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No hating or loving in this thread.....

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by steddinotayto, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    I know that this season hasn't been exactly fulfilled all of our wishes and dreams. Trading for Tmac and Howard, signing Sura and Ward, we all thought we would be in the top 4 of the West EASILY. But our idealistic thoughts were hit hard with realism.

    1. Yao hasn't played the way we EXPECT him to. That's tops on everyone's list. He's been very inconsistent. He's like a woman's period--shows up once a month. But we can't lose sight that this guy has been playing NONSTOP basketball for how long? Remember all those articles on the dream team players coming back and fighting fatigue? That was just playing in one summer. Think of how Yao had to play over here and then in the asian games, the worlds, and then the olympics. He logged major minutes over there. Now is this a great reason on why he's playing under expectations? No. But is it valid? Of course.

    And we all want him to dominate like he does when he plays for his national team--yenno, chewing out his teammates for not getting him the ball, demanding the ball, showing emotion. But maybe that is because he's the main guy over there. He knows he's their only hope of ever medaling. Over here, he's never been the main guy. It was Steve's and Cat's team and now it's Tmac's team. He never had to put the whole team on his shoulders because he can look back and see Steve or Tmac.

    we want him to be aggressive like in those mythical games where he would just dominate the competition. But those games were games where he needed to shine the brightest (like those nationally televised games vs. the lakers or his breakout game vs. the mavs) or when he just had a bad game the night before. What's the difference besides the spotlight? Maybe it's because the team kept feeding him the ball NO MATTER WHAT the outcome was--TO, miss, make, whatever. We always gave him the ball. What happens when the spotlight and/or pressure is gone? We go back to passing to Yao whenever he's open.

    It might sound all too PRO-Yao but I've watched him over the years and I know his weaknesses just as well as most of y'all out there.
    -he's not posting deep enough down low.
    -he needs to stop dribbling once he gets the ball down low.
    -he needs to rebound a lot better for a guy that's 7'6"
    -he needs to compete within himself first before he can compete with anyone else or be aggressive
    these are all things that Yao can change. things like being slow to the ball for one Jon Barry pass or getting fatigued, those are almost out of his hands.

    all in all, Yao can and should improve IF the team and the fans can be patient enough with him. No one said Yao was going to be Hakeem. But Yao should also know and believe that without him at his best, this team won't win anything. But still, we should just keep feeding him the ball. So what if he gets a TO or miss the FG. It gives me a heart attack all the time, believe me. But we're hoping that he will one day learn from those mistakes and bring us a championship, and not just a perennial playoff team.

    2. JVG. The man is a good coach...but I feel not a good coach for this group of players. Almost everyone can come to this conclusion. We stereotyped him as a slow-it-down coach that can't coach offense. We branded him as a coach that puts restraints on his players. We've even called him some names. And he deserves the blame for all that--but not all. Sure, the way a team plays is a reflection of how the team is being coached.

    But last year, he brought what was sorely needed with that group--structure. Francis and co. might have b****ed about how their numbers are down, but they were right there fighting the Lakers in the playoffs. I doubt they would have done so well if there weren't any organization. He got players to play some consonants instead of vowels and that in itself is an accomplishment.

    But what happened this year? Shouldn't the team become better once we got McGrady? Well we mostly agreed that it should. But it didn't. Why? My opinions:

    -No PF. EVERYONE knows this. We all thought Howard was going to do just fine. Average 17/7 for us and we would be in great shape. But his shot is suspect and there's no D there. When Cato played PF for us, we knew he wouldn't score much but we knew he could defend. Now...we barely get any offense from Howard/Mo and we get NOTHING on D

    -Superstar vs. All-Star. Francis was never a top 5 player or even a scoring champ. We know that McGrady is a better player than Francis, but Francis led us to the playoffs last year. I think it's a whole different ballgame when you go from just an All-Star player to a bona fide superstar. They demand and should have the ball. They should get some leeway on what they do.

    -Shooting. Last year, Cat and JJ had career years shooting the 3 ball that got us into the playoffs. This year, we can't find an 18 foot jumper to save our life. Everyone's gone and now we have Sura, Wesley and Barry as our perimeter 'threat'. I don't know about y'all but these guys were never perimeter threats in my book. Sura...he was always a slasher, go-to-the-hoop guy. Barry...he can hit the 3 but has he ever played significant minutes for him to be a consistent threat on any team? Wesley...ok you got me there. He shoots 3s and I guess he can be considered a perimeter threat. But these guys aren't what we really need in terms of perimeter threat. We need the Scotty Brooks, the Matt Bullards, the Mario Elies. Guys like that. But sadly, the NBA is scarce on those types of players.

    So what am I saying? Basically we and probably JVG thought that maybe we wouldn't lose much success from last year because we have almost the same pieces and we gained a superstar. But we didn't and that's why we went 6-10 (correct?). But I think JVG always let McGrady have the green light and his shooters the green light if they're open. But why hasn't it worked? Our PFs suck major ass and our shooters aren't hitting anything. It's not JVG's fault that they're not hitting their shots. He draws up the plays, they follow them, but it's them (and not JVG) that misses the shots.

    I really think that, if worst comes to worst and we become a lottery team this year (knock on wood), we should still give JVG another year with TMac and Yao. Teams win championships with coaching and playing stability. We keep changing coaches without even giving them a shot at having players gel with one another, it'll just be like the Clippers of the 90s all over again. Don't think I don't get frustrated with the 66-72 games. But I think, so far, we've gone past that. We've scored more and could be shooting better. We just still need to gel and of course, need a PF that actually plays.
    And if next year we still can win the games we're supposed to win, and we're doing this with a legitimate PF, then all bets are off. But until then, just give Jeff the reasonable doubt. It's hard to win ball games with the Reece Gaines, the Tyronn Lues, and the Mo Taylors of the world.

    3. Power Foward. This should be the #1 thing but since everyone likes to talk about Yao right now, this will have to be #3. Juwan Howard...I thought we would produce. I would have settled for 14/7 from him instead of his career avg of 17/7. But now I see why he sucks...it's just because he does. He always shortarms his jumpshots, his hookshots. He doesn't rebound like a PF should. His D has been matador-esque. Mo' Taylor....what can I say about him that haven't been said? Like one of my friends told me when I told him we should trade Mo to the Bobcats for Kareem Rush:

    "Man...they wouldn't even take Taylor when he was FREE. "

    That just made me realize...the guy is done. Just trade him for the first thing we can get for him. Granted, Mo' can score when he starts...but he has NO defense whatsoever. At least Howard tries. Mo's still coasting along.

    And this has been hurting the Rockets BIG TIME [B/]. When Cato was around, Yao never really had to come over and help unless it was Duncan, or KG, or the like. This season, Yao has to cover their sorry asses everytime. This might have been a reason why Yao kept being in foul trouble at the beginning of the season. Yes, the boy kept jumping in and fouling the opponent, but when you're the last line of defense for your team and your PF is just standing slack jawed...what else are you supposed to do? When the trade went down, I made it clear that I didn't want Cato in the trade. A LOT of y'all said I was crazy that Cato was worthless and that I shouldn't be griping because Howard would adamantly fill the spot. I'm not saying "I told you so" but I hope at least now you're seeing how valuable Cato was. But does that mean I wouldn't have traded him to get TMac? Hell no. It just means that we lost more than we thought we did.

    Any way of patching this problem up? Honestly, I wouldn't. Sure, PJ Brown and whomever might be out there but at what cost? I'm sure they wouldn't take any of our "power" forwards in exchange. I think we should just keep one of them (preferably Howard but by now, I wouldn't give a damn who we keep) and trade the other one for cap relief and/or a pick. Just let them play and try to win. If we get anything out of them production wise, great. But if we don't, and the team should just look at it like that every night, I hope everyone else steps up.

    Wait for the offseason, see who's all out there and make some wise decisions. But until then, just think of it as we're always playing 4 against 5.


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

    This is one man's honest opinion. I don't claim to be a YOF or a TmacOF or a JVGOF or a BokiOF or whatever other acronym y'all have. This team has made me mad at times that i just leave the room and stop watching them play. I even curse at Yao through my TV the whole game once. I keep asking myself why don't they give Yao the ball when he's posting up. I wonder why don't TMac just take over the game like i know he can. They frustrate me but what Rockets team hasn't frustrated me over the past 14 seasons? Those teams weren't always peaches and cream either. We're in the midst of rennovating our team. Rebuilding is too harsh a reality for some to grasp and it's not the right word. We have a bona fide go-to guy in McGrady and we have a legitimate center in Yao. Try and find a guy that is as deadly as TMac when he takes over a game. Or try to find another center that, while being inconsistent, is still averaging 18/8 despite not having any help down low and playing basketball not stop ALL THE while still having so much potential. We just need to put the pieces around them. This has been preached so many times and I guess i'm just knocking it back in once more. So before you think it's cute to start a Yao bashing thread, or a 'i'm bashing the Yao Bashers thread' or another fire JVG thread please remember:

    1. Always look for a thread that already has the topic that you want to post about FIRST:D
    2. that we're still growing as a team.
    3. we have no real PF

    no one said we'll win a championship this year...so try and not act like we will and start lining up people for executions just because of one loss or two losses..or three losses...

    [/Rant hopefully over]
     
  2. brush

    brush Contributing Member

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    I respect you for writing so long and making some good points.
     
  3. RocketForever

    RocketForever Contributing Member

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    If we have managed to steal this game at the end, Yao would be praised as the difference maker who led the comeback in the 3rd quarter. What a difference a win and a lost can make.
     
  4. ToothYanker

    ToothYanker Contributing Member

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    EXCELLENT post Sted. I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, those are a LOT of problems the rockets have right now. Hopefully everyone has the patience for the rockets to sort through them.
     
  5. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    I have a lot more points but at 2 in the morning....it just didn't work out. My only goal by posting this was to lower the count of stupid and impatient threads that have been popping up. I mean, if you have to b****...b**** with some intelligence, some insight and some knowledge. No one wants dumb b****ing.
     
  6. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    He's too soft in the paint.
     
  7. Hmm

    Hmm Member

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    God.. That's the most annoying repeated opinion stated as a fact, I've seen stated here so far. :rolleyes:

    I can only hope it was sarcasm.
     
  8. Rockets2K

    Rockets2K Clutch Crew

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    thanks for trying sted....good points all around.

    unfortunately.....I doubt it will do anything to reduce the amount of stupidity posted in here. :(

    I can stand the struggles if we at least show signs of improving...even if the improvement takes time...

    what gets especially maddening is when we see them play to their capabilities...and then fall back into crappiness....sometimes happening in the same game...

    Im all for the be patient camp...a title contender takes time...and now that we have our 2 main pieces...it will take another couple of seasons to get better pieces to support them.

    Longtime fans know what it is like to have to wait for the pieces to come together...we had to wait a long time between when we got Dream till we finially got it together and won the title.

    this period of time is similar imo....we have our main guys...now we neeed to carefully acquire the guys that will help them take us home.

    Ill still be here when that process is completed....can all of you say the same?
     
  9. ikfit

    ikfit Member

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    I have to say this: Yao is loseing his confidence.

    At the start of this season, He still have confidence so he can play like a man and sometimes score over 40 but recently we all saw.

    I want to say what is our expectation from this rebuilding team.

    spurs vs rockets

    Duncon>>Yao
    Nesterovic>>Jw or Mo
    Parker>>sura
    Bowen>>JB

    Ginobili<<Tmac

    So we can not expect our team play like spurs. Same thing vs Heat, specially VG>>> our JVG LOL

    If we can make playoff I will be very satisfied.
     
  10. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

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    i know i will be in spite of the frustration and the anger that this team gives me.

    i don't know how many of these fans were around when the rockets had the likes of buck johnson, sleepy floyd, etc playing for this team. when vernon maxwell was ron artest before ron artest even existed. i doubt many even remember Hakeem wearing goggles.

    what am i saying? the rockets were bad before and will probably be bad in the future. but all in all, championship teams don't form overnight. you have to soak in all the frustration and what not before things start panning out.
     
  11. edc

    edc Contributing Member

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    I think you are wrong. Yao and T-Mac and the proverbial "ten guys from the street" should not be .500, and should not be a lottery team. JVG may be allowing T-Mac to "do what he's always done" offensively (to use T-Mac's words), and the scoring IS up, but the WINS aren't coming.

    Teams win championships by winning. Two of the last three teams (counting the Lakers run as one "team") to win championships did so under a first year head coach. One of those guys just happens to be available, and may be interested in the job. If you get the chance to hire him, you do so.
     

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