Rockets Daily: Monday, September 20th, 2010

  • The number 24 has never caused so much unrest in the city of Houston (except for in the cases of those Houstonians who absolutely hate Kiefer Sutherland). Since the Rockets’ announcement that Yao Ming would play no more than 24 minutes in any regular season game, critics have gone as far as calling the team “irresponsible” for playing someone so “frail”. For CBS Sports’ NBA Facts & Rumors blog, Royce Young even listed Yao on his list of players whose production he looks for to drop off next season (I suppose he means from his statistical averages and not his actual numbers from last year): “I think it’s pretty much accepted that the great days of Yao Ming are probably passed. Every season but his rookie year, he’s averaged over 30 minutes a game. Now with only 24 at his disposal, putting up anything near his career averages of 19.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg will be difficult. He can still have a stellar statistical year in terms of per 36 minutes and per 48 minutes, but as far as being one of the top two or three dominant big men in the league, he may have to settle for really, really tall role player.” While claims of Yao’s diminished role won’t lose any traction as respected bloggers wonder if the huge man would be better suited coming off of the pine, The Dream Shake‘s Tom Martin wants to have a more settled, clearer idea on why our big fella may be missing out on unnecessary games: “I’m no doctor, as I’ve pointed out, but there’s no reason to suddenly throw back-to-backs into the Keep Yao Healthy Equation. It’s too cautious, and it provokes headaches for everyone involved, from Coach Adelman to fans who thought they’d get to see, at the very least, twenty minutes of Yao’s return to basketball.”
  • Kyle Fesenko likes the Houston Rockets. Or, at least, he’s impressed with the team and its presentation. Hmmm… sounds familiar. No. This team can’t take that kind of heartbreak again. Don’t tempt us like that again, Kyrylo. Please, have some decency.
  • As it appears, the Denver Nuggets front-office and ownership have finally come around to the idea of dealing the team’s best player and its closest thing to a local icon (I wonder what took so long). The primary vulture hovering around the rotting corpse of Melo’s relationship with the team that drafted him seems to be the New Jersey Nets, still fresh off of the scents of all the talents that were brought to South Beach (I’m going to venture that I can probably use that phrase 55 more times before I stop chuckling. As for readers, I am sorry). Could a Melo-Lopez-Harris triumvirate (that probably wouldn’t be possible given that Harris would probably be involved in a deal) contend on an East coast populated by Big(ger) Threes? With Avery Johnson and Rod Thorn in tow, the answer is an emphatic “maybe”, a thought that doesn’t seem so inspiring when the Nets are sure to unload all of its potential-laden talent to Denver in exchange for the Inefficient One. It seems, in the post-Decision era, machinations and collusion are necessary to build even the paper tigers.
  • Now that he is not a member of the Utah Jazz, I can appreciate exactly what makes Carlos Boozer’s beard so great. This video makes it even easier. Some of my favorite reasons include that it does not look like Rick Ross’ (although I think this would make Boozer’s beard much better), that he claims the thing under his lips can be accurately called the “triangle”, and that even a beard giant like himself can admit that we all pale in comparison to Baron Davis and his facial coif, which has a Twitter profile. The 2010-11 Chicago Bulls will be a 1970′s-esque facial hair reclamation project, as Derrick Rose will further enhance his pencil-stache and Joakim Noah will continue his “I listen to a lot of Devin the Dude”-fuzz.
  • Hakeem Olajuwon did not play his entire career with the Houston Rockets, a fact that should make everyone reading this sad. His last year was spent trying to sell tickets in another country, witness to the beginning of the end of the spurious, hilariously short Vince Carter reign. Sorry, Hakeem. If anyone did, you deserved better. Pro Hoops Journal reminds us of a year the Rockets and its fans would rather have erased from our memories, Charlie-Kaufman-style.
  • Steve Novak probably has the prettiest shot that you or I have ever seen. His release is quick and perfect, and his results are insane. It’s a shame that he’s unmistakably awful at literally every other facet of basketball. Mr. Novak finds himself embroiled in a minutes-battle with Brian Cardinal and Bobby Simmons because of Tim Thomas leaving the team to take care of his sick wife (our hopes and thoughts, Mr. Thomas). As much as this sounds like the set-up to an NBA insider’s idea of a bad joke, Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game finds himself judging these venerable candidates’ pros and (mostly) cons, trying to decide where to burn a few minutes every other night this season.
  • Are you among those who thinks that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will both be less effective next year because neither will be able to drive as much? Past team-ups of players who primarily drive to the rim tend to show that effect, according to the Basketball-Reference blog. It’s important to note that most of these teammate pairings weren’t anywhere near this one in talent level, and the one that was (Jerry West and Gail Goodrich meeting up on the 1971 Los Angeles Lakers) ended in a ring (in the second year, though).
  • Always Miller Time thinks the Houston Rockets has one of the five best starting lineups in the league. That does it: Yao has to start because otherwise, the Rockets will lose its place on this list. And that would be devastating.
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