[Chron] Solomon: Rockets GM has long admired Harden’s star potential

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by durvasa, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    http://blog.chron.com/ultimaterocke...-gm-has-long-admired-harden’s-star-potential/

    [rquoter]
    Daryl Morey and I have talked about many NBA players over the years.

    Whenever Morey explained to me why his secretive statistical data — while maintaining all of the secrets, mind you — led the Rockets general manager to believe what he believed, I always came away with this thought:

    “The man knows more than I know.”

    Sometimes his numbers validated my eyesight and gut; sometimes they didn’t.

    That’s not to say Morey is always right. Player evaluation is an inexact science with too many variables for only numbers to tell the story.

    If you don’t believe your eyes, you can mess around, put one and one together and come away with Trevor Ariza. He was No. 1 all right. His jersey said so, anyway.

    As with all general managers, Morey has been trying to find a player, more than one, actually, who wasn’t yet a star but could become one. That diamond in the rough.

    Everybody knows the superstars. Most are familiar with the stars. Potential stars and superstars are more difficult to spot.

    Morey’s breakdown of top players can be fascinating. You might be able to give five reasons LeBron James is the best player in the game. Morey can give you dozens.

    One day, James Harden’s name came up in conversation. Rarely has Morey raved so much about a player.

    This was before Harden was on the market, before Oklahoma City had even considered trading the 23-year-old guard, and before the bearded one’s all-everything debut as a Rocket, when he scored 37 points and added 12 assists, six rebounds and four steals in Wednesday’s 105-96 win over Detroit.

    False fanfare in past

    You are within your rights to believe the things Morey said about Harden this week were because, as a GM who has made such a significant trade, he is obligated to do so.

    And sure, Morey once said that Kyle Lowry was the kind of player a team could build around. Lowry was better than most thought, but nowhere near that good. And Morey had some of you believing the Kevin Martin trade was a “blockbuster,” as the Chronicle and Rockets.com headlines blared in February 2010.

    Morey has been star searching like Ed McMahon since Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady suffered career-altering and ending injuries.

    Morey never thought Ariza could be a superstar. He never thought Martin, whose career numbers were close to and in many categories better than Harden’s at the same point in their careers, could be a superstar. He hoped they might, but he wasn’t counting on it. His analytics, his eyes, told him better.

    Morey’s take on Harden is, and was, different. And it had nothing to do with the fact the two receive checks from the same company. Remember, Harden was the enemy at the time.

    Morey marveled at Harden’s offensive skills and talked about Harden being vastly underrated. About how Harden had yet to even realize his potential, despite being an

    Olympian and a key member of a team that made it to the NBA Finals.

    The GM believed Harden was as good or better without Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook on the floor, meaning Harden’s success wasn’t directly related to his more accomplished teammates’ presence.


    Facing harsh reality

    Morey even talked about how difficult it was going to be to put together a team that could challenge the Thunder and their tri-star lineup of Durant, Westbrook and

    Harden, all of whom were likely to continue to get better in the next couple of years.

    See, Morey knew he didn’t have a player anywhere near as talented as any of those three.

    Heck, he didn’t even have a player with the potential to be on the superstar level with any of those three.

    Now he does.

    Listen to The Rush with Jerome Solomon and Dave Tepper weekdays from noon-2 p.m. on ESPN 97.5 FM.

    [/rquoter]
     
  2. OremLK

    OremLK Member

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    This doesn't surprise me at all. Anybody who pays the slightest attention to advanced statistics could tell that Harden is a Moreyball kind of player. Fortunately, Harden passes the eyeball test as well, with his ridiculous physique and obvious versatility on the court.
     
  3. bongman

    bongman Member

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    Stop it.. just stop it Durv !!!! Just when I thought I was coming down from all the excitement for our team, you take me back up :grin:
     
  4. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

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    He passes the stat test.
    He passes the eye test.
    Does he pass the mind test?

    That's what we are going to find out. A lot of players have the talent to be elite players in the NBA. But are they tireless workers to get better and better? Are they leaders? Are they insanely competitive?

    These are things we'll have to wait to find out, but I've liked what i've seen and heard so far. Right now, I no longer understand why any one is putting a ceiling on Harden. It's not like he was drafted in the 2nd round.
     
  5. torocan

    torocan Member

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    Yup. There were quite a few gearheads that have considered Harden absurdly under-rated. I still found the whole "he's a 6th man!" argument hilarious. ;)

    Will he be Durant? Probably not... but then how many players around can you say have a *chance* of being in that class? Not many, that's for dang sure. That Harden does says loads about his upside.

    Still, given how many GM's are dopes even when looking at players as gifted as Harden does speak well to Morey's analyses.
     
  6. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    I hate Solomon's writing style.
     
  7. Hippieloser

    Hippieloser Contributing Member

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    I usually don't care for it, either. But this was a good one. When's he's not snidely mocking something, he writes pretty well.
     
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy Contributing Member

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    I actually like Solomon on the radio but I hate, hate, hate the way he spins his articles. Nobody thought Morey was bringing in a great player in Ariza. That was just a warm, coveted body to plug into a hole and dangle as trade bait. What else did you want to do with that cap exception? Sit on it and let it go to waste?

    Nobody thought Martin was going to be a megastar. We knew we were getting an efficient, 2nd tier scorer to mesh with Yao but more importantly, we had unloaded an all but worthless McGrady contract. That's all it was - nothing more.

    Did Morey really say Lowry was a player to build around? If so he was probably just giving a reporter lip service and/or pressuring Adelman to play the guy more. In the end we got a lotto pick for him, teams do build around lotto picks after-all...

    Solomon writes like a girl argues, spins everything, ever so slightly, in such a way to blindside the less intelligent folks.

    Give it up Solomon. Write a like damn man for once. Not like a girl.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. D12Eminem

    D12Eminem Member

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    Yes he's got one of the most coach friendly attitudes anyone could get from a player, and his work ethic is unreal....HARDEN, Lin, and parsons are very hard workers, and have high competition level, like clutch said...."it's in his blood" (clutch speaking on Harden's ability to mold after 2 practices, there are college stories, high schcool stories, and the taking the OKC 6th man ob "volunteering for it bc it was best to the team.

    Welcome...he passes all tests, I thought he was one of the top reasons, other than durant playing ball hard, but Harden was the glue onD, the clutch shooter, that never could get "enough shots" cough cough Westbrook, Harden is baller, I think all that A. Have seen him play at times proves he deserved "his own team",and B. the ones that saw the game, I'm not talkin ust rockets fans, all the tweets bout Harden, people know this guy is it, he's a affable
     
  10. Aruba77

    Aruba77 Contributing Member

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    it's so true that Harden is on another level. Those #3 picks often are. Amazing we were able to get a guy like this without tanking. I really hope we continue to stay the course and hold out for a true 2nd premier star, and not settle for an over-payed sudo-star like Josh Smith or some of the other names people have mentioned. Lin, Asik, and Harden is a nice start. Hopefully we can develop what we have and find out if we have another major piece on our roster, or jump on another special opportunity by using our assets and cap-space, should one present itself. I sincerely hope the Morey haters will crawl back into their holes. His plan worked.
     
  11. FanOnGessner

    FanOnGessner Member

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    He's even worse on the radio. Most annoying radio personality I have ever heard.
     
  12. studogg

    studogg Contributing Member

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    would love to rep you just for the girl argument line - but alas - i must spread first
     
  13. htownrocketman

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    James goes Hard-en the paint!!!
     
  14. BigShotBob

    BigShotBob Member

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    Stat Test
    Eye Test
    and
    Mind Test.

    To me we will soon see the mind test being passed by Harden. For me, im already convinced he has passed the mind test just from watching interviews. The way Harden speaks of himself as a leader and that "the team will only get better" You can see and hear the confidence in him. He has a swagger and he knows it.
     
  15. bumbum09

    bumbum09 Contributing Member

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    Same guy that blasts Morey with a petty article on using a petty word like "assets" now says, "The man knows more than I know." Now that Morey and his team got Harden...

    Go away "King" Solomon!!!

    I can live with criticizing Morey's player decisions but trying to call him out on using the word "asset"?!? That article left a bitter taste in my mouth...
     
    #15 bumbum09, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  16. KDJ3

    KDJ3 Contributing Member

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    I now stay away from and fear 97.5 FM from 12-2 p.m. every week day.
     
  17. Jimes

    Jimes Member

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    I don't like Solomon's style, but his comparison of Morey to Ed McMahon made me chuckle :grin:
     
  18. Russjr2

    Russjr2 Contributing Member

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    I love the scoring Harden brings, but I really like the assists and steals. Tht measn he isout there maknig things happen for his team.

    This was a great piece to add to our team. Next summer we can go after a really good PF or a decent PF and another good player to add some depth at another position. We will have the flexibility to make moves. Things are looking up in H-town now.
     
  19. roslolian

    roslolian Member

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    I'd have to say so. I was one of the biggest Harden detractors when he was first drafted, because at the time I thought number 3 was too high for him. I watched his games the first couple of years and didn't see anything special, he was getting outplayed by Thabo. It all changed 2-3 years ago though, so unlike someone like say Melo who came in with a bang but never progressed, I think Harden's someone who will only get better because if you had watched him closely the last couple of years you'd see improvements in his game year after year.
     
  20. Fullcourt

    Fullcourt Contributing Member

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    Best part about all of this is the fact that by strengthing our team, we directly weaken the only team in the West that had dynasty potential.
     
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