[ClutchFans] Podcast: What in the world is wrong with the Houston Rockets?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Clutch, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Clutch

    Clutch Administrator
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    http://rockets.clutchfans.net/9370/what-is-wrong-houston-rockets/

     
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  2. dragonwill

    dragonwill Member

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    Howard is unhealthy, we miss his consistence strong defense in the paint. No pure shooter in our team.
     
  3. tehG l i d e

    tehG l i d e Member

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    Fitting picture. Harden yelling at Howard and Thornton for not covering his man who blew past him with ease.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. T_Man

    T_Man Contributing Member

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  5. Dhoward12

    Dhoward12 Member

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    Hope Lawson can turn it around.
     
  6. KlutchQT

    KlutchQT I am a Girl

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    Been waiting for this -- thank you!!
     
  7. KlutchQT

    KlutchQT I am a Girl

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    Grim outlook on Ty. Nothing I haven't thought to myself -- but kinda sucks to hear confirmation, for whatever reason.
     
  8. Htownballer38

    Htownballer38 Member

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    Good stuff Clutch. Seems like they have ventured onto the GARM and stole some our thoughts.
     
  9. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    Easily the most Disheartening podcast I've heard since Clutch started doing podcasts...

    I'm all for Clutch getting those clicks, but warning: unless you want your keyboard, iPhone or Android device soaked with the tears of disappointment, steer clear. Run. Burn your earbuds!

    Excuse me while I weep into my pillow...
     
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  10. OpenLayup-Why3?

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    Summer of 2014 was World Cup, not Olympics.
     
  11. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Member

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    Howard has been talking to media about possibly wanting out
     
  12. chandlerbang21

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    Forgotten season
     
  13. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    MK: This team is in full blown crisis mode. The Kevin McHale firing was a panic move. What we've seen is terrible. If you believe your players quit, you have to make the move but acknowledging that is not absolving the players of blame. ... I don't understand how Bickerstaff fixes this issue? Ty Lawson said the coaches called a play and we ran something else. That's the coaches. Bickerstaff is the defensive minded coach. How do you elevate Bickerstaff and expect the players to respect him when they disregarded a HOF coach, HOF player, and a coach who most view as a players coach? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Firing McHale doesn't solve all your problems, just one specific problem that reflects poorly on the players themselves.

    C: I got a chuckle out of that narrative (Bickerstaff will fix the defense). I feel bad for McHale. We were getting closer for them to make a change but they needed a few additional changes: Terry/Beverley for Lawson before making this move. I feel bad for him. He was here part of a rebuild, he was here as part of the group to get Harden & Howard, he was a big part of reeling in Howard. It shakes me a little bit to the core. Is this group of players the right group? If they're drowning out HOF Kevin McHale...it'd be one thing if they said we need a jump on an Xs and O's level...they drowned him out and stopped listening. That genuinely concerns me.

    MK: Not at one point did Xs and Os come up, we need better execution or better strategy on the bench. That's one failing most people have said McHale had and the FO never mentioned that perceived failing. It's all about the relationship with the players, which is strange because he's a "player's coach". It's a poor situation when you have a locker room with established leaders(Terry, Ariza) and they can't steer the locker room away from the guys who are malcontents. It reflects poorly on those two guys when the leadership of your coach is being disregarded and they're the 2 best players on your team. They either needed to rally around the coach or they undermined his authority and that's a horrible way to go for a roster you worked so hard to get in place, to get so close last year and have everything fall apart right now. You can't fix this on the fly. Either this works or you tear it apart and start over in the West.

    C: (Losing the players) This is Harden & Howard. If they said "He's my coach", McHale is still here. Maybe you can say Les is fed up but the players had a players only meeting, it had to come from the players. That's where I'm concerned. Harden is an elite player. Over a year ago, we said he had to mature. Clearly came into this season and regressed. His effort has not been there. I've watched many transition defense clips where Harden gives up or gives token effort. I wonder, if McHale is talking to a guy like Harden and says you need to do this and do that, and he says I've had enough.

    MK: I rather my star player plunge the knife in the back of the coach rather than get on the court and not give effort and use that as a reflection of the relationship with the coach. We've seen MJ/Doug Collins, Magic/Westhead, Deron/Sloan get coaches fired but they never took it on the court. This is where it treads dangerously: was [Harden] on the court blatantly not trying to point a finger at the coach and say I don't want him here anymore because he doesn't have the personality, leadership or stones to go right up and say get him out of here? That's slimy. All the fingers are pointing at 13. I can't wrap my mind how he committed himself so thoroughly last year to being better defensively because he was embarrassed the previous year. I don't know how you experience becoming a MVP player and then immediately regress to flat out not trying. That's really damning. Where is he at in what he's trying to accomplish or is he distracted? ... Dwight is absolved in this. Just last week, McHale said Dwight was the only one giving them what they've needed. He was still praising Dwight publicly. This isn't a Dwight thing. It's a 13 thing. ...

    C: People have joked about curses with Harden. He had a summer nowhere near what he had the year before with the Olympics. Maybe it is more sinister and lack of focus is intentional but I worry maybe he didn't take the summer quite as serious as he did in the past.

    MK: How do you get so close to the mountain top and then back up? Look at what Curry has done on top of where he was last year. He's even better now. He got to the mountain top and is looking for something beyond that. How can Harden have less focus & effort? He should be motivated to be better. Again, did he do this on purpose? ... How does JB Bickerstaff come in and say James you gotta do this? I'm dubious on this.

    C: Bickerstaff, they'll give him a legit chance but you have another big FA year and instead of having that coach, they'll use their open coach slot as a hook. As far as Dwight, he played his heart out when he is out there. I've heard him say so many times it starts with James and I. You have to hold him at least partly responsible in how could this team drown out the coach?

    MK: If he bangs on the table, McHale is still here. ... I really struggled Wednesday night not reading into everything in what happened in that locker room. It was weird but to hear Dwight say he and McHale had a pretty good relationship. Not great, not good. He quantified it. I always got the impression from Kevin's perspective they had a good relationship. He appreciated the effort Dwight gave him. It was weird to heard him say pretty good. At this point, I don't want to keep pointing fingers but 11 games in, based on last year, that they suddenly had a poor relationship with their coach.

    C: Reminds me of the 2012 Lakers, another Dwight Howard team where he was also gonna be a free agent. Bad timing for the Rockets to head south. It's still early but 14 games in and the Rockets look like a poor team. Are we putting up "Stay" billboards in Houston?

    MK: Circumstances have changed dramatically the way people view Dwight. He'll be 30 next month and he's clearly not the player he once was. He's only averaged 5 FGA the last 4 games. Does it look like they've missed him offensively? We're not looking at Dwight to get 20 points anymore. Saying all that, do you give him max money at 30 years old? I don't think so. Will there be a long list of teams banging down his door? Not with teams going small and looking at the Warriors kicking ass. You don't need guys like Dwight consistently to give you huge minutes and production. The market will dry up because a) the game has changed and b) his age. I don't know how this plays out. If he views himself as a prime time player and $20M/year, I think he's wrong. If he's happy here and embraces the next phase of his career, maybe they work it out. If he views himself as one of the best centers and elite scorers, we'll have problems.

    C: I think he opts out and looks for a few years more. Tough choice for the Rockets. ... What in the world is wrong with Ty Lawson? This is beyond a slump. I don't think he fits right now at all.

    MK: We went from a guy carefully trying to fit in to a guy who thinks maybe I don't fit here and being overly cautious. His shooting numbers have been in decline through his career. He's gotten worse every year in terms of raw shooting percentage. Maybe what the Rockets bought isn't what they thought they were buying. The fit isn't working. As much as we thought James needed the ball out of his hands, it ain't working. J.B. already pulled Ty not just because of production but getting [James] on the court with Terry, someone he's comfortable with. I don't think the fit is right and don't know how long they hold onto hope but we're 15 games in and nothing gives me the indication Harden & Lawson can play together. If you acknowledge that, do you start Beverley when he comes back? Who's the first off the bench? JET or Lawson? You still have to figure how to fit that guy in your offense and right now, there are no signs available that he fits here.

    C: I think you start Beverley, bring Lawson off the bench and if he struggles, go to Terry. They lucked out to work that contract to where he's an expiring. That was your big addition. You gotta get him going somehow.

    MK: But do you see any signs of seeing him getting it going?

    C: He'll drive & kick to no one. I think he's lost and how to play with this team. I don't know. I think he's given up on trying to fit in. He's not having any positive impact. They gotta get it figured out. ... Moreyball, folks are saying this has been solved. I don't know if I agree but the Rockets, they've been leading the league in 3PA the last several years, but since 2012-13, their best 3PT shooting team(a little under 37%), under 36%, under 35%, now we're under 30%. They're the worst 3PT shooting team while shooting the most. Is this not working or they can't hit right now?

    MK: Difficult question. I buy into what Bickerstaff is saying that they're getting the same looks and aren't hitting. All the guys you brought in to do a specific job aren't doing a job. It's not about defense being better. They're flat out missing shots. Do you hold out hope everyone finds their level and become that team again or maybe the roster construction isn't working with these players? I don't buy Moreyball is outdated because the team that won the championship last year does the exact same thing. They just have 2 of the best 3PT shooters. When you have good players, any philosophy looks good. I'm not sure this is an indictment on Moreyball. Maybe it's an indictment on roster construction. Maybe he's wrong on Ty Lawson and on the wrong end of the careers of Ariza, Thornton and Terry and maybe you haven't found a way to get Harden involved offensively without beating him down at the same time. The stat last year he led the league in 3s made and 3s contributed to, he's doing the same this year and they're missing. I'm not ready to hit the panic button on Moreyball. Morey has to be concerned because he worked hard to get these guys in place. If they don't start hitting 3 pointers, what the hell are they gonna do?

    C: Jones is 41% on 17 threes.

    MK: He's your Steph Curry!

    C: Next best guys are Beverley and Thornton at 33%, below league average. Everyone else beneath them. That's what has made me furious, tons and tons of threes but so many misses consistently. Morey made a couple of mistakes: Dekker doesn't look good, Josh Smith was a situation, if you knew D-Mo would be out a long time, Smith was under the impression he didn't have a defined role here. He would have had a positive impact. We expected Lawson to fill that void and that hasn't happened

    MK: What is he doing with the Clippers? Not much of anything.

    C: He seemed to get along with everyone here.

    MK: Bizarre sequence of events to lose him. If you knew D-Mo was gonna be out, you gotta push harder to get Smith back. When you have Kristaps ramming it up their backside, you were two bigs short. It would have been nice to have a Josh Smith. ... Last year they took 2,680 threes and they're on pace for 2,657. When you made 933 and on pace for 787, that's a huge gap. All the other things we're talking about, it boils down to shooting. If they won't make shots, they're cooked. They have defensive issues but if you're based on rim attacks and three pointers and you can't make a 3 pointer and your best player will come back some time soon, what are you gonna do? They tried harder the last 3 games defensively but the results are the same. They're a mess right now.

    C: One other thing, the perception at the time was why Smith was offended was the Rockets were waiting on McDaniels. He's not in the rotation. You have to weigh whether that was the right move. ... How do the Rockets get fixed? They look like a lottery team. They have the same problems they've had the last couple of years. Point Guard and Power Forward. Part of that is D-Mo is out. I don't know what they do to fix it.

    MK: They don't have a PG. They gave money to Beverley who is always hurt. Lawson looks like an awful fit and Terry is 137 years old. None of them quite work. It's back to Harden being PG.

    C: That's something that was lost on the Rockets. Everyone thought the ball would be in Lawson's hands, Harden would be off the ball, spot up 3s and make cuts. I never understood that. It was the same thing with Tracy McGrady. Rafer Alston, in 2005-06 had all these assists and said wait 'til McGrady gets back, his assists will go through the roof. I said no, it'll go down because McGrady is the PG. Same here. They need a bigger guy who can defend and make 3 point shots. Beverley should be the ideal mold but is not a great 3 point shooter and is always hurt. They were looking for something in Lawson, a guy who could run PnR, be a blur, set up the offense and be a playmaker when Harden is off the floor and it hasn't happened.

    MK: It was a swing and miss. They're staring at the reality that the PG we brought in doesn't fit, the PG we gave a new contract to is always hurt and doesn't solve all our issues and we're stuck. I don't know how you move either and get anything of value. If you bring anyone else in, you're furthering muddying up your rotation and roster. They have to make do of what they have. You shoot better, you get Dwight & D-Mo healthy and consistently playing and hope James can find a way with his shot and handle the workload again. It'll get back to him playing 39-40 minutes again and having to do everything offensively.

    C: My 3 cents: Start Beverley, get D-Mo back, and my hope here is they trade Terrence Jones. He's not the right fit. He'll be a FA and can't pay both.
     
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  14. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Member

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    Rockets never had go through this kind of hardship and torture with this kind of talent and expectations

    Either it makes them stronger or the some of the core group will fold too


    We ended seasons around 9th-10th seed before but that was with Kevin Martin.
     
  15. pippendagimp

    pippendagimp Member

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    i don't think starting bev is one of the answers. he's been atrocious on both ends of the floor himself. this coaching staff (or a replacement one) needs to tweek/re-design an offensive system to make it work with both harden and lawson on the floor.
     
  16. cuneo77

    cuneo77 Contributing Member

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    i saw some fake article earlier,hope not
     
  17. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Member

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    It is a rumor nonetheless but we have to be worried how players do not respond to HOF player coaching
    http://marquelaries.sportsblog.com/...ward-demands-trade-from-houston-rockets-.html

     
  18. sirbaihu

    sirbaihu Member

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    Have to agree the firing is on the players. If things don't work out, this could change the direction of Harden's and Howard's careers. They should be on top of their own careers, if nothing else. If they underperform this season and go into the summer without a coach, how do you think the roster's going to shape up then? Could be back to square one.
     
  19. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Contributing Member

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    man, you're not kidding. so depressing.
     
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  20. count_dough-ku

    count_dough-ku Contributing Member

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    Bev is a better fit than Lawson. I thought that back in the summer BEFORE we saw how badly Ty was struggling. But long-term, I don't think Bev belongs on this team. They need a reliable 3-point shooter(Bev is too streaky) who can stay healthy. Brent Price Krispie was able to stay on the floor more often than him.
     
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