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peaking at the right time

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Sherlock, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. Sherlock

    Sherlock Contributing Member

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    I remember the 1994/95 season, when the team ended up with a low seed in the playoffs, after having won the championship and having a great record. Most people didn't give Houston a chance. That year, we added new players, primarily Clyde, to the puzzle.

    Dream was injured for a pretty good stretch, as were others. There were some pretty discouraging games, and severe lack of chemistry at times, and people calling for Clyde's head, because he didn't instantly produce consistently, like we all remembered from Phi Slamma Jamma days. But, I remember how Clyde really grew when Dream was out, and singlehandedly won some games, and our team grew in their confidence in one another more more and more as the season progressed. The regular season seemed pretty bad, frankly, but I noticed how Rudy guided the team, knowing the most important time for our team to PEAK was at the playoffs. For some reason, I noticed this early on in the season, and this gave me hope throughout the year, which just made it more fun when we won the championship. Going all the way as an underdog is very exciting.

    Well, I don't really believe we'll win the championship this year, but I noticed Rudy making some similar coments the other day, just like he did early in our last championship season. <b>"I see this as an opportunity," said coach Rudy Tomjanovich. "You can always turn an adversity into some kind of a positive. Guys can step up and carry the load. We'll get Tierre into the rotation. It's a chance for Oscar, for Moochie, for all of them." </b>

    I love the way Rudy coaches. If some of you guys don't realize it, he is considered by the rest of the country, the league, and the players, as one of the best. There is nobody better to lead our team to the promised land. He gets the most out of the talent he has. And that is what he is doing. He wants to win, but even more, he is building a team, at a pace they can succeed at. He allows them to fail in order to succeed. I'm not saying Rudy is THE perfect coach, but he is a great one, and we are lucky to have him. We have a lot of pieces to put together and gel. It will take most of the year for that to take place. I never expected to get too excited until the second half of the season. We just got a little pumped with the fast start, and now we are feeling a little let down.

    I'm impressed with the way KT is coming along, and I believe Griffin will dominate quicker than some of us thought, and we'll eventually be calling HIM the franchise. Morris will be wonderful, just give him time. He will eventually be a perfect complimentary part on a team of stars, as a starter. How in the world did we come up with Torres? What a wonderful addition. I am dissapointed that Cato hasn't come on stronger, but he IS doing better than the last few years. WE obviously still need to add a good center piece to complete our rebuilding. I must admit, I'd love it if Griffin turned into that ...

    I believe that Glen Rice will get back in shape and eventually dominate, although it still could take another month or so. None of us know where his injury still is. But I'm sure he's hesitant to do something that might re-injure it. When someone comes off of a long injury like that, even when they are healthy, it takes time to gain confidence they can go full speed. So, I'm not panicking about him, either. I must admit I don't know how Langhi will turn out. But once Francis comes back, Torres, Brown and Norris will have gained a lot more experience. While Francis is out, more of the offense will go through Kenny and Mobely, and perhaps Rice. This is actually a good thing, if viewed from the long term. Mobely might even have some 30 and 40 point games. And, Francis might actually get some well needed rest, helping him later in the season.

    I believe we WILL make the playoffs, and grow in our appetite and experience, which is critical in the growth of this team. But the first half of this season could get very roller coasterish, playing great one night and slaughtered the next. The key, is when will we PEAK? I believe it will be at the right time, at playoff time.

    So many of these panic posts are people dominated by fear. I wish they didn't dominate this board. I know, we've had our arguments over optimists and pessimists, and I consider myself a pragmatic optimist, but it seems like people felt a little more responsible with starting threads in the past, than some who have dominated the board recently. I'm probably not talking about YOU, whoever is reading this post. <b>What I'd like to encourage is for more people with well thought out issues and information to create more topics and post more often, and not be driven away by these panic posts. </b>

    Far more people read the BBS, than those who post, just check out the views vs posts. Many of us aren't posting as often, due to all the negativity and panic posts/topics, which seem foolish to even respond to or dignify with a post. I'd like to implore more guys like Thacabbage, Will and Popeye to post more to help provide balance. Some of you guys post great stuff, such as Crispee, Achebe, DrofDunk, DaDakota, BobFinn, SmeggySmeg, OldSchool, RocketRickNYC, NJRocket, Hottoddie, (even ZRB ... lol)DocRocket, Oeilpiere, Jeff, of course, Clutch, and so many others that I might offend for not mentioning, so don't assume I'm referring to you as a panic poster. I enjoy the interaction from those posting from Denver, LA, Chicago, Portland, NY/NJ, Maryland, etc. They provide interesting balance. And where is LHutz when you need him? I just saw theFreak... cool.

    I'd love to hear suggestions on how to regain some of the quality of this BBS, besides someone who's feeling guilty telling me to take a hike. :)
     
    #1 Sherlock, Nov 29, 2001
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2001
  2. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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    Liar, you just killed your whole argument by mentioned the words great stuff and those posters. :D

    Seriously Sherlock, great post ad I agree there are too many reactionary comments when we lose. I have my reservations about the team in general (mostly regarding the front court) and some front office mistakes that have been made. But at the end of the day that is plenty of room for improvement in boht personnel, quality of play and results.

    Smeg
     
  3. r-fan-since-81

    r-fan-since-81 Contributing Member

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    Nice post Sherlock! A great read, that I agree with. :)
     
  4. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    To all the panic and reactionary loyal, loving Rockets fans:

    Keep cheering!

    Defenses can stop any offensive system. If tape spreads throughout the league how to stop your system and personnel, should a coach abandon the system without first getting his team to beat that defensive game plan that is schooling them? If you choose to abandon the system, then how do you know your next system will succeed? If the next one doesn't succeed, when do you try another...and so on, and so on.

    Each system has a core identity. And it must get your best players involved the most. Adding peripheral wrinkles (Rice low post; more Mobley sets; backdoors; double picks; Cato low post because you have to keep the big man involved; etc) to win a game without dealing with the main problem of defenses stopping your core identity is a shortterm patch, imo. It's all fine, but you eventually have to win the battle of executing the core fundamentals of any system.

    There is no such thing as an offensive system without weaknesses, and same with defenses. There may be teams without weaknesses, but that is because of personnel more so than the system. I would never advocate abandoning one system, just because you can't stop defenses from exploiting the weaknesses. The next one will have weaknesses, too. Maybe that will work, but it could also backfire such that your players look at the staff as panicking, not believing in the players, and everyone loses confidence...then you are dead meat, and a bottom dweller.

    Overcome the defenses stopping your core identity, and then you can move on to build a better system. That is my opinion. That is my philosophy. To simplify the philosophy down to individual scorers: Learn a shot or move that you can rely on against all defenses. Then, add on to that. Don't try to do a little of everything without a bread-n-butter skill.

    Rocket's example: Francis can beat the traps of the pnr by simplifying....by turning that damn corner no matter whether the PF leaves Kenny or not. Turn the damn corner. You have the speed; you have the strength; all Francis has to do is react faster to get around that trapping PF. Turning the corner might not always be the best method, but hesitating with "hopeful patience" probably isn't going to work much better...it hasn't, yet. Turn the damn corner, and that PF is useless; Kenny becomes a short 5 foot bounce pass away facing the basket; and the opposing guard is standing in 3-point land looking for someone to guard....saying, where did he go? where did he go?

    Turn the corner Stevie, that guarantees weakside options are easier for you to find, and Kenny is still open. Make the traps go away at all costs. Then, next on the agenda is to beat the passive defenses that don't trap, rather they clog the lane. But, let's defeat one of them, at least.
     
  5. ZRB

    ZRB Contributing Member

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    Rudy defines the word "coach". He may not be the best play designer, but if you were to trace the word "coach" back to its true definition, then you could put a picture of Rudy next to it in the dictionary. He "coaches" the team on, and does his best to keep the team positive. He is also one of the best judges of talent around. If only he could hire an offensive coordinator.
     
  6. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    ZRB...that's pretty fair. I agree with your assessment of Rudy.

    I know you aren't from Texas, but let me ask you anyway...do you follow football much. I don't anymore, so don't be too hard on me. Offensive Coordinator is such a football term. I'm from a pure basketball city, state, and upbringing, and then moved to Texas. Texas has the identical passion to football has my state/city does to basketball. I find a lot of people down here talk about bball using football logic. That is odd to me, because we never talked about football using bball terms.

    For instance, can you really "design plays" in bball like football, since bball is a largely continuously flowing game like Hockey/Soccer? Actually, that isn't my real question...chalk that up as merely rhetorical.

    My question is how do real football Offensive Coordinators deal with defenses always stopping the main game plan. Let's say a defense adds a lot of defenders in the box to stop a young Dickerson/Sanders/Payton. It beats you. It beats you again. Do you go back to the drawing board and say...hey we need to start throwing more to keep the defense honest, even though Bobby Douglass is our quarterback?

    Or does the offensive coordinator look Payton or Sanders or Dickerson in the eye and say...we can't run you up the middle against that defense....you have got to go wide and turn that corner. We are going to pitch it wider to you, and you break quicker out of your stance. If you can turn that corner, or stretch them and cut up, they will have to come out of the box, and then we can mix it up again with inside running plays.

    Does that analogy makes sense? When defenses are stopping a main game plan of yours, do you change game plans outside of your skill set, or do you leave it up to your stars to beat those risk taking defenses in their face!!!! Go with your strength against aggressive risk taking defenses.

    Stevie...turn the damn corner on the traps. You can get around a power forward.
     
  7. 3Rings

    3Rings Contributing Member

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    Crispee,

    I agree with your take on the PnR.

    However, who should tell Stevie to "turn the damn corner"? Also, if they told him and he still refuses, what next?

    Your football analogy is correct. You mix outside and inside runs and you do not leave your game plan. Its all about execution.

    Execution is when they know its a run and they still can't do anything about it.
     
    #7 3Rings, Nov 30, 2001
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2001
  8. cheshire

    cheshire Contributing Member

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    Excellent read...

    in my case i'm getting busier and busier that i only have time to go scan posts that interest me...

    i do miss some quality posts in the past especially the blazer wars (where are those gals by the way?), reminiscing about our favourite memories of Hakeem, the debates about who is the better center in the game, our justified anger at the lack of respect Hakeem got from the media, the what might have been posts (if we nabbed MJ, Clyde earlier, Hakeem vs Mike in the Finals), bagging the sh#t out of Pippen or is it still Quitten, the excitement when we got Charles, the hoopla around Steve Francis trade...those were heady days and nights...

    I agree with you completely that quality posters ain't posting in numbers as they used to...
     

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