Post-game interviews: 1.27.12

Great insight from Kevin McHale into Chase Budinger’s mindset and preparation during his stint on the bench these past few weeks.

The big story from tonight wasn’t that the Rockets won by nearly 30 but rather that Chase came out of his coma, responding to the call in Kevin Martin’s absence.  It was a welcome sight in the broader scheme of things.  While the team took off immediately upon coach McHale’s shortening of the rotation, many wondered if an 8-man unit was enough; in a season like this one, a shortened bench could prove disastrous down the stretch.  It’s imperative for Houston to get production from Budinger to keep the other wing players fresh.

Speaking of wings, Courtney Lee was not offered an extension by the team on Wednesday, the deadline for deals of that nature.  I asked Courtney about that situation.

He’ll be restricted this summer, so the Rockets will have the opportunity to match any offer.  However, especially taking into consideration his production with the Magic, I think teams are aware of Lee’s value.  We might have another Brooks/Lowry situation on our hands.  Recall that two summers ago, Cleveland signed Kyle Lowry to the $5.75/year deal he is now enjoying with the Rockets, forcing Houston to match and later, make a decision on Aaron Brooks.  Not wanting to have big money tied up in one position, Morey dealt Brooks to the Phoenix Suns, bringing back Goran Dragic who is still under club control [on a cheap deal.]

With starting guard Kevin Martin due close to $13million next season, a similar decision will have to be made.  I for one have maintained for some time, with the team’s win/loss in Martin’s absence as evidence, that Lee is more than capable as a replacement and perhaps a better fit at starter for the long-term.  If the team can move Martin for frontcourt help, I would more than welcome that transaction.

I wasn’t going to upload this clip after I got it but upon review, this was actually pretty interesting.  It gives a lot of insight into the mind of a mature, high IQ basketball player.  I’ve personally never given any thought to someone taking this approach; the only adage you ever really hear with regards to in-game shooting is the old “once you see it go in [via dunk/free throw], everything opens up.”  But to try to provide other production, as a means of warming up, before taking a shot is really interesting.  It’s small things like this that separate the Patrick Pattersons of basketball from the Jordan Hills; it’s how mental awareness can prove greater than physical gifts.  If you’re a general manager, with jobs always on the line, and you hear something like this in a pre-draft interview, in my opinion, it stands out.  Those small things are what win games.  (Sorry for going off on one of my tangents, I know this is supposed to be a light-hearted post-game recap; I’ll touch more on the above on Monday.)

Nothing too interesting there, but it’s John Wall so I had to get something.  Meh.

What I really wanted to ask him was, “did Carrol Dawson and Rudy T. give you a guarantee that they would select you with one of their three first round draft picks?  Rashard, the people want to know.”  But I choked and couldn’t do it; I couldn’t pull a Jim Gray.  (For those too young to remember, the story goes, per Lewis, that the teenager was given a guarantee by the team prior to the 1998 draft that they would select him in the first round.  They didn’t and now the ‘green room’ screening process is a lot different.)

Final thought: Andray Blatche was singing this, for a good two minutes in the lockerroom.  I already hated the song before but now, I’ll never be able to shake it from my memory.

That’s all for today folks, I hope you enjoyed it.  I’ll be back at Toyota Center tomorrow night so tweet me your questions.  Take care.


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