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Realistic improvements from our players in the offseason

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by iconoclastic, May 17, 2009.

  1. iconoclastic

    iconoclastic Member

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    ...Only players who are DEFINITELY GOING TO BE ON THE ROSTER NEXT SEASON. No Von Wafer, Brian Cook, Brent Barry, Ron Artest, or Dikembe Mutombo or rumored Rockets in this thread. This thread will give us a good starting point to analyze what we need to add to our team based on what we already have or could potentially have in our core rotation.

    Yao Ming- an outside jumper/3 point shot. I highly suspect that with Rick Adelman being the head coach, the emergence of other scorers on this team, Yao's slowness in transition defense, and his unfortunate injury proneness, that Yao will go to a more perimeter oriented game to reduce the wear and tear on his body next season. I expect to see a lot more Brad Miller-type game: outside jumpers off Aaron Brooks penetrations, high-low offensive sets, Yao directing traffic with his passing, etc, similar to how Chuck Hayes was used in the Lakers series. I know Yao already has a good outside jumper but he's probably going to take a lot more of those next season. Yao's slow reflexes is NOT something that he can realistically improve, but an outside game to keep him healthy IS.

    Aaron Brooks- Passing. Brooks has shown to be a good scorer in the playoffs but still a horrible passer. He seems to be OK when only one defender is on him but when the defense doubles him or increases their attention on him he starts turning the ball over repeatedly. His size limits him from ever being a good passer but working on fundamentals like not jumping in the air before he knows who he's passing to and using his quickness to get better views of the court are fundamentals that can make him at least an average passer in this league- very important when playing with Yao Ming.

    Kyle Lowry- 3 point shooting. For someone with as high basketball IQ as Lowry, you have to expect him to really work on his shot in the offseason. He might have to completely overhaul his mechanics because with his shooting stroke as is, he is never going to be a great shooter- FT shooting and 3 point shooting is highly correlated and he shot ~72% from the free throw line in the playoffs. I think it's worth it for Lowry to go as far as completely retooling his shot mechanics because 1) he still has a long career ahead of him and 2) with a 40% 3 pt shot he will be unstoppable and become All-Star in this league with his already great defense and penetration skills. His limitations from the perimeter were REALLY EXPOSED in this series because the Lakers packed the paint and dared him to shoot 3 pointers. Lowry still tried to penetrate but was frequently blocked or put up low percentage layups and did not get bailed out by the refs.

    James White- well we barely saw him play so I feel we barely know his game. He seems to have weak handles and so rushes his shot after one or two dribbles. For all his straight ahead speed and leaping ability his mediocre lateral quickness prevents him from playing shooting guard in this league on either end of the court. He's pretty raw in all facets of his game so the Rockets coaches have their work cut out for them in James White.

    Chuck Hayes- Scoring and free throw shooting. Chuck has pretty much been an overachiever in this league so he doesn't have much room to improve. He's already reached his potential in defense, passing, and rebounding so the only thing he can improve is his scoring. Maybe it's confidence, maybe it's mechanics, but the Chuck Hayes in college and his first few seasons with the Rockets he was a better scorer than he is now so it shows Chuck can realistically improve his scoring.

    Carl Landry- one on one defense. His offensive game is already pretty good but his defense is a liability.

    Luis Scola- nothing. Scola has absolutely maximized every ounce of talent he has. He has done everything he can to hide his limited lateral quickness and lack of hops with a polished post game, high offensive bball IQ, and toughness and intensity. What he did poorly in the Lakers series (turnovers when double teamed, not being able to guard Bynum and Gasol) are mostly the result of not having Yao or Dikembe available and having to guard centers he had no business guarding.

    Shane Battier- Some people think Shane should be more aggressive offensively and look for his shot, but that's just not in his personality. Shooting is all about rhythm and feel, and Shane is too calculating and cerebral of a player to predominantly play on rhythm and feel. Shane's strengths in defense and being a glue guy would be mitigated if Shane were to change personality and become a rhythm and feel player on offense rather than opportunistic so I don't think Battier is going to improve much for the rest of his career.

    Dorsey- Um, getting on the court would be a start.

    Tracy McGrady- totally dependent on his health. There's a good chance his health will keep him from ever being a rotation player in this league again. There is a slim chance he will return physically to last season's McGrady and resume his great individual play. There's a reasonable chance his health will only allow him to make an impact off the bench or in a reduced starter role but not more than that. McGrady is really a wild card in that you can't know what you'll get from him or his contract. This will be the most interesting Rocket storyline in the offseason, the progress of his rehab and trade rumors regarding his contract. It's like he's half free agent, half Houston Rocket.

    From the GM's perspective, this is all the players we have on the court going into next season. Overall, I don't see the players that we HAVE making enough of an improvement collectively in the offseason to take us further in the playoffs next year by themselves. While we do have several younger guys who can improve, a lot of our players are already at their ceiling and they are an injury or a slump away from a decline in performance. We will NEED to sign one or two impact players to improve our results next season, whether it's resigning Ron or Von, return of a healthy Tmac, or getting a free agent or trading for a Camby or Vince Carter. Daryl Morey will again have a busy offseason.

    Scenarios for the Rockets next season:

    no impact signings, riddled with injuries: out in first round of playoffs
    no impact signings, relatively healthy: reach second round of playoffs
    one impact signing, riddled with injuries: out in first round of playoffs
    one impact signing, relatively healthy: reach second round of playoffs
    two impact signings, riddled with injuries (same talent level we had this season): reach second round of playoffs
    two impact signings, relatively healthy: NBA Finals baby!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. trugoy

    trugoy Member

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    For Yao, I think he needs a face up game, because realistically, he can draw a lot more fouls than he does, because he hardly ever gets his man in the air and then jump into him, if he gets that move, then noone will ever jump to try to block his shot and he can shoot with impunity.

    for brooks and lowry, they need to improve their ability to finish at the rim, that's way more important than a 3 point shot.

    For scola, he needs to get a left hand, teams will be wise to his spins and if you take away his right hand, he can't do anything in the post.
     
  3. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    Scola has developed his back to the basket game to the point where it is quite scary...he's starting to get the ability to command double teams.

    If he can work on that and develop it even further...use his craftiness...my mind gets boggled when I think of a frontline where all three members will need double team coverage...and that's not even considering the backcourt.
     
  4. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    Nice thread, OP. Good commentary.
     
  5. DaFranchise03

    DaFranchise03 Member

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    Some things i would add

    Scola - he needs to learn to box out. He doesnt do it all the time and it hurts the Rockets.

    Aaron - Decision making, at times it was horrible.
     
  6. tycoonchip

    tycoonchip Member

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    For all these guys rest. For Lowry like you have said I'd love to see his three point shot improved. I'd also like to see lowry and ab improve their catch and shoot abilities.
     
  7. burnnotice

    burnnotice Rookie

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    Yeah, the Scola not needing to improve on anything was quite a laugh. The sad part is that most of the things he needs to improve on are fundamentals, which shows how different the game of basketball is overseas and why the NBA needs to stop letting letting so many international players flood the league.

    His lack of boxing out was big for The Lakers today. His defense has been a killer all year. He is a magician down low. His jumpshot is either dead on or way off.

    After the loss to Utah, Morey publicly stated he was looking for a player to replace Chuck Hayes in the starting lineup. Now that we have seen 2 years of Scola, it's time to make a trade or free agent signing to replace Scola in the starting lineup.
     
  8. csnerd84

    csnerd84 Member

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    With the emergence of Aaron Brooks, I think it becomes very important that Yao can consistently make the 15 ft jumper. This will give Aaron enough room to operate so that we can take advantage of his quickness.
     
  9. rockets934life

    rockets934life Contributing Member

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    Agree and disagree with Scola..He needs to improve his D and also his moves in the post just a tad bit but other then normally improvements his is becoming a top ten powerforward I mean who is truly ahead of him besides the obivous. Brooks is also obivous which is passing the ball and distrubuting the rock. Also think Yao wil work on the 15-18 shot because we know he can drill it just needs to get accustomed to it again.
     
  10. aussie rocket

    aussie rocket Member

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    All Brooks needs is consistency.
     
  11. jerrios

    jerrios Member

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    are you related to chuck hayes?
     
  12. tming

    tming Member

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    Trade Scola? Are you insane? He has improved a lot since last yr and I am excited to see what else he can add to his arsenal. I agree with others, he needs to work on his D and box out better as well but this guy has tremendous potential and is imo, top 10 PF next yr.
     
  13. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    He needs to maximize his passing ability without having to compromise his shooting/scoring. He can't handle the press,and the less said about his defense the better. Brooks is never going to get bigger,but he does need to keep on working really hard in order to improve.
     
  14. Trident

    Trident Member

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    I would really like to see Scola add an offensive move where he goes to his left. I dont know if thats an up and under, or a baby left hook but teams are really forcing him to his left and if he could add an offensive move to his left it will really free up his regular right handed shots.

    I think both AB and Lowry have alot of potential for improvement. AB with passing and turnovers, Lowry with shooting. AB also needs to be more consistent, but I think that comes with time. Lowry proved to be a great defender. With the off season I also think we see AB more comfortable in the offense. Some times he is hesitant while other times he forces things.

    I really dont see Yao's game changing much. Maybe some more top of the key jumpers, but hes fully capable of that already.
     
  15. Art7

    Art7 Member

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    lol
    wafer is a rumored rocekts?
    and james white aint?
    ahaha
    okey dokey
     
  16. RocketLegend34

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    Does anyone know if were getting new uniforms
     
  17. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    The players he's talking about are all under contract for next year. Wafer and others do not currently have a contract for next season. Hence the OP's OP.
     
  18. srrm

    srrm Contributing Member

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    Laughable. I agree with the boxing out, but nothing else
     
  19. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    Luis is a fundamentally sound scorer who hustles on defense and has an improved jump shot and is better rebounder too.His weaknesses have been well documented in this thread,and he obviously can't get faster. He has managed to overcome some of these things with his craftiness, but if we can get an upgrade at the 4 without busting the bank,I wouldn't mind trading him.

    His cheap contract has been very useful, but it also prevents him from being traded.
    I would like to see Birdman on the team,this could make things easier not only for Yao but for Luis as well.
     
  20. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    For Yao and T-mac, it's just get healthy. Improve their health - find ways to be more durable.

    As for the rest, Wafer needs to work on his defense. Boxing out. Pick and roll D, etc....if he wants to be on the court more. He also needs to learn how to make basic passes.

    Brooks is fine - his growth is looking natural. I think he needs to build strength in a way that doesn't hurt his quickness.

    Lowry - needs to work on his jumper for sure. and FT shooting a bit.

    Landry - needs to keep developing post up game, and working on improving his jumper.
     
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