or two role players into the main rotation, insert Jones into the starting lineup and have demo as the 6th man with his scoring ability. Very minor issues if you ask me, its just people need to overrate these problems to trash on houston.

                  Well, like Jeby said, at least this time, we can have a meaningful training camp, if no trades happen in OCT.


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                  #17 areteejay789

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                    Posted 24 August 2013 - 07:52 AM



                    I think Houston is likely to come fourth after OKC, SA, LAC, with 52-55 wins. No science to back me up, just how i feel looking at the teams. I get the feeling okc will break 60 this season, SA and LAC will be the high 50s, and then HOU, GSW, and MEM will all be in the low to mid 50s and houston will come out on top of those three. Wouldnt a 4-5 Matchup with the warriors be awesome in the playoffs?


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                    #18 Buckko

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                      Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:19 AM

                      No, we would just send P-Bev to take out Curry's knee and then have Jones stomp on him.
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                      #19 Losthief

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                        Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:31 AM

                        I feel 54 is a touch low, but for somewhat unrelated reasons.  I honestly think Denver is out of the playoffs at this point, and Golden State had some questionable moves, as well.  The Clips either improve drastically under Doc, or take more time to learn his system than thought.  And San Antonio is pretty long in the tooth - they have to slow down at some point.  Memphis is also learning a new system with an overhauled coaching staff.

                         

                        That said, are we worse than Memphis or LAC?  Not really.  I could see SA having their renaissance continue through this year, but other than a hot SA and OKC, I really don't see any of the others competing with us for the 3 seed.  Poor wording there - they WILL compete, and anything can happen - but you get what I'm saying.  Hopefully.   :)

                         

                        Not really disagreeing with your points, but Memphis new coach has been there for 6 years, and the Lead Assistant for 2 years. He was the guy who designed, implemented and ran there defense (there calling card), so saying learning a new system isn't really right...maybe learning a new offensive possibly, but really are they gonna stop posting gasol/Z-bo, i doubt it, it really was just getting rid of Lionel for there 'head coach in waiting', not really a system overhaul at all. 

                         

                        San Antonio's average age has actually descreased over the last 2 years.

                         

                        Still think we could get the 3rd seed, but could be as low as the 6th too. 

                         

                        My guess right now, not having studied the schedule really, is around 56 wins with health. But we'll start off slower and finish stronger going into the all-star break. Just hope we don't wilt like the last two years down the home stretch with McHale again.


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                        #20 Buckko

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                          Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:38 AM

                          I don't know what you're talking about but we a pretty good end stretch last season.
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