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Official Houston Rockets Thread: Come Home Harden

Pastor Dillon

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4 hours ago, Texansfan713 said:

1 seed in the west clinched.  Magic number is 2 to clinch homecourt through the entire playoffs I believe.


I would rest CP3, Ariza, LUC and Capela tonight vs the Suns to get them ready for Sunday's showdown vs the Spurs.

We need to lose to the spurs and beat the thunder. We need the thunder to be 6th or 7th

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Just looking at the stats for the season, here are a couple things of note

Capela is going to finish 2nd in blocks, 1st in FG shooting % and right around 6th in rounding

Harden is going to be the 1st rocket to win a scoring title, ironically he's lead the league in points twice without a scoring title, and hes going to get the scoring title this year while not leading the league in total points. I've long favored giving the scoring title to the guy who scores the most points, but looks like its a favorable rule this time. 

Harden will be 3rd in the league in assists, CP3 is currently 6th, could move as high as 4th but probably stays 6th

We are currently 9 games better than last year with 3 left to play

Harden(7th) and Paul(9th) are both top 10 in steals

Capela is 8th in the league in double doubles

Harden is 5th in the league in triple doubles

Here is a big one, no rockets rank in the top 12 in minutes per game. Harden has been top 6 every season he has been in Houston.

in fact the good news is that Harden has never enter the playoffs with has few minutes as he has this season, and its not even close. Compared to last year, not only has Harden missed 9 games for various reasons, he is playing a full minute less per game, which over 70 games is almost 2 full games over the course of the year. There is no "Harden wore down" excuse this year. 

I will still never get over Harden posting a 29/7/6 stat line and not making an all NBA team in 2016, but Harden's HOF resume is going to be looking like this:

2010 All Rookie 2nd Team
2012 NBA 6th Man of the Year
4x 1st Team all NBA
1x 3rd Team all NBA
6x NBA All Star
1x NBA Assists Leader
1x NBA Scoring Leader
2x Gold Medal winner

I would say that this season sealed his trip to the HOF, and probably sealed it on the 1st ballot. An argument can already be made that he is the 2nd Greatest Rocket to ever play. He needs rings to get in that discussion for the best, but he is climbing the all time NBA greats lists too. I am going to say hes right there with Carmelo Anthony, and will soon pass him. 

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19 hours ago, Pastor Dillon said:

I really want the Pelicans. I just love seeing Harden bounce guys that are "better" than him in the first round. Did it to Westbrook last year, seems fitting to do it to Davis this year. 

I want them too.  Either them or Den and I'll be happy. Pelicans the only team I see us actually sweeping.

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8 hours ago, Pastor Dillon said:

It couldn’t have worked out any worse for us. We will play 12-14 games in the 1st two rounds and the warriors will play 8. 

The series against the Wolves is going to be tough, but Thibs has a tendency of absolutely killing his players during the regular season, so maybe it will only take 4-5 games.

Reminds me of 2014 really, when the Bulls finished 4th and Joakim Noah was an actual MVP candidate, but they guys were so gassed at that point that the Wizards dismantled us in five games like it was nothing.

Edited by TheChancellor
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I've been looking at our cap situation. right now with holds and current deals we have 147 million for next season, which is 24 million over the Luxury tax. I am assuming that if we dont win a championship this season, our owner is going to be reluctant to go into the tax very much, plus our best chance of adding talent is the non tax payer MLE. We have not been in the tax, so repeater penalties do not apply. 

Here's the good news, The 147 million figure already accounts for CP3 getting a max deal, and it has a cap hold of 12 million for Ariza, which is above his market value. It also has a 4 million cap hold for Black that we will renounce. 

Here's the bad news, Capela has a 7 million cap hold, and he is getting 25 million next season. So when you adjust things, give Ariza say 8 million instead of 12, release black, give Capela his 25 million and pay CP3 the max, we are looking at a number of 157 million for next season. Way above the luxury tax line. 

Bottom line is this: We have to trade Ryan Anderson. It might cost one 1st rounder, it might cost two 1st rounders, but we have to trade him. If we can't we might have to release him via the stretch provision, which ties up about 8 million per year the next 5 years, but would save a ton of money in Luxury tax payments. 

but that still only gets us down to 137 million, which is a figure that still accounts for vet min deals for Green, Johnson, and Mbah A Moute. We could save a very small amount by replacing one or more of them with younger guys who arent rotation worthy. Hopefully we bring Green and Moute back on min deals, but who knows if that will be good enough. 

but in theory 137 million buys a rotation of


basically what we have now minus Anderson. We might have to replace any of Green/Johnson/Moute with other vet minimum guys, but there wont be a shortage of older vets who will come in and play for the min on our team. 

That puts us 13 million into the Tax. I think that is doable, but doesnt improve our roster. If CP3 was willing to take say 25 million, and Ariza would sign a 5 million deal, that would get us out of the tax, but still not help much. 


I said all that to say this, basically 

1. Ryan Anderson can not be a Rocket next season
2. If we aren't willing to pay the tax, we will have to either 
          A. Convince guys to take less money
          B. Get rid of either Eric Gordon or Tucker/Ariza


While we are on this topic, how easy would it be to clear cap space for say Paul George, who honestly would be my number 1 target.

well it's hard. 

1. We have to trade Anderson, Tucker, Gordon and Nene
2. We have to release rights to Ariza, Black and everyone else
3. We have to convince CP3 to take about 25 million. 

Those 3 things leave us sitting at 63 million in salary for Harden, CP3 and Capela's cap hold. 

Add in 30 million for PG and about 6 million in incomplete roster holds and we are sitting at 98 million. Then we give Capela his 25 million and we are looking at salaries of 123 million or right at the Luxury tax with only 4 guys under contract. 

Then we have to fill out the rest of the roster with Vet minimum guys and the tax payer MLE, which is about 5 million. Hopefully we could convince Ariza to take that. We would run out a starting 5 of CP3/Harden/PG/Ariza/Capela

I am convinced if we did this, we could have a solid bench of vet minimum guys like Gerald Green, Luc Mbah a Moute, Jamer Nelson, Aaron Brooks, Aaron Afflalo, and the list goes on and on. 

I would do that if the option presented itself. 

Of course the easier way would be to get the Thunder to sign and trade PG to us for Gordon, Tucker and Nene. That deal makes sense for both teams. 

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We can all agree that Harden has had an Amazing game 1, A terrible game 2, and an average game 3. 

A good sign however is that his turnovers per game of 3.3 is current a career low for the playoffs. His 3 point shooting % of .367 is the 2nd highest of his Rockets career

small Sample size, and tonight will be a tell tell sign. They were embarrassed Saturday night on the road against a good desperate team. Tonight we can drive the stake in the heart, or we can give them new life. 


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