1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

[Sports-Yahoo] One person to blame for Rockets’ demise — it’s not Howard or Harden

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by T_Man, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. T_Man

    T_Man Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2000
    Messages:
    6,099
    Likes Received:
    1,992
    http://nypost.com/2016/04/28/one-person-to-blame-for-rockets-demise-its-not-howard-or-harden/

    By Dieter Kurtenbach, Fox Sports April 28, 2016 | 11:17am


    The Houston Rockets, the NBA’s biggest mess, were excused from the playoffs Wednesday night by the Golden State Warriors, who, even without league MVP Stephen Curry, ran roughshod over James Harden and company in a 114-81 series-clinching win.

    It was an embarrassing performance by the Rockets, and one that should make the organization question its overall direction —€” if it has one.

    Last season, the Rockets were Western Conference finalists, and in that final four series, they gave Curry and the Warriors four tough games in the five-game series.

    This year, the Rockets had to claw their way into the playoffs and they barely saw Curry in their first-round matchup against Golden State. The Rockets were again taken out in five games, but this year, the Warriors posted blowout wins with margins of 26, 27, and finally 33 points in their gentleman’s sweep.

    “It kind of feels like playing a scrimmage,” Warriors forward Andre Iguodala said at halftime of Game 2.

    In reality, Houston’s postseason was just a concentrated sample of its regular season, where chaos and dysfunction were the only constants.

    The team fired its well-respected coach, Kevin McHale, after 11 games, reportedly at the behest of Harden, who, once he eliminated the Hall of Famer, directed his frustrations at teammate Dwight Howard. Stories about the duo’s lack of chemistry leaked all season, and on Wednesday, ESPN reported that the two have a “cordially bad” relationship. The on-court product reflected that.

    This is a team that was so off the rails by March that it added Michael Beasley and he —€” Michael Beasley (!) —€” was considered a calming force.

    Yeah, changes need to be made in Houston, but there is nothing close to a quick fix for this squad.

    You can’t necessarily blow it all up, because Harden, who was runner-up for the 2015 MVP award, isn’t going anywhere. But the Rockets will have attrition, as Howard in all likelihood will become a free agent this summer.

    The Rockets are also entering the offseason without a head coach. They’ll have a hard time finding one too. Who, other than interim head coach JB Bickerstaff, would want to take over this mess?

    Howard might be a case of addition by subtraction, but the Rockets are going to find it difficult to add another star to the roster, as recruiting scorers to play with Harden will be a tough task and big men could easily be scared off by Howard’s precipitous drop off over the last two years.

    When a team goes from a title contender to a squad that appears poised to pick in the 2017 NBA Draft lottery, all while keeping its best player, it’s time to look beyond coaching and chemistry —€” it’s time to take a hard look at how the team was built.

    Rockets general manager Daryl Morey moonlights as a self-appointed iconoclast. His “Moreyball” system, which eschews the mid-range offensive game in favor of high effective-field-goal percentage shots, could be effective in the 3-point-happy, pace-and-space NBA, but the concept is so overarching and rigid that it has only proven to hold the Rockets back.

    Outside of Harden, the Rockets lack offensive creativity. For every other player, it’s 3-pointers or dunks, and that makes a defensive game plan really easy to install. (Let Harden get his, and force everyone else to the mid-range, where they’ll pass up even open looks.)

    McHale was never a fan of the extreme nature of Moreyball, but he did his best to follow his boss’ orders. Once it was obvious the rest of the league figured out how to stop the system, it was McHale, not the system or the players recruited to play specifically in it, who was blamed.

    Bickerstaff walked into a no-win scenario, and that was before Howard and Harden started showing open disdain for each other.

    Yet it appears Morey, who has been Houston’s GM since 2007, will, like Harden, survive this offseason and be with the Rockets next year.

    “There is no uncertainty,” team owner Les Alexander said earlier this month. “Daryl is with the team. We evaluate everybody, but right now things aren’t changing.”

    But unless Morey has another concept of how to revolutionize basketball —€” another way to exploit the inefficiencies of the NBA marketplace —€” up his sleeve, he should be held accountable for this disaster of a season.

    If nothing else, the failures of the 2015-16 Rockets should bring about the end of the first iteration of Moreyball in Houston.
     
  2. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Pay tucker
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    26,608
    Likes Received:
    10,440
    Terrific article, but it will fall on deaf ears since the message isn't a favorable one.
     
  3. across110thstreet

    across110thstreet Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2001
    Messages:
    12,512
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    Kupchak has held on to his job doing a far worse job in the last five years
     
  4. txtodd

    txtodd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    623
    Likes Received:
    390
    Here's the one person I blame:
    [​IMG]
    Defense went in the tank right after he left
     
  5. bmd

    bmd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Messages:
    7,692
    Likes Received:
    3,394
    1. Considering this team is virtually the same exact group that reached the conference finals the year before as the 2nd seed, how can you blame Morey for this season?

    2. The person who wrote this article is talking about the problem being "Moreyball". But the problem wasn't really the offense. The main problem was the DEFENSE.

    This year the Rockets were 4th in points per game, 2nd in points per shot, and 7th in points per possession. Those are not bad numbers on offense. It was their defense that let them down... and that defense has nothing to do with "Moreyball".
     
  6. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2006
    Messages:
    13,773
    Likes Received:
    1,081
    Any article/person seeking to blame this season on one person automatically loses all credibility
     
  7. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1999
    Messages:
    112,064
    Likes Received:
    18,213
    Morey has to take responsibility he is the guy in charge, the brand took a hit this year under his leadership.

    If you get the credit you have to get the blame too.

    DD
     
  8. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Pay tucker
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    26,608
    Likes Received:
    10,440
    It's not like he assembled a team that won 2 rings before that and got to the finals 3 times...right? :rolleyes:

    The double standards you guys hold to prop up Morey is laughable.
     
  9. LosPollosHermanos

    LosPollosHermanos Pay tucker
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    26,608
    Likes Received:
    10,440
    It's not, it's calling attention to the guy that gets overlooked and benefits off of the deflection of blame towards others. The other names on there have been crucified throughout the season, while the individual in charge had largely gone without blame.
     
  10. bmd

    bmd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Messages:
    7,692
    Likes Received:
    3,394
    I would blame him if this was a newly-assembled roster that didn't work out at all. Then I would say he put the wrong players together.

    But this is the same group of guys as last season. The same group of guys who won 56 games, got the 2nd seed and reached the conference finals.

    Therefore, how can you blame roster construction on the abysmal season this year? This group has already proven they can win as they did it last season.

    That's why I don't blame Morey.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. dmoneybangbang

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    15,537
    Likes Received:
    7,471
    Yea agreed....That article doesn't compute when you bring context into the picture.
     
  12. chandlerbang21

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,397
    Likes Received:
    158
    Pass up open midrange shots- the story of the season and the reason why the Rockets are so easy to guard
     
  13. dmoneybangbang

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    15,537
    Likes Received:
    7,471
    You do watch the Rockets play right? You did see how many wide open shots they missed in the GSW series?

    You do know the Rockets acquired Beasley right? You do know he shoots a lot of mid rangers?
     
  14. Sooner423

    Sooner423 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    Messages:
    5,071
    Likes Received:
    957
    He's a great defensive coach.
     
  15. dmoneybangbang

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    15,537
    Likes Received:
    7,471
    It's like this writer believes we can't go back and look at how the Rocket's offense and defense have performed under Morey.
     
  16. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    41,062
    Likes Received:
    35,548
    I don't get it.

    Media praises the team for going to the WCF last year and then bashes Morey for his system failing the next year with the same players, bashes him for not caring enough about "chemistry" despite keeping together the same team that went to the WCF last year that everyone thought played great together, etc.

    I honestly believe that Morey is, or at least has been, arrogant and a lot of people have just been waiting to attack him. They have their chance now because the Rockets failed this year, but the actual criticisms don't make sense.
     
  17. dmoneybangbang

    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    15,537
    Likes Received:
    7,471
    People are the worst, build you up only take tear you down.
     
  18. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    31,295
    Likes Received:
    12,190
    The issues are not in one spot - there are everywhere - from choice of players to style of play with the players you have, to coaching, to individuals.

    Morey, JBB, Harden, Howard - all share blame.
     
  19. Nook

    Nook Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    43,113
    Likes Received:
    69,684
    Poorly written article.
     
  20. PeppermintCandy

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    3,641
    Likes Received:
    638
    Yeah not a good article. And presenting the Iguodala quote out of context to serve his point was the cherry on top.
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now