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Who are the "culture" factors?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Will, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Will

    Will Clutch Crew
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    Many posts here have alluded to the Rockets' broken "culture" in 2015-16 and how outgoing or incoming players affect the "locker room." I've never been clear on we're talking about. Jason Terry said we weren't the same team last year, even though the personnel were almost identical to the year before. Was it about Ty Lawson? Josh Smith? McHale going out? Howard changing somehow? Harden's night life? Player X not trying? Player Y not "getting enough touches"? And are Anderson, Gordon, Nene et al supposed to help with that?

    The frustrating thing about "culture" and "character guys" is that we don't have stats to assess them. So, please, can we have a wank-free thread where people just pool information -- specific conduct by specific players, good or bad -- to clarify exactly who the problem players are, what their problems are, how they have affected the team, and what each of the incoming players has done to make anyone believe that he'll improve our "culture," "character," or "locker room"?
     
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  2. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    We don't have one. Right now we're just a team with a bunch of guys and I don't see anyone on the roster fixing it. Our only chance is D'antoni. He has to force his identity and culture on this team or we won't have one.
     
  3. mightybosstone

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    I don't think things are so black and white in most cases like this where you can just point to "Player X" as the problem that needs to be solved. Clearly Harden and Howard didn't get along, and I'm sure a lot of whatever negativity was in the locker room and on the court probably stemmed from that. Maybe the addition of Lawson, letting Smith go and bringing him back, and the firing of McHale contributed to the chemistry issues, but I don't know that there's a single thing to point to, you know?

    But beyond that, I chalk a lot of the Rockets' failures last season to poor coaching without a defined offensive system and just atrocious overall team defense. I'm thinking that bringing in a veteran coach with a defined offensive system and adding good locker room guys that fit that system will help the team gel better on and off the court.
     
  4. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member

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    Dwight is a pussy and everyone knew it. Wore out his welcome.
     
  5. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3BkIh1R5utY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  6. malakas

    malakas Member

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    Great idea for a thread. I hope it doesn't get derailed.

    These are some of the most common quotes said by coaches and GMs about that:
    Culture is something you can spend years to build but lose in one day.
    And chemistry is something that you don't know how you got it, until you lose it.

    Chemistry in the lockeroom is not an exact science. Usually if you add a lot of knuckleheads or lazy or not caring you don't get great results. Especially if said players are not in a contract year- when usually players put in some extra effort.
    But there is reputation of some players for being great lockeroom guys who help with chemistry and are leaders.

    Also during drafting teams pay extra attention to the character of players and you see some like Deyonta Davis falling because of red flags in character.
     
  7. malakas

    malakas Member

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    For our new signings I have heard that Nene has a good reputation but Gordon doesn't. Anderson has a good reputation but not leadership qualities -afaik I know ofc
     
  8. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    When your best players are horrible leaders and you have no coach, you get the implosion that was last year.
     
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  9. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Take this for example.

    Prior to the 2014-2015 season, Morey had a bad rep for not caring about chemistry. He even got mocked for it by Cuban. Fans on here (such as DaDokta) railed against him for it.

    Following the 2014-2015 season where the Rockets went to the Western Conference Finals by overachieving and displaying great chemistry on the court (and allegedly in the locker room), Morey did an un-Morey thing and invested in keeping the same team together. He added a player for almost nothing but didn't lose anyone except Josh Smith.

    The 2015-2016 season happens and the chemistry is awful, the team falls apart and everyone starts bashing the players for being a poor fit together with bad leadership, etc. So, what has happened this offseason? DaDakota has again railed against Morey for not valuing chemistry.

    Except valuing chemistry is EXACTLY what Morey did after that WCF run that led to us keeping a team that didn't resemble the ideal Morey roster together. The truth is he overvalued chemistry for the first time, despite everything he's ever believed in, and it bit us.

    Chemistry is here today, gone tomorrow. The chemistry always looks great when shots are falling. First season Corey Brewer was an excellent finisher on the break so all of those outlets to him where he ran down ended in fans cheering and his teammates jumping up and down as he finished at the rim. Second season ended with missed bunnies and blown layups leading to fast breaks the other way. Suddenly the whole "chemistry" thing is gone and Brewer seems to be a drag on the team. Ariza hits 4 out of 6 three pointers off of James Harden drive and dishes and the chemistry is perfect. He goes 6-30 over three games and suddenly the chemistry looks bad as long bombs clank off the rim and Harden starts trying to do something else. Dwight agrees to be a pick and roll monster in the playoffs, slamming down alley-oops from Harden all over Tyson Chandler and the energy is up and chemistry is great. He comes back this year and gets lazy on the pick and roll because he's pouting about not getting post ups and the chemistry looks bad.

    Chemistry is beautiful until it blows up.
     
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  10. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Ryan Anderson is considered a hardworking, class act pro with sneaky athleticism. A lunch pail kind of guy. He gets the most out of what he has. Smart, knows the offense, coaches love him. Does more than the numbers tell you.
     
  11. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    I'll throw out some facts that I think contributed:

    1) Josh was gone to start the season--that may have contributed a bit as he was perceived as a glue guy from the time he came over.

    2) Harden was lazy and out of shape, and he wasn't called out or punished for it (unfair).

    3) Howard had a poor attitude all year, but it certainly escalated over time.

    4) McHale took the punishment for losing, but nothing was solved after he left. Therefore, it may have been perceived as unjust as time went on.

    5) They let someone inexperienced (Bickerstaff) handle the team in a precarious situation. Potentially added to the "unfair" perception.

    6) Above all of this, losing sucks. Any/all of these things could've been overcome by winning, but continued losing without additional reaction/change seemed to result in magnified blame on these perceived issues.
    - Results vs. Expectation. The team came off a WCF appearance and was struggling. If the same level of losing happens to start this year, the same issues/pressure won't be there by default, because expectations after a down year (and new players/coach) are lower.
     
  12. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    I'll prob get attacked by a bunch of people defending him... but I believe the chemistry issues start with harden...
    When Harden first came to town, he seemed to be an ideal teammate... he interacted with the other players... Lin, Parsons and he even had that whole pregame ritual... which was good team building....
    After Lin and Parsons departed Harden started getting far too aloof....
    We started hearing this "cornerstones" stuff and eating at separate tables, blah blah blah...
    Harden stopped traveling with the team.... and his interactions seemed to diminish...
    We started hearing quotes like "those that matter dont mind and those that mind dont matter..."
    Peronally, I think guys got fed up with Harden dominating the ball and not putting forth the effort on D... so some guys put in a little less effort - and it snowballed...
    For me, the 'season of disdain' culminated with Harden hitting that game winner against GS, DMo runs out to congratulate him... and James just pushes him off and walks away...
    NBA history is littered with aloof, cocky, arrogant superstars.... Kobe, MJ, Bird, etc... sometimes teams overcome... and sometimes it blows up in your face...

    HORRIBLE coaching didn't help matters...
     
    #12 kjayp, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  13. Ziggy

    Ziggy Tastemaker
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    It will be interesting to see what components people think resulted in the disaster. Regardless of what they were I think ultimately it was a coaching failure. The right leadership can overcome lockeroom issues. You give that same roster to a Popovich, you're not an 8th seed.
     
  14. malakas

    malakas Member

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    Steve Clifford Charlotte's coach was asked question about chemistry today. That's what he said :
    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/16812900/steve-clifford-qa-jordan-easy-work-for
     
  15. kubli9

    kubli9 Contributing Member

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    I think Dwight was responsible for a majority of the problems. At no point did Dwight ever come to Houston thinking it wasn't going to be "his team." It worked out ok for the first few seasons as Harden was willing to share the spotlight, but by the start of last year Harden felt he was the true superstar of the team. Dwight of course still believed he was the guy and it created a rift within the team, Harden withdrew from the team and it just spiraled. Some of this goes on Harden, but I think now that Dwight is gone and Harden is the clear leader of the team, things will change for the better.
     
  16. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Let's see...

    Josh's departure bummed Dwight out, since they're supposedly longtime close friends. So Dwight is mopey because his only real friend on the team is gone. Now that he's healthy again, he decides it's time the team run half of the offense through him -- not taking into consideration a) that his athleticism has declined, leaving his post game a shell of what it once was, and he's developed no other facet of his game to compensate; b) the "dump it into the big man in the post and let him go to work game" is no longer in vogue around the league anyway; and c) we have a *current* superstar who requires (and deserves) that the offense is run through him. So Dwight gets frustrated, gives partial effort half the time, is afraid to evolve his game, and remains in a funk most of the year because the coaches don't recognize him as the world-beating superstar he once was.

    Harden sprains an ankle during the summer and shows up out of shape and still gimpy. He's not yet the leader he needs to be (hopefully he'll get there) and consequently, when things start to go south early, he does little or nothing to turn things around except for continuing to play amazing ball.

    McHale, the veteran coach who's seen it all, knows that this squad is too talented to keep being blown out by 20+ at home every game and decides to just ride it out, confident things will come around if we don't panic.

    Les panics.

    JBB is not the solution because he's too green and not ready to tell the team, "THIS is how we do things now that I'm coach." He was stuck with McHale's staff and playbook for the most part. The funk continues.

    As the season wears on, Ariza gives up. Sure, he's still hustling and trying, but that extra little bit that guys give when things are clicking is no longer there. He's visibly frustrated with his teammates. Brewer looks like the biggest turd in an already crap-filled punchbowl. His game shines when things are going well, but when communication and spacing are off nearly all year, Brew looks like a D-league scrub.

    D-Mo's lengthy recovery period and TJones' vanishing act just added fuel to a bonfire that was already starting to blaze. Lawson? Who knows if he would have been much better if the rest of the team had been clicking? He certainly didn't show me much of anything to make me think he would have.

    So does the culture change this year? Yes, significantly. A few reasons:

    1) D'Antoni is a veteran coach with an established way of doing things. We haven't had this since Adelman (McHale had coached fewer than 100 games in Minny). Whether or not he's an absolute taskmaster is immaterial -- he brings his own culture with him. New staff, new routines, new way of conducting business. Out with the old.

    2) Dwight is gone. We were not significantly better with him on the floor last year, on offense or defense, and he killed the vibe like an elevator fart.

    3) Harden should be motivated again. Will he be? Who the hell knows? But he SHOULD be. And he finally has some deadeye shooters to pass to.
    <BR>
     
    #16 topfive, Jul 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    3 people like this.
  17. skoo9382

    skoo9382 Member

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    I firmly agree with all 6 of these points. Bottom line is, when shots are falling, we win, and when we win, the chemistry will be seen as great. I was not the biggest fan of the D'Antoni signing, but one thing i am looking forward to is having a "system" bases offense in place which we haven't seen since the likes of Adelman.

    Whether it be true or just rumors, Durant left OKC because he felt they have plateaued and that the offense was too much predicated on either him or Westbrook playing "Hero" ball. He saw the way GSW played and wanted to play in a system that brought him better opportunities for easier shots. (Granted, playing with Steph, Klay, and Green will give him easier shots regardless.) I think this year will be fun to watch and if ALL the players buy into the system, then we've got a shot to go back to the WCF. We shall see.
     
  18. photojoe

    photojoe Member

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    This is a good idea for a thread for something to discuss. The problem is it is very difficult to know who or what exactly caused that to happen.

    I watched almost every game of the 2014-2015 season. The team just looked so good and looked like they had improved from top to bottom. More than that, they looked cohesive like they were pulling for each other and excited when they did something good.

    Last season... I watched as many games as I could, but I couldn't bear to watch them a lot of times. They looked disinterested. Very early in the season I went to a game against the Mavs. We got absolutely blown out. And the players on the court looked like they didnt care. And I was sitting right next to some very loud, trash talking Mavs fans. I've never been more miserable at a game before.

    I know we've talked it to death, but I honestly have no idea what happened. It was more or less the same roster as the year before, but something was different. I don't know what, but something. It's like the whole season something was off.

    Which made going into this offseason, to me, difficult. I couldn't quite put my finger on why last year was so much worse than the year before so I didn't really know how we would try to fix it. I'm not crazy about the idea of giving Anderson a 4 year, 20 million per year contract especially with his injury history and his defensive problems. I'm not crazy about giving Gordon a 53 million dollar contract with his injuries. And Nene, even though it's a small one year deal so it shouldn't make much difference, is also too injured and about 5 years too late to matter much. If I'm honest, the roster on paper looks more talented last year than it does coming into this year. But, with that said, I'm choosing to be optimistic that the main issue last year wasn't the roster or the talent but something else entirely. And if that is the case, the team next year may be a much better team even if the roster isn't as talented.
     
  19. RasaqBoi

    RasaqBoi Member

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    One thing we know going forward. This team is not about strip clubs. Seems like the new set of guys would rather hang out at Dave & Busters.
     
  20. topfive

    topfive CF OG
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    Damn, this thread feels like an early-2000's thread, when most people who posted were rational thinkers who loved the team. Gone are the people who revel in the Rockets' misfortunes and constantly trash everyone involved, from the owner to the ballboys. It's almost like I stepped back in time when I clicked on this link.

    I feel like I can breathe again. Thanks, Will! :grin:
    <BR>
     
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