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Kenny 'The Team' Thomas gets some New Orleans Love

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by SmeggySmeg, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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    from the New Orleans beat Writer, it would appear from his quotes that this malcontent crap is exactly that...... a pile of bull****e (nice work Feigan)

    http://www.nola.com/sports/t-p/index.ssf?/sportsstory/hornsider07.html

    Rockets' Thomas erasing doubts - Reserve forward keeps Houston close
    By Jimmy Smith
    Staff writer/The Times-Picayune

    If Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis is "Stevie Franchise," and 7-foot-6 rookie center Yao Ming is the beginning of the "Ming Dynasty," then Friday night at New Orleans Arena, Kenny Thomas was "The Team."

    Thomas, a 6-7 reserve forward, did for Houston what neither Francis nor Yao could do when the Rockets were struggling early against the Hornets: keep his team in the game.

    Thomas, who scored a season-high 29 points off the bench, couldn't quite do enough to halt New Orleans' home-court winning streak, now at 11 and counting thanks to a 98-96 overtime victory.

    But as Thomas, who started 71 of the 72 games he played last season, struggles this season to break back into the starting lineup, his performance Friday night might have been the nudge Coach Rudy Tomjanovich needed to insert Thomas back into the starting five.

    "Kenny had a tremendous game, really a tremendous game," Tomjanovich said. "He gave us a shot at it."

    While Francis, who finished with 24 points, and Yao, who had 16, might be the marquee players, on Friday, at least, it was Thomas who was the go-to guy.

    Though he sat out the entire first quarter as Houston trailed by five, Thomas scored 16 in the second quarter on 7-of-9 shooting.

    "I came off the bench and I just tried to go in there and play hard. I got the ball," he said. "I was rebounding. I was just trying to score. That's the name of the game. Score and play defense. So, I did both tonight.

    "But if I get the chance to score, I'm going to score."

    A first-round draft choice by the Rockets out of New Mexico in 1999, Thomas averaged 14.1 points last season.

    But this season he has started 10 of the Rockets' 18 games, giving way to Glen Rice and Maurice Taylor, who scored eight and zero points Friday night.

    "It comes down to the point where we're all professional ball players," Thomas said.

    "If Rudy wants me coming off the bench, then that's the way it has to be. I just try to come out and help my team.


    "It wasn't even about points tonight. To me, it's just being in the game. I think a lot of people on this team just want to get in the game and play."

    By the time the first half was over, the Rockets, thanks to Thomas, were leading 46-44.

    He started the third quarter, but the Hornets adjusted their defense, rotating a pair of front-line players, usually P.J. Brown and Jamaal Magloire, over to try to take away Thomas' shot.

    "Basically on the screens they were jumping out real aggressive," Thomas said.

    "They were forcing our guards down on the screens. So, I was just trying to roll to the bucket to try to score."

    Thomas scored the first two points of overtime, and turned it into a three-point play when he was fouled by Magloire and made the free throw.

    But the Hornets turned up the pressure and Thomas didn't score again.

    "I got in this league because I could score, and I'm going to continue to try and score when I have the opportunity."
     
  2. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    yeah, I saw that. Clutch linked to it off the front page, so we can assume that Feigen read it. Note that this was a game where Kenny was the third PF off the bench.
     
  3. codell

    codell Contributing Member

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    You two realize that all the Kenny detractors are going to read this and use it as ammo by saying "look, all KT talks about in this article is his scoring and" and thus, use it to back up the theory that KT is a black hole (which I strongly disagree with). :D
     
  4. zzhiggins

    zzhiggins Member

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    I had a feeling they were impressed with KT, I tuned in to the New Orleans play by play while watching the game,,The announcer said...We came into this game expecting trouble from a 7'=6" guy and whose killing us a 6'-7" guy wearing Kenny Thomas' jersey, who the hell is Kenny Thomas (quote)


    They know who KT is now......
     
  5. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    codell, if we don't believe the "malcontent blackhole" theory, then let's not discuss it. I wish I could put the entire "debate" on my ignore list like you can in the Chat room.

    Let's discuss this:

    <blockquote><hr>"Basically on the screens they were jumping out real aggressive," Thomas said.

    "They were forcing our guards down on the screens. So, I was just trying to roll to the bucket to try to score."<hr></blockquote>Sounds like a guy who knows how to move without the ball to get his points, to me. This is good, because it also shows how well Moochie found him for slams, as well. We are getting a lot of slams the last two games. Things are opening up, and not just when Yao is on the court. We got slams the whole game last game.
     
  6. ChenZhen

    ChenZhen Contributing Member

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    I think that the KT black hole complaints were legit earlier this year especially...I just don't like his game, it can be extremely irritating to watch sometimes...if you have the ball and is covered tightly and have teammates wide open, you pass them the ball...you do not throw up an extremely difficult shot while you have teammates wide open 2-3 times a game...Its not smart basketball and there is no excuses for it...His ISO postups really kills the flow of our offense....Good news is that we are doing it less and less because it just wasn't effective...Kenny had like many consecutive bad games, he's bound to have a few good ones...
     
  7. zzhiggins

    zzhiggins Member

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    ChenZhen ..all post-ups are isos ,,and there is no flow to the offense without the threat of scoring from many directions. In the New Orleans article it states that Magloire, the man guarding Yao, had to switch off Yao and jump out ,to stop KT in the second half. The next time we play, there will be a counter play by the Rockets to take advantage of that.
    They had to double to stop our third optionand he still scored 29 off the bench.
     
    #7 zzhiggins, Dec 9, 2002
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2002
  8. codell

    codell Contributing Member

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    HP,

    Overall, KT argueably might have the highest basketball IQ on the team. I think his footwork and defensive technique prove that. Furthermore, several times this year, hes had 5+ assists, which only further demonstrate that when he wants to pass, hes one of the best passers on this team too.

    With the offense working the way it is lately, I think KT is one of the best assets we can have on the court. Assuming this team doesnt fall back to the offense that we ran with Dream, I think KT will get his fair share of points within the confines of the offense with some slashes to the basket and receiving passes from Yao. I have noticed that the majority of times we run a PnR, we do it with Yao or EG as the picker. I would actually like to see Rudy use KT more in the PnR.

    Chen,

    I think earlier in the season, with the thumb injury and other factors, KT's normaly reliable mid-range jumper was not working for him and in turn, he lost confidence in it and starting forcing some drives to the hole. I was VERY happy to see KT hit a couple of those jumpers in the Philly game. I think if he can establish that part of his game again, then we will see less of the ill-advised and more importantly, less of the "black hole" theories.

    Also, his postups are indeed ISOs. But IMO, post-ups as a whole are amost always ISOs, including Mo's and Yao's. Thats just the nature of that type of play.

    With regards to missing teamates who are open, I think this has been a team wide problem, not just a KT problem. Our players seem to make up their mind once they start a drive to the hole, whether they are going to shoot it or pass it. I think thats why we see so many plays where the guy with the ball gets up in the air and turns the ball over or takes a bad shot. Our guys have to start using better court vision and keep in mind that they have options when making a move to the basket.
     
  9. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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    Codell,

    sensational post, you are on the money again, great to see someone else giving players time to adjust to the new offense and roles.

    Smeg

    PS Make sure you email me about joining us at the game when i visit
     
  10. zzhiggins

    zzhiggins Member

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    In the New Orleans game KT had 6 assists, thats a career high for most power forwards. KT stands 3rd on the team in assists, only behind our point guards.
    Your statement about the 2 to 3 times a game is BS, take your VCR back to the dealer and ask for your money back.
     
  11. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    zzhiggins/codell/smeggy what is shocking here is how no one like Sir Jackie Chiles, Thanos and verse and others who said Kenny was definitely a malcontent have chimed into this thread to voice relief about Kenny quotes about not minding coming off the bench.

    We are talking about our Rockets team chemistry here, not some need to be right on a BBS. Aren't those quotes by Kenny exactly what everyone wants to hear.

    come on verse, tell me that you are glad Kenny said that.
     
  12. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    After codell's post, there aint alot I can add to this.
    I do want to chime in to agree with Smeg tho.
    Codell, are you gonna make the Smeggy World Tour?
    I'd like to meet ya also..
    You are the best poster from this year's crop. Hands down.
     
  13. codell

    codell Contributing Member

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    Id say count me in. In April or May, my wife and I are going on a cruise so I might not be here. But if I am, Ill be there. Looking forward to it. :D
     
  14. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    I never chimed in on the KT malcontent issue, but it wasn't hard to put two and two together by viewing his training camp / media day interview. He was easily the least excited to be there - granted, he wants a contract extension he hasn't got, so he had reason to be dissatisfied, but his attitude was definitely one of malcontentness (word?).

    As for his game, I don't think anyone on this board questions his talent (although some, including myself, may argue that he has never had a reliable midrange game), the questions were surrounding his offensive decision making. If he continues to play offensively like he has the past few games, then, sure, he's the one to keep and play. It's not hard to say "I told you so..." when a player is playing well. Personally, I'm going to wait and hope for more than just a well played game and a half before I solidify my opinion on KT's game this year.
     
  15. zzhiggins

    zzhiggins Member

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    Anyway you define it, KT is not a malcontent, thats a myth...Assuming you are speaking of Feigans interveiw, one day after the deadline for the team to offer KT an extension, an interview that had Feigan hunting down KT not to talk about traing camp or the upcoming season..but to try to bait KT into saying something divisive.....Kt said he was dissapointed he couldnt get the contract signing behind him, so he could better concentrate on playing basketball ..not on financial security...
    KT has never said he wasnt excited to be a Houston Rocket and has never said wanted to leave.
    If you want to read some of KTs comments on how he feels about his situation with the Rockets... re=read his interview with the NewOrleans newspaper at the beginning of this thread.
     
  16. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    JayZ, this isn't an "I told you so" situation. This is printing Kenny Thomas words about a bench role, which we should all be happy about. People (including Feigen) seemed to be putting words in his mouth that he was a chemistry problem guy.

    Kenny did not say anything in Camp to Feigen about minutes, except to say "I just what to be in the mix." Go listen to it again. The later article about Mo and KT by Feigen is "pleaded the 5th." Not a word. This is the first quote by him, and he flat out says he'll do whatever Rudy wants, even if that is playing from the bench.

    The malcontent issue is an invention by guys who thought Kenny would get no minutes. If KT DNPs or 3rd string minutes, then yeah, I'd say he would get upset. But the whole 3rd string thing was an invention, too, based on speculation regarding no PF minutes and 3rd string SF minutes.

    <blockquote><hr>Personally, I'm going to wait and hope for more than just a well played game and a half before I solidify my opinion on KT's game this year.<hr></blockquote>
    You say this like some of us are irrationally jumping the gun. We've seen more than 2 good games. Kenny has 4 games of 5+ assists this year, an amount Maurice did not reach in 52 more games in 2001. It is much more appropriate to say that seeing one good game by EG or one five minute stretch by MoT guarded by Rick Fox is jumping the gun on evaluating their readiness, considering one is 20yrs old, and the other is injured.

    With KT, you always know what you are getting, the only thing slow to fans is appreciating his off-ball skills and awareness. Now that Rudy has the guards running a motion system (per Rudy, Francis and Feigen), Kenny's talents will become more apparent.

    It is no surprise to me that our two best motion games from a complete team perspective opened up 11 assists by Kenny. And this is not a situation of "well, once Kenny started passing, we were able to run motion." Not when it is plain to see that the entire team is moving. These were not fluke games of old where we hit our 3s and opened up swing passes for assists. This was a very different team look.

    Feigen mentions it in his article today, too. This is a team-wide implementation. Saying a PF was holding back a perimeter guard-oriented team is just weird. KT's talents fit better in a motion system. He wasn't holding back the motion system....that's just theory, too.
     
    #16 heypartner, Dec 10, 2002
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2002
  17. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    HP,

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. I'm not surprised either that our two best offensive games came when he was passing the ball well. Heck, that's all people have wanted from him. Thus, I do think the offense has as much to do with KT changing his hold the ball and jab step forever game to a more fluid one, which has started to occur.

    When I say I don't want to jump the gun, I think it is certainly fair to have described Kenny's offensive game in the past as a "black hole" - I really do see a difference to how he's playing now versus how he's played for a number of games this year and all of last year - maybe he finally understands that score, score, score, score, score is not what the Rockets want and obviously isn't going to get him the contract, but if he plays within himself and the team, he'll score anyway and be a more effective team member - has he gotten this message and is his game permanently changing - I hope so. I don't think I just hate on players for no reason - I haven't been a fan of KT's game in the past, but as a Rockets fan I would gladly appreciate his game in the future if it deserves to be.

    Anyway, I'm not putting words into KT's mouth. I'm not even listening to the words, its the tone. He could have been saying "I love the Rockets and want to play here forever", but given the tone and mood of the conversation, I don't see how it was possible to watch that video 2 months ago and not come away thinking "Geez, KT is pissed and doesn't sound like he wants to be a part of this team" I'm still surprised they posted it on the website.
     
  18. ChenZhen

    ChenZhen Contributing Member

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    All post ups are ISO's obviously...to me, he just does not play strong enough or has the skills to play the post consistently...he cannot get good position because he's not strong enough against typical PF's...If you notice, he can not shoot off of his post up moves with his back to the basket with the exception of wide open layups (he has no fadaways, hookshots, can't finish in any traffic)...this skill is EXTREMELY important for any post up player, especially a PF...the production out of the post is just not consistent enough to demand the ball that many times earlier in the season...we should only post him up sparingly to take advantage of mismatches and limit his touches down low...

    I think Kenny's game is not bad, just don't post him up against good defenses is all I asked of Rudy...
     
  19. ChenZhen

    ChenZhen Contributing Member

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    good post Codell, I agree for the most part...

    Except for one thing....If Kenny got the best BBall IQ on the team, we must have one stupid team ;)
     
  20. walterw

    walterw Member

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    To me it is like all KT supporters are BBall scholars; they rely on tapes, deep studies of the game to find the good things out of zillions of actions about KT.
    All non-KT fans or haters are just bunch of regular fans who make their conlusion by intuition and impressions.
     

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