James Harden has Rockets in playoffs for 3rd straight year.
Rockets Must Take Advantage Of Favorable First Round Opponent
The Houston Rockets head into the first round of the NBA playoffs as favorites to win their match-up vs the Dallas Mavericks. The Rockets won the season series 3-1, and in three of those games Dwight Howard did not pay. The Mavericks come into town tonight as 6 point underdogs.
There is a big spotlight on both James Harden and Dwight Howard to perform well and at the absolute bare minimum advance to the second round. The pairing should translate into playoff success at some kind of level. If the Rockets manage to lose to the Mavericks not only a disaster but an embarrassing disaster.
It isn’t even just the Houston vs Dallas city rivalry, there have been jabs thrown between Mavs owner Mark Cuban and Daryl Morey for the past 2 years or so. Also not to leave out that Chandler Parsons is a Maverick.
Just this week for a piece with Grantland’s Kirk Goldsberry, Mark Cuban said that there isn’t a more predictable team than the Rockets. He also said that the Rockets are a very talented team, and believes that James Harden is the MVP, but only because the Rockets aren’t very good.
I was actually surprised that Cuban at least gave Harden the nod for MVP since he is pretty much discounting the Rockets as a team. But for a smart man I’m confused as to how he said the the Rockets are very talented but that the 2nd seed Rockets aren’t good.
The Mavericks on the other hand started out the season as a very good team but became a just barely above average team once they made the Rondo trade. The Mavericks exchanged to underrated pieces of their bench in Jae Crowder and Brandon Wright for Rondo. Monte Ellis is a talented scorer but he tailed off a little in the second half of the season. Continue reading →
Daryl Morey believes Capella, Johnson, Gentile have the ability to help the Rockets going forward.
Heading into the draft many expected the Rockets to draft a foreign player because the contracts of players overseas don’t count against the cap, which would allow the team to stay flexible in being able to absorb the contract of a potential star player addition. Speculation held true with Daryl Morey selecting Clint Capela a 20 year old, 220lb PF/C out of Switzerland, who plays his basketball in the French leagues.
Clint Capela is said to have high upside as a player because of his combination of length and athleticism. Draft Express notes Capela as having really good rebound instincts, defensive potential, finishing ability, and great hands. Having a 7′ 3.5″ wingspan allows him to be great rim protector, and Capela will be able to also guard the Center position if he puts on the necessary weight. Capela compared himself to the abilities of Serge Ibaka.
Capela however is still very raw as a player, he’s limited from an offensive stand point, can be turnover prone, and is inconsistent at times when guarding his man.
Morey refrained from getting too specific about what Capela’s near future for the Rockets would entail because contract matters and planning with the agent still needed to be worked out. But Morey did say that he doesn’t think it is too far off as to when Capela would be able to help the Rockets.
Nick Johnson a 6-3 SG out of Arizona who the Rockets selected with the 42nd pick in the 2nd pick has the highest chance of coming in and contributing to the team in the first year. Johnson as a Junior this past season was an All-American and Pac-12 player of the year. Nick Johnson averaged 16.3 points and 4.1 rebounds, and is known for playing really good, tough defense. In interviews Johnson has pointed out that defense matters to him and places an emphasis on playing well defensively. Continue reading →