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So much for Continuity

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by basketballholic, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member
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    Continuity was the theme Morey pined about when he re-signed Brew, Bev, and McDaniels this off-season. Of course, Josh Smith was long gone by the time he made these comments to Feigens in an interview in September and we had also moved out 3 other players for Lawson as well. But those weren't considered to be part of the major rotation anyways and getting major minutes.

    Here's the Feigens article where Morey compared us to the Warriors:

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/spo...hp?t=4de6e2db57438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium



    Thought this was an interesting graphic put together by basketball-reference.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/friv/continuity.cgi


    [​IMG]


    What this shows is we are at 15th in the league at 73% from year before. There are 14 other teams with more continuity than we have. And this number is likely to move lower as we continue throughout the season.

    Morey touted GS making one significant change, adding Shaun Livingston, equating us adding Lawson to our core as being about the same as GS adding Livingston. But he did not account nor talk about the loss of Smoove.


    Realistically our primary rotation last season, if/when everyone would have been healthy was:

    Harden
    Howard
    Ariza
    DMo
    Bev
    Smoove
    Brewer
    Pablo

    with Terry and Jones picking up scraps.

    With DMo's injury that forced our rotation to finally finish the season with

    Harden
    Howard
    Ariza
    Terry
    Smoove
    Brewer
    Pablo
    Capela

    with Jones picking up the scraps. (Bev was out. And Capela finally surpassed Jones.)


    When you look at what we're doing this season, this is our rotation:

    Harden
    Howard
    Ariza
    Lawson
    Thornton
    Brewer
    Capela
    Terry
    Jones



    If we're realistic about our roster, injuries, and how this team has fit together, we do not have continuity. DMo, Bev, and Dwight have missed significant time. Smoove is gone. And we're left picking up scraps with a new PG (Lawson) and a bunch of guys (Thornton, Terry, Jones) that are playing rotation minutes that should be end-of-the-bench guys (part of 9-15) and would likely be end-of-the-bench guys if we had DMo, Bev, and Smoove back on this team and healthy.

    I didn't see continuity when Morey made that statement. And I for sure don't see it now. I think we've got to churn this roster. We clearly need better players at the top of the rotation, much less the end of the rotation, and several of these guys should be on the bench only playing spot minutes in a mop-up role.
     
  2. jump shooter

    jump shooter Contributing Member

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    When you started with the picking up of scraps then I stopped reading. You are relentless in your agenda LOL.
     
  3. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Your point is muddled. The Rockets kept most of their core. If you want to know what kind of impact Smith has made in LAC, you don't need to look far to find it. Hint: it's not a rosy picture. Smoove would not have been a positive in this dysfunctional locker room.

    The Rockets kept continuity, but injuries are out of the realm of Morey's control, so I don't think you can hold that against him. Motiejunas was already injured, Beverley is on a reasonable contract even considering his injuries, and you definitely cannot hold Dwight against Morey - that's one of his coups. Morey kept the core intact as best as he could. Now, it's glaringly obvious that this core doesn't have what it takes to get it done. But again, it would be reductive to assume that Morey could have predicted a lack of competitive spirit or a complete regression in the mindset of our superstar. There are no analytics to predict when someone just doesn't give a **** anymore. That has nothing to do with continuity and everything to do with our current sorry state.

    Now, I do agree with you that we need to shake things up, continuity be damned. But I don't think that our current success (or lack thereof) is correlated with continuity, whereas it is totally related to everyone but Howard and Capela underperforming relative to their expected production.
     
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  4. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    Of all the stumbling blocks for this team, the biggest problems were Harden's scoring efficiency regression and not having Dmo in the half court offense to balance things out.

    A lot of other problems would have been cleaned up (or masked) by those two elements returning to normal.
     
  5. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member
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    One team's situation is not another's. I don't hold it against Morey that we lost Smoove. I really don't think it was Morey's fault at the end of the day. I think something else happened there with Smith and his desire to play here. However, just because he's having problems in LAC does not discount what he meant to this team.

    Nor do I hold injuries against Morey except to this extent. He re-signed Bev, gave him $18 million and Bev had basically been hurt all season. Bev was restricted. I wouldn't have signed him. I'd have waited for another team to make an offer. If it was too much I'd have let Bev walk. Didn't appear Bev was drawing much interest. I think Morey paid him way too much. Maybe 2-9 with a player option after this season???? I wouldn't have given Bev 3-18. Because he was injured multiple times and we didn't know what he'd be like once he recovered. I wouldn't have been afraid of him walking. And in fact I would've probably tried to trade him as part of a S&T package to Denver for Lawson while retaining Johnson on the roster. I wouldn't have been worried about continuity with Bev.

    Smoove WAS the clear 3rd best player on this team once DMo went down. It took a while (too long) for McHale to figure it out. But nonetheless SMoove was clearly our 3rd best player. You can't simply take that away, and not replace him at all on the roster and expect to have continuity. We didn't replace him at all. We brought back the same bigs...except him and Dorsey weren't there. We basically replaced Dorsey's role with Harrell. But we lost our third best player and we didn't put anybody else in there.

    That can't be ignored.
     
    #5 basketballholic, Nov 24, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  6. jump shooter

    jump shooter Contributing Member

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    Personally I think the rockets not resigning Smith who was their 2nd best playmaker last season hurt them and especially knowing DMO wasn't coming back anytime soon. The frontline is thin and with Howard not playing back to backs has hurt as well. Harden has definitely regressed. Even without DMO they still should have won many of these games with the talent and familiarity they already have.
     
  7. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    Yeah, last year the team had EITHER Dmo (to start the year) or Smith (to end the year after DMo go hurt).

    At no time last year did the Rockets have BOTH Dmo & Smith out/not playing.

    And we are seeing how things look now at that position where Tjones/Harrell can't cover it and Ariza as a small-ball 4 isn't optimal.
     
  8. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Smoove played a better in Houston than Detroit or LA, and in fact in some respects was closer to who he was in Atlanta. But we already have a dysfunctional locker room, and no Doc-like presence to keep people in check. Look at Smoove lose his cool in LA with Doc. Again, I agree with you - you can't hold that against Morey. But I contend that it was far more likely that Smoove regress to his overall career trajectory at this point - a steady decline to net replacement-level production or worse - than to maintain his play last season.
     
  9. LabMouse

    LabMouse Member

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    Yes, but Morey assumed current players were good enough to complete for the top four position, and he was already starting to think for next trade on Feb. by retaining a young player who is in D league right now, but he has a better trade value, Smith has no a trade value.

     
  10. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member
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    That may be the truth. But it's not like we were giving Smoove a big contract. HE would've been on a minimum salary deal. Volatile? Sure. But consider this. We need some volatility in that locker room. We need somebody throwing stuff around and yelling. Because James and Dwight sure ain't gonna do it.

    My point about continuity is you can't lose the third most important player on a team that went to the Western Conference Finals, and not replace him, and then expect to be the same team or better.

    And another point about Smoove........I'm afraid most of Houston is far underestimating Smoove's value to us on the defensive end. That man was of huge importance to our D. Huge. He created turnovers and bad shots galore for this team to get our offense in transition. Without him this season our D has been DEAD in the water.

    So, for me the loss of Smoove is much less about his offense and much more about his defensive impact. We did not replace him. Therefore you can't expect to have continuity working in your favor.

    I do blame Morey for talking continuity when he obviously knew Smoove's impact and he knew he hadn't replaced Smith's defensive impact on this team.
     
  11. jump shooter

    jump shooter Contributing Member

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    Harrell as rookie should never been asked to help anchor the 4 spot Deuce and you know that, they are very thin without having another veteran 4 knowing DMO was going to be out for an extended period. But I'm sure they never saw it coming that Harden would be playing this bad while shooting 38%FG and 27% from 3s. This teams chemistry from top to bottom has been off this season and DMO wasn't going to fix that out of the gate, but he and TJ together would have held it down much better than the rookie Harrell with TJ. Don't forget who Morey's number one free target was this off season!!!
     
  12. Rio Rocket

    Rio Rocket Member

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    our ceiling is through the floor now
     
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  13. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance
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    I never suggested Harrell should. I was suggesting that with DMo out and without Smith the 4 spot was shaky. I wasn't holding Harrell accountable in that, just the reality of being a rookie.

    The team chemistry thing is really strange though. Last year the team looked pretty tight and together. We did see some cracks and lack of fight at the beginning of the Clippers series (a malaise), but because they came back heroically and won the series it felt like those issues were dismissed. And then we saw that malaise again to start the year. Just odd.

     
  14. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    We offered him more than LAC. He was worried about the lack of a defined role. Well, he got his role clearly defined in LA - putting up crap stats off the bench. So not sure that's Morey's fault but I also think we dodged a bullet. You cannot assume that Smoove would just replicate last season's production when his career trajectory says otherwise.

    See:
    James Harden
    Corey Brewer
     
  15. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member
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    Yeah. I'm simply not buying the "lack of a clearly defined role" garbage. Smoove was the 3rd most important player playing for us by the end of the season and the playoffs. There's simply no way that Morey wouldn't define his role ahead of both Terrence and Clint as a clear top 3 big on this team and he would leave over that for a backup role behind Blake/DeAndre in LA.

    Doesn't add up. And I've recently gotten a report that indeed there was something else going on there with Smoove's decision, which is what I expected was the case. I'm not going to go into it. If somebody else wants to reveal it, they can. It's not coming from my sources but from theirs. But the "lack of a clearly defined role" excuse is hogwash.
     
  16. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Whatever the case for his leaving, it wasn't Morey's fault.
     
  17. basketballholic

    basketballholic Contributing Member
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    We didn't need Smith for trade value. We needed Smith for play value. Minimum contract, no risk, extremely important rotation piece. No-brainer top 3 rotation big for us. No brainer top 3 player for us last season and this season at worst he would have been 6th man. Most definitely a better player for us than Brewer, Capela, Lawson, Beverley, Terry, Terrence, Harrell, Thornton, and McDaniels. On a minimum salary.
     
  18. bulkatron

    bulkatron Member

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa - Capela has been quite good this year without any of the Smoove-related headaches. Harrell is a rookie - you don't judge rookie production 14 games in and extrapolate to future value. The rest I have no argument for. But again, what is your argument? Morey wanted him and he said no.
     
  19. marky :)

    marky :) Member
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    Just LoL at this part.
     
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  20. dmoneybangbang

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    Hindsight is 20/20.

    Continuity under morey has been a relative term, but I don't see how you can argue otherwise with all the guys we brought back. JSmoove wanted playing time and thought he could get more it on LAC.
     
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