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Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by TB3, Aug 31, 2000.

  1. TB3

    TB3 Member

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    Taylor marks second-straight quality acquisition
    AUGUST 31, 2000 Print it

    The Rockets are taking it easy these days. Rudy Tomjanovich is in Hawaii, putting the Dream Team through its paces. The rest of the staff is kicking back, waiting for training camp to open.

    And they all have silly smiles on their faces.

    For the second straight year, the Rockets nabbed a pretty good free agent at a bargain-basement price. Last year it was Shandon Anderson who took the exception to sign with the Rockets.

    This year it was former Clipper (aren't they all former Clippers eventually?) Maurice Taylor who jumped ship for a safe (and sane) harbor in Houston. Not a bad haul for the Rockets, who could probably comb through a flea market and find a Matisse.

    For his part, Taylor is ecstatic to be with a real team for a change.

    "Just being in the atmosphere of a team that wants to win a championship, it gave me chills," Taylor said. "Looking at the pictures, hearing C.D. (Rockets' executive vice president of basketball Carroll Dawson) talking about the parades, about the rings, I had chills going down my spine.

    "It proved to me I do belong here. You look a team that's been to the mountaintop like the Houston Rockets, I'm going to put pressure on myself to be the best possible player that I can be. With the pieces they already have in place and myself, we can do some amazing things next season."

    This guy must be new. It's going to take a lot more for the Rockets to compete in the West, but at least they now have some offensive firepower to complement the guards. And it turns out the guards had a great deal to do with bringing Taylor to town.

    Seems Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley did more than their part in the recruiting the 6-9 power forward.

    "I told him," said Francis, who did more recruiting than the Marines when you consider his work to keep Mobley in town, 'we've got years together. We have an opportunity to be good immediately. We were missing a physical forward, and you can be it. We haven't proven anything in the NBA yet. We're all young. We all have potential. A lot can happen.'"

    Mobley knew that teams were going to be keying in Francis and him, which is why he worked so hard to help land a guy with Taylor's scoring punch.

    "We talked to him, not just in Houston, but in D.C., wherever Steve and myself were," he said. "We need Mo. He knows it. And now that we have him, we're a more explosive team. Mo averaged 17 on a team that wasn't a good team. The way we run, play `D,' get steals -- the way we're young, he's going to be even better"

    Young? The addition of Taylor, 23, completes one of the most remarkable roster turnarounds in recent memory. Just look back to 1998, when the Rockets roster had more fossils than Olduvai Gorge in Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Eddie Johnson, Mario Elie, Kevin Willis and Charles Jones.

    The team practically needed Louis Leakey as the team doctor. Since then, though, the Rockets have made an almost complete roster turnover with players like Francis, Mobley, Taylor, Kenny Thomas, Bryce Drew, Kelvin Cato, Shandon Anderson and Jason Collier.

    PLAYER ANALYSIS

    If there's one thing the Rockets are going to have to do, it's learn to play with a power forward who has legitimate size. They've been going with relative midgets like Charles Barkley and Kenny Thomas for so long that they probably won't know what to do with a 6-9, 260-pound power forward.

    The last time they had a big, dependable power forward (other than Mark Bryant's demitasse before being shipped out as part of the Barkley trade) was back when Otis Thorpe helped the Rockets to the 1994 NBA title. Since then, however, it's been mostly "room for runt" in the locker room when it comes to the power forward spot.

    Taylor seems to think he'll have no problem fitting in with the Rockets, who are in dire need of some inside scoring.

    "If you watched Houston's team, they needed another presence in the post to score some baskets, get some rebounds, help the guys on the perimeter," said Taylor, neglecting to mention the fact that he spent much of his time with the Clippers launching 20-foot jumpers.

    "With Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and myself, we can do a lot of things that the Houston Rockets are used to doing, such as making it to the playoffs, playing well, and the ultimate goal -- winning the championship."

    Carroll Dawson said he became obsessed with adding Taylor's versatile game to the lineup "because he fits our team so well."

    "He can play out on the floor, with his back to the bucket, he's got range and he can put it on the floor," Dawson said. "He makes your mouth water when you watch film of him. The more film we watched, the more we got to want him."

    Tomjanovich agreed.

    "I think we have a real gem of a player in Mo Taylor, a potential superstar and a great kid," he said. "Larry (Smith, Rockets assistant coach) and I went up to see him and had a great three-hour talk, and we left that meeting convinced he was right for us and we were right for him."

    WHAT'S NEXT

    There's a light at the end of the arena tunnel.

    At last.

    The Rockets have finally agreed to participate in a fall election on the downtown arena, clearing the way for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority to call a Nov. 7 referendum on the issue.

    The Rockets had been hesitating to do so, trying to gauge whether organized opposition, which is largely credited with killing last year's deal, would again surface to shoot down the modified deal.

    "The Rockets and Comets want to be in Houston," said George Postolos, the Rockets' chief operating officer. "We've worked with the public's representatives to fashion an agreement that's reasonable and fair. Now we're asking the voters to approve it."

    Hallelujah.




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    "There is no controlling legal authority", - Al Gore, upon discovery that he clearly broke campaign fundraising laws.
     
  2. Azim da Dream

    Azim da Dream Member

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    Damn, am I pumped for the season to start! To think barring any unforseen circumstances last season was our lowest for our rebuilding process, sure reminds me not toe take for granted for being a Rockets fan. I smile when I think of what the fans in Denver, Boston, Chicago, LA and the Bay Area are/have gone through.

    Azim da Dream

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  3. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    It is really amazing to think of the tunraround in only a couple of years. I really do think this team is lucky! Now, just one more hurdle to go and it comes in the form of a vote this November 7.

    Not to sound corny, but this is our destiny. The young team, the proven coach, a great city and a new arena. Damn, that is truly clutch!

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    Save Our Rockets and Comets
    SaveOurRockets.com
     
  4. Francis3

    Francis3 Member

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    Jeff, great post. I agree. Im getting chills reading the stuff they are saying.

    THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE FUN!

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    "I talked about what degenerates they [Mets fans] were, and they proved me right. Just by saying something, I could make them mad enough to go home and slap their moms."

    John Rocker
     
  5. AroundTheWorld

    Supporting Member

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    Rudy's comment about Mo being a potential superstar seems to indicate to me that they will give him the max if he averages something like 18/8/3 this season.
     
  6. BobFinn*

    BobFinn* Contributing Member

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    Thank you DirectTV and NBA league pass [​IMG]
    I will have a front row seat to all the games here in Pa.

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    In order to be a success in life, you need 2 things:
    1. Don't tell everything you know.
     
  7. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    If only Kevin Willis had been a "big, dependable power forward".

    What an idiot.


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  8. NewGuy

    NewGuy Guest

    Kevin Willis was our backup center, other than that half-year Barkley on the bench experiment/disaster.

    But who knows how much we'll progress? I'll bet Boston thought it was their when Paul Pierce fell into their laps at #10, and Vancouver when they landed Bibby. They later added Dickerson and Harrington and still aren't there. And how can you forget the Nuggets who had Dice and Van Exel and then landed Raef LaFrentz? And everyone thought the Nets would turn it around once they landed Marbury, what happened there?

    I THINK the Rockets should be very good this year, maybe not enough to get into the Western playoffs, but very good. But let's not get overconfident

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  9. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    The problems in Vancouver and Boston had more to do with bad chemistry and bad coaches than bad players. Vancouver had a lazy center and no vocal leader. Boston had a cancer at power forward and a coach who was more interested in motivational speeches and flexing his general manager muscles than being a coach.

    The Rockets are much better as an organization from top to bottom. They have more consistency in the front office and on the bench and they rarely have players with character problems. These are very different circumstances.

    A better example is the LA Lakers. They facilitated a fairly quick turnaround because they had a good GM and a solid franchise (being in Holly wood didn't hurt either!).

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    Save Our Rockets and Comets
    SaveOurRockets.com
     
  10. NewGuy

    NewGuy Guest

    Well we MAY have a cancer in Mo Taylor, I doubt it but maybe.

    And Rudy has sometimes been, well, stupid, during games as far as substitutions and play calls.

    And what if Steve Francis turns into Damon Stoudamire? And Mo Taylor actually CAN'T rebound, it wasn't about not caring? And Cuttino Mobley's good season was a fluke? And Shandon bolts at the end of the season?

    This stuff is all unlikely, but things can change

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  11. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    NewGuy,

    With that post you should change your handle to OLDCROTCHITYGUY.

    [​IMG]

    DaDakota

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    All you MO-FO's better stop ripping off my lines !!
     
  12. RocketsPimp

    RocketsPimp Contributing Member

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    Man, you are depressing!

    [​IMG]



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