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Remembering the 04/05 Rockets

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Carl Herrera, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Yellow

    Yellow Member

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    The biggest difference is that we had a real hands on coach and Yao was already an established star and still trying to become the best center in the league. T-mac had been a great player just without playoff success. This is a totally different situation with a young star only being here for one year, and already proclaimed the best SG in the league - really wish they hadn't said that - and a past his prime center who has already been to the finals.

    What this means is that the Rockets already had a leader in JVG, Yao as the star player that the offense was built around and T-mac to make it easier on him. To add, we had some veterans coming in and a really scrappy team with Sura, Jimmy, Wesley and later Jon Barry.

    Now we have a coach who does not lead, we a young star player who wants be the star but not the responsibility - neither does the coach - and an older player who would be fine if he doesn't even win a championship because he sniffed it in 2009. He didn't say it in those exact words but he did say he considers himself a winner regardless of what happens in Houston.

    Then we have role players whom the coach does not trust to play, unlike JVG who would play 10-12 players easily if guys were not producing. One reason is cause we are still (too) young but there's also the expectations and probable stubbornness of the coaching staff. The role players are also not exactly the best and most savy of the business, with an unproven Casspi, veteran who seems atm to rely too much on his 3pt shooting. Lin is the only stable factor off the bench though he is also not playing at a high level recently.

    Another thing I see that is very different is that we could go through Yao, he was that post presence that opened things up and made the game easier for the rest. Then there was T-mac who was a gifted passer and got everybody and himself involved. Dwight is not that guy and Harden and others are also not seeing him that way. The guy is lazy on offense, has limited moves, is predictable, cannot hold his man off for more than 2 seconds etc. The biggest problem is that last year the coaching staff put the ball in Harden's hands and basically forced him to do it all, which he did. Now, Harden is still thinking he's above the rest, since there is no 'democratic offense', and tries to do it all himself. There's a lack of trust all around I reckon.

    To me, Yao & T-mac could work because of the leadership of JVG and the example set by Yao. He did not have an ego, was humble, did his job, took criticism to heart, was hard on himself, was committed, was the first guy to blame himself and felt responsible for a team's win or loss. Now we do not have that. I've beaten this to death, but please show once where Harden seriously blames himself for a loss due to whatever reason. More importantly, when has McHale? JVG was always hard on himself, just like Yao was and now we have a coach who talks about 'the' or 'this team', thereby distancing himself from responsibility.

    I seriously believe that even with the right coaching, this team will not win a championship unless Harden develops that leadership mentality and commits to the team. Howard is not capable and will never do it, he's just not that guy. We have 2 superstars with big ego's, who are about numbers more than anything and with little mental toughness. We actually have the worst possible combo you can imagine as far as mentality and toughness goes. It would take a heck of a coach to make this work.
     
  2. cheke64

    cheke64 Member

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    good stuff nightwalker
     
  3. Panda23

    Panda23 Member

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    JUST SUCKED THE GRAVITY

    RIGHT OUT OF THE BUILDING

    WHAT A PLAY BY TMAC
     
  4. Spiegel

    Spiegel Member

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    Tmac was a beast back then. He was on LBJ level and Yao was easily the best big man or C in the game.Both those guys were significantly better then Howard and Harden.As much as we liked to rag on Mo Taylor and Juwan, both those guys provided provided production.

    We also had a certain Bobby Sura who was Bev on defense and a very good playmaker to boot.We also had David Wesley who was a hardnosed defender with a good outisde shot and later traded for Jim Jackson who played really well. That team was far more battle hardened and hardnosed with significantly better coaching.

    Mount Moutombo ruled the roost.
     
  5. Spiegel

    Spiegel Member

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    Lets not forget we got Mike James for virtually nothing and he was massive off the bench.
     
  6. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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    On another note... I hope he can convince his love child KLove to join us and then step down and become an assistant coach :p
     
  7. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Easter Egg Hunter - Tell me why? نحن عائلة

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  8. Rox23

    Rox23 Member

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    Do you remember how well David Wesley played the following season though? He couldn't hit an open three to save his life; and yet JVG had to keep him in the starting lineup because there was no one else!
     
  9. Spiegel

    Spiegel Member

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    Getting Wesley for Jim Jackson was a steal regardless of How bad the next year he played or not. Wesley provided that grunt in the backcourt and was a integral part of that team which was on a big streak in the second half of the season.
     
  10. OrangeRowdy95

    OrangeRowdy95 Contributing Member

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    That 04-05 team was different. With the exception of Yao, we had a completely new roster.

    This year, we just added Dwight Howard and Omri Casspi to the mix.
     
  11. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    I think people's memory of the 04/05 team is colored by hindsight. We know that the team did turn thing around so we assign positive attributes-- like leadership, x's and o's acumen, hard-nose-ness, and talent-- to JVG and the players to explain the result. If you actually read what people said about the team as of December 4, 2004, they mostly look like what people post about the 2013/14 team after last night's game-- mustly frustration, discussions of the inadequacies about the coach and each player, and some fans urging the fan base to stay patient.

    All of these positive things people now say about JVG, Yao, TMac & co. in this thread didn't make the mood among the fan base any less anxious when the record said 6-11. Bottom line: when the W-L record is not good, or not as good as one expects, the coach always looks like a idiot and the player always look lacking in talent, heart and all of the necessary attributes for success.

    Look at what people really saw on December 4, 2004: Yao Ming was a rising young player but he often was not even the best center on his team (Mutombo was), let along anywhere close to the best center in the NBA (Shaq was). He was more of a high-level prospect than an actual elite player. McGrady had just finished tanking his last season in Orlando 21-61 and there were serious questions about his mental desire and physical abilities to be any kind of a winner (he never returned to peak TMac, but was nevertheless an elite player for several years in Houston). JVG looked like a one trick pony and fans doubted whether he could maximize the talent of an elite perimeter star or develop a young player like Yao. And by the way, Tom Thibodeau was on that coaching staff and nobody knew how good he was. The "battle-tested vets" looked more like washed up scrubs.


    Agreed Wesley worked out. But that's not what folks thought when the trade happened. People were pretty down on giving up Jim Jackson AND BOKI NACHBAR for a 34-year-old 6" undersized shooting guard from a horrible Hornets team.

    What is the relevance of that difference to the discussion at hand? Does this difference mean that the Rockets should not be experiencing growing pains, and they are unlikely to get much better later in the season?

    Of course, no two situations are perfectly parallel to each other. This team may have less adjustments to make-- and it does look like that this team is struggling less early this season than the early 04/05 team did. In order to get to 6-11 the 4-3 Rockets will have to go 2-8 for the next 10 games. Nevertheless, even without a complete overhaul it takes time for a team to adjust. Adding Dwight Howard requires learning and experience, trying to replace Delfino is requires learning and experience, finding a way to fill the PF spot also requires learning and experience.

    Leave aside the 04/05 team, plenty of teams that are expected to be good this year have not exactly come out guns blazing. Brooklyn is 2-4. Miami is 4-3. The Clippers are 4-3. Memphis is 3-3. Golden State is 3-3.
     
    #31 Carl Herrera, Nov 10, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  12. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    Carl is spot on. People are panicking now at 4-3, you think everything was rosy here in 04 when they were 6-11? The bottom line is it's unrealistic to assume we weren't going to have some growing pains. In Miami's first year with Lebron they started 9-8. Things take time.
     
  13. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Great post Carl. Now that I think about it.... what superteam formation has really ever had a great start? Cant think of too many off the top of my head, but I sure can think of more than a few that had very, very rough starts.

    Doc Rivers had some really great quotes in the USA today piece that ran this morning about the Rockets and is team as well. Even though the Clippers have looked like the 90's Bulls and 80's Celtics at the same time against the Rockets, they have had their fair share of dissapointment early on in the season as well ..... ESPECIALLY on the defensive end.

    I'm probably going to try and keep away from the GARM for a few weeks just so I can enjoy the games coming up without being dragged into all the negativity on the board, but here in the next few games, I hope this thread stays alive for awhile as a clear reminder that you dont compete for championships in November.
     
  14. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    The Celtics did in 07-08. http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2008_games.html But those were 3 significantly older guys getting together who almost immediately figured out and accepted their roles. The 96/97 Rockets with Hakeem, Clyde and Barkley also hit the ground running, but again veteran guys have less of a learning curve. http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/HOU/1997_games.html

    The Rockets are still a very young team. They still have to figure out how to play with each other. But then again youth is an asset-- this squad is more likely to stay healthy than a team with a bunch of 30+ year olds, and they more room to learn and improve.
     
  15. Easy

    Easy Boban Only Fan
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    I don't remember. Did anyone in 04 talk about instant title contention?
     
  16. d12babymamas

    d12babymamas Member

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    At this point in the season, I'm not for firing Mchale either, but I have to admit that JVG would be a perfect fit for our current roster. Because our defense is horrific, I think his defensive schemes and overall defensive mindset would help tremendously. He also expects and demands the maximum effort out of all the players and doesn't give a rats ass who you are --superstar or not. So while I do sincerely hope Mchale can do the same as JVG did back in 04, I'm not exactly too confident he can...unless, of course, he makes some major changes and holds all players accountable every single time.
     
  17. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    And if it turns out that McHale is the problem, it's an easy problem to solve: Just replace him.

    Plenty of established NBA coaches out there. Lionel Hollins and George Karl just got fired from coaching very successful teams. Jeff Van Gundy is available and living in Houston. Stan Van Gundy is also just hanging out with Dan LeBatard.

    You don't even have to use a salary exception or trade a draft pick for any of these guys.
     
  18. Nook

    Nook Member

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    There is so much wrong with this post it is mind numbing.
     
  19. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Agreed, Stan Van Gundy and a list of other good coaches would be available. You have the best SG in the NBA at 24 years old and the best center in the NBA, along
     
  20. cuddie

    cuddie Member

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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/D5KjSA29Rhs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     

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