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"Rockets' defense slumps under Smith"

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by KeepJuaquin, Mar 31, 2003.

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  1. KeepJuaquin

    KeepJuaquin Member

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    http://www.sportingnews.com/voices/sean_deveney/20030330.html

    Inside Dish: Rockets' defense slumps under Smith
    March 30, 2003

    Sean Deveney
    Sporting News


    The last time the Rockets played under coach Rudy Tomjanovich, they scored a huge home win over Phoenix, their rival for the eighth playoff seed in the West. It was their fifth win in a row. But a five-game road trip followed, as well as the news that Tomjanovich would sit out while he gets treatment for bladder cancer.

    The Rockets have not responded well to assistant coach Larry Smith, who filled in for Tomjanovich, going 3-5 through last weekend. The offense has bogged down in motionless, one-on-one play -- which happened even with Tomjanovich -- but the biggest culprit is the defense.

    The Rockets were giving up 91.8 points per game before Smith took over and have allowed 97.9 since. "What I see is a lack of effort," says one Western Conference assistant. "Same system and all, but they are not putting much into it." . . .

    Kings coach Rick Adelman has been tightening his rotation to eight players, and so far, that has meant some tough choices. He experimented with playing his reserves in tandem last week, which meant putting SF Hedo Turkoglu on the floor with SF Jim Jackson, and playing F/Cs Keon Clark and Scot Pollard together. "It's the first time I've really been able to try that," Adelman says. "We'll keep trying combinations and see what works." . . .

    A petition of Bay Area residents (at www.staygilbert.com) pleading with Warriors PG Gilbert Arenas to stay with the team when he becomes a free agent this summer has drawn more than 1,750 signatures. As well as Arenas has played this season, though, the Warriors won't be lost should he leave.

    The team likely will hang onto backup PG Earl Boykins and probably will sign last year's top second-round pick, PG Steve Logan, who is preparing to play in the USBL after firing his agent. Assuming the Warriors don't make the playoffs, they will have a low lottery pick and, with some promising point guards available, should be able to fill their need.

    There will be budget free-agent veterans available as well -- PGs Rod Strickland, Kenny Anderson and Erick Strickland, for example -- to help in the short term. . . .

    Grizzlies PF Stromile Swift excelled with C Lorenzen Wright out. Swift is eligible for an extension this summer, and his performance over the last few weeks might tempt Memphis, which could save money in the long run with a reasonably priced, long-term extension for Swift. But the Grizzlies still are paying for that strategy (albeit under former G.M. Billy Knight) with SG Michael Dickerson and PG Jason Williams, so the team will be a bit wary of such a deal. . . .

    The Hawks have not been great since they dumped coach Lon Kruger and put Terry Stotts in as interim coach, but they have been tougher and more resilient. Stotts can't do anything about the glaring mistakes in the construction of the roster, but he has the players on his side and has led them to some surprising wins. Word in Atlanta is that GM Pete Babcock would like to keep Stotts aboard, but the question is whether Babcock still has real power in the organization. . . .

    According to two scouts, no player did more to boost his stock in the NCAA Tournament than 6-5 Oklahoma SG Ebi Ere. He had a poor regular season, and his inconsistency is a concern, but his size, defense, ballhandling and leadership in the tournament have earned him a second look.

    Sean Deveney is a staff writer for The Sporting News. Email him at sdeveney@Sportingnews.com.

    Disappointing, sad.
     
  2. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    I hope so, I bet the over in the Rocks game tonight....point,....points....points....

    DD
     
  3. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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