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Chronicle: Budinger ready to shine

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by AroundTheWorld, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bk/bkn/7450705.html

    He's cleared for takeoff
    Now a starter, Budinger ready for his chance to shine


    Chase Budinger could not remember the last dunk he threw down on the road. He gets them often enough these days that his having none in recent road games stood out in his memory. He does, however, remember the reaction.
    He gets it all the time. He slams on the road, driving past a defender rushing to challenge a jumper or leaping to snare an alley-oop lob from Kyle Lowry, and fans let out a collective "whoaaa" not out of awe but surprise.
    He knows what they're thinking.
    "Not a lot of people see white guys dunk a lot, especially from my position," Budinger said of the response that comes so often. "On the road, no one really knows who I am. When I do get one, it's pretty cool. It's pretty cool to hear the reaction."
    The surprise is more acute given the lack of Amish-looking players in the NBA. Few players sport Budinger's recent red-beard, no-mustache look, making him stand out from the league's rim-benders even more. But the surprise he inspires may soon be over.
    With the Rockets sending Shane Battier back to Memphis, Budinger has become the starting small forward, giving him far more chances to finish drives with slams and launch 3s, but also greater responsibility to grow into the rest of the job.
    "I believed I could be a starter in this league," Budinger said. "I just needed to get that chance to prove it. This is an opportunity right now."
    Building confidence
    The Rockets have twice traded veteran starters in part to create more playing time and opportunity for Budinger, sending Trevor Ariza to New Orleans in August before the deal that moved Battier.
    "It gives me a lot of confidence," said Budinger, who had a career-high 30 points in the game before the Battier trade and 27 the next night before scoring eight in New Orleans on Sunday. "It shows how much they believe in me. That's all you can really ask for from an organization. That's what they see in me. It definitely brings me confidence out on the court."
    Budinger's recent scoring increase has been keyed by greater determination to take the ball to the basket rather than rely on his jump shot. He has seemed even more assertive in a variety of ways since the trade, a step the Rockets hoped he would take with the added responsibility.
    "He's a young player who has shown strong signs early in his career, even back to last year," Rockets vice president for player personnel Gersson Rosas said. "There's only so much you can do in practice and limited minutes in games. I think it was the next step for him.
    "You hate to lose Shane's leadership and his experience and what that means in the locker room. But basketball-wise, we felt good about Chase and Courtney (Lee) and what Terrence (Williams) might bring to that equation.
    "With Chase specifically, the work ethic is there. The dedication is there. He has continued to improve in the areas that were his biggest liabilities. Defensively, he's a guy who is committed to that end now. He'll have his challenges and liabilities in that area, but it won't be because of a lack of effort.
    "He's a guy who understands who he is, and he's working hard to improve who he is."
    Big test up next
    Tonight against the Trail Blazers, that will likely get a test that Budinger has not faced as a starter. Teams routinely isolated scorers against Budinger when he entered games, often bringing Battier quickly back to the court. The Nets and Hornets did not have that option, but Portland could look to get the ball to Gerald Wallace to work one-on-one on Budinger.
    "This is a big test for me," Budinger said. "Gerald Wallace is a big, strong guy. He likes the ball in the post. I'm going to do the best that I can, try to push him out as far as I can. When he gets those isolations, it's like Shane always says: 'Try to make him take hard two-point jumpers.' "
    The Blazers will try to limit Budinger to the same shots. Less certain is if now that he is a starter with a growing résumé of YouTube highlights, Budinger can still surprise crowds expecting him to only launch 3s.
    "I would love," he said, "to test that out in Portland."

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

    LOL @ "Amish-looking"...didn't really expect that one from Feigen :grin:.
     
  2. Htown's2kFinest

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    Batum and Gerald Wallace against Budinger tonight...

    Don't think he's gonna shine next game.
     
  3. Glenyo

    Glenyo Member

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    if bud has consistency then he would be good.
     
  4. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
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    I really hope Chase is not our long term starter. He's a good player, but the reality is that we can not start Chase and Martin, and not have a serious shot-blocking presence, and expect to win consistently.

    I'm far more comfortable with a core swing man trio of Williams, Lee and Martin. I hope Chase pushes his value up so that we can trade him for someone that fits better on our team, as well as a place where HE fits better on the team.
     
  5. Glenyo

    Glenyo Member

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    what he said .. i would like martin and twill play together for more of a offensive and defensive guards, vice verser with lee and bud
     
  6. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    Not sure where the idea comes from that T-Will is a great defender...in the few games I have seen him, it sure didn't look like it. Not that Bud can defend either...I actually think Martin is not that terrible on defense when he puts his mind to it and when he defends a smaller player.
     
  7. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i watched martin hustle his butt of saturday night playing defense. i was impressed with the effort, at least.
     
  8. VooDooPope

    VooDooPope Love > Hate
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    Chase has been putting forth the effort on D. If we had a shot blocker he and Marin would both look a lot better.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Red.Glare

    Red.Glare Member

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    Martin seems to have responded to his tag of having no defense. Now he's making steals and genuinely messing up the timing in one on ones. A few blocks lately as well. He has also learned to direct the driver toward the help defense. Something he never did when he first arrived. Give him credit, not great defense, but vastly improved. Same for Bud.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    Not even sure where the idea that Twill is a PG came from. Last couple games didn't even look like he could dribble.
     
  11. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
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    Agree, but I think that might have had to do with him being nervous or something. But I agree, he looked out of control several times.
     
  12. danoman

    danoman Contributing Member

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    you make it seem like were not gonna get a decent center in years, hopefully in the off season morey finally takes care of that.
     
  13. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    Oh, and Kevin Martin is an ultra efficient black hole. He is putting up great numbers at the expense of other teammates getting into a grove early. If he would just pass the ball once in awhile when the defense is keyed up on him we would score 100 in a half.
     
  14. saintja2

    saintja2 Contributing Member

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    We are not going to win consistently in the near future no matter who we start.

    Something to consider is that if we want to be players in the 2012 big free agent market, it might be in our best interest to have Budinger and Lee or T-Will develop into quality starters and instead of Budinger we would ship Martin out if good deal becomes available.

    Budinger will make less than 1M in 2012-2013 and Lee's qualifying offer (allowing us to keep his Bird rights) will be about 3M in the summer of 2012. Williams' option will also be about 3M.
    (This of course assuming that the new CBA doesn't drastically change things.)

    So simply put, Budinger's development could allow us to have maximum salary cap flexibility and Martin, while certainly a better player, is the opposite of that with the biggest salary in the team.
     
  15. thumbs

    thumbs Contributing Member

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    Your math is not blooming today. Why would you trade a talented shooter who makes fewer than a million dollars? Dollar for dollar, that makes no sense in the trade market to make salaries match. He is an incredible bargain for two more years.

    I get the feeling its more because of his red beard and lack of color that disturbs you. The kid is motivated, and his defense is improving. Bud is more athletic than Battier ever was and therefore has a higher defensive ceiling. Remember, athletic players can LEARN defense, but if they are offensively challenged, they always will be. At 22 Bud is still learning, but his star is on the rise.
     
    #15 thumbs, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  16. herro

    herro Member

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    I hope Chase proves everyone wrong and maintains a level of consistency on offense while improving his defense markedly. I hope he remains the starter moving forward indefinitely.
     
  17. Grimm920

    Grimm920 Member

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    Chase has done great so far as a starter. As far as having T-Will start for defensive purposes, thats just crazy because he straight up sucks on both ends of the court
     
  18. TEXNIFICENT

    TEXNIFICENT Member

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    When T-Will Started in NJ he was pretty strong last year. He wasn't starting for a playoff team but neither is Chase.
     
  19. mattrbowers

    mattrbowers Member

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    Just because the previous team leader in blocked shots was at the SF position doesn't mean that it has to be. There will be other options for shot blocking long term, but if Bud and Martin continue to look as good as they do offensively, the Rockets better keep them on the long term roster for as long as they can.
     
  20. vlaurelio

    vlaurelio Contributing Member

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    race baiting?
     

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