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@  thenit : (29 December 2013 - 04:59 AM) I think we will come up big and win by 10 tomorrow. Just a hunch.
@  thenit : (29 December 2013 - 03:43 AM) I don't think he ever will be a max layer. But he will command 12 and up
@  Chai : (29 December 2013 - 03:27 AM) He's probably going to command a salary on par with the likes of Deng
@  HazeWinkle : (29 December 2013 - 03:19 AM) they need to sign parson now be4 he is a max guy because he is close to being a max contract guy
@  Chai : (29 December 2013 - 03:14 AM) Love how he's able to go coast to coast as a PF
@  HazeWinkle : (29 December 2013 - 03:10 AM) tjones changed momentum
@  thenit : (29 December 2013 - 03:10 AM) Speaking of the devils both of them with big 3
@  thenit : (29 December 2013 - 02:56 AM) They both been cold last two games
@  Chai : (29 December 2013 - 02:42 AM) Thank goodness that Brooks is more than capable of coming in and providing the scoring when our back court can't get anything going
@  thenit : (29 December 2013 - 02:40 AM) Two more turnovers and he got a triple double
@  Chai : (29 December 2013 - 02:38 AM) Lin a complete no show on offense tonight... though Holiday being 1-8 helps i guess
@  CanSayNOTC : (29 December 2013 - 02:27 AM) Except for his TO :D
@  CanSayNOTC : (29 December 2013 - 02:27 AM) Dwight looks good.
@  thenit : (29 December 2013 - 02:05 AM) We are all cold on 3s
@  RudyT1995 : (29 December 2013 - 01:58 AM) Lin missing badly from 3. He's pulling the ball down to his knees on the catch. I thought he stopped doing that.
@  2016Champions : (29 December 2013 - 01:25 AM) Wow Jones and Parsons both did the Harden move and got an 'And 1'
@  2016Champions : (28 December 2013 - 04:15 PM) lol
@  rocketrick : (28 December 2013 - 04:12 PM) We shall see won't we
@  2016Champions : (28 December 2013 - 04:02 PM) We won't have to worry about repeaters tax until 2017, maybe 2018. Get over it.
@  rocketrick : (28 December 2013 - 04:00 PM) Miami didn't have Repeater Tax to worry about PLUS LBJ, Wade and Bosh accepted less money to play together as the Big 3 in order for a chance to win rings

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Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets on 12/23/13


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#1 Red94

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    Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:55 PM

    New post: Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets on 12/23/13
    By: Rob Dover

    The Rockets are about to begin one of the more difficult sections of this year's schedule. Over the next week they will play 5 games, including match-ups against every opponent in the Southwest Division. With injuries piling up, this gruelling stretch could not have come at a more inconvenient time. Not only is the scheduling brutal, but the games are slightly more important too since divisional record may end up breaking some ties at the top of the West when all is said and done.

    Form:

    Houston: WLWLW

    The loss against Indiana was a disheartening reminder that the team has a long way to go. But the team should take heart from how well they played against Detroit despite their depleted numbers - the strength in depth that Morey has carefully cultivated over the past few seasons is now on full display. There were a lot of tired-looking faces at the end of the Detroit game though, and it may be difficult to keep that level of intensity going for the full 48 minutes tonight.

    Dallas: LWWLL

    Like the Rockets, the Mavs came away from Phoenix empty-handed, and like the Rockets they were taken to overtime by Toronto. Wins against Milwaukee and Memphis are nice but nothing to write home about.

    Injuries:

    Houston:

    The collective weight of injuries is starting to pile up. No Harden, no Beverley, no Asik, no Smith tonight. Fortunately Lin will make his return, but don't expect big things - Jeremy always seems to take a couple of games to get back into the groove after missing time due to injuries. If he isn't able to play big minutes, we may get our first glimpse of Isaiah Canaan in regular season play. Time to see what the rookie can do!

    Dallas:

    Surprisingly for their age, the Mavericks have an almost clean bill of health going into tonight's game. The only player they're missing is Devin Harris, who is still recovering from a toe injury. Since the last time we saw them, Brandan Wright has recovered from injury and seems to be stealing minutes from old friend Samuel Dalembert.

    On Offence:

    • After marmalising Andre Drummond and friends on Saturday, Dwight Howard will once again be the focus of the Rockets' offence tonight in the absence of Harden. We may see more of the same initially - in previous meetings Samuel Dalembert has done a decent job of defending Howard's post threat so Carlisle might be tempted to try single coverage initially. But given the marked improvement we've seen from Howard over the last few games, I suspect that the double teams will start coming sooner rather than later. One of the main things that has led to Howard's resurgence in the post is that he seems to have figured out how to time his spins to avoid the wandering hands of wing defenders digging down on him as he makes his move to the middle. This is something the Mavs are pretty good at doing, so he's going to have to keep that up tonight.
    • There's a really interesting breakdown of the Maverick's pick-and-roll defence here. In it, Hal Brown illustrates how Carlisle has his players trapping on pick-and-rolls, and how the defensive scheme leads to a lot of open shots when the screener pops out for a three or long two. When Omri Casspi is in the game, some 1-4 pick-and-roll action might be worth a shot.
    • The Rockets were beaten badly by the Pacers because they couldn't manufacture any penetration off the dribble. Fortunately the Mavericks are nowhere near the Pacers' class in defending the point of attack and driver extraordinare Jeremy Lin is back in the line-up to help get into the paint. It remains to be seen whether he'll have much explosion in his first game back, but anything he can provide will be welcome.

    On Defence:

    • This is Dirk Nowitzki's team, but the player the Rockets really need to worry about is Monta Ellis. He seems to have matured remarkably since arriving in Dallas (being in a veteran locker room will do that to you) and his ability to jet off picks and get into the lane has caused Houston no end of trouble in the first two meetings. Finding a way to contain him is critical if the Rockets are to come away with a win.
    • Can Jones defend his position? This could well be one of the defining questions of the Rockets' season. There are so many great PFs in the West that he reckons to be in a critical match-up almost every night. And in Dirk he's facing one of the cream of the crop - whether he can maintain is defensive discipline and keep Nowitzki away from his favoured elbow spot will go a long way to deciding the result of the game.

    Rotation Spotlight:

    Jae Crowder (6'6" SF, Marquette)

    Easily recognisable thanks to his awesome dreadlocks, Crowder is a second year player who tends to see about 15-20 minutes per night of playing time. Pretty much a prototypical 3-and-D wing at this point, he is capable of heating up on occasion (rewatch the fourth quarter of these teams' first meeting if you don't believe me).  He'll give you high effort every night and is a pretty decent rebounder.


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    #2 NorEastern

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      Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:18 AM



      A great analysis! Howard, along with LeBron James and KD, is the most unstoppable player in the NBA. Houston fans have discounted his worth. Howard has the ponies to drag Houston into the finals. He is that good.

      The Rockets roster is well staffed and can withstand several injuries. Kudos to Morey. But even a Morey inspired roster cannot withstand two starters and Asik being out against the best teams in the NBA.

      Jones, after a hot offensive start, is being crushed by the better power forwards in the NBA. Get used to it. He seems to have significant trouble with the defensive rotations needed. Smith is honestly no better.


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      #3 Sir Thursday

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      Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:18 AM

      Gah, just realised I forgot to mention the zone - I'm sure we'll see that at some point this evening. Wonder if the Rockets have put in any practice time against it.

       

      ST


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      #4 areteejay789

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        Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:47 AM

        Lin looks very tentative tonight. You can really tell his injury is holding him back. Props to him for playing through it with a shorthanded roster.


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        #5 areteejay789

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          Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:58 AM

          Okay since i wrote that, he's become much more aggressive. maybe he was just getting used to the tempo again....


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          #6 Chai

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            Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:00 AM

            Really glad to see Lin back. he's been attacking the basket at every opportunity. Really sorely missed with Harden out


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            #7 2016Champions

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            Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:15 AM

            Lin has a very quiet way of being effective, but his mistakes stand out like a sore thumb. 


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            "We're not satisfied with where we're at, but we're optimistic on where things will go from here" - Daryl Morey


            #8 Red94

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              Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:28 AM

              New post: Dallas Mavericks 111, Houston Rockets 104 - Experience matters
              By: Forrest Walker

              The Houston Rockets are a good basketball team. They have a real shot at winning it all in the next handful of years, and might make some noise in the playoffs if they can find some chemistry. The Dallas Mavericks are on the wrong side of their superstar's career, with Dirk Nowitzki hoping to get one last shot before he retires. The Rockets are more talented, younger, faster, and better constructed. But they never had a chance when the Mavs came to Houston.

              For the second time in two meetings, the Dallas Mavericks came from behind to swat aside the Houston Rockets and punish them for their poor team defense. When Dirk is locked in, he's as unstoppable as a shooter can be. Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is as crafty as they come, putting his players in the best position to use their skills. All the talent and analytics in the world don't matter when the other coach has your number. And make no mistake, the Mavs have Houston's number.

              It should be noted that the Rockets are missing a lot of quality players. James Harden is nursing his ankle injury, hoping to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas day. Ömer Aşık continues to sit, officially still dealing with a thigh injury. Patrick Beverley just had successful surgery on his broken hand, and will sit for 4-6 more weeks. Greg Smith is back out of the lineup again, and so three starter-quality players and a solid backup sit on the bench for Houston. That's a reason for tonight's poor showing, but it isn't an excuse.

              The Rockets led by as many 11 points, heading into the half with a seven point lead.  It was all for naught, as Carlisle's adjustments made mincemeat of head coach Kevin McHale's Rockets. The Mavs went to Dirk early and often in the second half, and punished the Rockets on their defensive scrambles. As the game was coming to a close and the Rockets crawled to within 6 points, Dallas executed the Rockets with a single plan. The Mavs used a high pick and roll to switch Dirk onto Houston's point guards. Over. And over. And he just kept scoring. Even when Francisco Garcia was on Nowitzki, he had no hope of stopping a man who anchored a championship team in 2011.

              On the other side of the ball, the Mavericks disrupted Dwight Howard in the post, though it wasn't as big of a factor as the other end of the court. Howard was picked clean and shown various coverages, just as Rahat Huq predicted. Howard still had another solid night, ending withy, that wasn't enough to offse a team-high 29 points on 16 shots, hitting 9 of his 13 free throws adn pulling down 15 boards. Unfortunatelt Dirk's massive 31 points on 11-18 shooting. Howard looks like the best player on the team now, and he's the main reason why the Rockets have a real shot at pulling into true contender status with another roster move or two.

              Jeremy Lin returned from injury looking good, putting up 20 points on 6-10 shooting. he only picked up 2 assists and he offset it all with 5 turnovers, but for a first game back after missing several games, that's not a terrible performance. He's still willing and able to key the offense, even if he does go up in the air without a plan and turn the ball over. Chandler Parsons also showed signs of life, picking up 21 points on 8-15 shooting and racking up 5 rebounds in the process. His 4 turnovers also didn't help, but his contribution was positive. His offensive game continues to improve, and he's part of more and more alley-oop passes.

              The whole team is on board with lobs now, and there were a number of them scattered throughout the game. As the Rockets learn each other's tendencies and preferred spots, this option will continue to be more valuable. Another added benefit of more coherent lob plays would be a chunk cut out of that grisly turnover number. The Rockets committed 17 on the night, and it was just about an average night for them. The turnovers have been the subject of endless debate, and will continue to be so until they get it under control.

              Aaron Brooks was the sole high point from the (three-man) bench, scoring 18 points on 7-13 shooting. He had 5 assists and shot 4-7 from deep, and almost pulled Houston back from the brink late in the game. He's playing above what we thought was his ceiling, and it's not clear if he's bound to fall off soon, or if he's simply better than we supposed.

              With much of the starters out, the Rockets looked weak on the bench. McHale had no answer for Carlisle's schemes, and chose to go away from Terrence Jones late, despite Jones' solid 5-8 shooting. Jeremy Lin was getting into shape, the entire bench was decimated and ineffective, and the Mavs attacked a team that needed to prepare for a major game on Christmas. Even with all those factors, this was a game Houston needed, one that would have prevented the Mavericks from taking the season series. Now, they're one step farther from their goal of contention. Experience is important, even in December.


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              #9 Cooper

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                Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:33 AM

                Tough game without harden, forcing Garcia and even brooks who played quite well into too many minutes. Still really impressed with Dwight.
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                #10 SDrake

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                  Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:27 AM

                  It's easy to blame the Rockets' troubles on injuries as they've had more than any team's fair share this season.  And it's easy to throw blame at Harden for his bad shooting or Beverley's lack of offensive production.  It's easy to find excuses of why they're not an elite team.  But I have a reason that I don't think I've seen discussed...  Assists.

                   

                  The Rockets just aren't getting many assists when they score.  Beverley is averaging 2.2/game.  Lin is (from memory) a little more than 4/game.  Their offense just isn't generating assists and this means the ball isn't being moved.  Players are holding the ball and dribbling.

                  Last season, the big strength in the offense was the ball movement that generated open shots.  They just aren't doing the ball movement this season and thus much fewer assists and the defenses are getting more set against the outside shooting.  A lot fewer 3's this season as a result.  And they're not tiring out the other team.


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                  #11 SDrake

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                    Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:29 AM

                    My wife blames tonight's loss 100% on McHale.  Her assessment is that McHale is always slow to make adjustments.  With the Mav's 15-1 run in the 3rd quarter, she thinks McHale must have gone out for a cigarette or something.


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                    #12 datruth

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                      Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:41 AM

                      I agree SDRAKE that was funny. McHale has always been slow to respond .


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                      #13 rm90025

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                        Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:03 AM

                        Rockets had 1 bad quarter.  Turnovers clearly hurt the team but they were so spread out among all the players that you have to wonder if the style of play is itself a cause of the problem.  Not enough pick and roll plays with Howard and the primary ball handlers. Pace was too quick at times and Dallas did a pretty good job of clogging the paint around Howard and making the shots from driving ball handlers difficult.   A couple of..dare I say it!!!...pull up mid-range jumpers!!!  would've created more space in the paint for lobs and drives until the 3 pt shooters could find their rhythm. 


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                        #14 dood

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                          Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:27 AM

                          Rockets had 1 bad quarter.  Turnovers clearly hurt the team but they were so spread out among all the players that you have to wonder if the style of play is itself a cause of the problem.  Not enough pick and roll plays with Howard and the primary ball handlers. Pace was too quick at times and Dallas did a pretty good job of clogging the paint around Howard and making the shots from driving ball handlers difficult.   A couple of..dare I say it!!!...pull up mid-range jumpers!!!  would've created more space in the paint for lobs and drives until the 3 pt shooters could find their rhythm. 

                           

                          not spread, lin had the most (and live) turnovers (which led to points) and the mav D was terrible. 


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                          #15 linonlyfan

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                            Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:01 PM

                            I think one of Lin's issues this year is he can't execute passes off the dribble that well. I noticed his entry passing off the bounce looked a little off, and any passes off the bounce in the lane in traffic made for some spectacular turnovers. This is a part technique and part mental. The technical aspect is probably possible to address. I sometimes wonder if Lin's lower than average wingspan hampers his ability to extend and pass through pressure. He sure does move quick though and that layup in transition past 4 Mav defenders was outstanding, with a nasty change of direction at the end to evade Monta Ellis.

                             

                            That Lin help defense one pass away leaving Jose Calderon open for a 3 also killed me. But i guess this is solved by making and correcting mistakes over time through film study.

                             

                            Im impressed how calm Chandler Parsons seems to play in traffic. This Mavs game and the Detroit game saw some incredible in the lane moves, the one that stuck out to me in this game was a eurostep lane floater. Unbelievable, especially since youtube proves that he only learnt the eurostep last year.

                             

                            I think part of this seasons process is to establish Dwight as a unstoppable post presence against one on one defense forcing a double team. Once the team / Dwight gets more repetitions to how to react to double teams (on catch vs on dribble). We can start to see more scramble situations when he starts to master the pass out. I think the last few games has shown his post game is improving to the point that teams will have to start doubling a little more, and that gives us the reps to establish the patterns of play around a post up. Seems like Dwight has fulfilled his bargain making some 1v1 post ups look easy, and the team to a large extent has learned how to cut hard for a initial dribble handoff and force the initial defines to shift slightly. All these improvements are making the team extremely fascinating to watch, as one poster said, 10+ games ago, Dwight made Spencer Hawes look like he could guard him, now he is out and out forcing teams to seriously consider doubling.

                             

                            This team is fun to watch. Things are coming together at a fantastic pace. Miss a few games and boom you missed some sort of team evolution.


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                            #16 2016Champions

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                            Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:29 PM

                            I have to admit, Dwight's post ups are growing on me, but I want to see more quick passes in and out of the post that result in more open 3's. We currently rank 3rd in offensive efficiency but I feel that's misleading due to how well we rebound offensively. Without the offense rebounds even Phoenix is a better offensive team than the Rockets are.
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                            "We're not satisfied with where we're at, but we're optimistic on where things will go from here" - Daryl Morey


                            #17 2016Champions

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                            Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:50 PM

                            I don't have any of the post options when I post on my phone, I wanted to share a tweet here.

                            http://s7.directuplo...royad89_png.htm

                            Edited by 2016Champions, 24 December 2013 - 02:52 PM.

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                            "We're not satisfied with where we're at, but we're optimistic on where things will go from here" - Daryl Morey


                            #18 MrLobble

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                              Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:54 PM

                              WE NEEEDDDDDD A POOOOIINNNNNNT GUUUUAAARRRRD!!! omg, that was so frustrating down the stretch last night... Wish we could move Lin or Asik to Toronto to bring back Kyle Lowry... 


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                              #19 2016Champions

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                              Posted 24 December 2013 - 03:00 PM

                              Lowry is too similar to Lin imo, we would do better with a George Hill type--smart defender and low turnovers. I can really see why McHale prefers Beverley when I think about it.

                              Edited by 2016Champions, 24 December 2013 - 03:02 PM.

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                              "We're not satisfied with where we're at, but we're optimistic on where things will go from here" - Daryl Morey


                              #20 thenit

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                                Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:40 PM

                                We need to stop overreacting. Lin had a decent game. Besides the turnovers it wasn't terrible. In regards to the over helping I think we can't judge that unless we know if the coaches are telling the players to do that. Harden, Bev and parsons seems to do that as well, it's just for this instance Dallas had a big man that required us to help on Dirk and an opposing player like Calderon who is a great 3point shooter. Most letter teams don't either have the big man or the shooter to knock down those shots so it does the look that bad in those games.

                                It was his first game back and I would give him some slack because it's been a while since he actually saw some real action. Bev is the starter when everyone is healthy and we need Lin to be aggressive and attack the rim when he is on ther 2nd unit. We me aren't getting an elite pg this season and I like the bev Lin combo. The entry passes to a player in the post is something our whole team struggles with and remember that no one could feed Yao in the past. It's me something practice will make a huge difference one they have enough guys to hold a practice.
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