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[Feigen] D'Antoni said Harden is "devastated." Open to considering strategic rest.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Deuce, May 12, 2017.

  1. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Esp after catching some had calls.

    Rocket River
     
  2. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    James Harden may need more rest next season, Mike D'Antoni says

    Tim MacMahon
    ESPN Staff Writer
    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...-need-more-rest-next-season-mike-dantoni-says

    HOUSTON -- Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni will rethink whether James Harden needs more rest during the regular season after the superstar's poor performance at the end of Houston's Western Conference semifinals series.

    D'Antoni, describing himself as "shellshocked" the day after Houston's season ended with a 39-point home loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6, acknowledged after Friday's exit interviews that fatigue could have factored into Harden's poor finish.

    Harden was held to 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers in the 114-75 loss Thursday night. He had 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting and six turnovers in the second half and overtime of a 110-107 loss in Game 5, going scoreless with three turnovers in the overtime period.

    Asked how Harden could improve after a historic statistical season for the 55-win Rockets, D'Antoni answered "understanding his limitations," suggesting the Rockets could reconsider their philosophy against resting a healthy Harden on occasion during the regular season.

    Harden missed only one game this season, due to illness, and ranked third in the league in minutes with 2,947.

    "All great players think they can do everything," D'Antoni said. "Maybe he does need to take a game off here and there. 'Hey, you're nicked up a little bit, don't play, maybe.' Something to talk about, but that's also his greatness, too. So it's hard. It's very delicate.

    "And again, I feel so sorry for him because he's had an unbelievable [season]. I mean, he's had a historic year, and you can't just say, 'OK, one game ...' and all of the sudden, social media goes crazy. And I understand. Hey, I've been on that other side, so I understand. But he will get better. We will talk about it. I can help him. The offense will get better. I can get him off the ball some. I can save his legs a little bit and have more confidence [in other ballhandlers]. Pat Beverley can run the team a little bit. We can do different things."

    Harden, who took responsibility for the Rockets' Game 6 loss during his postgame press conference, did not participate in Friday's exit interviews with D'Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey. They had a brief discussion with Harden after the game, describing the MVP candidate as devastated.

    Morey said they would "give him some space" and schedule a meeting with Harden soon to discuss the offseason and franchise's future.

    Morey said it was not fair to judge Harden, an eight-year veteran who averaged career highs of 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds during the regular season, based on a bad night in Game 6.

    "Obviously, you see [he] had a tough game, but to me it's a joke to get on him because we're not where we are [without Harden]," Morey said. "The guy that's hardest on James is James."

    Morey mentioned that the Rockets place as much responsibility on Harden, the first player in NBA history to record at least 2,000 points, 900 assists and 600 rebounds in a season, as any player in the league.

    One offseason goal for Morey and D'Antoni is to figure out ways to ease the burden on Harden, who turns 28 in August.

    Morey and D'Antoni both expressed excitement about the Rockets' core and optimism that young players Clint Capela, Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell could make significant strides. However, Morey acknowledged the challenge of competing for a championship as a one-superstar team, saying he'd explore avenues to acquiring a co-star to pair with Harden.

    "Our goal is a championship," Morey said. "Generally, that has taken multiple superstars, but before any team does anything, they say it can't be done. We do have some guys. I think Capela, for example, I'm not trying to say that he's going to be for sure an All-Star ... but he's got a chance. You look at his progression and where he's at, he's got a chance to be for sure near an All-Star if not better."

    D'Antoni, who just finished his first season in Houston, believes that Harden can make significant progress after his first campaign as a full-time point guard.

    D'Antoni said he expects the Rockets to have the best offense in NBA history next season, saying they can "add layers" to the system to help Harden.

    "He's had a historic season, and we can get that better," D'Antoni said. "Obviously, we'll sit down. Save his energy, play him less, manage it better ... We'll work that together. One game can't erase nine months of work."

    Added Morey: "James makes progress every year. That's one of the things I love about him, whether it be improving his right hand or his leadership like he did this year. Every year, he dedicates himself to improving himself. I know that he'll do that again. That's why he's our cornerstone."
     
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  3. Brown Lost It

    Brown Lost It Member

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    I agree about strategic rest, but come playoff time and winning time it's so hard to want to take the day off and not work on your game. Sometimes the best thing you can do is not do anything.

    I would study the game by watching film and highlights on days off.
     
  4. Reeko

    Reeko Member

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    I said this last night, but Harden's performance last night really reminded me of what Lebron did against the Celtics in game 5 back in the 2010 playoffs.

    The Cavs were at home, and Lebron proceeded to go 3-14 in 41 minutes as the Cavs lost to the lower seeded Celtics 120-88.

    Then next year in the finals, he completely disappeared. Lebron, the Chosen One, the King, had 8 points in a finals game. He was being questioned left and right. The narrative was that he was mentally weak and scared of the big moment.

    look at what Dan Gilbert wrote about him after he left Cleveland

    ""He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. "People have covered up for (James) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."

    Gilbert feels James quit on the Cavs during their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit to eliminate Cleveland.

    "He quit," Gilbert said. "Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar."

    The Cavaliers were beaten by 32 points in Game 5. During the game, James appeared distracted and uninterested, often glaring at Cleveland's coaches as the Cavs tried to foul to get back into the game in the second half. James also made some puzzling postgame comments, saying he had "spoiled" people with his play over seven seasons.

    Gilbert also said he believes James quit on the Cavs in Game 6 of their series in 2009 against Orlando.

    "Go back and look at the tape," he said. "How many shots did he take?""

    Dirk used to be seen as a choker and was labeled soft. People thought that he couldn't be the best player on a championship team after choking away a 2-0 lead in the 2006 NBA finals and then losing to an 8th seed in the 1st round the very next year. In 08, he lost in 5 in the 1st round. In 09, he lost in 5 in the 2nd round. The Mavs lost again in the 1st round in the 2010 playoffs. In the 10-11 season, they finally pulled through and won a title.

    It is too early to completely give up on Harden. He can overcome this. The 15-16 season was a disaster. Harden came back from that and gave us an MVP caliber season as we overachieved to 55 wins and a 3rd place finish in the WC. This season ended on a bad note, but I look forward to seeing how he will come out next season. He still has time to change his narrative just like guys like Dirk, Lebron, and even Paul Pierce have managed to do before him.
     
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  5. count_dough-ku

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    So we're dealing with a supposed superstar who can't handle a tough playoff defeat? No one sweeps their way to a title, at least not initially. You're gonna endure heartbreaking losses. If you can't bounce back from those or at least learn over time how to bounce back, you'll never win anything in the postseason.
     
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  6. SemisolidSnake

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    Well, there you go. They pretty much had given up before the game started.

    I need to play devil's advocate here a bit, though. It's hard to do considering most of these guys make more in a season than the rest of us will make in multiple lifetimes. But let's just go with it:


    So, obviously, the lack of mental toughness described in that tweet will not win a championship. I always have thought it was the coach's job to instill that in players by whatever means. And some coaches do, but I don't think most do. And maybe it's beyond them to do that.

    These kids are young, millionaires or not. They're on a huge improv stage. Many of them will crack under pressure or regret or frustration or whatever. The Rockets have a physical training staff, and they have coaches, but maybe they need to have "mental training" staff. Go find the best psychologists and psychiatrists in Houston, and have them work with these guys to get over these mental blocks and build resilience and focus. We talk about how important the mental aspect of sports is, but do we actually DO anything about it, or do we just expect these young guys to figure it out themselves?

    They all know they need to be in peak physical condition, but even the most fit among all of them can be held back by his mind. I spent all of my 20s wrestling with college, then working in a complicated, often failing, family engineering business while trying to balance a girlfriend that then came to work with me, and it didn't build toughness by immersion; it shredded me. Granted, I couldn't find any good help (still looking, btw), but you'd better believe that Les can pay any amount to find the right people to help his team achieve peak mental fitness. I'm serious. Start now, and you could have a team that comes back hungry and focused from a bad loss instead of devastated and broken.

    The Rockets beat themselves this last game, and now we know why. What is there to lose by trying to get them some help where it matters: mentally and emotionally?
     
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  7. theoldblood

    theoldblood Member

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    Harden needs to train with Tim Grover this off season.
     
  8. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    Harden will learn from this.
    MDA will make some adjustments to his coaching tactics to maximize Harden.
    Morey will add more complimentary players to the roster to maximize Harden.
     
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  9. Mr.Pinoyboy

    Mr.Pinoyboy Member

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    Another facilitator? We picked up Williams who can run point. James Harden off the ball and without the ball is pure lazy.
     
  10. ilovehtownbb

    ilovehtownbb Member

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  11. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    I agree with this. But as D'Antoni said, whole team was zapped. They need to overcome it, starting with Harden.
     
  12. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Morey needs to realize that Harden isn't a leader that will lead his team through difficult situations. He needs to assemble a team so overloaded with talent that it doesn't matter how poor Harden's leadership is.
     
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  13. alethios

    alethios Member

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    Agreed. I felt it too after the Game 5 loss - that impending sense that we were so let down, we couldn't recover.
     
  14. KlutchQT

    KlutchQT Member

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    I never imagined they would play THAT poorly, but I figured it would be difficult to get up for game 6. Had they executed even 5% better down the stretch of game 5, the series would have been theirs and they knew it. The way we lost that game was a mind**** even for me, and I didn't do anything except sit on my ass at Buffalo Wild Wings and watch. This is the same reason I didn't worry about us winning game 7 of that Clippers series. The odds of a team really getting up after losing a game they had no business losing are slim, I think.

    It doesn't completely explain how/why they looked like a team that never played together before last night, though.
     
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  15. Hakeemtheking

    Hakeemtheking Member

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    Nowhere in the article there is mentioning of lifestyle changes (sure because it is so personal:rolleyes:). Yet, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the guy is a party animal. Coupled that with a grueling NBA season, and what do you expect the outcome to be when you need to be total focus at the task at hand: answer: Lala land.

    Actually, if the above was truly the reason (i.e. fatigue) for that abysmal showing yesterday, then there is hope for brighter days -- just be more selective on your leisure times. Indeed, it would beat the hell out of the other explanation: that you are a quitter.
     
  16. yixiixiy

    yixiixiy Member

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    The whole team zapped?!

    How many times have you heard of that across the league?

    Have you ever heard that Ginobili zapped?
    Have you ever heard Draymond zapped?
    Have you ever heard Tony Allen zapped?

    Have you heard the Spurs zapped?
    Have you heard the Grizzles zapped?

    Is this kind of "soft chemistry" the really chemistry a championship-caliber team has? Should DM start quantify personality and include it in his analytics kit going forward? There are certain traits of Houston Rockets team that remain unchanged despite coaching changes, style changes and player changes.

    Also. We heard about strategic this, strategic that.

    What about tactical adjustments?
    What attempts have the coaches made during the game to reverse the zap?
    Any adjustments to opponents tactical changes?

    Once again D'Antoni lays blame on the players.

    Management, Coaches and Owner all need to look in the mirror and reflect.

    DEVASTATING.
     
  17. Mr.Pinoyboy

    Mr.Pinoyboy Member

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    Maybe if he would stop partying after games and focus on basketball then maybe he ll get plenty of rest.
     
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  18. SemisolidSnake

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    Well, according to this post and subsequent research I've been doing, Theo Epstein, the GM who brought the Red Sox their first title in 86 years and the Cubs their first title in 108 years, combines analytics with personality and chemistry assessments of both the players and coaches. He doesn't just go straight from the numbers.

    So, according to a GM who's actually won some difficult titles, yeah, we probably should be considering personality.
     
  19. rocketsballin

    rocketsballin Member

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    probably before

    Nene post Game 6 drama: I am on my last legs so I will be looking for what's best for me and my family.
     
  20. rockets13champs

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    media now gonna make westbrook b2b mvp cuz hes the only nba player who rests from next season on
     

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