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Chron: This team still missing many pieces

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by dragon167, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. dragon167

    dragon167 Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/2943552

    This team still missing many pieces
    By RICHARD JUSTICE
    Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

    The Rockets need to pause this morning and remind themselves of two things.

    First, Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming give them a foundation capable of winning a championship.

    That evaluation was correct when McGrady was acquired last summer, and nothing that has happened in these first 21 games should change that.

    The Rockets never believed they'd win a championship their first year together. They knew they had holes to fill. They knew they'd still be paying for past mistakes.

    How's that for your friendly local columnist finding scraps of good news from Saturday's 102-78 blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks?

    Remember those pickup games you played as a kid? Remember how the first team that got 11 baskets would win? Remember how quickly those games would go?

    Dose of inspiration, too
    The Rockets got just 11 baskets in the first half Saturday night. They shot 34 percent from the field for the game. They got out-rebounded, out-worked and out-smarted. Point guard Bob Sura had one assist and five turnovers. Power forward Juwan Howard had one basket in 19 minutes.

    Afterwards, Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy looked for just the right word.

    "It should be more inspired than it is," he said. "They played well, and we were uninspired."

    Uninspired?

    Why quibble?

    This was another of those games in which the Rockets were reminded that they are not close to surrounding Yao and T-Mac with enough talent.

    Which brings us to the second message the Rockets should have left Toyota Center with Saturday night.

    They ought to take a hard look at their decision-making process.

    If they should be encouraged that they have two players that every other NBA team would like to have, they haven't done a very good job filling the other spots.

    They have around $21 million invested in four power forwards, yet general manager Carroll Dawson apparently is trying to trade for a — you guessed it — power forward.

    Yao needs help
    Until they get someone to watch Yao's back, to assist him with defense and rebounding, they are not going to be nearly good enough to go where they want to go.

    They've saddled themselves with too many bad contracts to make wholesale changes. They took Clarence Weatherspoon to get rid of Moochie Norris. They've got Maurice Taylor under contract for two more years.

    Some NBA personnel people questioned their signing of point guard Charlie Ward to a three-year contract last summer.

    To their credit, the Rockets didn't go crazy last summer. They got Ward and Sura to play point because some of the players they preferred landed ridiculous contracts.

    Watching the Mavericks ought to remind the Rockets of their mistakes. Dallas got Josh Howard late in the first round and Marquis Daniels in the second.

    Both have become serviceable young players on a team quicker and more athletic than the Rockets.

    The Rockets gambled on Eddie Griffin and lost. They took Boki Nachbar in the second round and have gotten little from him in three seasons.

    Every team makes personnel mistakes. The mistake for the Rockets would be in failing to study why the mistakes were made and how to correct
    them.

    If you want to criticize Dawson for those mistakes, don't forget to praise him for his work in acquiring McGrady.

    Yet he may be paying for the mistakes longer than he'd like to be. In a sense, the three Texas teams have a simple formula.

    All three have been blessed with franchise players — Tim Duncan in San Antonio, Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas and Yao and McGrady in Houston.

    All three are trying to build rosters that complement the superstars. No team in the NBA has built its roster more smartly than the Spurs.

    They acquire players that fit not only Duncan's talent but also his workaholic personality.

    In Dallas, they keep changing the mix at warp speed. Sometimes the Mavericks go for a new mix without really finding out if the old mix worked.

    Letting point guard Steve Nash go and investing heavily in center Erick Dampier may remind the Rockets of their Kelvin Cato mistake.

    As for the Rockets, they're a mess. Dawson will continue trying to acquire a rebounder, and then next summer will draft either a power forward or a point guard.

    Maybe this season will be a success if they get nothing more than Yao and McGrady becoming comfortable with one another.

    "That's very important," Yao said.

    Two years ago, Yao looked like he was on his way to being one of the NBA's 10 best players. His ascent has slowed some, but inside the organization, they love him as much as ever.

    "He shows up everyday," Van Gundy said. "He shows up to play. He shows up to practice. I don't know how to be disappointed in someone who puts so much into his
    job."

    Because they've got a franchise center inside and a scoring champion on the perimeter, they've got the start of a nice team in place.

    But it's only a start.

    richard.justice@chron.com
     
  2. JBIIRockets

    JBIIRockets Contributing Member

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    Good article.
     
  3. Man

    Man Contributing Member

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    Yeah not a bad article. It's optimistic..it will defniitely take time.

    5 years to build our team?

    How long did it take the Spurs?

    Will other teams get even better? I hope not.
     
  4. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    The Rockets sure seem like they are in a deep hole:

    The problem is that we have nothing to offer other teams for a trade: Taylor/Howard/Lue/Ward/Boki/Spoon- these guys have played terrible this year, and their trade value is close to NOTHING.

    Something is terribly wrong when your biggest tradable asset is Clarence Weatherspoon. :( :( :(

    Do Something: Fire Van Gundy, get a real PF, do anything. Dallas felt like Harris wasn't quite ready and wanted to bring him on a little slower, bam, they get Darrell Armstrong the very next day. If something is obviously wrong, go and fix it.
     
  5. Willis25

    Willis25 Contributing Member

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    boki was a first rounder (not that it makes it any better)
     
  6. patlabor1

    patlabor1 Member

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    Does this guys Justice read this board or is it just a coincidence?

    Patlabor wrote:

    "It (management) recognizes the problems (PF and PG) but can't do anything about it.

    Crap players that are crap can't even be unloaded becuase of their fat contracts coupled with the fact that their crap.

    Players that we could have traded or helped this team never materialized becus this organization gave up 3 picks and let go the same player for nothing. (Now this guy is shooting daggers for a team in the same conference.

    Yeah, Don't expect the mangement on this team to ever get it right even if they have just recently smartened up. The Handcuffs they placed on this team is their doing and probably going to be their undoing. "


    Nick wrote:


    "I'm agreeing with both of you... the decisions made ever since the failed Pippen signing have been reactionary and made with no basketball "expertise" whatsoever.... they've just been goin on gut instinct.

    Sign Cato to huge contract.

    Sign Mo-T to huge contract

    Sign Moochie to huge contract

    (these three deals alone hampered this team's development in from 2000-2002.) "


    Hillbilly wrote:

    "If you want to point fingers in blame, point them at those folks in the organization who go out and screw up the drafts, miss on free agents and make bad trades. This has been going on for 10 years now so nobody here should be all that "surprised". And if you are somehow counting on those same "geniuses" in the organization that gave you this team to build a contender around Yao and T-Mac, you are setting yourself up for a HUGE disappointment."


    This was all in the game thread.
    Pretty damn funny, the Houston writers should have wrote this article 1 week into the season because many people saw these problems a mile away.
     
  7. cato13

    cato13 Contributing Member

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    Except the part where they said we got Boki in the second round. We got him with our second pick(15) in the first round.
     
  8. mogrod

    mogrod Contributing Member

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    I question Justice's writing and "opinion" alot, but this article made absolue sense. Yao & Tmac will be fine for years to come. Some people need to stop being either an ass or impatient because the two stars are not going anywhere, and shouldn't. The management has to find suitable roll players and this team will take off in a big way.

    Nice to hear that CD is actually actively looking for a suitable PF though.
     
  9. dragon167

    dragon167 Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/2943154

    Press row view
    The combination of slow and can't shoot generally doesn't work in the NBA. The Rockets could build an offense with lots of stand-still shooters around Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. Or, they could find a bunch high-flying kids to scramble around. Instead, they have neither. They have had to get by with their stars carrying an offense and enough defense to keep it close. On Saturday, when they didn't have the defense, the Mavericks showed everything the Rockets lack — and how little margin for error they bring to each game.


    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    So true.
     
  10. wuhailq

    wuhailq Member

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    Can we trade JVG for a suitable PF?
     
  11. franchise23

    franchise23 Contributing Member

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    Good article. Its nice to know that CD is looking for a PF.
     
  12. DLS

    DLS Member

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    Boki did everything we expected him to do when he got playing time. Hitting 3's and providing some rebounding.

    Now we are lacking in shooting - or another scoring option - and Boki is on the IR. Van Gundy makes very little sense to me...Gaines is a project, Boki provided some scoring.

    Sura and Barret are fine at the pg - Gaines is a big time project right now.

    You ca't count Boki as a mistake, you can count Van Gundy's use of him a mistake though :(
     
  13. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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    so dicky gets paid to write the bleeting obvious, nicely done
     
  14. clove

    clove Contributing Member

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    Good article.

    I say f**k pride and make an offer to Malone. I don't know if he'll come, but he will fit perfectly. Let's see:
    rebounding, check.
    toughness, check.
    flopping, check.
    jumper, check.
    leadership, check.(one of the best leaders, his most valuble asset to us.)
    experience, check.
    bball iq, check.

    He is exactly what we need.

    I'm sure if he's willing to come, he'll quickly become a fan favorite. We are not the only ones who hate Malone. Laker fans also hated him just like the rest of the league. But as soon as he joined them, guess what, he's a fan favorite.

    While we are at it, call up Stockton too. He'll fit. lol

    I am just asking for hate replies. I don't care. Bring it.
     
  15. r-fan-since-81

    r-fan-since-81 Contributing Member

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    I just want to win. Whatever the cost. I hate Express Mail, more than anyone else. At this point I am ready for Malone. Damn I said it. He does bring all that we need.

    I doubt he would want to play for us. I am sure that Shaq will lure him to the Heat.
     
    #15 r-fan-since-81, Dec 12, 2004
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2004
  16. jopatmc

    jopatmc Contributing Member

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    Quit wasting time talking about Malone. He ain't coming here to lose. He is gonna go to the team that he feels is gonna win it all, Miami, SA, or Minny. That's it.
     
  17. crash5179

    crash5179 Contributing Member

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    The biggest thing the Rockets are missing is a coach!
     
  18. rvpals

    rvpals Member

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    Nice article. Just a lot of things we've been saying all along on this board.

    How come nobody want to come to Houston not looking for a ridiculous contract? You know, like reasonable offer and we get someone decent.
     
  19. rvpals

    rvpals Member

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    You guys expect too much out of a aging Malone. Unless he can be have for a vet minimum which I doubt, it'll be another bad personnel idea by rockets to sign Malone
     
  20. Dallas Rocket

    Dallas Rocket Contributing Member

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    Observations after 20+ games:

    ** team with its present makeup can only be mediocre+ at best,
    no matter who is coaching

    ** I really supported JVG's coming here, but now I have real doubts about Van Grumpy's ability; he has suffocated a true superstar and gotten nothing out of the players he has. I agree with many posters that his fatal flaw is trying to fit the players into his system, rather than designing systems to maximize the talent available.

    D R
     

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