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@  Buckko : (15 April 2014 - 05:22 AM) Hope we can get him back in the offseason, he was just signed for the rest of the offseason.
@  jorgeaam : (15 April 2014 - 04:16 AM) Bulls release Tornike Shengelia and sign Greg Smith, well, that didn't take long
@  Cooper : (15 April 2014 - 02:39 AM) nice win. Dwight looks like he's ready go. Bev's still a little rusty but he should be fine.
@  Sir Thursday : (14 April 2014 - 10:24 PM) Thanks huang, that's useful knowledge :).
@  08huangj : (14 April 2014 - 01:15 AM) I've watched a lot of his games
@  08huangj : (14 April 2014 - 01:15 AM) Guys, I live in Guangzhou. Just in case you didn't notice, Powell was in Guangzhou playing with the tigers before he came to the Rockets. No midrange shot. Good rebounder. Bad defender. Good at attacking the rim. This is my summary for his time at Guangzhou.
@  Cooper : (13 April 2014 - 11:16 PM) hes 6-9 so id guess more of a pf but it doesn't really matter either way I guess.
@  Buckko : (13 April 2014 - 11:02 PM) Not really, you seen his season averages? Not pretty.
@  Sir Thursday : (13 April 2014 - 10:18 PM) He's more of a PF, I thought. You could always make the specious "RINGZZZ!" argument, since he won two with the Lakers...
@  Buckko : (13 April 2014 - 09:04 PM) Waived Pittman, signed Josh Powell. I don't really get why they signed a scrub SF.
@  Drew in Abilene : (13 April 2014 - 02:41 AM) In the postgame interview, Bev said he was alright, but it looked iffy...
@  08huangj : (13 April 2014 - 02:40 AM) Not watching the game. Just looking at the play-by-plays.
@  08huangj : (13 April 2014 - 02:39 AM) Rockets win!
@  Drew in Abilene : (13 April 2014 - 02:39 AM) Oh gosh, I hope Beverley isn't hurt again... He was taken out in the last few seconds limping after falling and looking like he hurt his right knee...
@  08huangj : (13 April 2014 - 02:39 AM) yep
@  Drew in Abilene : (13 April 2014 - 02:35 AM) Harden, Lin, and Beverley all coming up big in these last few clutch minutes.
@  08huangj : (13 April 2014 - 02:01 AM) And why is Parsons missing?
@  08huangj : (13 April 2014 - 02:00 AM) If Rockets don't get better soon, they are not going to be the fourth seed in the western conference.
@  08huangj : (13 April 2014 - 01:59 AM) Howard and Beverley are both back, but look at the scoreboard: They are losing by 12 points to the Pelicans. What a dissapointment
@  Drew in Abilene : (13 April 2014 - 01:55 AM) I don't agree with blaming McHale for the end of this season. He's been missing two starters which has been a huge blow, and has been trying to not ride other major players too hard right before the playoffs.


The Rockets Daily - April 14, 2014

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:22 PM

    New post: The Rockets Daily - April 14, 2014
    By: mitchell felker

    Rooting Interest - Last night in Portland, the Blazers beat the Golden State Warriors in overtime, 117-119.  It was perhaps the first time all season that I openly rooted for the Warriors, always afraid Steph Curry would end up in a first round matchup with the Rockets.  And be sure, this game is absolutely deserving of discussion on a Houston Rockets forum.  With just two games remaining on Houston's schedule and one for Portland, the Rockets are in a position where if the Blazers win their final game at home against the nothing-to-play-for Clippers, and the Rockets can't beat either San Antonio or New Orleans, Portland will end up hosting the first-round and not Houston.

    It would be devastating from psychological standpoint, if not a strategical one, for the Rockets to play so much of the season in the upper-tier of the Western Conference, only to falter at the end and find themselves on the road for Game 1.  And the Rockets aren't exactly going into the playoffs under ideal conditions.  The team peaked a month ago, losing only two games in February, while going 15-2 at one point.  But since April arrived they have been a mediocre .500 club.  Now, on the precipice of the playoffs, the Rockets find themselves injured (Howard, Parsons and Beverley have all missed games) and tired (Houston is the only team with two players, Harden and Parsons, in the top-ten in minutes played).  And with the Blazers victory last night, there will be no rest for the weary. 

    The Rockets (possibly sans Parsons) are forced to go all-out tonight against the Spurs.  And while a win would lock up the 4-seed and some much needed rest in their final game, a loss would send them to New Orleans with homecourt on the line.  Thankfully, the 'Cans will be without His Excellency Anthony Davis and a few other rotation players, but the Rockets (read: James Harden) could really use the rest.  And now it seems that the Spurs, despite having the 1-seed locked up, will be going full-bore tonight in Houston.

    Add that to the suddenly long list of problems facing the Rockets.  But Houston is 3-0 against San Antonio this season and a win tonight would help ease a lot of concerns facing the team this past month.  Just win, baby.

    Paper or Plastic - In Hickory-High's newest weekly round table, they ask: What becomes a bigger playoff storyline– James Harden’s offense or James Harden’s defense?


    Lewis: If Dwight Howard is able to play at near-peak levels, then nobody will notice Harden’s defense. If the Rockets play the Trail Blazers, Harden’s going to be able to destroy them on offense. In four games this season, he’s averaging 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists against them. If the Rockets draw the Warriors, there are only two teams Harden has averaged more points against this year – the Knicks and the Lakers. In the playoffs, being able to break down elite defenses and score is vital, and that’s what Harden does best. He disrupts. He just needs to make sure he isn’t a turnstile on the opposite end.

    It's already been said by almost anyone who watches the Rockets closely, but I must say it again: Harden is not as bad as advertised.  His Clippers-mixtape went viral at the beginning of the season and has been low-hanging fruit for national pundits ever since.  He will never be a two-way force, but like some of the other Hickory-High guys said in the article, his problem is effort.  And I can't imagine a scenario where James Freaking Harden's effort will be lacking in the playoffs.

    Speaking of Which - The Short Corner noticed a little bit of good amidst all of the Rockets' recent struggles:


    The James Harden of the past few weeks has been fully enabled — playing huge minutes for a Rockets team without both Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley and thus very much in need of bulk scoring to overcome its defensive limitations. The massive stat lines that have resulted have been met with shockingly little fanfare. There are bigger picture issues to sort out as the playoffs near, but the work Harden has done of late is an absurdly exaggerated version of his already terrific play. My favorite bit: Harden has somehow attempted 111 free throws in his last eight games — almost 14 a night. Knicks point guard Raymond Felton, by contrast, has attempted 114 free throws this entire season.

    The little fanfare is understandable.  The Pacers collapse has been fascination; the Spurs run has been predictable but amazing; the race for the 8-seed in the East has been mesmerizing.  That last part may not have been "mesmerizing", but watching the Knicks blow it sure was enjoyable.

    And I knew Harden was playing well despite the Rockets' downward arc lately, but I didn't realize just how stellar he's been.  For the month of April (8 games), Harden has averaged 38.6 mpg, 29 ppg on 43%FG and 40%3pt, with almost 5 rpg and 9 apg and 2.5 (!!!) spg.  Not to mention he's been in Rambo-level attack mode, getting to the line over 13 times a game and making almost 90% of his free throws.

    Harden hasn't been quite as sharp as he was when Houston was peaking in February and March, but that is attributable to the lack of help he has had while missing such valuable teammates.  His shooting numbers are down slightly from those good ole days, but with Parsons banged up and Lin in a permanent funk, Harden has been responsible for most of the offense.

    Unless Wes Matthews turns into Dennis Johnson 2.0, I think it's safe to say Harden's offense will be a bigger playoff storyline than his defense.

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    #2 thenit


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      Posted 14 April 2014 - 07:52 PM

      MPG   FGM-FA FG% 3Pm-3pa 3p%

      31.3 5.1-11.5 .446 2.1-4.5 .472 2.4-2.6 .905 2.9 3.8 0.3 1.6 3.4 2.4


      Just saying that Lin's number has improved in April, and last 5 games he is shooting over 50% on FG and 3P.


      I think he is showing signs of getting out of it and with Bev and Howard healthy I think we are in a good spot. Also Harden has been scorching hot as you mentioned Mitch.


      The stars are aligning for the parade !

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      #3 Incubus2803



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        Posted 14 April 2014 - 10:17 PM

        He's been solid. Maybe if it really is a confidence thing, hearing his name called before games just gets him ready?
        Seems like he's so much better as a starter.
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        #4 thejohnnygold



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        Posted 14 April 2014 - 11:10 PM

        He's played well 4 out of the last 5 games.  Denver twice, the Lakers, and New Orleans.  He put up a dud vs. Minnesota.  I'm not ready to say he's back until he can perform against a team that plays defense.  His 3 pt% is up....but so are his turnovers.  I have been pleased that he is at least looking more decisive when he attacks.


        Also, I will ask/remind people to PLEASE format your stats.  Use your space bar.  It's not hard.  Makes your point better and makes reading it better.  Thanks! :)

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