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Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets Preseason Report 2014 posted by Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets reaching the first round of the playoffs, lost to Portland in an overtime game, and 0.9 seconds made all the difference. The offseason was supposed to turn things around for the Rockets, but GM Daryl Morey might have been too ambitious. Morey focused on getting Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony out of free agency. Due to this, the team ended up losing Chandler Parsons. However, the team managed to acquire Alonzon Gee and Trevor Ariza at a cheap cost. The Rockets were able to take advantage of the second round and the late pick in the first round by selecting Nick Johnson and Clint Capela. 

Even though, the Houston Rockets might have lost more than their gains; for 2014-2015, it is still considered a strong team in the playoffs. The Rockets no longer have Omer Asik, Chandler Parsons, and Jeremy Lin, as these players earned many minutes and better or equal pieces could not be bought in. For the SF position, the team bought in Trevor Ariza, who has talent; however, Parsons would have been a better choice overall. Since, the team has Dwight Howard; no efforts are made to acquire expensive and outstanding center back, which could be justified. However, Asik was a disappointment, and replacing Lin with Ish Smith for playing PG does not seem great either.

Losing Chandler Parsons, and the other exchanges, does not seem to look good for the Houston Rockets. Secondly, there are rumors of Howard and Harden drifting apart, and Howards seem to be goofing off more than usual. In fact, Greg Popovich did not spare words in reprimanding Howard for lacking focus, during the All-Star game. Howard might not lack talent, but character is also very important when you are trying to build the whole team around such a person. Howard is known to create trouble in the locker room, and could repeat the same here.

Continue reading "Houston Rockets Preseason Report 2014"

john howard

McGrady to NY helping the way for LeBron posted by john howard

New York unloaded a lot more money on Thursday in hopes of landing LeBron.

Here is what transpired: 

New York gained:  Tracy McGrady and PG Sergio Rodriguez

New York lossed:  Jordan Hill, Jarred Jeffries and draft consideratoins in 2011 and 2012

Houston gained:  Kevin Martin and C Hilton Armstrong and draft considerations from NY in 2011 and 2012 Jarred Jeffries and Jordan Hill

Houston lossed:  Tracy McGrady Cal Landry and Joey Dorsey

Sacremento gained:  Cal Landry, Joey Dorsey, Larry Hughes

Sacramento lossed:  Kevin Martin and Hilton Armstrong

New York is taking a gamble, but a good one.  What they got isn't working.  They have a lot of contracts that are going to expire and unloaded more salary.  So, they will have enough money to sign 2 free agents the maximum.  LeBron James is the first choice.  The other could be McGrady as he gets to audition for the big money for the next 30 games.  That is smart for all parties involved.  New York gets to see if McGrady is a fit.  McGrady gets to prove how good he is. And, Houston is rid of his contract and got something out of it.

Sacramento puzzled me a little here.  They unloaded Martin's salary of 10 mil per year.  But, for how good he is, that is a bargain.  Larry Hughes is up and down.  They did get some youthful talent in Landry and Dorsey, but that wasn't worth Martin.

The big winner was Houston.  They are in the playoff hunt and just got better now and for the future.  They got Kevin Martin, a guy who is immediately there go to guy.  That was SMART.  They gave up proven inside talent Landry for potential inside talent in Hill.  Hill could be better in time.  That get weaker for now, but Martin makes up for it.  Hilton Armstrong provides some size which they currently have none.  Houston did very very good today.

Continue reading "McGrady to NY helping the way for LeBron"

john howard

McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks? posted by john howard

Houston has been shopping Tracy McGrady all year and something is a about to happen.  The leading candidate is the New York Knicks.  McGrady could be a 20pt scorer again with the up tempo style of play New York has. I think he would be a perfect fit for them. 

A third team may have to be involved and latest rumor has the Wizards.  Houston might get Caron Butler from Washington and the Knicks would send much traveled Al Harrington to DC.  Sounds like a swapping of big salaries and not much improvement.  There will be other players involved and draft picks for sure.  But, the main thing is McGrady in the biggest market.  If he could stay healthy for any length of time, he could really profit well.  He might be enough of a surge to get them into the playoffs this year. 

Continue reading "McGrady sweetstakes---Knicks?"


Welcome Back Rip! posted by Sabrina

For starters, welcome back Rip Hamilton! With an impressive 18 points this game against the Golden State Warriors, Rip made sure his return was not overseen. Although Rip was the talk of the game, Rodney Stuckey was the point leader with an impressive 29 points this game.

Rodney Stuckey has proven that he is not a rookie anymore. He is much more consistent in his shot and now has found a place as a leader of the team. This team has definitely changed since winning the 2004 Finals, but it's a great way to start over. Stuckey has found his place and so have Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon. The three rookies all had playing time this game and showed that they have potential. Jonas Jerebko had a few amazing plays, shots and assists, and Austin Daye showed his confidence as he took a chance when he scored tonight. Jerebko and Daye are shining, but Dajuan Summers seems to be left behind. It's a question whether his lack of playing time is due to his lack of skill or adjustment to the NBA, but Jerebko and Daye are taking the spotlight.

A big question in mind was if the chemisty of the team would be broken when Rip and Tayshaun come back, but Rip has shown anyone with doubt that the Pistons can adjust and work together as a team. With Ben Gordon and Tayshaun Prince still out, the Pistons were able to extend their winning streak to a 5 game streak. The expected date for Ben Gordon and Tayshaun's return have not been confirmed, but it seems like they will be playing soon. Tayshaun, please come back soon. I've been saving you on my fantasy basketball team haha. The Pistons may see a positive change with all their injured players back in the line up, bringing the Pistons back to their full potential.

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Colin Linneweber

Blazers Center Greg Oden is an unfortunate bust posted by Colin Linneweber

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden fractured his left kneecap during a game against the Houston Rockets Saturday night at the Rose Garden.


Oden, 21, the first overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Trail Blazers, underwent surgery on his left patella the following day and he will be shelved for the remainder of the 2009-2010 campaign.


“I’m obviously disappointed having worked so hard to get where I was. This is a setback but I’ll be back. It’s in God’s hands now,” said Oden, who was averaging 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds this season as a starter.


“I want to thank the fans, my teammates and everyone in the Blazers family for all of their good thoughts.”


Oden, an affable seven-foot giant who is likable and easy to support as a fan, apologized to his teammates once he received his diagnosis.


“He didn’t do anything,” said forward Lamarcus Aldridge. “People don’t understand that injuries are part of the game. We all are at risk every time we play so I think injuries are going to happen. It’s unfortunate that it’s happened to him.”


Many hoops analysts described Oden as a “once-in-a-decade player” after he led Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis to three consecutive Indiana Class 4A basketball championships before he graduated in 2006.


After Oden received his high school degree, he decided to attend Ohio State University.


Despite battling a serious wrist injury, Oden managed to lead the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA championship game where they ultimately lost to the University of Florida 84-75.

Continue reading "Blazers Center Greg Oden is an unfortunate bust"


Hawks soaring high on new NBA season posted by nbahawks

The Atlanta Hawks is creating a lot of buzz in the new season of the National Basketball Association.Despite their less stellar lineup, the Hawks is on top of the leader-board in the young season of the premier professional basketball league in the planet. The Hawks is currently sporting an impressive 11-2 record after they defeated the Houston Rockets 105-103 Friday night.High flying Hawks power forward Josh Smith played hero for the top team in the NBA by scoring on a put back from a miss by Hawks top point guard Mike Bibby with 0.7 seconds remaining. Marvin Williams, the starting small forward of the Hawks top scored for the team with 29 points to help defeat the Rockets, one of the top teams in the NBA Western Conference.The recent victory of the Hawks is remarkable since the Rockets are on the verge of defeating the team and hand them their third loss but the impressive play of Smith saved the youth laden ball club to escaped with a victory. Prior to his game winning shot, Smith stayed mostly from the bench due to foul trouble but he was able to returned in the waning moments of the game and lead his team to victory.The strong and impressive plays of the Hawks is getting huge praise from basketball fans and experts. During the off-season, the Hawks is not among the top contenders for the NBA crown this season due to their less star studded roster. However, despite the lack of big named players in its lineup, the Hawks still showed class and impressive talent to defeat 11 teams so far.Aside from the strong plays of its veteran players Smith, Bibby and Joe Johnson, the Hawks also get huge contribution from newly acquired NBA veteran Jamal Crawford who contribute in both offence and defence for the team. Aside from the Hawks, the run and gun Phoenix Suns is also playing good this NBA season. NBA superstars point-guard Steve Nash and power forward Amare Stoudamire are playing well to lead the Suns to an impressive record in the NBA.Fans of Hawks team can buy the tickets to watch the NBA game live.

Continue reading "Hawks soaring high on new NBA season"

Scott Shepherd

Fun With Box Scores posted by Scott Shepherd

In the NBA these days, it seems like there is a stat for everything. We’ve got PER, offensive efficiency ratings, defensive efficiency rating, and so on and so on.

It seems like every team in the league now employs their own stat guru. And while I’m not one to question the use of all these new statistics to evaluate NBA players (I actually kinda like them), I’m old school.


To me, all the new stats in the world can’t tell the story of an NBA game as well as the good, old fashioned box score.


Therefore, I’m starting a new feature today called “Fun With Box Scores”.


Every Monday, I’ll be posting some of the more interesting things that jumped out at me from the previous week’s box scores.


This week, they are, in no particular order:


The Cavs were +38 when LeBron was on the floor this week. They were -27 when he wasn’t.


Meanwhile, the Cavs were -3 when Shaq was on the floor and +19 when he wasn’t.


Rasheed Wallace took 8 shots on Wednesday…all three pointers. For the week, ‘Sheed attempted 36 shots. 25 of them were three pointers.


Danilo Gallinari was 8-16 from deep on Saturday. He was 1-6 on two-point shots. For the week he was 18-36 on three-point shots and 4-11 on two-point attempts.


Carmelo Anthony had 113 points in 116 minutes this week.


Greg Oden had 26 points in 99 minutes. He also had 19 fouls.


Speaking of fouls, Hasheem Thabeet had 8 in 24 minutes of play this week. In his defense, he did have four blocks, giving him a nice one block for every two fouls ratio.

Continue reading "Fun With Box Scores"

Scott Shepherd

NBA Opening Night Quick Thoughts posted by Scott Shepherd

Happy New Year!

With the new NBA season set to tip off with four games tonight, here are some of the things I’ll be watching for in tonight’s action.

Boston @ Cleveland, 7:30pm

I can’t wait to see LeBron again this season. Last year, coming off the Olympics, you could see that his focus was on improving defensively. Now, without a summer in the spotlight, I’m curious to see if he’s made any improvements to his already unreal game. Is this the year we finally see LeBron use his Karl Malone-like body to beast on people inside?

Also, I’m curious to see what kind of pregame theatrics the Cavs come up with. You know Shaq can’t stand to be out of the spotlight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to one-up LeBron’s chalk thing with something of his own.

As for Boston, I really want to see how Rondo responds to not getting a contract extension. Last year he was a triple-double waiting to happen in the playoffs, but at the same time, Boston was not a threat.

Are we going to see the more subdued Rondo that won the title in ’08, or will it be the ’09 version that was the centerpiece of that team?

And of course, I’m looking forward to seeing Rasheed Wallace’s giant new cornrows. Those would have been ugly 4 years ago. Nice throwback hairstyle, 'Sheed.

Washington @ Dallas, 8:30pm

Curious to see the return of the former Agent Zero. I wrote last season that he could be this decade’s Grant Hill, and not in a good way. Three knee surgeries in 17 months is a terrible route to take to NBA superstardom. It’s nearly impossible to bounce back from that.

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It's official, Lakers' Ron Artest is a Celine Dion fan!!!!!!!!!!! posted by Devin

Celine Dion and Ron Artest go together like cereal and mayonnaise yet somehow the self proclaimed "thug", Artest, makes it work.  The guy is known for his wild antics such as going into the crowd and beating up a fan, but it seems that Artest is beginning to display a softer side.  As a Laker fan I love that we are bringing a little crazy on our team because a team can always use a little crazy, right? Although he can't carry a tune and the video is clearly irritating you get a sense that he means what he is singing which makes is somewhat enjoyable to watch.  I am going to stop talking about it and just let you watch it:

This is going to be an entertaining 5 years for us Laker fans.  Artest is bringin' the crazy.


Continue reading "It's official, Lakers' Ron Artest ..."

Danny Noblitt

Overrating Trevor Ariza posted by Danny Noblitt

As a Laker fan who is one of Trevor Ariza's biggest supporters and whose friend had him dubbed Trevor "the future" Ariza, it was sad to see him go. He was a key cog in the Lakers' championship wagon and delivered some of the most exciting and timely plays of the season. He is still young and will probably get better.

But let's not get carried away. Trevor was a 9 point, 4 rebound a game guy this past season who was a great wing defender. This is not to diminish what he brought to the Lakers, but rather to put it in it's proper place. Ron Artest put up superior numbers and played a more vital role for the Rockets, but everyone is talking about how Ariza is ther better player. It's silly.

This leads me to my more general point that it is easy to overvalue a player based on one playoff performance and playing on the right team. Ariza benefitted from coming alive at the right time (the playoffs), playing in a huge market (Los Angeles) alongside one of the all-time greats (Kobe Bryant) and for the best coach of all-time (Phil Jackson). His accomplishments shined in the LA spotlight and he was deified for his performance. He had some great moments, no doubt. His late-game steals against Denver in the Western Conference Finals were magical, and his top of the key heave against Orlando in game 5 of the NBA Finals was the most underrated play of the 2009 playoffs.

But based on public perception, you would think he was a 20 point a game guy who shot 50% from beyond the arc. While he did shoot 47% from 3-point range in the playoffs, he is 30% from that distance for his career. He has struggled in every system other he has ever played in and cannot create his own shot.

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