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@  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
@  rockets best... : (14 September 2015 - 02:29 AM) I agree totally. I got to watch his Rocket days and the man was a hell of a player. BIG MO R.I.P.
@  Mario Peña : (13 September 2015 - 05:24 PM) Sad to see Moses pass. I don't remember watching him as a Rocket but I do remember his Philly and Hawks teams. He was the perfect man to mentor Dream. It's a very sad day for his family and friends and there are many.
@  majik19 : (12 September 2015 - 09:01 PM) i just saw a post wishing Yao Ming a happy 35th birthday... am I the only one whose mind is blown that he's only 35?
@  cointurtlemoose : (08 September 2015 - 01:17 AM) aaaah, thanks jorge
@  jorgeaam : (08 September 2015 - 12:21 AM) Love it how Hinkie and Morey always target the same players, but hoping he isn't another Covington
@  thejohnnygold : (08 September 2015 - 12:03 AM) Christian Wood has signed with Philly
@  jorgeaam : (07 September 2015 - 10:32 PM) If I'm not wrong, he hasn't been waived yet, they have until october 4th to do that
@  cointurtlemoose : (07 September 2015 - 05:39 PM) Anyone else surprised that Kostas hasn't gotten picked up by anyone yet? I wanna see that guy play somewhere
@  redfaithful : (05 September 2015 - 10:48 PM) Llull line from today loss to Serbia: 30MIN 1-10PG, 0-5 3PG, 4-4FT 6AST, 1TO, 4REB, +/- -11
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:27 AM) this dude's gun fired and all he got a misdemeanor at bush lol: http://abc13.com/new...ush-iah/815795/
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:26 AM) theres more articles all over, but the jist is houston (and texas) doesn't really arrest for it, they just recommend you leave it in your car when they catch it. So seems dwight got lucky he was in texas and not cali or the NE.
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:22 AM) honestly we should just be glad they caught it...
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:21 AM) response: http://nymag.com/dai...n_airplane.html
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 01:42 AM) one bullet left in the chamber is diff than fully loaded and ready to go. Still stupid...but not like he was prepared for a shooting spree.
@  jorgeaam : (02 September 2015 - 09:33 PM) http://www.tmz.com/2...t-get-arrested/
@  jorgeaam : (02 September 2015 - 09:33 PM) So according to TMZ (I know, I know) Dwight Howard had an incident last month in which he took a loaded gun into an airport, but he was allowed to give it to a friend to take it back and wasn't arrested.


Orlando Magic 120, Houston Rockets 113: Defense, defense, defense.

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 15 January 2015 - 03:22 AM

    New post: Orlando Magic 120, Houston Rockets 113: Defense, defense, defense.
    By: Paul McGuire

    Elfrid Payton was the 10th pick in the 2014 draft by the Orlando Magic.


    He is shooting less than 40% from the field, less than 22% from three-point range, and less than 50% than half of his free throws. He possesses a catastrophic .421 TS% this season.


    And the Houston Rockets, who have talked about playing defense and have been much better on that end compared to last year, could not stop Elfrid Payton in the fourth quarter.


    To be fair, they could not stop Nikola Vucevic either. Or Victor Oladipo. Or Channing Frye. Or Ben Gordon’s corpse. Tonight, the Houston Rockets made last year’s squad look like defensive geniuses, as they collapsed late in the fourth and gave up 16 points in the final 2:42 of play as well as an eminently winnable game.


    Zach Lowe wrote today that “The Magic are trying to be a fast-paced spread pick-and-roll team, with three shooters spotting up around (mostly) Payton/Vucevic pick-and-rolls.” That was not really what Orlando did tonight. To be fair, the fact that they had Devyn Marble ( who cannot shoot at all and went 0-8 from the field tonight) starting instead of Tobias Harris limited their shooters, but they relied more on Oladipo and Vucevic dominating the ball, similarly to how Houston does it with Harden and Howard.


    Houston could not stop Orlando’s attack. Vucevic really did not go after Howard in the rim/post, though he did do it a few times with success. Instead, he either stood out of Howard’s range and hit jumpers, or grabbed the ball and the put back after Howard guarded the rim from a driving Magic wing. Howard actually played well unlike the past few games(23 points on 15 shots, 8 rebounds), but he was once again outplayed by the opposing center. Outside of Vucevic, the Rockets were sent scrambling on pick switches far too often. Consequently, Oladipo was not guarded by Ariza as often as should have happened, and so the guard took advantage.


    Turnovers were the other big problem. We know that the Rockets are a high turnover team, but that is still not excuse to give up 20 tonight. What was worse than the number was just how stupid so many of these turnovers were. At least half a dozen of them were passes from Josh Smith or Harden or Beverley which looked really bad even before a Magic player picked them off. And while Josh Smith is mostly infamous for taking shots which he has no business trying, he has also demonstrated in his time with the Rockets that he takes passes which he has no business trying. It works more often than his shooting does, but it still fails too much. For example, he tried an around-the-back pass to Dwight Howard, only for it to hit a Magic player before bouncing back, hitting Smith, and going out of bounds. That particular occasion will go unnoticed in the boxscore because the referees messed up and gave the ball back to Houston, but it remains a pertinent example.


    Also, I do not care to go after coaches for their rotation decisions, but I remain completely and totally befuddled about why Alexey Shved is getting any minutes on this team – never mind Canaan, Shved supplanted Jason Terry in the rotation tonight. If I had to hazard a guess, perhaps Kevin McHale is looking for a secondary player who can create shots for others. He thus wants to try out Shved as opposed to going with Canaan and Terry who we known not to be capable of that. I will concede that Shved might be a better passer than those two, but he suffers from the slight downside of not actually being good at any facet of basketball.


    So after blowing this game, the Houston Rockets will now fly back home and tomorrow take on an Oklahoma City team which has not played basketball in almost a week, and then the Golden State Warriors twice in the next three games. Well, at least we will be generally healthy for these contests.

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    #2 cointurtlemoose


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      Posted 15 January 2015 - 04:11 AM

      Though I thought we should have won, Orlando really impressed me, specifically Peyton. And you know it's going to be a rough night when Ben Gordon is taking Kobe-shots and draining them...


      Agreed, Shved did not look good... at all...


      To me, Vucevic won that game for them. After draining I think ALL of his jumpers, he ended up dragging Dwight/DMo so far from the paint, and our perimeter defenders (specifically Bev and Brewer) looked woefully unprepared to stop penetration alone.


      I credit Orlando with the win though; they earned it. And good lesson maybe for us though. Coming out flat has been a recurring problem, so it's good to learn that even if you're flat for the first 10 min or so, it could cost you the game in the end. Good lesson for the playoffs!

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      #3 Alituro


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        Posted 15 January 2015 - 01:46 PM

        I think McHale issued a DNR order early in this contest. It was evident early that the majority of our core were not on point last night, speaking mostly of Howard and Beverley's obvious inability to stay in front of Payton. Oladipo is one of the toughest covers at his position, Ariza did the best he could, but there was no help for him last night. It's a game we shoulda and coulda won, but had no real business taxing all of our resources and pulling out heroics to do so. Not like today's match. I think that's why we went with Shved for so many minutes, the game was a lost cause, but if you can work to groom another playmaker into your rotation, then it wasn't all for naught.


        I'm OK with Smooves's errant passes because it shows a willingness to get others involved. It's his long range shooting that needs curbing, and quick. I guess I'm semi-OK with open shots from the corner in a stretching situation, but... PLEASE STOP CHUCKING UP ANYTHING


        Shved may end up being serviceable before it's said and done, but he's got a long way to go. Personally though, I think Paps is superior in all aspects of the game including playmaker. I would rather see him get those minutes, plus he's much more bulky and won't get pushed around. Shved looks like he's going to float away on the wind at any moment. He's too slow to be effective defending the PG spot, and too long and not strong enough to protect the ball on the offensive side at PG. Can't shoot, so no SG for him and is too wispy for SF, he will get destroyed. If he does find a spot in this league permanently, it won't be a conventional role and it will be a tough road for him.

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        #4 Red94


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          Posted 15 January 2015 - 02:11 PM


          New post: Defensive breakdowns in the Houston Rockets' loss to the Orlando Magic
          By: Rahat Huq

          From 3:18 in the fourth quarter, until the 1:20 mark, among their possessions, the Magic ran the following four sequences.












          and then the dagger:




          After the Frye '3', Orlando went up four, putting the game out of reach.  What the hell happened?


          All four of the shot attempts were undeterred, resulting from some defensive miscue of some sort.  If that happens at the tail end of a playoff game, forget about even getting out of the first round, much less winning a title.


          On the Gordon drive, after the Magic run a double pick on Houston's bigs, Motiejunas is in quick sand and Howard is late to recover.  On the first Payton drive, Beverley and Howard seem like they don't know what they want to do, with Howard inexplicably shifting over to rotate to the big, when Beverley is exposed on the baseline.  WTF?  The smart play there would have been to cut off Payton on the baseline, either trapping him, or sending Beverley to rotate to the big man.  This one wasn't Beverley's fault.


          Next, Motiejunas ends up switched onto Payton somehow in transition, having no chance one on one with the guard.  Howard's just watching after Payton beats his 'mate, even though his man has leaked out and isn't a threat anymore.  Howard should have collapsed to help out realizing Motiejunas would not be able to stay with the speedy guard.


          The last play might have been the most egregious.




          How does that even happen?  Channing Frye's entire existence is predicated upon standing at the three point line waiting for a shot.


          Screenshot 2015-01-15 08.05.38


          See the yellow arrows?  There should be a red arrow in the vicinity of each of them.  Then why are there three red arrows bunched up in the corner next to two Magic players?  Because James Harden isn't guarding anyone.


          For a team that's talked a big talk about defensive focus this year, performances like last night's won't fly.  They looked a lot more like the team that got embarrassed by the Blazers in the playoffs than the stellar unit they've been this season.  Hopefully, the coaches will show the guys the tape and they'll learn from their mistakes because this won't cut it.  You can miss shots, you can even take bad ones, but you can't let the other team get wide open looks like this late in the game if you want to win a title.

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          #5 Mario Peña

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          Posted 15 January 2015 - 05:01 PM

          Good post Rahat, thanks for breaking it down since I missed the game.

          That is some bad defense I agree. Going back to late December there has been a string of loses (and a few wins) where opposing teams make large runs in the fourth and to me this is not a good development. I know there was talk that this would be Harden's year and on the surface it looks great but I still think there is a disappointing first or second round exit and next year he will finally get it. But yes, aside from Harden this team looks like they are not always on the same page lately.

          I'm glad Beverly is sitting tonight instead of trying to go at 50% or whatever.
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          How sweet it is!

          #6 thejohnnygold



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          Posted 15 January 2015 - 08:55 PM

          It was a tough game and there isn't much defense for our performance.  I was impressed with Orlando's guys.  Our defense was bad, but Peyton, Oladipo, Vucevic, and Frye all had a hand in making it look as bad as it did.


          Josh Smith.  0-4 from deep.  Not what we are looking for.  However, I specifically recall on Smith's first three point attempt Brewer (who was bringing it up on a semi-fast break) passing him the ball and telling him, "Shoot it!", as Brewer broke towards the rim for the rebound (which he nearly got).  I don't know for sure if that means the team is on board with him jacking threes, but it seems that they are.  I don't mind 1-2 a game (especially if they are from the corner or wide open), but making it a point to get him the ball and have him shoot a 3 early in the shot clock doesn't seem optimal at all.


          I have been preaching patience in this area, but perhaps I am wrong in thinking Smith will limit his 3 pt. shooting.  :(


          Also, the ghost of Omer Asik is haunting Dwight.  More and more, I see him fumble-bumble a pass that hits him in the hands (usually in great position for a dunk/lay-up).  I almost want to see McHale bench him for a game or two to send a message--get your head in the game!!!

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