Huq’s Pen: Wrapping things up

  • I’m not concerned at all about the loss last night as the Rockets were facing a competent team without three of their starters.  They managed to hang tough and that’s really all you can ask for when playing under such circumstances.
  • Omer Asik had one of the best games of his career last night, controlling the boards in Dwight Howard’s absence.  His performance led me to note my continued disbelief over the lack of interest he garnered on the open trade market though after giving it more thought, I take back that stance.  I think.  In a vacuum, my first inclination is to say that yes, elite rim protection and rebounding presence is worth $15million (and the associated acquiescence of assets needed for acquisition).  But when that comes at a price of horrendous offense in a world where surprisingly, most teams already have competent options at the ’5′, maybe it’s not worth it.
  • With nine games remaining, and a three game cushion over the fifth seeded Blazers, my inclination is to suggest that we simply sit our starters for the duration.  It’s just not worth risking future injuries.  I know that opinion may not be characterized by the bravado a typical sports fan would like to see espoused but the Howard and Beverley injuries really put a scare in my heart.  At the least, if Howard’s out, I don’t see the point in playing Harden against good teams, like last night, when it’s a likely loss anyway.  You’d hate to see a sprained ankle or something else similar suffered in these last few weeks.  I’d suit him up against the bad teams to try and nab the low-hanging fruit.
  • The news on Beverley was unequivocally the best I’ve heard since receiving my bar results last November, but I’m naturally concerned about his level of play upon return.  There is a difference between being “healthy enough to play” and “being fine tuned enough to chase Steph Curry.”
  • I am trying to push it to the back of my mind but this Dwight Howard situation is extremely concerning.
  • I read Zach Lowe’s fantastic piece on Anthony Davis from yesterday, leading me to some thoughts: At the year’s beginning, I asked how many years you all thought would lapse until Davis surpassed Dwight Howard.  Most responded that it would be at least a few more years.  Glancing at the numbers, I think we can all agree now that Davis has unequivocally already passed Howard.  And that’s not meant as an indictment on Howard as Davis might already be a top-5 player in this league, as Lowe suggests, but its a depressing proposition when taking into consideration the fact that a) Howard has already peaked and is on the decline and b) Howard already is more likely to not contribute in big games than he is to dominate.
  • I know I sound incredibly ungrateful right now and so I want to clarify: I’m extremely grateful to have Howard.  But a part of me feels extreme bitterness regarding the realities of the NBA in that a team like the Pelicans, which has pretty much bumbled its way through every major personnel decision its made, can fall ass backwards into a generational superstar, just on the sheer dumb luck of a few bounces of a lucky ping pong ball.  Meanwhile, we endured years of mediocrity leading up the eventual heist of James Harden, a transcendent talent in his own right, but not one reaching the level to which Davis will eventually ascend.  Only in basketball does one player matter so much.

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Total comments: 12
  • Rahat Huq says 4 months ago

    He's got potential, but wow. The hype is unbelievable.

    A 27 PER at age 21 isn't hype. It's real; he's already arrived.

  • rockets best fan says 4 months ago

    there is no doubt about Davis in my mind. a monster is growing in N.O. he's not fully polished yet, but WOW. I watch him at Kentucky along with T-Jones and MKG. He reminds me of a young DREAM.

  • Buckko says 4 months ago Right now Dwight is still the better defensive player so don't get too crazy. I have to admit, considering the 3pt trend and Davis being a good midrange shooter and experimenting from downtown from time to time. Does anyone see a possibility of AD becoming the Ultimate Power Forward, like a Garnett, Kevin love hybrid? Probably not as accurate as love but you get the idea.
  • uojoe82 says 4 months ago

    The brow is a more polished KG?

    Let's calm down. Davis is not at the level of a prime KG or Duncan as some fans and analysts are saying. Lol.



    The Brow is 21 years old. Of course he isnt on the same level of a prime KG or Duncan. But KG and Duncan weren't at there primes when they weren't 21.

    Look at the Brow's first two years compared to KG's first two years. There age, games played, and MPG are comparable so it makes comparing them pretty easy.

    Davis Season Age GP Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals TO's 2012-13 19 64 28.84375 13.5 8.2 1 1.8 1.2 1.4 2013-14 20 64 35.8 21.3 10.3 1.6 2.9 1.4 1.7 Advanced TS % Ortg Drtg OWS DWS PER 2012-13 0.559 113 104 3.7 2.4 21.7 2013-14 0.585 119 104 7.4 3.1 27 Garnett Season Age GP Minutes Points Rebounds Assists Blocks Steals TO's 1995-96 19 80 28.7 10.4 6.3 1.8 1.6 1.1 1.4 1996-97 20 77 38.9 17 8 3.1 2.1 1.4 2.3 Advanced TS % Ortg Drtg OWS DWS PER 2012-13 0.522 107 107 1.8 2.6 15.8 2013-14 0.537 107 105 3.4 3.9 18.2

    Brow beats KG in every category, both standard and advanced. The Brow is far superior of a player KG was in his first 2 years.

  • Sir Thursday says 4 months ago

    I would be wary of resting our starters too much. We still need to make sure that we have HCA in the first round, and on last night's performance I really wouldn't have confidence that our backups could win the games we need to stay ahead of Portland (make no mistake, while 3 games ahead with 9 to play is a comfortable cushion, it is far from a sure thing). By all means limit their minutes slightly, but they do need to make sure they keep winning games.

    I also don't see where you're getting that "Davis has unequivocally already passed Howard". The article paints a picture of a really good player who still has some significant flaws in his game, particularly in areas where Howard is strong (comfortableness with contact, experience of NBA defensive schemes). The raw numbers are impressive but not particularly relevant to determining who is the better player, since the value of both is dominated by their defensive impact (and that doesn't really show up in the box score). As the article points out, the team is not any better defensively with Davis on or off the floor. IMO. There's certainly an argument to be had about the respective value of the two players, but it is far from clear cut in either direction.


  • timetodienow1234567 says 4 months ago He's got potential, but wow. The hype is unbelievable.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 4 months ago The brow is a more polished KG?

    Let's calm down. Davis is not at the level of a prime KG or Duncan as some fans and analysts are saying. Lol.
  • uojoe82 says 4 months ago

    I too think that the Rockets should limit the starter's minutes going into the playoffs. Canaan's play last night was atrocious. Even playing against an undrafted rookie FA in Gutierrez he looked bad. After the Clipper's game the other night many on this forum wrote that Canaan should be playing ahead of Lin or that he was better than Lin but Lin's contract was getting Lin minutes. If Canaan was better than Lin then Canaan wouldve been a first round pick.

    There has been too much hype on Canaan lately. After the draft Rockets fans celebrated the Canaan pick as if Morey and the Rockets found the next Damian Lillard. People forget that the Draft class last year was terribly weak and no rookie has been great this year. Canaan is a borderline NBA player. As your third or even fourth PG he's fine. If he is supposed to play backup PG minutes then your screwed. Look at the backup PG in the western conference playoff picture this year.

    Reggie Jackson, Steve Blake, Patty Mills, Mo Williams, Darren Collison/Jamal Crawford, Do you really think Canaan is on that level.

    The D12 injury concerns me too. Luckily the Rockets have a top 10 center in Asik to replace Howard so the drop off isnt too bad. However for as great as Asik is on D and on the boards he is equally as bad on offense. I cant remember any player in the NBA who has more trouble catching the ball than Asik. Maybe Harden and Lin can just drive and hand the ball to Asik under the hoop.

    Right now I'd take the Brow over D12. The Brow is electrifying and offensively a threat. On defense he very active and intimidating. D12 is only good on defense when the action comes to him. The Brow reminds me of a more polished Garnett and I can only imagine what he's going to be like in a couple years.

    The Beverley injury is still a major concern for me. Even if he comes back Im certain he wont be the same. He will still be aggressive but is his knees going to be able to do what his mind wants them to do? Im sure that the PG's in the west are excited about the prospect of going at a hobbled Beverley. I keep thinking that when he comes back he will spend most of his time in foul trouble.

  • Cooper says 4 months ago

    Davis is going to be better than Dwight and might be the best player in the league in 2-3years but isn't quite there yet maybe part of it is the roster around and Ryan Anderson missing most the season him but it seems they pellies should have been better this year with Davis putting up those kind of numbers.

  • feelingsupersonic says 4 months ago

    I agree that resting key rotation players and getting bench players minutes would be the way to go, I guess we'll wait and see. I think holding Howard out and the approach signals they are resting him. I don't know if they can hold Harden off the court, he seems young and headstrong.

    As to Beverley I would direct you all to the interview he did on 790AM yesterday. It would seem that next Monday we will know at what level of play he will return to the court with.

    Davis was always going to be greater than Howard but there is a big picture. Davis lives in a vacuum with no pressure and Howard has experience and is one of the NBA's biggest stars. Howard may depreciate athletically but his basketball acumen is increasing and will increase. The youngest stars don't win, it takes a wily old vet to lead a team deep in the post season.

    Also, I think Asik is staying.

  • dbd says 4 months ago

    Even Spurs and Heat rested Parker, Duncan, LeBron. So, no shame in resting our stars.

    Parsons has been playing too much. He really really need a rest. And rest Harden as well.

    While doing this, we should put them in different line ups and make all bench players feel comfortable.

    Take a look last night line up, understandably very out of sync since they didn't play together much.

    I don't have to check the numbers, I saw two games we had against Pelicans, and it was very clear who is a better center.

    Scary, how much better Anthony Davis will be in the future.

  • Steven says 4 months ago If you believe that the Pelicans got Davis by sheer luck, I have some corner lots that I'd like to sell you on the moon. Stern gave Davis to NO in order to persuade/assure (depending on time) that the NBA is a good investment for his $300+ M.