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[SBNation] Rockets Can Win The NBA Title: Seriously

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by DFWRocket, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    This is more of a preview of this Rockets squad - interesting stuff.

    http://www.sbnation.com/2015/9/29/9344567/houston-rockets-preview-2015-james-harden-dwight-howard

    Paul Flannery and Tom Ziller are discussing every single NBA team in this Flanns and Zillz marathon leading up to the 2015-16 season.

    FLANNERY: The Rockets won 56 games and advanced to the conference finals for the first time in almost two decades by coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the Clippers. James Harden was a legit MVP candidate, Dwight Howard was often a beast in the playoffs and their injury luck is bound to turn. They also picked up Ty Lawson on the cheap and brought back most of the supporting free agent cast.

    I think the Rockets are being overlooked (again) and should be included in the cream of the Western Conference along with Golden State, L.A. and San Antonio. Given the nature of luck and the brutal competition, this team can win a title this year, no?

    ZILLER: Houston can absolutely win a title, and I agree that they are being relatively overlooked. Many of us (including myself) were quick to elevate L.A. to contender status because they swapped Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes out for Lance Stephenson, Paul Pierce and Josh Smith. The Rockets did even better by landing Ty Lawson. Houston lost a little frontcourt depth in the offseason due to Smith's exit, but point guard was their problem position and there's a solid chance that between Patrick Beverley and Lawson, those concerns are over.

    A fuller season from Dwight and another MVP-class campaign from Harden can get them the No. 1 seed, and once you have that, anything can happen. I'm intrigued too by the two power forwards, Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones, both of whom had injury issues in 2014-15. One is bound to step into the void and thrive, in my opinion.

    FLANNERY: I like them both, actually. I've been waiting on DoMo to break out, but Jones is a capable four in that lineup. One thing Daryl Morey has done really well is work the middle and latter parts of the draft to find productive players. Motiejunas, Jones, Clint Capela and all the way back to second-round hits like Chandler Parsons have helped keep the bigger picture in focus. One can assume that Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell will follow suit, but this is a deeper team than last season.

    Really, all of this comes back to Harden and Dwight. If Harden can maintain his standing among the top five players in the league and Howard can give them 2,000 minutes and a healthy playoffs, they can go all the way. I feel good about the former, but am a little concerned about the latter. He's going to be 30 in December. That's amazing.

    ZILLER: We are all so close to death, we can taste it. Thanks, Dwight.

    This is the huge advantage the Rockets have, as witnessed against the Clippers: even if you neutralize Harden, they can defeat you unless you are a megalith like Golden State. And Golden State is why Lawson is so intriguing to me. Steph Curry has become a good defender, but if the speedy Lawson is cookin', then the Warriors will need to get creative on how they defend all three of him, Harden AND Dwight in a playoff series. Dwight requires you to stay relatively big, but the potential 1-2 punch of Lawson-Harden is scary, even when you have Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green.

    On Dwight: I feel like we still have little understanding of what his legacy will be. He was the league's best center for years. Now is he even top three?

    FLANNERY: He is, when healthy. That's it right there, isn't it? If he's healthy I'd have no problem picking them to win the title. Ultimately I feel the same way about the Rockets as I do the Clippers: They can win a championship, and if the league has really gone as random as I think it has, then why not this year?

    As for legacy, history won't judge Dwight kindly without a championship. If you're going to be a goofball, better to be a cosmic goof like Darryl Dawkins than one whose comic inspiration is Willy Wonka and fart jokes. T'aint fair, but that's the nature of these things.

    All that said, I'm still picking the Clippers to win the West with the Rockets somewhere in that top four mix along with San Antonio and Golden State. You?

    ZILLER: I'm not only adding the Thunder to that grouping, but tentatively picking OKC to win the West (dependent on how preseason looks) even though Golden State is the easy answer. But I think Houston has as good a chance as any of them to win it all. This is an elite team.
     
  2. BigShotBob

    BigShotBob Member

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    1 more week. oof
     
  3. cdrive

    cdrive Contributing Member

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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I think the Rockets are the most disrespected good team in the NBA.</p>&mdash; Nate Jones (@JonesOnTheNBA) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonesOnTheNBA/status/648733357619081216">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Agreed. 2nd seed even though Dwight missed half the season. And they added Lawson. And Harrell fits their style <a href="https://t.co/cUPYRWI5Vf">https://t.co/cUPYRWI5Vf</a></p>&mdash; Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) <a href="https://twitter.com/SherwoodStrauss/status/648735150386245632">September 29, 2015</a></blockquote>
    <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

    Ty Lawson was interviewed yesterday saying the same thing.

    Pllllllllllease don't assume I'm butthurt or crying about it though. I absolutely love how the media and the league seems to be writing us off right away. Rockets have always adopted the underdog mentality.
     
  4. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    People have always discounted Houston, and they will continue to do so. They'll knock us down until we win it all, and they'll knock us down after we win it all. See 1994 and 1995 with the revisionist history that's being spewed by national pundits out there. "If Michael" and all that bullcrap. Only one way to shut them up and that is to keep winning.
     
  5. yo

    yo Contributing Member

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    I still don't really think we've earned anything. Yes, we got the to the WCF, yet the whole world knew we were gonna get our butt whipped, and that's exactly what happened. Let's prove we can at least hang with the Warriors before we clamor for more respect.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. coachbadlee

    coachbadlee Member

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  7. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    cheke64 violently disagrees!
     
  8. OTMax

    OTMax Member

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    Yes we can!!!
     
  9. samtaylor

    samtaylor Member

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    Why do so many people think the Thunder can win the West?

    When they actually won the West in 2012, the only other elite team was the Spurs. Now there is the Warriors/Rockets/Clippers/Spurs.

    Even if Billy Donovan is the next Steve Kerr (which I doubt) and even if KD is 100% healthy, they won't win the West unless the other 4 elite teams get super injured.

    Oh and the first sign of ANY losing or trouble, all the media will be talking about if Donovan is the right coach and will KD leave...
     
  10. bmd

    bmd Member

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    I don't get it either. They have no Thabo Sefolosha, they have no Kevin Martin, they have no James Harden, etc.

    They have Dion Waiters.

    And their bench players are: DJ Augustin, Anthony Morrow, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, and Nick Colison. Not a particularly strong bench.

    Kevin Durant is coming off of a serious foot injury that has ended players' careers. Who knows if it will swell up on him or bother him through the season.

    Then add in the fact that they have a new coach who has never coached in the NBA before.



    I'm not as high on the Thunder as a lot of people are. Now, I think they will still be really good. But I think the Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, and Clippers are just a notch above them.
     
  11. Swish4fives

    Swish4fives Member

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    What will these guys say when the Rockets win 60 games and a chip??

    oh man the Clips look solid next year, they add bismaack biyombo and mike miller
     
  12. Sydeffect

    Sydeffect Member

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    Magic Johnson also conveniently leaves us off his contender list. I don't really care anymore about rankings because I'm not insecure about this team's ability. I'm confident we have a very good shot to win it all when healthy.
     
  13. ico4498

    ico4498 Member
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    Magic Johnson Inexplicably Leaves The Houston Rockets Off His List Of Title Contenders

    — Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) September 29, 2015

    link

    fakers really need to get over DH.
     
  14. malakas

    malakas Member

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    I'm genuinely pissed off how everyone overlooks Houston. Why add seriously?
    It's one of the deepest teams in the league with three stars.

    Because they now have one of the post offensive players that can give a different look and they have the best frontcourt. Not only is Adams a starting caliber C but there's also MacGary who is amazing.
    Also added Payne whom Presti targeted from the start. And i won't doubt Presti's eye for talent in drafting.
    Their weakness is the wings and the question is KD's health.
    Supposedly Ibaka is reported to have shown tremendous improvement this offseason as well in shooting.
    They are a contender no doubt.
     
  15. Cstyle42

    Cstyle42 Member

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    Now watch we beat the crap out of OKC.
     
  16. Verbal Christ

    Verbal Christ Member

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    OMG I just want to thrash the Warriors in the worst way.
     
  17. Harden2Capela

    Harden2Capela Member

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    i just want dmo to be healthy
     
  18. Pen15clubber

    Pen15clubber Member

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    I feel like of dmo an Dwight are healthy the warriors have to go big. I think we are better than them unless they get crazy with the jumper but then we have a bunh of defensive length to try and **** them bois with
     
  19. Harden2Capela

    Harden2Capela Member

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    Magic is bitter at Dwight, but to be biased and leave out a team who made the wcf's without lawson, dmo or beverley playing in the playoffs for us is foolish. ESPN knows the rockets are the biggest threat to the warriors making it back to the finals, they keep talking up the thunder and pelicans lol

    Magic must have forgot we smoked the Thunder in toyota center on a nationally televised game with both Durant and Westbrook starting for them, i think the west has gotten a lot better since the Thunder last made the playoffs in 2014, maybe billy donovan will help them, but other than brad stevens i have'nt had much faith in college coaches transitioning to the pros
     
  20. crash5179

    crash5179 Contributing Member

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    And what has LAC or OKC proven? For that matter what has the current edition of the SAS proven? Nothing. Of the WCF teams, only GSW comes into the season with a team that has won a championship. So give me this Houston team, which was as good or better than any team not from Golden State and added an elite talent at point guard while only losing one rotation piece in Josh Smith.
     

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