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Pastor Dillon

Official Houston Rockets Thread: Where no lead is safe

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Got Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright.  Basically our trade deadline moves.  I love the depth on our team now.  Should we have injuries to our role players these 2 can step in.  I wish they were making their debuts tomorrow when I go to the game, but Tues at the Wolves we will most likely see them in uniform.  Johnson has to clear waivers Monday. 

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I’m curious what role we promised joe. He could have rode the bench with the warrior and got his ring. Surprised he picked us unless we offered him a position. 

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On 2/10/2018 at 8:49 PM, lumberjackchris said:

Joe can shoot the ball man, he's going to get some PT. Especially in those smaller lineups we like that can switch everything

Plus it beats having scrubs like Bobby Brown, Briante Weber and Demetrius Jackson on the bench.  Makes resting Harden and CP3 easier. 

Edited by Texansfan713

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On 2/10/2018 at 8:49 PM, lumberjackchris said:

Joe can shoot the ball man, he's going to get some PT. Especially in those smaller lineups we like that can switch everything

Yeah, he'll play for sure. He's older now, but he will have some good games, especially in that system.

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I will post this rant here because it’s a very homer rant, but the Rockets are the most disrespected team in the league nationally. Without even getting into the 2 Harden MVP snubs. 

Look at the all star treatment other teams get. Guys like Green, Horford, Lowry and others are All Stars because of team success. How is it the rockets didn’t get 2 all stars??? I get that CP3 was hurt too much but guys like Gordon and Capela didn’t get the “Good Team” love that others got. 4 warriors and 1 rocket is insane when we’ve got a 2-1 lead and are tied with them in the loss column. It also means Harden should be unanimous MVP 

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CP3 the only person who deserves to be an all star over Harden.  I get why he didn't get chosen as a reserve or hasn't been named a replacement but I still would have made him an all star.  Capela is having a nice season but there are more deserving bigs that should be picked.  Not a knock on him or anything.  I cant even recall a time a 6th man went to the ASG. 

 

I do agree we are getting disrespected big time.  I love how people think the Warriors are an easy lock to make it to the finals not knowing how good the Rockets have been.  Given that we have had most injuries between the 2 teams to be this close to them in the standings shows how good this team is to me.  It pisses me off when people think we have no shot to beat them come playoff time.

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18 hours ago, Texansfan713 said:

CP3 the only person who deserves to be an all star over Harden.  I get why he didn't get chosen as a reserve or hasn't been named a replacement but I still would have made him an all star.  Capela is having a nice season but there are more deserving bigs that should be picked.  Not a knock on him or anything.  I cant even recall a time a 6th man went to the ASG. 

 

I do agree we are getting disrespected big time.  I love how people think the Warriors are an easy lock to make it to the finals not knowing how good the Rockets have been.  Given that we have had most injuries between the 2 teams to be this close to them in the standings shows how good this team is to me.  It pisses me off when people think we have no shot to beat them come playoff time.

I am not saying capela deserved to be an all star, but several guys made it who didnt deserve it simply because of team success and we dont get that love.

Its also poetic justice that we are the only top 5 team with just 1 all star....and we are sitting #1

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Break seems to drag on, i am ready to look ahead to Friday and beyond. We have a really tough schedule over the next 4 weeks, and then its somewhat easier until the playoffs.

a few things to note:

1. we are only 12 wins away from clinching a playoff spot, possibly sooner than that. We could in theory have a playoff ticket punched by early march. either way, we have a top 2 seed locked up. The Spurs are currently 10 games back, which means if we go 15-10, they would have to go a perfect 25-0 just to catch up. Basically even .500 ball post all star break gives us the 2 seed.

 

2. Seeding will matter. Not in the 1st round but in round 2. Round 1 most likely has us against one of 5 teams: Jazz, Clippers, Blazers, Pelicans, or Nuggets. If i was betting, i would say the nuggets get the 6 seed. They will get Milsap back in march and will only get better, the blazers have been pretty healthy all year and still havent moved up much in the standings. 

The real battle is 3, 4, 5 seeds between Thunder, Wolves and Spurs. I do not want to see the thunder in the 2nd round. I think they are going to be a tough playoff out. They struggle right now because they have no depth, if they get into the post season healthy, depth wont matter as much. You can run 7 or 8 man rotations in the post season and play our stars 38-40 minutes a night. The core of Adams/Melo/PG/Westbrook can take them places. I really want to see them play the Warriors in round 2, so I will be hoping they are in that 4/5 match up. If Leonard is still out, I want the Spurs in round 2, if he is healthy i would prefer the T-Wolves who have little big game experience from Wiggins and Towns. 

 

3. Yes I am assuming we will be the 2 seed. The warriors got the break they needed, and now they will come out gunning for that 1 seed and I dont see us finishing within 3 games of it. Looking at schedules, I wouldnt be surprised to see us go 17-8 over the back 25 and and them go 20-4 over the back 24 for them. Health is a big issue for us. if we can get our super deep roster healthy going into the post season and be healthy going into a CF, we have a punchers chance of beating the warriors.

4. That brings me to my next thought, who is our 8 man playoff rotation? I suspect we keep the starting 5 of harden/CP3/Ariza/Tucker/Capela going into the post season, and bring Gordon and Nene off the bench for sure. that leaves 1 or maybe 2 spots for Mbah a Moute/Anderson/Johnson/Green. This really gives us a match up advantage. We can go D with Mbah A Moute against guys like Durant or we can go big with Anderson at the 4 against a team like the Spurs. We can use Johnson in small ball games if Capela is in foul trouble or just ineffective. 

I could see us running a 4th quarter line up of CP3/Harden/ariza/Moute and then either Gordon/Johnson/Tucker depending on what we feel we need and whether or not Capela is playing well. Capela could be the key to a warriors series. He is the best center in the series, but can he play with Green at the center for the warriors. In 3 games Capela averaged 15 points but just 6 rebounds and 1 block. 

We can match the warriors "death line up" pretty well, just maybe not with as much fire power

Harden on AI
Cp3 on Curry
Moute on Durant
Ariza on thompson
Tucker on Green

AI is having a horrible season on offense, but is still an elite defender. Moute can hold his own against Durant and make him work for it, Moute ranks as the 7th best defender in real plus/minus in the entire league, but on offense he doesnt offer much other than 36% shooting. 

Cp3/Harden running isolation and Moute/Ariza/Tucker hitting open shots will be the only way to beat the warriors. 

 

A win over the warriors would possible start to create a rivalry in the west, seeing as we would have meet 3 times in 4 years, each winning once in the conference finals. A loss to the warriors and it just goes down as "the hump we couldnt get over" 

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Interesting thing when you look at our current roster depth:

Luc Mbah A Moute/Gerald Green/Joe Johnson/Brandon Wright are all playing on vet minimum deals

in theory all 4 would be willing to resign for the vet minimum next season, Moute might be the exception, but I bet he could be signed with an exception of some kind. 

If we were to chase a 3rd star, it could cost us Gordon, Anderson, tucker, nene and Ariza. 

We would be sitting with 6 million in holds for those 4, 8 million for tucker, 4 million for nene, 30 million for Harden, 39 million hold for CP3, 6 million cap hold for Capela and then about 4 million in other holds, which would put us at 97 million and only 5 million in cap space. CP3 would need to take 25 million a year and we could free up 19 million in cap space. trading tucker would get us to 27, trading tucker and nene would get us to 31 million.

ill just say for arguement sake that its PG that we were to sign. We could have a roster something like this:

CP3/Harden/PG/Moute/Capela
Johnson/Green/Wright

plus some rookies and a MLE to sign another guy, maybe Ariza, which would be ideal. 

Then we can sign another guard with a vet minimum. 

a guy like Devin Harris would fit nicely.

I am not sure depending on Joe Johnson for a big bench role at 37 is a good idea, but if we could get a PG type free agent, it would be worth it.

 

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I really wish we still had Montrez Harrell on our team. i would much rather have him than Tarik Black. I guess he was an important part of that CP3 trade though, otherwise, why would we give him up. Dude can be a solid bench big and give a team 9/4 a game in limited minutes, and also step in and play 25-30 if need be. I miss him.

 

 

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A few thoughts for the week:

Chris Paul needs to do better. He is averaging 15/7/4 post all star break, all down from his season averages, but his shooting has been horrible. He is shooting 39% and just 20% from 3. We need efficient Chris Paul if we are going to make a run. 

This is another brutal week schedule wise. @OKC and @Milwaukee in a tough back to back.   Then @ Toronto on Friday, followed by a Sunday/Monday back to back against Dallas and San Antonio. thats a 5 game in 7 night stretch that puts us against 4 playoff teams and a bitter rival. Honestly I think this is the week we fall behind the Warriors in the standings. The warriors do play the Spurs/Blazers/Wolves this week, so maybe they lose one. I suspect we go 3-2 over this 5 game stretch.

We still have not played a game at 100%. Joe Johnson has been getting rotation minutes because of injuries. Ryan Anderson has an important role on this team, even if its not living up to his 20 million a year salary. I suspect we burn our 2019 1st rounder to ship him out. he is a rare bad contract that can be an important role player and mentor for a tanking team.

Speaking of Old ISO Joe. he had a huge game for us in the Jazz come back win. Probably the best 7 point game i remember. His post game is still rolling, but you can tell hes lost about 5 steps.

a final thought, James Harden. He will end this season a 6x All Star, 5x All NBA player, 4x 1st team all nba, 1x Assist leader, 1x Scoring leader, and league MVP....its good to have the beard. 

 

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I know some people are calling for D'Antoni to bench JJ for Green but its not like Green has been playing well recently either.  JJ will be valuable come playoff time. He still getting integrated with the team and the system again.  If he sucks in April then I'll be worried.

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