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A fan's Perspective of the Houston Rockets (Wizards Game)

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by csc177, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. csc177

    csc177 Member

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    [​IMG][/IMG]

    So I witnessed the Rockets in person Wed. night in D.C. and was actually able to enjoy a win. (The last game I went to was the Western Conference Finals blowout in Houston vs. Golden State.) I'm still salty over spending money on a flight ticket and hotel, actually believing the Rockets were going to represent on their home court.

    I live in D.C, so seeing your team in person is a pretty cool experience. Sitting two rows behind the bench was an even better experience (outside of Harden, JB and Ariza constantly staring at my fiance after every timeout) . There was a point in the 4th quarter during a time-out where I jokingly yelled out to them to focus on holding onto this damn game and not my girl (Jason Terry and Ariza chuckled---Terry shook my hand after the game-I told him he needed to coach). I heard his voice the loudest during every single huddle/timeout.

    Anyways to elaborate on my experience, I see why this team struggles. I was in shock by the lack of focus before the game:
    - dance battle contests (Dwight)
    - Half-Court shooting contest from both Harden and Howard (our two best players) for literally 5 minutes (seriously???)
    - non stop jokes and laughing on the sideline (Dwight)

    I don't see how J.B doesnt say anything. He just stood there watching this nonsense for 30 min before the game.

    The only players who actually "warmed up" and took the pre-game serious was Marcus Thornton and Harden.

    You would think this team was 23-0!

    While we pulled out the win behind Harden's big game, that type of winning is not sustainable. This team is below .500 and has been consistently under-achieving. I couldn't believe what I saw pre-game. The MAIN culprit was Dwight Howard. Everything's a joke to him. I can see why certain players can't play with him. This guy just doesn't take the game serious.

    Stupid fouls, no offensive moves whatsoever, that technical foul where he slammed the ball on the floor 20 feet in the air? Really?

    To prevent this post from becoming a bash Dwight Howard thread, I wanted to get your take on the team's approach/focus, and whether or not you think it's affecting the team's play night in and night out. I think it is.

    They play well, then they let teams back in the game. Or they start slow and are constantly digging themselves out of a hole. Harden shows up and drops 40 or he doesn't and we lose. It's clearly not coaching, although they have been incrementally better with JB (small sample size).

    It was a bitter sweet feeling after this game. Yeah we won, I saw Harden play well, but I left the arena (also stopping by to shake Les and Morey's hand - who were surprised I actually knew who they were) feeling like this team isn't really good. I witnessed it live.

    It's going to be a long season. I don't know what changed from all the success we had last year. I refuse to believe it was Josh Smith and Prigioni.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. marky :)

    marky :) Member

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    Pics of GF? :confused:
     
  3. ISOBall

    ISOBall Member

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    Meanwhile..


    [​IMG]
     
  4. swyyyguy

    swyyyguy Member

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    josh smith was the motor that made this team go.

    don't disregard the ITALIAN STALLION/ARGENTINE WINE either.
     
  5. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    Sign me up for Jet Terry as a coach
     
  6. bmd

    bmd Member

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    I think it's fairly easy to explain.

    The offense last year really wasn't that good. They were 12th in offensive rating last year, and it took an MVP-caliber season for James Harden to achieve just a ranking of 12th.

    What they were good at last season was defense. They finished the season 6th in defensive rating, after being in the top 3 for most of the year. They were very very good on that end.



    The defense this year has fallen off a cliff. There hasn't been the same emphasis, focus, and intensity on defense this year that they played with last year. They really made it a point to play good defense last year. This year, the Rockets have the 4th worst defensive rating in the NBA at 27th in the league. Terrible.



    They were supposed to maintain their great defense from last season, AND improve the offense with the addition of Ty Lawson. The offense is slightly worse, but not much different... but the defense is absolutely terrible.


    And that's the difference.
     
  7. xtruroyaltyx

    xtruroyaltyx Member

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    Howard never grew up.

    Hopefully next year Harden will get it.
     
  8. cdrive

    cdrive Contributing Member

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    SWAG CHAMPS! SWWWWWWAAAAAAAG! "THEY AINT EVEN THAT GOOD!"

    "I got a really big team, and they need some really big rings" (oh okie dokie that's how you do it, you just gotta say 'hey i want rings, gimme rings')
    <iframe src="https://vine.co/v/i7j0eaWplzD/embed/simple" width="300" height="300" frameborder="0"></iframe><script src="https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js"></script>
    [​IMG][​IMG] <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-version="6" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"></div></div><p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/9Mk19Dqi7G/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_blank">A video posted by Dwight Howard (@dwighthoward)</a> on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2015-10-23T22:14:53+00:00">Oct 23, 2015 at 3:14pm PDT</time></p></div></blockquote>
    <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>
     
  9. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    A complaint I've constantly heard this year is surprisingly about the Rockets lack of focus during pregame, and warming up before the 2nd half.

    Normally I'd take the warm up time about as serious as Dwight apparently does, but the root cause of the problems this year started with training camp and the preseason. I also believe that the training camp, or lack thereof, was a reason why McHale was let go as Les and Morey got wind of the nonsensical waste of time that happened and held him accountable for not holding people accountable. You heard him say himself a few times that the training camp was just very very concerning for McHale. They had a bad camp.

    Most of the bad camp obviously wasn't just because of injuries. It seems to me that this team, and the mentality of it, just doesn't take practice, camp, etc. that seriously, and it shows. Part of that is on the coaches for not upholding standards of discipline for not going through at 100%.

    I've played a ton of organized ball over my years, and if I was an alien that just dropped down to earth and had not seen any Rockets games this year or in seasons past I would tell you that this looks like a team that hasn't practiced together, and probably just had a trade/getting used to playing with each other. I'd probably say that Dwight Howard is likely new to the team because of the lack of chemistry he has with other players knowing where to get him easy looks, communicating with him on weakside help defense etc.....

    Which is insane... its been SEASONS now that these same guys have played with Dwight, and this team is in week what.... 8 of this season? It still looks like this team hasn't had a practice yet.

    ............................................................................

    That being said I'm still not concerned about the talent on this team, and I do think they will start to make a run later in the season to put themselves in a better position going into the playoffs. However their lack of discipline that starts from the top to take training camp, practice, etc. seriously is what truly separates them from being just another playoff team vs. the elite teams like the Spurs and now GSW etc.

    The good news is I don't think Les and Morey are stupid. They know this and see it firsthand, and while they would probably never admit it publicly, its just as concerning if not more concerning to them too. I expect changes to be made sooner rather than later to address this.... probably more likely to happen in the offseason.
     
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  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    How many half court shots did Harden and Howard make?
     
  11. bmd

    bmd Member

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    Maturity.

    I was always amazed at how professional athletes in all sports take seriously even the most mundane tasks.

    In baseball, these guys play 162 games. Yet there are guys out there hours before the game starts, taking stretching seriously. They aren't cutting corners. They aren't rushing. They are taking it seriously and stretching properly because they are professionals.

    After 10 years playing, and 162 games every season, you'd think they might cut the corners on the mundane, routine tasks. But nope... many players take seriously even the most mundane aspects of their job.



    You know which team acts like that? The San Antonio Spurs. They are mature and professional. They put their head down and go to work.

    I don't sense that is the culture in the Rockets' locker room.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. csc177

    csc177 Member

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    Ha!
    Zero
     
  13. chenjy9

    chenjy9 Numbers Don't Lie
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    I really wish people would stop trying to compare us to the Spurs. We are not the Spurs and will never, ever be the Spurs. They are just fundamentally too different from us:

    - They have arguably the best coach in NBA history whereas we don't even really have a coach
    - They have a long history of selfless leaders from the Admiral to Duncan to Leonard to keep the new players in line. It is so much easier to build up a team culture when you have a player like that. Unfortunately the last player we had like that was injury prone as hell.
    - They have ALWAYS had one of the best front offices in the NBA whereas we only recently got a great GM in Morey. The Spurs have always had one of the best statistics and scouting departments, especially overseas starting.
    -No other team except recently the Warriors have been emulate the consistent effort and discipline that the Spurs show each and every season
     
  14. HeyDude

    HeyDude Contributing Member

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    The one good thing I noticed the last couple of games: They've finally stopped switching on defense. Unfortunately, they're no better as a result yet, but I'm confident once DMo gets back to 30 mins, they will be.

    On the other hand, watching Harden and Lawson on defense....smh... I really want Lawson to get more minutes, but then I see him not even run back after a turnover and commend JB for not giving him more minutes until he's committed.

    Lastly, I never really got the half court shooting. Seems like a lot of players like shooting these after practice, before games, half time etc. I don't get it, not like you're shooting these in a real game. It's one thing if Clutch is shooting these backwards to please the crowd, another if a struggling team is before a game...
     
  15. mfastx

    mfastx Member

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    I was at the game as well (although the seats weren't nearly as good as yours, lol) and noticed a lot of the same things.

    The entire team just jogs up the floor, on offense no one is moving without the ball. Absolutely no one. The only guy running hard is Brewer but he just is terrible (had the best game of the year that night tho).

    The entire mentality of this team is the exact opposite of a championship mentality. This team is severely underachieving, and nobody cares.

    Thanks for the post though, and congrats on having a hot fiance haha.
     
  16. meadowlark

    meadowlark Member

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    Chemistry....the team had it last season with Smith and Prig and McHale.

    Smith was a big part of that chemistry. How much of that was due to coach McHale? ...who knows. I know what is see and McHale handled Smith better than any NBA coach ever has...or probably ever will. He never got credit for that...especially on this forum.

    Chemistry is a very delicate thing...even on an NBA team. Its why a team can play above or well below their talent levels. We don't have it this year....and JB as coach will never establish it with these players.
     
  17. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    To be fair to BMD, while the Spurs are of course used, the use of the discipline of MLB teams is pretty interesting to compare to. MLB players have 162 games a year, and the discipline of pregame routines, and the discipline you see on field for every single pitch to be prepared for whatever happens next is pretty stark compared to what you don't see from this team, or NBA teams in general who have half the games to prepare for.

    While I recognize that MLB and the NBA are night and day sports, and the Spurs and every other team are night and day teams, there is no reason why we still can't use those as examples to show how other athletes in other situations utilize discipline to further success.

    You play the way you practice. I firmly believe this as a guy who was an athlete for 20+ years in organized sports. I've been on some truly awful basketball teams, and with the ones that truly stunk there was almost always one similarity.... crappy practices.
     
  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous
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    haha, I was at the game, did you guys have a bunch of Rockets stuff on? I think I noticed you behind the bench.

    Yeah the half-court shooting drills were kind of funny and you're right the ROckets did seem loose when they were warming up, but then again, the basically ran the WIzards off the court for the first 18 minutes or so so it didn't seem to carry over.

    They seemed to get more bored/disinterested/discouraged as the game went on.
     
  19. kjayp

    kjayp Contributing Member

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    I went to the game last Friday in Dallas... and the main things I noticed were
    A) the ball moves much better when harden doesnt bring it up. His slow meandering way of bringing the ball up just kills any energy. Guys are just standing there waiting for him and then when he finally gets the ball up court people are already content with just standing there
    B) The missed layups are just atrocious - esp Brewer... fundamental basketball...
    C) Our bigs cant get a call... capella was being held on a number of occasions, Harrell got nailed in the face which dropped him to the ground for an entire Mavs position... no calls. I attribute this to Hardens ridiculous arm flailing trying to draw a foul that wasn't and causes the refs to be tighter with the whistle... Not saying its right, but it is what it is...
     
  20. GMNot

    GMNot Member

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    I did not watch the Wizards game. Good teams can also laugh and joke during pre-game and practice. Some of the videos that Clutch has provided from Rocket camps and practices, don't generally look like a party is going on. Most players seem to be doing practice drills of shooting, driving for layups, etc. And I think practices, for the most part, are serious.

    I remember some teams (not necessarily all BB teams) have used movies to try to inspire players. How in the world a player aspiring to win a championship can't be inspired by a coach like McHale and his career, is beyond me. Nevertheless, a movie that I watched within the last 6 months that should be instructive and inspirational for any athlete is the movie, Rudy. Too many "star" players take for granted the opportunity they have -- especially in instances like the Rockets, where an above average collection of talent makes chasing a championship realistically possible.

    What Les Alexander should have done, rather than firing McHale, was to have one-on-one meetings with players and let every single one know how seriously he takes spending his money. Star players in the modern era, with big contracts and salaries have a sense of entitlement and the feeling they "can't be touched" or traded, because "they" are the team. Coaches can much more easily be led to the gallows than star players can. And that is just plain sad and disappointing.

    Don't get me wrong. Harden and Howard can certainly put out effort and do. It's just that I don't think they understand what really makes a team championship caliber. They've never played on one. They can give lip service to the desire to win a championship, but if they had taken the time to study teams that have won championships they would try to bring the same qualities and characteristics -- AND habits -- to their professional lives.

    You can certainly expect a coach to bring discipline and dedication to a team but the "untouchable" sense of some players has to be recognized and dealt with in a less drastic way than firing a coach. It's just a different player culture these days and you can look at firings of coaches in the past and see that certain players can get coaches and other players removed, without it being blatantly obvious.

    I don't really thing that is what happened here. I don't think the players had any idea that McHale was going to be fired when it happened. But that's just another testament to their (and I think it is only certain players) being oblivious to accountability. Until an owner can truly get it across to everyone in the organization -- star players, as well as members of the coachiing staff -- the lack of focus that we are seeing will be a recurring theme.

    I watch players on good teams, like San Antonio and the Warriors and I see them smiling and being friendly with even opposing players during games. So you don't have to have a frown on your face to be considered serious about your job. Howard is misunderstood in that regard. I sense that he is truly a happy-go-lucky person who can also be serious when the game is in process. Harden, too. But what is missing here is a genuine underlying seriousness that comes from really wanting a championship and saying you do. I would go back to the idea of studying teams that have won and asking yourself, as a leader on the team, what are we missing here? We have enough talen to be a contender. What are we not doing? If they were actually doing this we would see a different result than we have seen so far. McHale would still be here and the team would be closer to the record they had last season.

    I am convinced that until Alexander can convey his seriousness and sispleasure with results, so far, in a face-to-face way, to the "stars" on the team, nothing much will change. You'll see good efforts all along, but nothing sustained enough that will give much hope for championship aspirations. Just his presence at practices, with a serious demeanor, would go a long way to getting the attention of those who need it. Morey promised that changes would be made until the team starts winning. The simple one that would have kept the team most intact from last season, would have come from Les Alexander being the "heavy." He truly is as no other person in the organization can be. He holds everyone's fate in his hands. He, ultimately, signs the paychecks. The culture of any organization, does truly start at the top. I am sure Les Alexander is very serious about wanting to win championships. It is his ultimate responsibility to propagate that feeling down the chain of command. I think team meetings can be very useful. Player only meetings happen. But one simple meeting after the first 3 games of this season, called by Les Alexander, addressing all the players and coaching staff, might have avoided the drastic and misplaced action of firing McHale. His displeasure should have been, and would have surely registered with all present. The lack of focus still exists, as per the OP in this thread.

    I have to go now. Duty calls. Otherwise,I would probably make this even longer. Sorry for such long posts, but being a Rockets fan since the Bill Fitch days, I do care, even if I'm not watching games at the present time. (Also sorry for any errors. I don't have the time at the moment to proofread through this.)
     

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