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Year Five.

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by thacabbage, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    We are now entering Year Five of "the experiment." For reference, see this thread.


    *In this thread, I predicted a 3 year window at the start of last year. I maintain my stance on that. We have a 2 year window remaining, which in retrospect is consistent with the thought at the time of the trade that it afforded the team a 6 year window. I think most sane observers would agree that McGrady's body cannot maintain a high level of play for more than 2 more years. He is a shell of his former self physically.

    *In my opinion, the trade continues to justify itself in being the absolute correct decision to have made at the time. Again, I don't think any sane observer will dispute this claim. For the 4th straight season, when both healthy, the duo has been absolutely dominant together. The claim can be made the caveat of health should not be so easily dismissed, but I contest that it is now Yao who poses the greater injury threat, thus in no way affecting our discussion of the trade. McGrady, although gimpy and prone to miss his customary 10 games, doesn't seem any more structurally likely to miss the entire season than anyone else.

    *Early last season, when the team struggled out of the gate, the national media once again restarted the claims that one of the two needed to be traded as they allegedly could not coexist on the court. This is completely ludicrous. The two complement each other beautifully on the court. Furthermore, at the time of the trade, the main argument made was that the two could not coexist. It is health and supporting cast which is the issue. Once again, the trade is fully justified.

    *Are we any closer than from where we started 4 seasons ago? One can argue either way. Ultimately, the team has failed to advance. Not only that, but every season ends the exact same way - with McGrady bringing the ball up himself and having to create for a tired, athletically challenged, undersized cast of misfits void of any ability to thrive outside of his brilliance. This same depressing sight leads one to the conclusion that management has continuously dropped the ball. In 5 years, half a decade, management has yet to produce a single consistent, reliable 3rd wheel. In 5 years, management has turned a blind eye to the need for athleticism and size.

    *It's not all bad news though. I think Scola has presented cemented himself as the starter at power forward. His most redeeming quality is that he allows Yao to stay in the game with his ability to space the floor. If Landry returns, at full health, the position is covered and is even a strength. He added a dynamic that this team hasn't seen.

    *More importantly, we've improved by default. Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio have all declined due to age or self destruction and I don't see L.A. nearly as formidable as some. While I think the 55 wins are fool's gold and not really indicative of improvement in the grand scheme, we certainly haven't gotten any worse.

    *The 55 wins were the product of an unrivaled intensity which is not really indicative of future playoff success. Management seems to be hedging it's bets on a deadline deal. I would agree - the success of this team directly depends on the fruition of this trade. This team as composed will not advance deep in the playoffs. But this team, in addition to any acquisition of marginal significance, can possibly win the title.

    *I don't think that trade Morey is betting on will be there with other teams holding equally appealing expiring contracts. And that is a damn shame, because in the weakened West, the title is there for the taking.
     
  2. seclusion

    seclusion rip chadwick

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    I like your write up, and I agree across the board. with that said, how is the west weakened? if you're referring to goldenstate and the clippers basically killing each other, I'd say they're irrelevant since neither team made the playoffs last season. I would also say it's irrelevant since portland would have taken one of their places either way.
     
  3. radapharoah

    radapharoah Rookie

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    I agree with every word...I feel like we have gotton closer, now with maggette out of the picture for the spurs I dont fear them....the suns are starting to become older and thinner depth wise....dallas is a ?....the lakers are the only team that could cause use problems but a healthy dose of Yao would equalize anything bynuam and Pau bring...

    Rox to do list
    1. Stay healty (limit yao and tmacs minutes early on in the year)
    2. shop your experings before the deadline (get that third wheel please!!!)
    3. win it all :D
     
  4. Beenz

    Beenz Contributing Member

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    The Cabbage,

    Although your writing is quite eloquent, your substance is fluff. For the Yao-Mcgrady experiment to work, it takes more than Yao and McGrady. The lack of a strong point guard and a decent PF who can help on the weakside are all glaring reasons of our reason not to advance. These things get exposed very easily in the playoffs when you go against a team 7 games in a row.

    I really do think Morey will pull a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline. There's no reason to think he won't. With so many expiring contracts and good draft picks, I really think Morey will go for a big gamble at the trade deadline.

    The west isn't weakened, I think it'll be just as strong if not stronger next year. I would predict that the same teams will be in the playoffs, and it'll be a close race till the end. I think Morey sees it as the same way. Our current team could easily coast through February, and then add a marquee player and you've got a much better team primed for the playoffs.

    Plus, look at our 8-man rotation:
    C: Yao
    PF: Scola (who will be improved next year)
    SF: Battier
    SG: McGrady
    PG: Alston (if he gives us the same production as last year, our team will be much more improved at the point)
    - Barry
    - Landry
    - Jackson
    - Hayes
    - Head

    That's a pretty formidable 9 players there. In addition, you also now have Greene, Dorsey, Brooks to add into the mix.

    I think this team without a trade can get to the 2nd round, and with a trade at the trade deadline can get to the WCF.

    I think the window is this year for McGrady. I think Morey knows that and so does Adelman. They'll try to roll the dice and get a pair of sixes this year.

    After that, let's start over...
     
  5. radapharoah

    radapharoah Rookie

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    when he says the west has weakend, I believe he means that the top of the west has weakend...

    LA...WC enough said
    Hornets...very good and young
    spurs...will only get older...tim looked horrible on the offensive side of the ball...and gino is really banged up...dont know how healty he will be next year
    Suns...Shaq is older...nash is older...grant is older...dantoni is gone...only bright spot is amare
    Mavs...???...did Jkidd get a jumper?
    GS...lost baron
    blazers...will be much improved but still not enough experience.

    He means the west is wide open...
     
  6. Carlos Nice

    Carlos Nice Rookie

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    it's crazy how you failed to mention Utah, the team that has punished us for the last 2 years...

    and regardless if Dallas and San Antonio get older, they are still more experienced in the playoffs...

    the Suns aren't very dangerous to the top contending teams in the West but i don't see the Rockets beating them in a 7 game series...

    i'm eager to see what the Warriors will do as well...
     
  7. eMat

    eMat Contributing Member

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    I don't agree with the statement that Yao and T-Mac are dominant together. T-Mac alone can get this team to be almost as good as with Yao. Yao has lately been more and more effective without T-Mac, leading to some wins.

    Whenever I watch them, I get the feeling that we are not getting everything out of them when they play together. Especially T-Mac seems to play better when Yao is not around. It is not that they can't coexist but they seem more efficient on their own.
     
  8. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    What I mean is that it is incredibly weakened at the top. For the past decade, there has always been some insurmountable superpower at the top. It seemed almost hopeless that we could compete in a 7 game series with San Antonio, Phoenix, or Dallas.

    That is no longer there. While we haven't improved, my conclusion was that our chances have improved by default because we haven't gotten worse. I don't think any team in the West today is significantly better than Houston.
     
  9. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    I have to wonder if you even read the post. The basic conclusion I reached was that while the trade was a success in the sense that Yao/McGrady have meshed and McGrady has produced, the ultimate downfall of this team has been on management's inability to supply an adequate supporting cast.

    There's no reason to think he won't try. The question is whether it can be done. There will be few palatable impact players on the market, and many other teams holding expiring contracts. We're not the only buyers in this market, thus I have my doubts.
     
  10. declan32001

    declan32001 Member

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    You're right. Outside of a healthy LA & NO I'm extremely confident as long as we're healthy. It's an improvement.
     
  11. wekko368

    wekko368 Member

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    Please explain how they complement each other beautifully and meshed.

    As far as I can tell, their games dont complement each other at all. Tmac prefers the pick and roll. To effectively utilize this, Tmac must have someone who has a good mid-range jumper, is fast, and can finish at the rim. While Yao has the jumper and might be able to finish at the rim (or draw the foul), he's one of the slowest players in the league.

    Conversely, Yao is at his best when he's posting up. To properly complement him, his teammates must be good 3 pt shooters, effectively move without the ball, and be able to throw the entry pass. Tmac can throw the pass, but he's a poor 3 pt shooter and rarely moves without the ball.
     
  12. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    They both draw double teams, are good passers and have the ability to finish.

    They do compliment each other well and they both give us different ways to score.
     
  13. CriscoKidd

    CriscoKidd Member

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    I would heavily disagree there. The pf play last year was the best we've had since Barkley was in town.

    pg still remains questionable, but Rafer showed me a lot last season.

    All we need is a solid backup wing(which we hopefully got in Barry), and pg help, either in the form of a trade for a great backup, emergence of AB, or a Rafer upgrade.
     
  14. wekko368

    wekko368 Member

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    You still didn't explain why you think they complement each other. All you did was list their abilities.
     
  15. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    You are completely right, but I disagree with you at the same time.

    They are not "tailor made" for each other as you said. But I think that is the beauty of it. Let's say that the player you described as McGrady's ideal complement is Stoudemire and the player you described as Yao's ideal complement is a younger Ray Allen. I think something like that makes you much easier to stop because it's not really a multi-faceted attack. With what we have, we can dump it in to Yao and pound it out or we can let T-Mac play the pick and roll - we can beat you in different ways. How they complement each other is that both are unselfish, willing passers who respect each other. McGrady is the best passing wing in the league, and Yao has great, soft hands for a big man.

    Like you said, they aren't the "ideal" complements, but I'm arguing that you aren't going to find an athletic big that can finish at the rim, shoot the mid range jumper, AND possess Yao's post game - you just described Hakeem Olajuwon and those don't come around. Similarly, you aren't going to find a guard who moves without the ball, is lethal from outside, AND possesses T-Mac's passing instincts - there's never been a player in league history like that. So I would rather have the contrasting styles like I said earlier.

    The key is finding role players that can complement them in these different styles. Scola and Landry were a huge step towards this. Scola's ability to space the floor finally gave us a power forward that wouldn't allow teams to double Yao off the ball. Similarly, Landry was the perfect target for T-Mac underneath the hoop. The goal now is to find athletic wings or atleast ONE capable wing that can further complement them.
     
  16. BrownBeast99

    BrownBeast99 Member

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    They are not IDEAL compliments of each other but they don't make each other useless. Tmac gets his share and Yao gets his. While its not ideal, they can coexist fairly well with a quality supporting cast.
     
  17. wekko368

    wekko368 Member

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    Ideally, I would like to see them playing limited minutes together. While its true that having a dual offense may prove beneficial at times, its important to remember Yao's health.

    If he's going to be playing fewer minutes, I'd hate to see him spending those minutes watching Tmac run the pick and roll.
     
  18. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    OK .. . Long story short
    1. We still have not gotten out of the 1st round
    2. Francis teams sucked because of Francis but T-mac's team sucks because of other people. . . management .. but the similar management never help out Francis. .but well . .that was francis's fault while now it is NOT t-mac's fault
    3. Comparisons of 1st round opponents Francis's team lost to the most superior oppenent in the 1st round [Lakers with 4 HOFers vs Dallas and the Jazzholes twice]


    at the time of the trade the team was beginning to gel
    Cuttino, Francis, Jackson, Cato and Yao
    We traded 3 starters for 1 and never recovered . . .

    Sorry but The unfortunate problems that befell the individuals upon leaving
    does not mean they would have happened had they stayed

    We trade Heart for Talent . . . and found that
    neither is sufficient on their own . . .
    PRE TRADE = POST TRADE
    No, net gain IMO
    We won more games but no closer to the ultimate prize

    Rocket River
     
  19. v3.0

    v3.0 Contributing Member

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    Honestly, I don't think the Yao/Tmac era will yield a championship. But it's way better then the Francis/Yao combo or the Francis/Rudy T ISO era, so we are making progress.
     
  20. wekko368

    wekko368 Member

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    Not quite right. Our net gain lies in the current trade value of tmac compared to that of francis.
     

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