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@  thejohnnygold : (31 December 2016 - 12:01 AM) I imagine Brewer has been "dangling" ever since he signed that last contract. I saw some rumor that Kosta Koufos is at the top of our list for trade targets right now. Those are words I never wanted to hear :lol:
@  majik19 : (30 December 2016 - 08:46 PM) found this hilarious: Zach Lowe of ESPN reports that Houston has been "dangling" Corey Brewer in trade talks, who could provide Sacramento with another wing player in case it loses out on Rudy Gay at some point. But he also noted that Brewer's name hasn't drawn much traction.
@  slick shoes : (28 December 2016 - 07:47 PM) DMo working out for the Lakers per ESPN. I wouldn't hate it, but don't see him there long term for some reason.
@  thejohnnygold : (23 December 2016 - 10:07 PM) Per Tom Haberstroh: Pop said he doesn't watch game tape on the opponent this time of year. "Except for the Rockets. Harden is ridiculous." :)
@  DenverRocket : (20 December 2016 - 12:06 AM) Looks like Clint will be out for a while, MRI revealed micro-fracture of the left fib: http://www.lequipe.f...t-capela/761879
@  JY86er : (19 December 2016 - 03:29 PM) Did he fail the Rockets' physical?
@  majik19 : (16 December 2016 - 02:54 AM) you mean UNrestricted Free Agent.
@  DenverRocket : (15 December 2016 - 11:40 PM) WTF, now we've renounced D-Mo and allowed him to become an RFA! https://twitter.com/...540893321687041
@  thejohnnygold : (10 December 2016 - 04:32 PM) I like that :)
@  redfaithful : (10 December 2016 - 12:47 PM) D'Antoni's remark about Beverly's "winning spirit" in numbers: Rockets 10-2 since PB returned
@  DenverRocket : (09 December 2016 - 04:55 PM) Agreement finally reached apparently, 4yrs @ 35m http://www.espn.com/...-four-year-deal
@  DenverRocket : (07 December 2016 - 09:06 PM) Maybe it is salvageable after all? http://www.espn.com/...nce-offer-sheet
@  ale11 : (07 December 2016 - 08:20 PM) ditto, great read :)
@  DenverRocket : (07 December 2016 - 07:02 PM) Great read, thanks!
@  thejohnnygold : (07 December 2016 - 04:09 PM) Possibly the best article about Morey and what goes into his process. If the balance between subjective and objective decision-making intrigues you then read this article. LINK
@  thejohnnygold : (06 December 2016 - 11:48 PM) Bad, D-Mo! Bad!
@  slick shoes : (06 December 2016 - 07:01 PM) We are in the power position at this point. He can continue to sit out and not get paid while we continue to play without him and build a team that doesn't include him while controlling any move(s) he wants to make. Not smart.
@  DenverRocket : (06 December 2016 - 06:17 PM) Wow! Motiejunas' agent, B.J. Armstrong: "We have our rights. We're not going to show up. We'll see what happens. We'll see what the Rockets do."
@  DenverRocket : (06 December 2016 - 05:40 PM) Rockets could return Motiejunas to restricted free agent status. Working through what happened.
@  DenverRocket : (06 December 2016 - 05:34 PM) According to Feigen: Donatas Motiejunas was a no show for his physical this morning, source said. Rockets weighing options.


The keys to the Houston Rockets' season: #2 the Dwight Howard maintenance plan or, how i learned to stop worrying and embrace Clint Capela

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 31 July 2015 - 03:19 AM

    New post: The keys to the Houston Rockets' season: #2 the Dwight Howard maintenance plan or, how i learned to stop worrying and embrace Clint Capela
    By: Rahat Huq

    Clint Capela was the greatest postseason revelation in Rockets history since Rudy T. invented the concept of the modern day stretch 4, sliding Robert Horry up into Chucky Brown's spot in the lineup.  Okay, maybe not.  But anyone who watched this team last year, from the regular season into the playoffs was equally in shock over Capela's insertion into the postseason rotation, and subsequent contributions.  Like, this guy played like a total of seven or eight minutes the entire year and then promptly went nuts in the real games, catching lobs and blocking shots like he didn't know what was at stake.  Because, as Forrest Walker put it later, Capela literally didn't know the difference or that there was any difference from the regular year.


    But of course, the Dwight Howard maintenance plan is primarily about its namesake, Dwight Howard.  There isn't really much left to debate over its efficacy: Howard came back fresh and dominant after sitting out over half the year last season.  And there isn't much room for debate, probably, over its necessity: there's nothing more important to Houston's title hopes than a fresh and spry Dwight Howard; perhaps no force in the league more disruptive than a healthy Dwight Howard.  And there's historical precedent: see The Dwyane Wade Maintenance Plan (2014-2015) (Heat rest Wade for half the year), also see The Tim Duncan Maintenance Plan (2010-2015) (Spurs rest Duncan for half the decade).  But would Howard be willing to comply?


    Keeping Howard fresh, of course, doesn't mean sitting him out half the year like what happened last season.  It just means limiting his minutes, and holding him out of back to backs, and meaningless affairs against the dregs of the league.  While Houston somehow got by with just Motiejunas in Howard's absence last season, they should be well equipped this year due to the expected emergence of the aforementioned Capela.  In a perfect world, I'd split the two centers' minutes evenly at 24 minutes a game each, giving Capela all the minutes he can handle in the back to backs.  That would keep Howard rested and fast-track Capela's development for Houston's future.  Thanks to Capela, Houston can enjoy 48 minutes of rim protection, and maybe as equally important, 48 minutes of the same offensive sets due to Capela's surprising ability, displayed last postseason, to catch on the roll and finish at the rim.


    What's best for the team's aspirations, though, may not be best for Howard's pecuniary interests, particularly in what is essentially a contract year due to Howard's ability to opt out of his contract.  2016 will be Howard's last chance at a mega payday, just in time when half the league is expected to be armed with buckets of cash.  This is where self-awareness is key, at least when weighed against the temptations of personal ambition.  Can Dwight be convinced that rest is what's best for his body, and that he can't sustain the pounding of the regular 82-game gruel?  Or will he come into camp, motivated to prove he can still play big minutes and perform at a high level, like in his younger years?  I wouldn't blame Dwight at all if the latter statement is an accurate description of his immediate frame of mind.  Who here could fault a man, one not yet even 30 years old, for wanting more and not settling in the prime of his earning potential?  If Howard's recent past is any indication, it might be likely he'll push once more before giving in - he convinced himself he could be effective in the post, when that wasn't necessary, and really wasn't good for his game or for his team.  But who here can even say with any degree of surety that a minutes restriction is what's best for Dwight?  It may be best for the Rockets to hedge their bets, but what if he actually can stay healthy?


    Another consequence of the Dwight Howard Maintenance Plan: less individual output, more uncertainty on the market, and greater leverage at the bargaining table in 2016 when Houston will need every penny in its purse, and by extension to keep Dwight for less, when it makes its push for Kevin Durant.


    In the next installment, I'll discuss the most important factor heading into the Rockets' season: Ty Lawson

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    #2 majik19


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      Posted 31 July 2015 - 03:49 AM

      I would argue that it is actually best for Dwight to limit his minutes:

      1) Helps him stay healthy. With the available cap space next year, the only way he doesn't get a max if he isn't healthy. I have no doubt about this.

      2) Keeps him fresh for playoffs, when he can dominate and make a great "last impression" on other teams

      3) Will probably keep him more efficient as well - his per-36 numbers will probably be better (for the stat-savvy teams)

      4) It probably doesn't hurt his chances at making the Allstar team or even an All-NBA team (though it would take him out of the running for DPOY and such). 

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      #3 jz13



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        Posted 31 July 2015 - 02:12 PM

        A Tim Duncan like plan is what Howard needs:


        1) Limit his typical rotation minutes.  Something like 6-6-6-8 would be ideal.  This will allow him to play the most important minutes of any basketball game - the start and finish of each half.  It's also plenty of minutes to build chemistry with the new Harden/Lawson driven offense.

        2) Flex his minutes up and down.  When we play the real contenders (Warriors, Spurs, Clips, Thunder, Memphis, Cavs, Atlanta?, Bulls?), flex up.  It's psychologically important for the post season to beat these teams during the regular season.  When we play the bottom tier, flex down. 

        3) Take spot games off, especially some back to backs.

        4)  Be prepared to throw in the (Howard) towel early.  When there's a 20 point deficit in the second half, sit him.  Pop does this with his aging stars all the time.  The improved odds of the comeback with Howard on the floor aren't worth the grind.  


        McHale's a real competitor - it's not in his nature to do this.  It's going to take a convincing Morey spreadsheet to show him the likely statistical outcome for both the regular season and playoffs.

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        #4 thenit


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          Posted 01 August 2015 - 04:09 AM

          Problem with limiting his minutes in a contract year when he hasn't turned 30 yet for his one last big contract, I just can't see him being happy playing 25-28 minutes. I think he will want minimum of 30+

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          #5 Losthief


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          Posted 01 August 2015 - 05:48 AM

          Well he's going to the USAB mini-camp (Olympics) which he skipped in 2012 for back surgery. Can take this one of two ways. A) He's in denial/oblivious of needing to restrict his minutes or B ) He is actually recovered/healthy.


          Now...outside of the last couple of years with the back and knee he has been a stud physically both in health and athleticism. He's not yet 30. I'm willing to take a wait and see approach as to whether or not he can be healthy for a full season. His back got messed up which he then played through which probably hurt his knees. (I went the opposite hurt knees to back, but those two things are definitely connected compensation wise). So.....I'm scared is A) but hoping its B ). Good news is that even when fully healthy and in his prime the dude only played roughly 30-32  minutes a game during regular season (Orlando)...so...getting him to buy into a 30 or less minute restriction might not be impossible even in a contract year.

          Edited by Losthief, 01 August 2015 - 05:49 AM.

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          I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Skilled

          #6 Buckko


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            Posted 26 September 2015 - 08:48 PM

            Dwight has shown before he is willing to sacrifice money, touches, and stats for the betterment of the team and the chance at a championship. I see no reason why he wouldn't sacrifice some a few minutes and some games to be physically prepared for the best shot at a championship. I think he would be much more willing to take games off to rest than be out of games trying to rehab nagging injuries.

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            #7 rockets best fan

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            Posted 27 September 2015 - 05:12 PM

            I wasn't going to touch this thread because I disagree with the assessment of D12's physical abilities. I do believe in a maintenance plans benefit and the need for us to put D-12 on one, but you have to excuse me when it comes to the assumed fact that D-12's abilities are about to fall off a cliff. I like Capela, but this isn't about him or his potential. this is about Dwight's assumed physical decline. everyone assumes that because he already has some miles on the engine that the car is about to self destruct. granted he did come straight from HS so their is extra wear and tear, but the man isn't even 30 and some of you are already looking at his retirement plan. the root question appears to be (how long can Dwight's body last under the physical strain of the NBA based on the physical nature of his skillset?) first and foremost each of you would have to admit along with myself that a good maintenance plan will prolong this process. how long? its hard to say, but there's no denying it's effectiveness in prolonging the career of a big man.  for those of you who disagree with my view........put a number on it. how long will D-12 last? 3 years? 5 years?..........1?. at this point there is no wrong answer because none of us can see the future (even though my magic 8 ball is pretty reliable :lol: ) I say if we get a good maintenance plan in place starting this year D-12 has 5 dominant years left before his decline would warrant us replacing him as starter. he will last longer in the league, but he will have declined to the point of no longer being a star.......just a good player. something along the lines of what Tyson Chandler is now. by then Capela will be more than ready. 2nd root question.........is D-12 worth the contract he will command next summer base on what you believe his effectiveness will be for the duration of that contract? D-12 will play this year so assuming a 4 year deal is what he is seeking come next summer his effectiveness over the next 5 years is what we are really looking at. since the Rockets are already sending out news that there will be reduced minutes for their players overall I will  work under the assumption that we will get a good maintenance plan in place starting this year. even the most critical of you guys would have to admit there are probably 3 dominant years left under these conditions. if that be the case it would force us into absorbing 2 mediocre years within D-12's next contract. are the 2 dominant years he has worth that kind of back end? YES.........YES. I believe they are. unless a chance at A. Davis falls into our lap riding out D-12's good years is in our best interest. I don't believe things will play out like this, but in the interest of objectivity this is probably the worst case scenario and even under this extreme case D-12 is still worth it. top flight big men don't grow on trees. no use getting off the surf board before the wave crashes onto the shore. 

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            My new years resolution.....drink that special bottle of wine, take your son on that fishing trip, live each day as if it were my last because everyday of LIFE is special B)

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