View Full Version : One True Scorer Away
After watching last nights game, I think that we are one true scorer away from running a winning streak. That would of made all the difference in the world last night.
I thought the defense played well enough to win. The Rocks did a hell of a job keeping a hand in the face of Portland all night. Think about this. If Francis would of had his typical game, we would of rolled last night. And that is where someone like Mack or someone who can give us instant offense comes in.
We have Cuttino. But he is usually making up what Anderson does not give us. And if that is going to continue, then we need to get another scorer quick. Maybe John Starks? Someone with some firepower who can come in when the game is close and just light it up.
That would of made all the difference last night. I was proud of the team. We almost beat the best team without Dream. Dream in there and some other crazy, lunatic, go to the hoop son of a gun who isn't afraid to take the big shot, type of guy.
You know, I think we have a pretty good team despite the losses. The foundation is definitely there. But if we are going to try and stay out of the lottery, then go out and get me that guy.
Live Rocketball. Breathe Rocketball. Die with Rocketball.
I'll take you up on this one, Almu. I share your wish for more consistent scoring, but I don't think the problem is the absence of an additional player. I think we've got the scorers on our team already. All that's lacking is consistency in execution.
Hakeem and Barkley can post up and score. Hakeem and Anderson can shoot from mid-range. Francis, Mobley, Williams, Drew, and Bullard can shoot from long range. Francis, Mobley, Williams, and Anderson can drive and score or earn free throws. Hakeem, Barkley, Cato, and Rogers can catch inside for dunks and layups.
We saw flashes of all of these plays in the Portland game. What was missing was consistency. Francis would drive and dish, and Rogers would fumble the ball away. Barkley would set a pick for Francis, and Francis would go the other way. Barkley would throw a full-court pass, and Mobley would misjudge the defender on the layup.
Someone posted a thread here last night claiming there was no motion in the Rockets' offense last night. Please. Sleep off the dope and replay your tape during daylight hours. You'll see plenty of motion and ball movement -- and as long as Hakeem is off the court (ouch, it hurts to admit that), you'll keep seeing more of it.
These guys are loaded with talent. When's the last time you saw a Rockets player jerk Scottie Pippen BOTH ways and lay up over him plus the foul? And they're improvising like crazy out there. The problem is that half the time, they're not connecting. Player #2 doesn't realize where player #1 is about to pass the ball -- yet.
Give them more time. Let Hakeem take off Ramadan so the new offense can develop. Let them keep running their new plays till they get accustomed to each other. 10 or 20 games from now, Rogers will catch that same dish and dunk it, Mobley will catch that full-court pass and fake off the defender with one hand before going up with the other, and we'll be the ones up 2 or 3 points in the final 20 seconds, instead of the other way around.
11-27-1999, 05:01 PM
Rogers?? if he can catch some passes and stop forcing up some shots..
11-27-1999, 06:41 PM
Rogers took it too personal like a revenge or something and it got into his head, he fumbled the ball away three times and fired an air ball, that was not like him. He would definitely play a lot better aginast Portland next time, once he cools down a bit.
11-27-1999, 07:03 PM
i'm not sure we would have been in the game had dream (unfortunately) not been injured... two seasons ago i had the misfortune of watching yet another loss that the rockets have had against the jazz where dream had been out b/c of a fight w/ mcdyess... the game opened up and eddie johnson burned the jazz for 37 points... we ended up loosing the lead in the last 3 minutes (hmmm... sounds familiar, but there seemed to be a different team, same coach), but i don't think we would have been that close had dream been there...
[This message has been edited by Achebe (edited November 27, 1999).]
11-27-1999, 10:05 PM
Let Hakeem take off Ramadan so the new offense can develop.
That's a pretty good idea, Will. I think Ramadan starts somewhere between December 9-12 this year. Let him take the month off. This will give him a chance to heal his aching knees and other wounds. If things start getting ugly, and you still think you have a chance for this year, there is no problem bringing him back. He will be fresh and ready to go.
11-27-1999, 11:53 PM
good idea, but it's not gonna work. it's a slap in the face for hakeem if we tell him to take the month off. i think he needs a good slap though.
Will, you make some valid points.
But I think we need some more "in your face" personality on the offensive side. Someone who wants to take it strong and not have any fear whatsoever.
You are right. We have those players. But they are not doing it right now. So, we have to hire a mercenary to do it for us.
Without Dream in the lineup, this team did pretty good. But, if he was there, it would have been better because I saw at least 4 balls hit the ground that the Blazers got back that could of fell into Olajuwons lap. And, the presence of Dream changes the spectre of the game a whole bunch because we know that in crunch time, he gets the ball, he gets the double team, he usually makes the other team pay.
I just have a feeling that if we had anyone with some "crazy" in him, it would've not only helped last night but it could help light some fuego under this team every once and a while.
Live Rocketball. Breathe Rocketball. Die with Rocketball.
11-28-1999, 01:00 AM
dream's gotten the ball alot in crunch time, and he hasn't made many teams pay as of late... even his 31 point performance against the kings had 30~ points in the first 3 quarters... we lost that game as we tried to punish the kings w/ dream in the 4th...
his defensive presence is awesome, but somehow, someway, we need to get him to quit slowing the team down w/ his required touches for adequate performance...
11-28-1999, 01:04 AM
Someone with Kelvin Cato's fire, but better skills..(?)
Perhaps we should look into pursuing Jerome Williams of the Pistons. He would make a nice big man addition for now and the future.
Almu -- How I wish I could agree with you about Hakeem. What a giant he's been, not just for the Rockets, but for the whole sport. But he comes from basketball's industrial era. Rudy built the team into an assembly line. They dumped it inside, Hakeem faked his defender out of his shorts, and either he'd lay it up, hook it over the middle, or swish the fadeaway from the corner.
The industrial era is over. Hakeem lost his knees and his confidence -- I happen to think he lost his hunger as well -- and now the league has changed the rules (wisely, in my opinion) to exterminate the inside-out game. We've entered basketball's high-tech era, in which speed, innovation, and adaptability -- not mechanical, dump-it-in set plays -- rule the day.
HAKEEM MUST ADAPT. He must learn to change his game. We all see him trying now and then, stepping out to set a high pick for Francis, or spotting up for the jumper from the free-throw line. But he seems so agonizingly slow, confused, and half-hearted about it. He seems to have no idea what to do when plays break down and he's got three guys he could pass to. He looks like an old dog that can't learn new tricks, or doesn't want to.
It's not true any more that Hakeem usually makes the other team pay for double-teaming him in crunch time. It's not even true that he punishes a one-on-one defender on most nights. Most teams now defend him like the Sonics did. They slap the ball away from him down low, or they harass him and force him into a bad pass. His passes are slow and easily intercepted. He no longer moves fast enough to beat his man before the double team arrives. We used to notice those rare nights when Hakeem's defender didn't go for his fakes. Now we notice the rare nights when the defender does go for those fakes.
You bring up the loose balls that would have fallen into Hakeem's lap. I agree. But the only time he seems to get loose balls is exactly that way -- when they fall into his lap. He doesn't leave his feet the way he used to. I don't know whether he's hiding an injury or conserving energy or what, but it's painful to see the difference between Barkley's effort to get a loose ball and Hakeem's effort to get a loose ball.
What's wrong with Hakeem? Take your pick. Is he injured? Is he depressed? Has he lost his edge since he won the two championships? Has he lost his edge since he got married? What scares me most is a completely different possibility: The game has changed, and Hakeem doesn't know how to adapt. He's an industrial-era player in an information-age game. He's like a steel worker who sees his industry vanishing and thinks he's too old and tired and set in his ways to learn computers. He looks lost out there, and instead of devoting himself to learning the new game, he keeps going back to the old one, to his security blanket, oblivious to the fact that he's the only one playing it and that his teammates are standing around the 3-point line in a confused state of suspension while he plays out his fantasy of years gone by.
Sometimes I think of Hakeem as an aging patriarch who has always provided for his family (the Rockets) and refuses to accept that he's no longer essential. He keeps demanding the ball, and he refuses to clear space for new team leaders such as Francis and Mobley, not because he's selfish, but because his whole understanding of his service to the team is tied up in this outdated patriarchal role. He's like the father who can't stand the idea of making less money than his wife or his kids, not because he's trying to cripple them, but because he's afraid of losing the foundation of his identity, the one thing he knows how to do to earn the respect of his family and pride in himself.
Yet he's still a great defender. Why? Because his defense, unlike his offense, has always been creative, adaptive, reactive. He measures the oncoming scorer, adjusts to each fake, rises with him, and slaps the ball away. That's what we need from him, and with that great skill -- the one thing at which he is still the greatest in the league, and with which he can still change the whole complexion and outcome of a game -- he can help us win, if only he will finally make the commitment to change his role in the offense.
The truth is out there... but not in this post.
11-28-1999, 03:11 PM
Cabbage, Hakeem has certainly lost a step, where it was really needed was against Bradley, who makes you have to beat through positioning, and Hakeem is no longer up to that task. We have two superstars right now, eatin cap, with superstar contracts, and they are no where near what they used to be night to night. Their play in the low post demands the dump it in then spread the floor spacing system. When Hakeem and Chuck go and we no longer have an awesome post player it will be an ultimate test for Rudy to see if he can live without one, and can innovate with the remaining players. We are going to have overhaul the 3 postition.
My staring lineup of choice for now would have
By extracting Williams and adding Mobley, in my eyes would add more scoring punch. Anderson a scrapper not to me mistaked for a shooter would be in much better position to play his role. Also we would have the running team in right out of the gate. I don't think we are going to have another true scorer for now. We need to adjust the lineup before then.
11-28-1999, 03:16 PM
Ahh, the "smallball" lineup we had discussed thoroughly about a month back.
That is their best bet right now. Gives us two flexible shot blockers backing up a quick, defensive minded perimeter. Mobley, Anderson, and Francis could all gamble more knowing that both Dream AND Cato had their backs. If the Rockets are going to go out with their best lineup, they need to play that exact lineup. Too many reasons why. A quick fast breaking, defensive minded team is very tough to match up against.
11-28-1999, 04:19 PM
About Jerome Williams, I agree he would be a great pick up. Is there a chance at all of the Rocks being able to pick him up? I don't think the Rocks can offer much. Anything you have in mind?
11-28-1999, 06:31 PM
Send them Mirsad Turkan. Ohh never mind.
11-28-1999, 07:14 PM
Rewind your tape, it was not Wallace who was guarding Dream when he fell to the ground, it was that nice young kid O'Neal.
Will, I agree with everything you have said about Dream, I only wish I could use English so effeciently like you to make my point.
Hey Rudy, make sure, when you order the D-I-T for Hakeem, don't forget a cane also.
Rockets' biggest problem is not player talent levels, it is the coach's ineptitude.
11-28-1999, 07:43 PM
Saw it again...it was Wallace.
We must be talking about different plays..(?)
11-28-1999, 08:13 PM
Almu, I think you're right on. It clearly would help to have more fire power off the bench. Right now Sam Mack looks like a possible answer. Where is he ? Why isn't he making a decision ? ANyone ?
11-28-1999, 08:57 PM
It's sad to see Hakeem, the father of PhislammaJamma along with Clyde, can't dunk anymore.
11-29-1999, 01:08 AM
Yep a lot has changed over these last few years for the Dream.
On Friday night, one play in the first half pretty much told the whole story.
Dream was posting it up on Rasheed Wallace and he went with that great base-line spin which has certainly cashed in over half of those career-defining 20,000 points he has checked for the Rockets. Instead of blowing by his defender like we had become accustomed to in previous years, he fell to the floor as Rasheed Wallace just backed away from the play.
It is a combination of many things. I wouldn't say that it is all Hakeem. I would say most of the problem is what is around him. Players are younger, quicker, can leap higher nowadays than they could in years past. All of this makes the Dream's decline look even greater than it actually has. Most importantly, as the above play demonstrates, the rest of the NBA now knows how to defend Hakeem.
"Museum officials outside of Houston have reported an ancient artifact identified as "Rudy's Postup Plays - 1994" stolen, as of November 2, 1999...officials urge residents to contact...
Will, you make good points again.
I know Dream has lost some. But if confidence is his biggest problem, then the more reason to try and keep getting him involved.
Barkley got 25pts and 11 rebs in 33 minutes of action the other day. Olajuwon can do the same. But, if you are right about the fact that Hakeem doesn't want it anymore or my theory about his mental state is true, then Dream should be phased out a little more and turned into a rebounder/defender. But then again, we lose another scorer if that happens.
I think that someone brought it up and so have I that the best lineup would be to have Cato and Mobley start and move Anderson to the 3 position. I think that is a hell of an idea. But we are still going to need that hot shooter off the bench to join Barkley now that Mobley is starting. Meaning, Williams or Drew or BOTH gotta go in a package. For example, the Jazz have Bryon Russell. He could easily start. But they got him on the bench. When he comes in, the tide turns usually in the Jazz's favor. Alot of energy and scoring coming in. I don't know. I might be wrong. But when Drew comes in, its not like I sit in front of the television and envision points, hustle, rebounds, defense...well, you know.
We have alot of scorers. But the problem is that no one wants to take charge right now. Dream can't do it anymore like before. Chuck has turned into a rebound machine with the occasional 25 point game. And then we have Francis who one day looks like Jordan and the next he looks like Jordumb.
I see John Starks as someone I would like on the team right now. He can still score. He can shoot 3's and drive without worry about what the hell people say about his game. And he plays tough defense. We had Clyde to do that before. Now we have no one willing to step up and light a fire under these hesitant players.
Live Rocketball. Breathe Rocketball. Die with Rocketball.
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