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[CNNSI] NBA Enemy Lines: Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by durvasa, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/basketball/nba/10/22/rockets/

    [rquoter]
    An opposing team's scout sizes up the Rockets

    They didn't lose anything form their core by trading for Ron Artest, so it was a good deal for them. Coach Rick Adelman knows Artest, and Artest knows and respects Rick. Adelman knows how to work with those kinds of players: Vernon Maxwell, Bonzi Wells, Rod Strickland, Keon Clark, even Chris Webber -- Rick did well with all of them. So they have that going with Ron.

    The question is, How are they going to play with Ron? He has a very distinctive way of playing: He plays with the ball. That's not the way their offense is set up. But I don't see Ron changing the way he plays; it's too late in his career for that and he's got too much at stake for himself being a free agent after this season. My feeling is that it won't work out as well on the court between Artest, Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming as it looks on paper. At the same time, it's going to help the Rockets to have Artest more than it hurts them.

    A fair way to assess Artest is that when you're winning and the games are competitive and he's interested, he'll be engaged and compete. But when you're directionless or the team's not doing as well as he thinks it should, he can be a malcontent. I don't see the latter happening with Houston, so I think he'll be OK.

    Artest will be worried about his scoring numbers, but if they're winning it will be foolish for him to make an issue of that. I also don't see a strong track record of Ron's having a good relationship with his teammates. If he's there for the one year it should be OK, but he can be a hard guy for teammates to bond with. He is emotional and he'll have his outbursts, and it's hard to accept that all of the time -- you can't yell at teammates all of the time and expect them to say it's OK. I bet Yao has never had experience with a guy like Ron.

    McGrady had his own issues early last season after Adelman took over. McGrady was probably wondering where his shots were going to come from and what his role was; he seemed to believe that some of his touches were going to be eliminated. He turned out to have one of his most meaningful seasons as a leader. But let's remember, there hasn't been a lot of meaning to his career so far. He's the kind of guy who seems to go into his own shell, and he doesn't appear to be really approachable to his teammates. And that's not so bad, but you still have to show some emotion so people know where you stand. There'll be a lot of pressure on him and Yao to finally get past the first round now that Ron is there with them.

    McGrady and Yao should have a lot more familiarity with Rick's system going into this second year. It's so different from what players are used to because you're reading situations off the ball, and reading your man when you don't have the ball, reading the defense on the weak side to decide where it's coming from. And you have to do all of that within the conventional NBA sets. Other coaches are running their plays to get the ball to a player in a certain spot; in Rick's system, the ball movement depends on how the defense is playing you.

    This will be Yao's seventh NBA season, and over the next couple of years he'll have to take that next step up. The only reason he isn't rated at a higher level is because of his injuries. He's a focal point when he's out there, and he seems to have a lot of desire to succeed and break through. Maybe it will take some of the stress off him to pound the ball to Ron. If Yao had a full healthy year, he could really be special. There's nobody who matches up with him, and besides being so big he's amazingly skilled and willing to do what is asked of him. With the years he's had in the league, there shouldn't be any doubt in his mind of what he can do, so his confidence should be high.

    ...
    [/rquoter]

    I thought this was a very good read. It's nice to know how other NBA scouts view the team. He didn't cover most of the established bench players like Landry, Head, Brooks, and Hayes. Mostly focused on the starters, in particular the Big Three. With McGrady, he doesn't focus so much on his play as he does on his temperament and leadership.

    And there's no mention of health, for those sick of that.
     
  2. ClutchCityReturns

    ClutchCityReturns Contributing Member

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    Exactly how I feel. To a "T".
     
  3. yobod

    yobod Member

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    This is far more balanced, and observant than any hack writer who works for SI, ESPN, Fox, or any other news outlet. The fact that he didn't beat the injury horse to death shows that he knows what he's talking about when it comes to players and their skillsets.
     
  4. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    I liked this analysis. Sounded pragmatic and cautious, careful not to underestimate nor overestimate us. Greg Popovich probably thinks of the Rockets in this manner. If he can ever get over his disgust for his GM gift-wrapping Scola to us :).
     
  5. shortfuse3

    shortfuse3 Member

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    Every article is just another version of the other. i don't even need to read these after reading one.
     
  6. Wakko67

    Wakko67 Contributing Member

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    Pretty good read. I agree with it all for the most part.
     
  7. bbjai

    bbjai Member

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    I loved his discussion on Mcgrady
    it seems to true that last season Mcgrady really developed as a leader somewhat. Although he completly ran out of steam in the playoffs I like his attitude in the preseason so far especially with the punk Bill Walker.
     
  8. dback816

    dback816 Member

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    Clearly it just had to be Yao, the non-American, who has never met an emotional and crazy person :rolleyes:
     
  9. Rhay1

    Rhay1 Member

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    Let's see; Artest is too emotional and is prone to outbursts, which will wear on teammates. McGrady isn't emotional enough so teammates don't know where he stands. Now that's balanced reporting.

    ...it also sounds like the team is emotionally balanced out enough to not have a meltdown this year.
    :cool:
     
  10. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    He played two years with Steve Francis, who was regularly amongst the leaders in technicals.
     

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