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Forbes-Lessons Learned From The Rockets' 2018-2019 Campaign

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Clips/Roxfan, May 23, 2019.

  1. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member
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    Lessons Learned From The Rockets' 2018-2019 Campaign


    Rahat Huq

    Contributor
    SportsMoney I write generally about the Houston Rockets and their finances

    [​IMG]

    The Houston Rockets entered the 2018-2019 season with high hopes, firm in the belief that had Chris Paul not gone down to injury in the closing moments of their Game 5 Western Conference Finals win over the Golden State Warriors, it would have been them hoisting the trophy at the end of the race. Instead, they went down to Golden State yet again, in the culmination of one of the most bizarre seasons in franchise history and one which saw them start their season at 11-14 and finish with the league’s best net rating in the second half. Along the way, the tumultuous journey gave rise to several questions and challenged previously held beliefs.

    • What is the value of a '3&D' wing in today's league? The asset class might not have the same fungibility I had previously assumed. During the summer, the Rockets made a decision I firmly supported in allowing forward Trevor Ariza to walk in free agency. I believed that the team could merely plug any rangy defender into their system and enjoy results, not expecting the steep drop-off experienced with forwards James Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams in the lineup. But Houston was disastrous to start the season, and 27th in defensive rating as late as week 16. They eventually did find a winning formula, posting the second best defensive rating in the league after the All-Star break after sliding guard Eric Gordon to the '3' and using Austin Rivers and Danuel House, Jr. off the bench. But by that point, the team had sacrificed too many wins in the standings.

    • What is the value of continuity? Last summer, Morey famously asserted a belief in the importance of having one’s best team in April; this is to say that there is not any urgency to having all of one’s ducks in a row by opening day. But wouldn’t Houston have fared better if its rotation was in place from Day 1 rather than needing to build chemistry on the fly? In that vein, while Iman Shumpert and House vastly underperformed in the postseason, the Rockets will find themselves in the same place next November if none of their current wings are retained, spending half of the season in search of replacements.

    • Ariza’s greatest value, which no one predicted due to his underwhelming rebounding numbers, was that he boxed out. This is the only conclusion one can make when considering the team’s dominance on the defensive end upon solidifying the rotation in contrast with the rebounding woes which ultimately ended their season. Houston was second in defensive rating after the All-Star break, but 29th in defensive rebounding during that same span and 29th for the entire year. All summer and winter long, we were told by pundits that Houston’s defense would take a nosedive due to

    • Ariza’s individual abilities. I thought he was overrated as an individual defender (and his numbers against Durant vs. Durant’s numbers against other Rockets last year bear that out) but that his value was as a help defender. In actuality, it was neither as the team’s overall defense actually improved with the insertion of smaller guards like Rivers. What undid the Rockets was that they couldn’t secure the rebound after getting a stop.

    Rahat Huq

    Contributor
    I am an attorney specialized in Public Finance, Municipal Tax, and Open Government, living in Houston, Texas. I have been covering the Houston Rockets since 2009 at Red9..

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rahath...-the-rockets-2018-2019-campaign/#5dd792626ac5
     
    Patience, Denovo, Zboy and 3 others like this.
  2. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    I really liked the column, OP. I wish it was longer, though. Thanks!
    I particularly liked what he said about boxing out. The guys replacing Ariza by “committee” sucked at it.
     
    #2 Deckard, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    Clips/Roxfan likes this.
  3. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Insider Newsletter™ 2X Diamond Member

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    To bad the cabbage don't post here no mo
     
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  4. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Indeed!

    We could use more veggies. ;-)
     
    #4 Deckard, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  5. Corrosion

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    I liked what there was of it but really thought the article was incomplete …. So much more to talk about than just those bullet points.
     
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  6. PeterKingX

    PeterKingX Member

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    Morey and MDA love midget players.

    You can not expect midget players grab rebounds repeatedly from above big players's head.
     
    #6 PeterKingX, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  7. Corrosion

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    I don't believe that's the case …. But I do believe that's what they priced themselves into. Letting Ariza go was a huge mistake IMO , not just in terms of his play but also the financial flexibility of having that contract available to maneuver salary in or out.

    We'll likely see the same thing play out next season as they have put themselves in a very similar situation in terms of ability to replace / add talent.
     
    Clips/Roxfan likes this.
  8. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    Chemistry is not easy to replace.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Blurr#7

    Blurr#7 Contributing Member

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    I posted about this early in the season. Ariza was great at rotating on the weak side when Capela contested.
    Even he didn’t get the board he would seal his man.
     
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