View Full Version : A couple of thoughts
tod the bod
11-30-1999, 10:18 AM
(1) Last night was a miraculous win. There are endings like that in basketball maybe once or twice a year and everyone who was watching got a real treat.
(2) The Rockets showed a lot of maturity in overtime last night. Some times, when a team has a tremendous finish to send the game into overtime, they lose their intensity in the extra period. That did not happen last night. Stevie Wonder came out and set the pace early, and the Rockets did not lose their composure when he fouled out soon after.
(3) Francis is one of the greatest "street players" I have ever seen. He has a tremendous move to the basket. And that shot where he purposely threw the ball off the backboard and then went in for the slam dunk was beautiful. But more important, he showed that he could hit the outside shot last night. I found that very impressive.
(4) Maybe Bryce Drew has some game too. While he looks like he is five years old, he may have the best outside shot on the team. He can even drive to the basket. I like his little floater. And as Calvin Murphy said last night, the Rockets need a little stop and pop.
(5) If Cato can learn to hold onto the ball, he might actually become a very good center. He has a great defensive presence, and if the Rockets can count on him for ten points a night, they might have found their center for the future when Hakeem retires.
(6) And speaking of Hakeem retiring, I kind of wish that he was retiring next year and not Barkley. While Barkley's post up game is no where near to what it used to be, he is such a dominant factor on the offensive glass. And as to the experience factor, I think that he is a better teacher than Hakeem is. But I have said this before, if the opportunity is available, I would trade both Hakeem and Barkley. One other Barkley note, his steal and dunk was so vintage Barkley, it made me wonder what life would have been like had we had Barkley at an earlier point in his career.
Now for the downsides:
(1) Can we please hit a free throw. Someone needs to sit down with the entire team and teach them how to hit free throws. Half the team is falling backwards when they shoot. Mobely is falling forwards. The game would not have been nearly as close if we would have hit our free throws.
(2) Last night was an emotional game. And the Rockets are a young team, but they Rockets have to control their emotions in some way. We can't get stupid technical fouls for taunting. We can't afford flagrant fouls. Our games are too close to give the other team free points. And there is nothing that bothers me more than the way that Francis dribbles the ball up the court in that skipping motion.
(3) The Rockets have too many players out of control. Mobely, Thomas (did he shoot three three point shots in a row???), Barkley (at times). The Rockets are at their best when they pass the ball around with quick passes. We need to cut down on the one on one basketball that seems to happen so much.
(4) Finally, while last night's game was a miraculous victory, against a team that was playing much above their heads, we need to realize that we were still playing the Grizzlies last night. I'd like to see a game like that against a real competitive team.
C'mon, folks, this is an excellent post. Isn't anybody going to respond?
I agree especially with point (5) about Cato. Offensively, he's no Olajuwon, but that put-back he slammed down to push Portland into OT showed how he and Francis can work together. When you have a Steve Francis, you don't need a Hakeem Olajuwon.
Tod the Bod, for every claim you make, you always have warrant, and that makes me look forward to reading anytime you post.
Good things #4- Drew does have an excellent outide touch, but he's still not a good pg. If you take notice, you can recognize that he isn't confident bringing the ball up the court: he's cautious, slow, and keeps his body between the defender and ball a lot-which are all very smart things to do if you got weak handles. Also, his floater is not impressive. I think people are skewed by the Rocks' past guards who have had non-existent floaters (Maloney, Smith). Just because he shoots a floater and makes some does not mean that he has a good floater. Just go out and try some yourself; they aren't very difficult. All in all, Drew is a decent 2 playing in the body of a 1, which is ok if you got another ball handler on the court at the same time.
Good pt 5) Cato is a like a Mutombo Jr. and Willis Jr. He should come up with a "not in my house" finger wag or something. He also scares the hell out of refs with his looks after each foul they call on him. Remember that skull/robot face Willis would give refs; man, that's a scary look.
Gp 6) Hakeem is still a very good player who can make a huge impact if he adjusts his game. Many experts say adjustment is what made Jordan so dominant over a long time period.
Bad point 1) Free throws are, more than people tend to believe, a lucky thing. It's true, just anyone go out and shoot 25 ft's. Tell me how many you make, and do the same thing everyday. Some days you'll make more, some days you'll make less. Then go run windsprints for half an hour and shoot 25 more. People get ridiculed so much for FT's but it's a hard aspect of the game. When Barkley, Cato, and Olajuwon get most of the attempts, it's just unfair to expect the rocks to have excellent nights from the charity stripe all the time.
Bad point #4, subpoint B) Francis' reverse crossover skip that he brings the ball up the court is fine with me. It shows confindence and a little cockiness. Crossapply what I commented about Drew on gp #4. Francis is fluid in his dribble, not cautious, and if someone lunges for the steal, he crosses them over. Francis gots handles and shows the world that he does. He is a point and can score. Now it also causes him to turnover the ball a lot, but that's not due to lack of handles(ie drew). If he can learn when to be cautious and when to use his handling talent, Francis can be
an extremely efficient point.
A&M c/o '03
Oldest Junior Member on the BBS (since June '98)
Dr of Dunk
11-30-1999, 08:35 PM
Respond? Naa... too dang long... j/k.
The Good Stuff :
Last night was a miraculous win.
1) Disagree. Not "miraculous"... it was one hell of a gut-check win, though. The "miraculous" adjective should be reserved for double-digit comebacks with seconds left in the game. I once saw Washingon come back from an 18 point defecit with around 1-2 minutes left in the game... that was miraculous. (Just the same, I get where you're coming from. http://bbs.clutchcity.net/ubb/wink.gif)
The Rockets showed a lot of maturity in overtime last night. Some times, when a team has a tremendous finish to send the game into overtime, they lose their intensity in the extra period.
2) I was thinking the same thing. I was happy to see them make it into overtime, but was prepared for a letdown.
Francis is one of the greatest "street players" I have ever seen.
3) One of the greatest "street players"? Well, ok, but Iverson and Kobe could challenge for that title. Francis has all the tools to become another Human Highlight film ala the 'Nique.
Maybe Bryce Drew has some game too.
4) Ok. This is where you started drinking the booze, right? Haha. I hear ya about Drew. As much as I sit around wondering why the hell Rudy gives this guy so much playing time, he's actually shown improvement in the past 2 or so games. Let's hope he continues improving. If it does, it gives the Rockets a versatile backcourt with Mobley and Francis each able to play the 1 or 2 and Drew another viable guard to throw into the mix. Then there's Shandon... whenever he decides to wake up and join us.
If Cato can learn to hold onto the ball, he might actually become a very good center.
5) Cato's biggest problem started out being what Hakeem's problem used to be. Hakeem used to contest every shot that went up trying to block it. He would get goaltending calls and silly fouls doing so. I haven't been able to watch too many Rockets games since I am in the Dallas area and my apartment faces the wrong way for DirecTV. Maybe someone can tell me if Cato still has pogo-stick syndrome.
And speaking of Hakeem retiring, I kind of wish that he was retiring next year and not Barkley.
6) Amen. I love Hakeem, but Barkley gives this team more heart and more leadership than Hakeem could ever hope to give. The old, quiet guy teaching the young kid works in Karate Kid movies, but Barkley has more of an impact on our young players. He runs himself into the ground on breaks. Hakeem usually lumbers down 5-8 seconds later (don't believe me? watch closely...). Barkley may be hated around the league, but as a player and competitor who gives his guts to a team 99% of the nights, only Jordan was better. He's overweight, he's too short, but he's still putting up solid numbers. I can't believe I'm saying this, because I wouldn't have said it just 2 years ago, but I'd trade Hakeem before I'd trade Barkley. That being said, I don't want either to leave and retire non-Rockets. The only exception being if Barkley could be traded to a contender that can win a championship.
Now the Bad Stuff :
Can we please hit a free throw. Someone needs to sit down with the entire team and teach them how to hit free throws. Half the team is falling backwards when they shoot. Mobely is falling forwards. The game would not have been nearly as close if we would have hit our free throws.
1) I agree. However, I've never been one to say that there is a perfect "form". Fall forward, fall backwards, the fact is... if you do something repeatedly your body remembers/memorizes it. Rick Barry was a great FT shooter... granny style. Anybody have numbers on Jamal Wilkes' FT %age? That was one butt-ugly form, my friends. Come to think of it, Clyde Drexler always fell away shooting FT's as well. Karl Malone is a good FT shooter and he spends half an hour whispering sweet nothings to the ball. Not sure if Adrian Dantley was a great FT shooter, but what he did to a basketball at the free throw line was borderline disgusting. http://bbs.clutchcity.net/ubb/wink.gif
2)...they [sic] Rockets have to control their emotions in some way. We can't get stupid technical fouls for taunting.
Agreed. Barkley has even stated that Francis needs to doing the hopping and skipping everytime he scores a basket. There was one game where Steve dunked the ball and went off screaming like somebody had just lit his tail on fire. I think we were in the 1st of 2nd quarter... good grief, is that necessary?!
The Rockets have too many players out of control.
3) I think a lot of the "out-of-controllness" is due to guys trying to show coach they should get more time. Well, everybody except Shandon. Thomas comes in and has to do well... he knows he won't get too many opportunities. Bryce Drew should NOT be jacking up 17 shots on this team, but he did. You can count on Chuck to launch an ill-fated and ill-advised 3 pointer sometime during a close game... I think it's genetic or a result of some basketball stimulus-response mechanism -- "We're down with 5 minutes left... mmmmust shoot 3".
...we need to realize that we were still playing the Grizzlies last night. I'd like to see a game like that against a real competitive team.
4) The sad fact is, I'm not sure we're going to see a game like that against competitive teams. This team is in a funk. Whether it be lack of talent or effort that is culpable, I don't know. All I know is the following :
a) Shandon needs to rediscover the game of basketball
b) Walt Williams is not a starter. I thought he was a better player than what I've seen to this point. Bullard has been giving more quality minutes than "The Wiz" (whose moniker is aptly-deserved with his peformance lately).
c) The Rockets play better with Barkley in the lineup and Cato starting. I'm going to get beat up for that comment, but I'm sticking by it. As long as we're trying to pump up a running game, Hakeem is a liability; it will always be "4-on-something".
Ok, I'm gonna go get some Ben-Gay for my fingers now... http://bbs.clutchcity.net/ubb/wink.gif
Rocket fuel pumps through these veins...
[This message has been edited by Dr of Dunk (edited November 30, 1999).]
11-30-1999, 10:35 PM
I would respond to these long, good posts if I knew how to copy in this forum. I can't remember all those points in my head.
I didn't think last night was a miraculous win either. We finally did a gut-check and hit our shots when it counted. Yes, 4 points down with 15-30 secs to go looked pretty bad but I don't think it was miraculous. Certainly was exciting as a Rocket fan this season. And I'm glad for the team and coaches.
On the downside (Sorry, I have to shorten this up), the free throw thing is really baffling. I know Calvin Murphy must have been having fits. Free throws are not luck, they are form and repetition. I don't really think there is much excuse for not making most of your free throws. I mean, do you want to win - you have to give effort in all aspects of the game.
I am worried too about our sportsmanship. One reason I have always liked Rockets teams is because they are "good guys" with good sportsmanship. Stevie taunting the other team was in poor taste, Carlos not helping Dickerson up under the goal and looking rather aggressive with the foul (I didn't think it was a flagrant though) angered me, Chuck grabbing his crotch and cussing back at the Vancouver fans and yes, throwing the elbow against Portland is in very poor taste.
I think it is beginning to be somewhat of an issue and should be addressed by the coaches. I don't care if they are grown men there are codes of conduct.
With that said, Stevie handled the Vancouver fans well, showing no ill will and saying nothing bad to them.
Dr of Dunk continues to make me roll over laughing - his description of Barkley's basketball stimulus-response mechanism is hilarious.
11-30-1999, 10:55 PM
And there is nothing that bothers me more than the way that Francis dribbles the ball up the court in that skipping motion.
LOL. I actually like that. We need more of that on this team. Aren't you tired of seeing, year after year, old guys with their worn out postup moves make the highlight reels. We needed young talent with defined, confident moves, put Houston back SportsCenter map. I know it is silly, but it is very important. The fans need something to be hyped up about like that. Noone is enthusiastic about Matt Maloney walking the ball up the court, dumping it in...
11-30-1999, 11:01 PM
I know.. I like when he does that.
Yeah, I love that show-off stuff, too. Right up until he loses the ball off his ankle for a dunk the other way.
11-30-1999, 11:09 PM
Come On Will. He doesnt lose the ball when he does that. He loses it when he trys to post up.
But you gotta admit he is really quick and he gets other pg going in wrong directions.
He is great.
12-01-1999, 12:18 AM
Can we please hit a free throw. Someone needs to sit down with the entire team and teach them how to hit free throws. Half the team is
falling backwards when they shoot. Mobely is falling forwards. The game would not have been nearly as close if we would have hit our free throws.
1) I agree. However, I've never been one to say that there is a perfect
"form". Fall forward, fall backwards, the fact is... if you do something
repeatedly your body remembers/memorizes it...
*Actually, if someone falls backwards, that's a sign of bad free throw shooting. Calvin Murphy STRESSES that u cannot fall backwards when you shoot free throws. As far as Mobely falling forward, he is a very good free throw shooter, and I find that falling forward helps your free throw.
Then there's Shandon... whenever he decides to wake up and join us.
*I don't know if it's really Shandon's fault. I think it's just that our offense does not accomodate his skills. Shandon cannot take somebody off the dribble one on one, but he does have a great first step and a good strong drive. We need to set picks for him, so that he can cut and drive to the basket. <h4>The rest of his points will come on the break and him scrapping for boards, maybe a jump shot, etc. </h4>
Dr of Dunk
12-01-1999, 12:40 AM
Like the example I gave... does Calvin endorse shooting "granny style" at his camps? One of the greatest (if not the greatest, sorry Calvin) FT shooter of all time did it that way... everyone says there's a "standard" way to shoot FT's... I don't buy it. You do something repeatedly, long enough, it becomes almost automatic.
Rocket fuel pumps through these veins...
12-01-1999, 01:45 AM
I sort of think that certain forms are superior to others for free throw shooting. Yes, one can always point to exceptions, but that's disingenuous as an argument. The fact is, most good free throw shooters do have similar styles. Free throw shooting, like any shot, does have random chance factored in, but the #'s will always gravitate to an appropriate average.... so while poor free throw shooting in any one game can be anomalic, a poor aggregate score is inexcusable... and certainly not the product of luck.
12-01-1999, 01:47 AM
BTW, I evaluate miraculous wins by the Reggie Miller-standard. Does anyone else remember that playoff game against NY where he hit a 3, and then stole two consecutive passes to overcome a substantial deficit w/8 seconds left? That's miraculous.
tod the bod
12-01-1999, 09:34 AM
Thanks Will and everyone who took the time to respond to my somewhat long post.
Last week someone suggested that the Rockets hire Calvin Murphy to work with the guards and I scoffed at the idea, thinking that if Murph got an official position with the team, he would become unbearable as a color commentator. Watching the Rockets shoot free throws, I have begun to reconsider my feelings about Murph -- I would hire him to work with the players on their free throws. I agree that people can shoot free throws different ways, but I think that everybody on the team has to take time to work on their free throws. The Rockets can't afford to hit 50% from the line every night. And if Cato is going to become the Rockets' center for the future, he is going to have to learn how to hit a free throw because people are just going to put him on the line. He doesn't have Shaq's game (which makes up for Shaq's inability to hit free throws).
One final thought about Steve Francis: As long as he keeps scoring, and improving on his assist/turnover ratio, he can pretty much do whatever he wants. In fact, I like when players are pumped up after hitting an important or difficult basket. I just think that the skipping thing while bringing the ball upcourt is unnecessary. There is no reason to be flashy before you cross the half-court line -- save the flash for the drives towards the basket.
That being said, Go Stevie Go!!!
12-01-1999, 09:53 AM
Sorry for the belated post but one positive about not trading Hakeem and Barkley:
True, we can get more for them now while they still have game, and I agree that Chuck has shown that he has quite a bit more left in him. However, it's very important for the youth we have now to be able to rely on the experience of Charles and Hakeem when they do get rattled. There's a balance between young and old that, although at the begining of the season it didn't seem to appear, is now beginning to establish itself.
Charles and Hakeem still got game, and for right now, they're giving the team alot more than that. Maybe in the middle of the season we could make a better decision, but for right now to me they're too important to lose.
Willoughby blocks the skyhook! Willoughby blocks the skyhook! Gene Peterson on the highpoint of the Rox' 14 victory season...
12-01-1999, 12:23 PM
The Golden State fans brought this up, but has anybody noticed that Francis looks like a miniature version of Marcus Camby? It's kind of true.
12-02-1999, 01:27 AM
tod the bod,
BTW, Calvin Murphy already is unbearable as a color commentator. he is a legendary comic relief man.
"tell the truth, snaggletooth."
12-02-1999, 01:28 AM
in fact, that damn cackle of his is as silly as the rox cartoonish jerseys.
he embodies the damn thing. full of talent, but at a glance, a freakin' court jester.
12-02-1999, 01:51 AM
I disagree on the foul shot technique. There is no doubt falling backwards is a terrible way to try to hit a foul shot. It also removes you from one of the best moves for taking the air out of the other team, grabing your own miss, and putting it back in ! Tod da Bod, good post ! I think it's time to see Cato make his move. I just wish he wouldn't glare at refs though. He's got a big enough problem already keeping a lid on it ! As I predicted, Hakeems' out 6 weeks minimum.
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