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[Analysis] 94-95 vs. 14-15 team

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by NL Rocket, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. NL Rocket

    NL Rocket Member

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    Exactly 20 years ago we won our back-to-back title and I want to show that team (that ended the year, so basically the playoff version) has some similarities and that playoff rotation might be good for us to learn from.

    First of, how coincidental that the 94-95 team had two stars: a SG and a C. Guess what, our two current stars are a SG and a C. Differences be damned, it's just a fun fact that the positions are the same. Now let's look at the rest of the playoff roster:

    Starting line-up
    Kenny Smith: A veteran PG who was a 3pt machine, could penetrate some and was very good in the pick and roll but his role was basically dump it, stand around and shoot when Dream kicks it out.
    Pete Chilcutt: a 26 year old stretch 4 who could rebound but did not do any of the dirty work which is why he was replaced with Chucky Brown and Elie later on.
    We all know Horry's play and role as a defender and 3pt shooter.

    Now let's look at what we have possibly at the end of the year as starters:
    Beverley: first off, a veteran due to his years overseas. Unfortunately, not a great 3pt shooter though okay enough and haven't seen enough playmaking ability but like that 94-95 team, it's not really necessary. Defensively, Beverley is already better than Kenny so we're good there.
    Ariza: basically a defender and 3pt shooter like Horry though smaller and not much of a shot blocker, but good nonetheless. Also comparable to Elie who moved to starting SF (game 5 of WCF) in being mainly a defender and 3pt shooter.

    The 4 spot deserves it's own space because it's a tough one. When looking at the 94-95 playoff team we had Petey, Chucky & Horry as our PF. Petey and Horry were stretch 4s, but Horry as a PF was only succesfull in certain match-ups though he proved to be the start of the stretch 4 type of player. Let's focus on the other two though: Petey (already explained) and Chucky. Chucky was a hard working veteran with a good enough mid range game and just a hard worker, good rebounder and could sometimes make a great move.

    In a way, you can compare Petey and Chucky to our PF tandem in D-Mo & TJ. TJ is the guy with a good midrange game, D-Mo has the range. Petey and Chucky had equal inside moves, obviously D-Mo has the edge on both of those and TJ as well. TJ is a better rebounder than D-Mo but still needs to learn position and hard work, before he can grab them like Chucky could. D-Mo is the veteran, but needs to show a consistent outside shot for him to be our stretch 4.

    Conclusion::
    * We do not necessarily need an upgrade at PG, though Beverley needs to shoot better and bite less on defense and just stay in front of his man.
    * Ariza is the right guy for this team, a good enough defender that can shoot the 3 and can get to the rim as well. If he can keep that 40% shooting of the playoffs this year, we should feel very happy about this upgrade.
    * Our PF spot will all depend on the development of D-Mo and TJ in 3pt shooting, rebounding and all round defense. Also a lot will hinge on McHale's belief on both. One needs to show the hunger and hustle before the trade deadline or it's time to move one.

    Now let's look at the bench:
    Cassell: 2nd year player but already playing like a seasoned veteran. Showed a lot of poise, some great penetrative ability and deadly midrange game along with the good 3pt shot. Defensively not the best, but solid.
    Elie: junkyard dog, does not need much explaining. Attacked the basket a few times, but more 3pt shooting than anything else.
    Chucky Brown: veteran hustler
    Charles Jones: old as hell, but still very solid because he showed poise, blocked the ocassional shot, knew his position and could defend and rebound which is what he was asked to do.

    Our current bench:
    Canaan: can shoot but has not proven much else
    Daniels: dead eye shooter, needs to develop some defense and just the experience of the NBA
    Adrien: very undersized but can rebound, kind of a veteran and apparently a hard worker.
    Dorsey: veteran in terms of years, but has not proven anything.

    Obviously, as already mentioned, TJ or D-Mo could be the back-up PF instead of Adrien but both need to prove themselves. It could also be Papa, but still a big question mark as far as defense in the NBA goes. He can shoot nicely apparently.

    Conclusion:
    - PG position needs a veteran player or at least one that can produce the way Cassell could. If Lin had the confidence he had during his NY stint, he would've been perfect. Sessions would solid, though he's not a 3pt shooter. Ish Smith is here for fun, he will contribute zero to wannabe contender.
    - SG position will depend on Daniels' development. That 94-95 team did not have a back-up SG and would use both Kenny & Sam or Elie at SG. I think we give him time to show he can do it or else trade for a veteran wing.
    - SF position is not set, Papa apparently more of a PF so I hope for a return of Garcia in his 11-12 playoff form. He would be a Elie type defender and 3pt shooter off the bench.
    - PF position is a big question mark, but all depends on how our players pan out but I think we need a Chucky Brown type hustler so we should hope Adrien is that guy. If not, need to sign a underrated defensive PF who can rebound, defend and has some midrange game. I would love Chuck Hayes if he can be had.
    - C position needs a veteran, plain and simple. A guy with solid positioning, defense and rebounding. Not sure Dorsey is the guy. Oneal proved with Warriors he has game and Okafor might be good as well.

    I think we can still do something special, but at this point, too many IFs. Coaching is of course a big deal, though I was surprised at McHale's ability to adjust during the playoffs. Rudy T was a lot less scared to mix line-ups, but the main difference between our roster and the 94-95 one is experience. We had a lot of experience and veterans on that team, last year's team was young and this one even younger.

    Adrien, Canaan or even Nick Johnson could become contributors but solid veteran players are much needed. Let's hope Morey can get them. This comparison at least made me a little more positive and it's clear to me what we need. I'm not as hung up on Harden's defense due to positive signs with team USA and the fact that Drexler was also not that great or didn't even try at times. Also the PG upgrade that I also thought we need is not as necessary as I thought, especially with Kenny not being a creator and we have Harden :)

    Hope this helps others be a bit more positive or it gives some food for thought / discussion.
     
  2. tinman

    tinman You want to protect the world
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    We got no Cassell, but we got no Cassell last year either .
     
  3. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

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    Yep
    Cassell's balls is twice as big as lin's bb iq
     
  4. tinman

    tinman You want to protect the world
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    Alien > Kids from Palo Alto
     
  5. seeingred

    seeingred Member

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    the way i remember, the 1-4 setup was huge for our offense. Hakeem in the middle and 4 shooters distributed around him would carry us for stretches every game. I hope Howard's post game and, even more than that his Passing, continue to improve to give us a Pick Your Poison type situation.
     
  6. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Hakeem >>>>> Dwight
     
  7. DarkHorse

    DarkHorse Contributing Member

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    Dwight is no Hakeem, not even close. Hakeem was one of the greatest 2 way players of all time.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. jayhow92

    jayhow92 Member

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    Rudy >>> McHale
     
  9. FTW Rockets FTW

    FTW Rockets FTW Contributing Member
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    You forget that we had a competent coach who could get the players to buy in and hold them accountable in Rudy T. Now we have the useless, incompetent, loser, joke of a head coach in McHale possibly the worst in the NBA.
     
  10. CDrex

    CDrex Contributing Member

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    I really don't think there's much comparison. There is no one on this team with the same skill set as anyone on that team. Dwight isn't Hakeem. Harden isn't Clyde. McHale is certainly not Rudy.

    Ariza as some sort of Elie/Horry hybrid is the only one that makes even a little sense to me.

    I think this is wishful thinking to even say "here's what we have to do to reach that level." There's too many levels between those squads to count.
     
  11. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Cassell wasn't Cassell at the beginning of 94-95 either.
     
  12. Shaq2Yao

    Shaq2Yao Member

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    The big difference. One is a reigning champion. The other is a first round fodder.
     
  13. darksoul35

    darksoul35 Member

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    Exactly. Their names should not be mentioned in the same paragraph.
     
  14. langal

    langal Contributing Member

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    Hakeem >>>>>> Dwight + Harden
     
  15. Layup Drill

    Layup Drill Member

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    this.
     
  16. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    A better comparison is any of those early T-Mac/Yao teams. Two stars, a decent player at the forward spots, and a bunch of ****.

    What happened to the FO's ability to find diamonds in the rough?
     
  17. cml750

    cml750 Contributing Member
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    not saying you are wrong but I think you understated that a little bit!!

    Hakeem >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dwight:cool:

    That is not a knock on DH rather just an acknowledgement of how awesome Dream truly was!!!:cool:
     
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