The Rockets Daily – April 19, 2013

AntiheroesHenry Abbott (TrueHoop) seconds Rahat’s motion for the Rockets to abandon James Harden’s fruitless isolation plays at the end of close games:

Hero Ball, or isolating your best player with the ball and letting him create for himself, is one of those things that looks dumber with time. Not long ago there was no way to know if it was the best approach or not. Increasingly, though, the evidence is making clear it’s far better to attack the defense at its weakest. (Hero Ball does the opposite.)

So, why are the Rockets, such a smart team, using this approach?

Most Valuable AssetBill Simmons (Grantland) has fired up the first half of his annual trade value column. He acknowledged that Lin dropped out of his top 50 from last year (must be something about the jersey he’s wearing),  Omer Asik just barely didn’t make the cut, and Chandler Parsons weighed in at no. 48 with a great idea for a TV show:

Meanwhile, Parsons has been doing an eerie Ryan Anderson impersonation for one-eighth the price. Even better, he inspired this e-mail from Nick in Bloomington:

“I’ve been thinking of an idea for a TV show that would air during the NBA offseason. It’s a sitcom called Launchpad, and it stars Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, and James Harden as three buddies who all live in a Houston apartment together and Omer Asik as their wacky neighbor. All my friends say that they would watch the hell out of this show.”

How did Nick miss out on a “with Dork Elvis as their landlord” joke there? The sabermetric Stanley Roper! He could have cracked jokes like “I don’t know what’s later — Chandler’s rent checks, or Chandler’s help D on corner 3s!” and then turned to the camera for the extra laugh. I’d totally watch Launchpad as an animated series. Maybe there’s still time.

Maybe CSN would pick it up and air it everywhere but Houston.

Opposition Research – OKC blog Welcome To Loud City takes an end-of-season overview of the decision to trade James Harden. Verdict? Rockets did good:

Yes, the Thunder have a better record this season but that is a short term achievement. In the long term the Thunder will be worse without James Harden. I was very bullish on what Harden’s upside could ultimately be in the NBA and he has proven me dead wrong. Harden went from being a pretty good player to being a impact All-Star player who is proving that the gap between him and Westbrook is a lot closer than people thought. The action of trading Harden has resulted in more discussion about winners and losers. In the present the reaction is that Thunder have not missed a step but once the off season hits and Kevin Martin is wearing a different jersey and Jeremy Lamb continues to find his way in the NBA the reaction can change greatly.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Rockets? Matt Cianfrone at Hickory-High, that’s who:

If you want a team that “no one should want to face” check out the Rockets where great role players like Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik surround a superstar in James Harden and form an elite offense. Or to Chicago where for all we know Derrick Rose will reappear for the playoffs to join Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and an elite defense. Those are the dangerous teams.

Not the Lakers or Celtics.

All they are is old and not very good.

Rocket ManVia Hardwood Paroxysm, a real-live NASA astronaut wished the Rockets luck before the Lakers game, but they let him down:

There’s still a chance to do him proud in the playoffs.

Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to [email protected] or message me on Twitter @EbyNews.

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Total comments: 6
  • ale11 says 1 week ago

    I have to second 2016 on this one: Omer Asik is our most important player. I know, Harden makes more impact in marketing, and fans love All-Star players, but we can score without him. On the other hand, we can't stop ANYBODY without Asik, that's a fact, whether we like it or not. I hope Harden grows eventually in a reliable player consistently who doesn't depend much on whether he is getting to the line or not.

  • myjohnlai says 1 week ago

    Not to forget Greg Smith, He's young and quick. His catch and right-on-your-face dunk is pretty awesome.

  • 2016Champions says 1 week ago

    I think Asik is the most valuable Rockets player. He helps our defense more than Harden helps our offense.

    Some of you guys are being a little ridiculous though, I understand the Harden disappointment but lets be real, Harden is our best offensive player and it's not even close.

  • Cooper says 1 week ago If they made parsons the number one option his fg% would drop dramatically and turnovers would increase.
  • myjohnlai says 1 week ago

    I always wonder why wouldn't any writer compare the shooting percentage of Harden, Chandler Parson and Jeremy Lin.

    Jeremy shot 44.1%. James Harden shot 43.8%. Chandler Parson shot 48.6%

    Harden's specialty is to get foul calls and get to the foul line but recently he's not getting much calls and in consequence he missed lots of shots and turned over the ball. Half of Harden's assists came from passing to teammates with a few seconds left in the shot clock after dribbling close to 20 seconds.

    Chandler Parson shot over 48% from the field. Chandler shot 38.5% in 3 point range comparing to Harden's 36.8%.

    The recent games of the rockets w/o Harden were against the Clippers and the Magic. The rockets won all these two games. In fact the team played better without Harden hogging the ball with his ISO game.

  • myjohnlai says 1 week ago

    The myth that Harden is the best rocket player is debatable. He was disappointing at large. His turnover rate is horrendous. His defense is deplorable. Just wonder why wouldn't anyone mention this.
    He turned over the ball more than Lin.
    He played no defense at large but he made attempts to steal.
    Anything on statistics he will try and no more than that.
    He's uniquely distinguished from the team. Even he claimed to be the team leader but the rockets players did not seem to care.
    The rockets seemed to do better w/o him after the All-Star games.
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Read previous post:
With all that past us, looking ahead to OKC
The Rockets Daily – April 18, 2013
The day after, and three days away: Reflecting upon Houston’s complete collapse