Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The Rockets selected swing forward Marcus Morris with the 14th pick in the draft and followed it up by trading up to get Donatas Motiejunas, a seven-footer the media calls a "big."
Morris was a great pick at 14 for all the reasons I stated in my last post, which defined the team's greatest need as a small forward. While Marcus played mostly power forward in college, he has the skills to guard either position and can score from inside or out. I recommended Texas's Jordan Hamilton with this pick, but considering he slid to 26th, teams must have learned something about him that I didn't know. Chris Singleton of Florida would have been a good choice as well, but I yield to Daryl Morey and his scouts on this one. Good choice, guys.
It cost the Rockets the 23rd pick and a second rounder to get Motiejunas, but as everyone knows, second rounders are generally pretty useless anyway. He has been compared to Dirk Nowitzki in his style of play, if not the quality of it. It will be interesting to see how McHale works him into the team's chemistry as a high-post center or another PF behind Scola.
These were good choices, considering the Rockets' position and the quality of the players in this draft. The team will be a little better next year.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Frankly, next year looks a little bleak. The reason the Rockets had a winning season last year was Rick Adelman and his coaching staff. They got the most out of a few very good players and a few marginal ones that played well together. Losing Adelman et al is a huge mistake. I’ll still be there and I’ll still root for them, but I have less hope than I have in recent years. If they win 35 games next year, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Aaron Brooks moped his way out of Houston. He had the city in love with him at the beginning of last season, then was injured and was slow to come back. But that wasn’t the problem. Kyle Lowry stepped up and held the fort at the point while Brooks rehabbed. But when Aaron tried to come back to soon, he underperformed. That would have been forgivable, except that he seemed to whine about not having his job handed back to him when he felt he was ready. It stuck in his craw until the team got fed up and decided that Goran Dragic was better for the Rockets than a petulant (and still injured) Brooks. It was the right decision. A case of the red-ass will tear a team apart.
Shane Battier is a consummate basketball player. I love the guy. He gives everything he has every night. Shane cannot carry a team, but every championship team needs a stalwart like him to do the dirty work and play smart basketball. He has proven me right in Memphis, helping them to within a game of the Conference finals. OK, I’ll say it. Come back, Shane!
Jared Jeffries has been a journeyman for his entire 10 year career, averaging only 5 points and 4 rebounds per game, mostly as a starter. The Rockets got little for him from the Knicks, but they did unload his way overpriced contract. Good move.
Ish Smith is as quick as a wink and great fun to watch, but his decision-making skills are raw, at best. He has the potential to make it in the league as a back-up, but the Rockets had that covered. He went with Shane to Memphis, so he has a chance there.