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A Look Back at Tonight's Game (Players' Grades)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Manny Ramirez, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    It was great to see the Rockets win tonight! The game was just as I thought..a close one that wasn't decided until the end & in this case, it had to go to overtime to decide it.

    I had the same problem that others had in that the game was blacked out on my League Pass, but I was able to see it on Fox Sports South with unfortunately Mike Glenn and Bob somebody (the Hawks announcers) calling the game.

    Before I get into the players for the Rockets, a couple of things:

    1) The Hawks will be a playoff team in the East, probably anywhere from 6th to 8th. Abdur-Rahim was awesome with a double-double and Emanual Davis, ex-Rocket, was very effective on both offense and defense for the Hawks.

    2) Toni Kukoc really struggled for the Hawks and Jason Terry didn't seem too involved at times in the Hawks offense. These 2 have to play better for the Hawks to be a consistent team capable of making the Eastern playoffs.

    3) Chris Crawford nearly killed the Rockets with his play off the bench. He's a nice player and everything, but come on: Chris Crawford??!! There's no excuse for the Rockets to let him do the things that he did. He turned the momentum around for the Hawks and that is what caused the game to go to overtime.

    Now onto the players, Rockets only, of course:

    PG Steve Francis: solid all-around game for the Franchise who had over 20 points and was in double figures in rebounds. I thought he forced a couple of shots and missed several free throws, but he came through in overtime and stepped up like a "franchise" player would..pretty good defense, too for the most part..grade A-

    SG Cuttino Mobley: he was over 20 points as well and he looked solid. He was a little more out of control than Franchise and he dribbled too much plus he looked really bad in one possession against Chris Crawford that resulted in a shot clock violation. I think he can play a lot better..grade B+

    C Kelvin Cato: very effective tonight, believe it or not! This is what Rocket fans have always wanted from him. We want him to play hard and show a little fire and he did that. Played excellent defense near the end especially in drawing a foul on Abdur-Rahim. He even hit a big shot in overtime that was not a dunk that pretty much sealed the game..had close to a double double in points and rebounds..grade A

    SF Glen Rice: poor Glen..this was not a good night for him. He definitely could have used the pre-season more, but I think that Rudy did the right thing by resting him. However, his shot, especially from the outside was off and as a result he felt more comfortable putting the ball on the floor and cutting to the basket. Steve didn't realize this and this caused several turnovers; however, these 2 will get their chemistry down and this should improve. Although he had 6 points, he played great defense, including the block on Kukoc at the end of regulation..grade C+

    PF Kenny Thomas: started off slowly and took some ill-advised shots, but came around and finished with a nice game having around 15 points. Showed some surprising quickness and made some good moves to the basket, also made some great passes to Rice and Cato for easy baskets. Played outstanding defense on Abdur-Rahim in the 4th quarter and overtime . He showed that he has outstanding hands by stripping Abdur-Rahim several times, but I agree with others that he needs to not shoot so much from the outside..grade A-

    Bench
    Kevin Willis: he had a great game as always having 9 points and 9 rebounds in the first half alone. I don't think he did much in the second half, but he didn't get to play until the 4th quarter. Almost hit the game-winning shot in regulation and played solid defense. The Rockets have to get him the ball more, though, on offense...grade A

    Moochie Norris: played great for the most part except when he had a wide-open 3 and passed it up & the Rockets wound up getting a shotclock violation. I was screaming at home for him to take that shot. However, for the most part, he proved that he might be the best back-up PG in the NBA. I'm glad that he re-signed..grade A-

    Eddie Griffin: didn't get to do too much when he was in there, but he will get his chances. He looked a little lost at times..wasn't afraid to jack up the shot..it may be unfair to give him a grade but he did play some minutes..grade C

    Walt Williams: the Wizard struggled all night. I don't know if he even scored and he missed at least 2 wide open 3's. Same old Walt..great one night and missing in action in other nights..tonight was a MIA...grade D

    Oscar Torres: got to play the last minute of the second quarter...didn't get a chance to do anything..grade Incomplete

    Terrence Morris and Tierre Brown: both were DNP and probable CD (coach's decision). It's going to be hard for Rudy to get a good rotation where everybody is going to be happy.

    Coaching: For the most part, I was happy with the way Rudy did things. I did think that he kept Francis out too long during the beginning of the 4th quarter, but other than that, everything he did was fine...grade A-

    With the League Pass, I was able to see that the Magic clocked the Raptors and the Bucks win a thriller in Salt Lake City over the Jazz plus the Wizards lost.

    I don't think I could have been this happy after one night, but my expectations were met and then some! What a great night all around the league! Thank God for the NBA!
     
  2. ROXRAN

    ROXRAN Contributing Member

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    I am happy, so happy the Rockets won. however, as well as francis played, I would have preferred to see better passing, and playmaking. Moochie in particular seemed out of it. Cat played well also but the TO's was not too good by both of the guard tandem. On the upside...., the rest of the team did well regarding TO's and I was very surprised at cato's consistency in showing hustle, effort, and not pouting at refs...It's almost like a different player. Kenny losing weight is the best thing that could happen...he seemed a lot quicker and D. was great!

    Ugly game, but hey a win is beautiful! :) :D :cool:
     
  3. SCOOTER T.

    SCOOTER T. Contributing Member

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    I agree with all your grades for tonight game. Now add Cato and Willis's totals for the game and then add up Hakeem and whomever is playing the backup center for Toronto totals. I bet our Rocket Centers totals faired very well against Toronto stats.
     
  4. LA's #1 Rocket Fan

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    As always good info Manny! I can't see the games here but I love reading everyone's post on the game. Your summary on the player's play is great. Thanks for the good read!
     
  5. Manny Ramirez

    Manny Ramirez The Music Man

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    I will say this. In looking back at my grading, I was a little generous with Moochie and the other guards. The Rockets ran into trouble, as usual, when they didn't move the ball on offense and this happened several times throughout the game.

    I know that the Rockets feel that they have the talent to play one-on-one with other teams, but it's frustrating to watch this type of play when it's more enjoyable to see them work the ball and get lay-ups or dunks for the frontcourt.
     
  6. Dallas Rocket

    Dallas Rocket Contributing Member

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    MR, totally agree.

    Too much dribbling, esp. Moochie who damn near tanked us while he was in there for Francis. Other team has to guard no one while 15-18 seconds wasted off the clock, and then there's not time to swing the ball to get a really good shot. It showed in 3 for whatever shooting in 4th quarter. AND THE ISOLATION/ONE-ON-ONE IS JUST NOT FUN TO WATCH. Improved team play esp. from Mooch and Mobley would bring in more fans, not to mention be more effective.

    Defense won this game for us- and the players got the message. That's how you win the ugly games. All in all, good start.:) :)
     
  7. tycoonchip

    tycoonchip Member

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    just thought i say i agree on most except the part on rudy. Rudy t. should have taken walt out earlier. He's wasting our future players'time.... t-mo and torres... those guys should not be incompletes on the grades. walt deserves an f and rudy's grade should drop a bit for keepin walt in there
     
  8. mr_gootan

    mr_gootan Member

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    Rudy T should definitely get a lower grade. That game should not have had to go into overtime. You come out of the timeout with that for the last play in regulation? I miss CD and Berry on the sideline.
     
  9. barbourdg

    barbourdg Contributing Member

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    Franics - A- (he did hit the clutch shots down the stretch)

    Mobley - A (good overall game, except TO's).

    Cato - A (but can he keep this up all season)

    KT - C (like his overall game, BUT WHY IN THE HELL DOES HE KEEP SHOOTING 3's!!!!, looks like Barkley shotting 3's).

    Glen Rice - C (looked rough out there, and would not sit on the 3 point line when Francis was passing, but did block the shot that put us into OT).

    Moochie - D- (looked terrible, I WILL SAY IT AGAIN FOR THE 100th time on cc.net - Moochie favorite move is dribbling in circles for 10 seconds, and then forcing a bad pass, turnover, or bad shot!!!. No way he should of been in the game down the stretch, he has the worse ball handeling skills!!!)

    Willis - B- (overall not a bad game, he looked good on the defensive end).

    Walt - D- (not a factor at anything tonight, I would of loved to see Morris & Griffin in there at the same time, to wash out Theo's Blocks).

    NOT A HEAVY ROTATION OF PLAYERS TONIGHT: Morris, Oscar, etc...

    With the bad shooting tonight, we would of won this game easily if we had Bullard in the game instead of Walt. There were so many open shots that Rice, Walt and Kenny shot tonight. I think even Langhi would of made 30% - 40% of them.
     
  10. boomboom

    boomboom Contributing Member

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    Agreed! Why was the play set for Steve to drive at the ONLY defensive weapon (Ratliff) that Atlanta has? Luckily, everything worked out. I would hope that taking on the opponent's best defensive player with the game on the line is not in Rudy's future playbook.

    I think the play that really turned the game around was Kukoc's airball. It seemed to take a bit of steam out of the Hawks.

    The Cato dunk rocked!!! :eek: I almost went through the ceiling when I saw him slash to the basket and throw down that monster!!!:)
     
  11. leebigez

    leebigez Contributing Member

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    Francis,Mobley,Cato, and Willis A's, Thomas a B, Moochie a D, and Williams and Rice a F. I don't grade on a curve.
     
  12. WoodlandsBoy

    WoodlandsBoy Contributing Member

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    RUDY T (D). I hate Rudy T's 2nd half rotations because they make no sense. He left all the starters out there for the entire 3rd quarter and you could tell they were tired especially Cato, and Rice. They should not have lost the lead in the end of the 3rd. Then in the 4th quarter he put in Moochie for way too long. Mooch was getting tired and started making mistakes but Rudy T finally came to his senses with 4:00 min left in the game and brought back Mobley and Francis together.
     
  13. ricerocket

    ricerocket Member

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    Rice definately needs some wind sprints and to get in game shape. Everything he missed was short, which is just no legs. He'll be all right in a few games. The open shots he gets are great! :D
     
  14. RocksMillenium

    RocksMillenium Contributing Member

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    I'm happy with the win. Francis put up solid numbers despite an off game, Willis and Cato and KT were nails. The weird thing though is, outside of clutchcity.net, Mobley is getting TRASHED! I'm hearing Rockets fans calling him a ball-hog and the reason our offense sucked last night was because of Mobley's ball-hogging. Weird. Then again the way people were talking fan support at the game wasn't that good so I guess it's par for the course. This team is going to take a little bit of time to get clicking offensively, but when they do. . .
     
  15. alley-oop

    alley-oop Member

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    I haven't had a chance to watch the game yet. Mobley played the most minutes and was tied for the best shooting percentage on the team. He had too many turnovers, but was his decision making bad? Was he really ball hoging? It seams he made the right decisions on his shooting almost 60%. Did Mobley get counted for the turnovers for when players like Cato drop good passes? He only shot 4 free throws which makes me think he didn't force it into the lane too much. Is any of this true?
     
  16. Live

    Live Member

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    Francis - B, good all-around game, dominated ball too much, was a bit inconsistent defensively (lost his man for a couple of wide-open Js, but played good help defense)

    Cat - B+, see Francis, really had his shot going, good defensively against good offensive G

    Rice - D\Inc., shot poorly, not in game shape, made some nice passes

    Thomas - B-, solid defense, impressed with his ball-handling, still can't shoot, shouldn't attempt another 3 for the rest of career, needs to post-up much more

    Cato - B, solid game, good intensity and focus, but was actually outplayed a bit by an out-of-shape Ratliff (12pts, 8 rebs, 6blks)

    Willis - B, solid game, he needs more touches in the post to help stabilize offense a bit

    Griffin - C, decent stint, matching up with SAR is a tough initiation for any rookie, would've been nice if he had some post-up opportunities with a player of similar build (SAR) guarding him, looked a bit lost

    Mooch - B-, see Francis, NO MORE PASSING UP OPEN SHOTS!

    Walt - D, see Rice except for passing part, another slow start to the season

    Rudy & Co. - B, would've liked to have seen more post-ups, nice adjustments defensively

    OVERALL- B, offense was Knick-ish, but so was defense, good energy and focus on night when shots weren't falling & offensive execution wasn't sharp at all.
     
    #16 Live, Oct 31, 2001
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2001
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