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A comprehensive post on the State of the Houston Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by snowconeman22, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    ****, pre - aderson

    The state of the Houston rockets is a confusing and troubling one. In this post I will try to explain how I view the current team and give a bit of history as to how we got here. For the most part this is just my opinion; it’s not a research paper. So that means I’m not going to be digging through stats and posting examples of film to back up my points. You can either trust my memory and interpretation or not. Free agency this year is crazy and I will also give some thoughts about that. I’d love to hear well thought out responses and will try to be active in responding to anyone who responds seriously. Clutchfans is a great resource for us rockets fans ( even if it is a bit whiny at times .)

    HISTORY – How we got here

    Well, I could go back as far as Yao and Tmac , but I think the current level of understanding of how we transitioned from that era to James’ era is pretty good. I’ve seen lots of posts about flipping assets , flexibility, and patience and in a nutshell this is accurate. I’ll start the actual discussion in 2012. We get harden , what a great trade and what a risk. We give up a lot of assets. Harden is by no means a proven star. 2012-2013 has probably been ( outside of 15’s playoff run ) my favorite squad to watch. We begin in earnest with the modern NBA space and pace offense. Harden is relentless in attacking the rim . Omer Asik sets monster screens and is our best center since Yao. Lin and Parsons bromance becomes a thing. Lin is inconsistent but has considerable offensive talent. Parsons in his sophomore campaign falls off a bit defensively but makes up for it by becoming a solid playmaker and dangerous streaky shooter. PF is a jumble, Patterson for half a year, DMO delfino, young TJ, T-rob. Lots of talent but it’s not quite ready. We are a young squad on the rise and when we get hot I thought we had the best offense in the league. No one could stop us and we ****ing owned GS. We are the 8th seed due to inconsistency and poor D. OKC trounces us. Things are still looking up.

    2013-14
    Dwight comes. Initially I have mixed feelings . I liked Omer and I really liked our squad from the year before. Lin and bev PG controversy. I wanted Lin to start, Mchale chose bev for the defense. We win a lot of games. Our defense is better , Dwight plays well. I feel that our offense is not as explosive but on paper it is still just as good due to Ft’s and more consistent shooting. Playoffs, disappointment , unclear where we go next year. Morey tries to make another big play. Free agency summer 2014 . Try for big 4 of Howard Harden Bosh Parsons, could have been spectacular. I don’t know if it was a pipedream or if we had a legit shot. We end up with Ariza.

    2014-2015
    I had a bad feeling about this season at the start. Was not sold on Ariza especially given we lost Lin too. Thankfully Harden takes the leap forward. His start to the season is incredible . Howard hurt. TJ hurt. Dmo takes a step forward. He had been playing good defense in 13-14 but his offense and skill come alive during this season and the defense slips as he starts getting worn down. Bev turns into a really solid shooter. Ariza plays incredible. Midseason acquisitions of Brew and Smith make us dynamic . Playoff run, what a great run. We are down 2 starters , howard just coming back. We really play within ourselves . The ball movement is great , Harden is a bit inconsistent but performs MUCh better than the previous two years . Heartbreak in game 1 -2 vs GS . Season over , but looks bright if we can keep the squad together and get healthy

    2015-16
    Get Lawson. Clutchfans celebration. On paper we look even better. Now comes the bad part. Slow starts from Harden, Dwight. Lawson plays like crap. Brew looks historically bad. Dmo isn’t healthy. Neither is TJ. Ariza and Bev take steps back ? Our draft class isn’t ready to contribute or is hurt. Coach fired 11 games in . Replacement is even more incompetent ? Limp into playoffs. Get wrecked.

    Present day
    We pick up a couple of second rounders.

    Now lets take a look at the team as it currently is and our assets. Ill try to rank them or at least put them in tiers.

    1. James - the dude is a top 10 player on an absolute bargain deal. You can build a team around him. If you disagree I think your knowledge of the sport is **** and you should stick to repeating things you hear on first take . You down trade harden unless you are going for the self destruct/rebuild.

    2-15 Its hard to sort it out lol.
    2- 7 This rankings within this tier are all gonna be subjective based off belief. The players in this tier are Bev, Ariza, Capela, DMo, and Beas.

    Capela is probably the best shot to get number 2 from most people. He’s young , big , athletic , and healthy. He has good defensive skills and has potential to be above average on offense. I think it’s a big risk to build around him and James, but that might have to be what the rockets do for the time being. IF he can become as proficient as Asik was at setting screens and rolling to the hoop then he can be a 3rd best player on a championship team. He has potential to be more and develop a 15 footer.

    Bev and Ariza are probably next. How much of a step back have these guys taken ? Bev has turned into a decent little shooter , but is severely underskilled for his position and his vaunted defense has slipped. Ariza had a down year in terms of shooting and in defense but has a better track record than Bev. Both of these guys are probably projected to play a bit better this year than last just due to having a more stable system and hopefully lockeroom

    Dmo is probably the second most talented player on the squad but has legit injury concerns. If he can play like he did at the beginning of 14-15 then he is top 10 PF. His skillset is huge , his mind is sharp, he has enough size. Its just the health and can he be athletic enough to guard guys that are questions with him.

    Beas is in this tier mostly because of his contract. But maybe given his lack of track record his value isn’t as high.

    8 is brewer. Despite his **** year, his contract looks ok right now and most Gm’s are probably forecasting he plays better this year. If he can find a niche and role on a squad he can be a productive player. He has excellent speed and length for the 3 and while you never want to rely on his shooting, he has shown he can get hot.

    9-15+ is the rookies and second year players. They are all fairly even. They can all take a big step forward or ( more likely) bust and be out of the league in a few years. Dekker , KJ, Harrell, Chinanu, GP, Goudelock, and zhou
    Not ranked are future picks and foreign rights .

    NOW comes the hard part…. What do we do ?!?!?!?!

    It has been shown time and time again that AT THE VERY LEAST you really need two stars to win a chip in the NBA. What exactly that means is subjective but in general we can say that’s two top 20 players. We have one in Harden. Getting the other will not be easy. Outside of KD that guy is not on the Market this year and getting a team to trade a top 20 player is exceptionally rare and would require a package far beyond what assets we have.

    So what to do ? well just because it seems like getting a top 20 guy is impossible doesn’t mean there aren’t several different options of the table. Option 1 is what we appear to have been trying to do so far. Get multiple solid guys and maybe a guy in the top 30 . Landing Horford and Conley would have given us 3 top 35 ish players and you can go to war with that. You probably won’t be the favorite , but if the roles players are a tight fit and the system is smooth anything can happen in the playoffs if you can get hot.

    Another option is to go after players who aren’t currently “stars” but can become them. This is a risky route , but it will probably be what the rockets have to do. I don’t think there are any UFA’s that fit the bill , maybe an RFA or two. Im not a fan of Barnes, but if our front office thinks he can become a top 30 player then I don’t blame them for throwing money at the guy. You can also hope that guys on your own squad take a step forward and become bona-fide NBA players. IF a guy like dekker or Chinanu can show they belong in the NBA then it helps both from an asset standpoint and from an actual on the floor helping your team standpoint.

    WHAT I would do.

    A large number of the “big fish” have already been taken. When horford makes his decision there isn’t gonna be a free agent left without significant risk. My approach would be to aim for quantity over quality focusing on athleticism and potential. I’m no insider on trades and there are a lot of people saying that Brew/Bev/Ariza’s contracts are all now valuable and can get us something good. While I don’t disagree , by definition all contracts that were signed before this offseason now look much better. Bev and Ariza definitely have value , but trading them now would be selling low. I think we might have to be patient and wait until the ASB for them to hopefully regain some value. Plus we do not have quality backups at either of their positions so a trade including them now will need to net us a starter to be efficient.

    We are in a really tough spot with so many of our players having a down year last season. If we trade Bev and Ariza for a point or a wing, we must then pick up a starter in free agency or through another trade. The money being given out right now is insane. I don’t know how much a big contract will cripple us for next year.

    Guys I like for us to pick up all have huge question marks, but they can likely be had for cheap and represent a chance to build value. I don’t want any of these guys starting but with our already full roster we might have to move pieces in order to provide playing time.

    In no particular order some scrap players are ; T-rob, Jordan Hill, Vasquez, B-rush, Gary neal, Anthony Bennet, Chase Bud, AB0, Eric Gordon, Moe Harkless, Derek Williams, Gerald Henderson, Courtney Lee, Kevin Martin, Austin Rivers, and Meyers Leonard.

    We need more athletic ability/ size/skill at the point. Lee, Gordon, Neal, Rivers, and brooks all offer some attribute that we currently do not have on the squad whether it is scoring or more length at the 1

    At the 2 we are set , but getting a backup that can shoot and play with Harden either at the 1 or 3 would be very nice.

    At the 3 ariza really has a great skillset , but we can find a better slasher and maybe someone with a bit more individual scoring skills.

    At the bigs , We have Clint and then a bunch of questions. To be in good shape we need 3 bigs who can play and have different niches . DMO im hopeful for but cant count on. Our young guys have great potential to be solid rotation bigs. But I would like to see us pick up a vet who can fill the gap until they are ready and brings solid team D and good finishing ability on offense.

    At this point
    We have maybe 5 guys that can reasonably be counted on to be average –above average NBA players
    Bev
    James
    Ariza
    Dmo ( if healthy)
    Clint

    This is not enough . Free agency as it has gone so far, there are only 10-15 players who could be reasonably counted on to be rotational players on a playoff team. WE are going to have to take some risks and make some trades if we want to get the tide turning in a positive direction and maybe set us up for true contention in 2017. Internal growth would be massively appreciated.
     
  2. The_Pants_Store

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    Too long, did not read.
     
  3. aurocketfan

    aurocketfan Member

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    Didn't read.

    But we're done.
     
  4. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    Yea, def not reading that.
     
  5. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    I had an issue with the 14th paragraph.
     
  6. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos MoRley only Fan
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    too much man...
     
  7. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    Lol sorry y'all there's a lot to be said . At least the thread title is an indication it would be long . In reality there's no way it takes more than 5 min to read.
     
  8. SirIvyLeague

    SirIvyLeague Member

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    Pointless thread.
     
  9. Nimnal

    Nimnal Contributing Member

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    I read it and appreciated the perspective.
     
  10. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة
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    at least you are not the icecream man
     
  11. Garner

    Garner Member

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    Ryan Anderson is not a below average player. you don't average 17 points in the NBA as a below average player.
     
  12. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    Simply put...the Rockets are in a tailspin.
     
  13. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    I wrote this pre Anderson . I agree , we have 6 now depending on if we keep Dmo . I can live with one of Dmo / Anderson coming off the bench , but it means that one of them will have to play some other position a bit in order to get enough value from the contract .
     
  14. Dream Shake 81

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    I see the upcoming season as a opportunity for teams like the Rockets.

    In my opinion- for the next few years, players motivation will be driven by the potential to earn a large contract Vs. winning championships.. Making even the worst teams a bit better. Players won't quit on their teams just because of a bad record.

    Current teams spending crazy money on 1-2 players will be behind the eight ball once the dust settles.

    Every player, not yet signed to a big contract, will be playing like its a "contract year". New superstars will emerge organically. Teams like the Rockets who have been underperforming, will pick themselves up and play to their potential with pure motivation to work hard.

    This is now an NBA where any player can get a big deal given they play hard.

    The Rockets, without signing another superstar, already has a foundation that most teams could wish for.

    The Rockets WILL emerge as a winning team, and will do it with young, and experienced players who have everything to gain & nothing to loose.
    .
    .
    .
     
  15. Texanasiafan

    Texanasiafan Member

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    Another delusional whine.

    OP you have mentioned : the first year of Harden's Rockets team is your favorite team, then you should be very happy about the direction of this franchise is going, because you are going to see that sorry ass team again.

    Gratz, now go wipe your tears.
     
  16. Breitbard

    Breitbard Contributing Member

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    Good analysis, nicely formatted. Not too long for an off-season speculative thread. Basically - the dreams of two seasons ago are dashed and not returning soon, which I agree with.
     
  17. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    ^^ dream shake I hope you are right . I said at the end of my long ass post that internal growth is our best bet .
     
  18. Dream Shake 81

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    Yes, absolutely.

    Rockets also have an opportunity to shake off the "Rockets players are assets" association by cultivating current young players into stars & retaining their talent- versus building trade assets just to move them for one.
    .
    .
     
  19. snowconeman22

    snowconeman22 Member

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    Spot on . I think this is our best plan . Even if our young talent isn't perceived to be top notch .

    We have to change the perception of our team culture . We have been ridiculed nationally for too long . We have to make strides this season to positively change the narrative, otherwise we aren't going to attract any talent . This matters not only for free agency but also for trades.
     
  20. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    The state of the Houston Rockets?

    Texas!
     
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