Tag Archives: NBA

Rockets Adding Chris Bosh A Necessity

1291062314

Chris Bosh could fill big need at the power forward spot for the Rockets.

If the Rockets want to be a legitimate contender they must add Chris Bosh, retain Chandler Parsons

It is clear that right now the Rockets are not as good of a team compared to last year. Roster depth took a hit when Asik was traded away and if the Rockets sign a free agent to a big contract Jeremy Lin will also need to be dealt.

In the Western Conference, the Clippers added Spencer Hawes, Mavericks added Tyson Chander, and the Spurs resigned Forward Boris Diaw. The West is only improving and in order for the Rockets to realistically compete for a championship they must be able to land Chris Bosh.

These past two seasons point guard and power forward have been the positions of least strength in the starting lineup. Bosh would bolster that the power forward spot, and would allow Terrance Jones to come off the bench. The West is loaded with skilled power forwards and Bosh would improve the team from both offensive and defensive standpoints.

The Rockets’ bigs struggled against Clippers’ and OKC bigs, and Portland beat the Rockets when it mattered most.  Chris Bosh would be a perfect fit at power forward next to Dwight Howard, and help solidify that front court.

If the Rockets fail to land Bosh, they will have to rely on Terrance Jones’ continued growth, as well as some kind of contribution from Donatas Motiejūnas who was never able to establish himself in the rotation.

Is Chandler Parsons worth the max deal

Things can get complicated for the Rockets if a team offers Chandler Parsons a max contract. According multiple reports, the Charlotte Hornets are offering Utah’s Gordon Hayward a  four-year, $63 million max contract, with Utah having the right to match. There are teams rumored to be considering doing the same for Chandler Parsons, the Dallas Mavericks being the leader of that group.

Chandler Parsons will be heading into his 4th season and may only have a few slight improvements left in his growth as a player. Parsons is a very good NBA player and has gotten a lot of love nationally especially because Parsons has had a knack for putting up big performances on nationally televised games.

Parsons is a versatile player and one of the leaders on the team, but the problem is that  because he is very close to his ceiling as a player and is probably not going to make another significant jump, he may be a cut below earning a max contract.

Chris Bosh is the Rockets’ number one target, and as of now he is the only player the Rockets have a real chance at signing, who at the same time is a player worthy of a max deal.

Ideally before the Rockets match an offer sheet or agree on a contract with Chandler Parsons, they want to have Chris Bosh signed. Signing Bosh or any other big free agent first allows the Rockets to go over the cap in signing Parsons because they would be resigning their own player.

Chris Bosh coming to Houston depends solely on whether LeBron James stays in MIami or leaves. Pat Riley also has to get the money line up right between LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. Chris Bosh has said he is willing to take less money than what he is worth, but a significant amount less could have him coming to Houston.

LeBron wants a maximum contract deal, and with Dwayne Wade opting out of his deal that would have paid him over $40 million these next 2 years, he will likely be receiving another deal that is paying him less but still more than he would be paid elsewhere.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Bosh wants to stay in Miami playing with LeBron, but his camp has had conversations with the Rockets over the last few days. Along with the seemingly natural fit, Bosh finds the max deal the Rockets are offering enticing.

Daryl Morey and Kevin McHale started off free agency by meeting with Kyle Lowry in Philadelphia. The Rockets were a player in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes and “laid out the red carpet” for him but reports say he will choose either NY, Chicago, or LA.

Last week ESPN reported that the Rockets were among the four teams that LeBron James’ agent spoke with, leaving some to hang on to the slightest possibility of LeBron coming to Houston, but the favorites now seem to be Miami, or somehow Cleveland.

Why aren’t the Rockets getting more attention as a destination in free agency

I find it a bit baffling that the Rockets aren’t a bigger attraction to any of these top free agents. The addition of any one of the big name players to the Rockets (assuming Parsons is resigned) would easily make their starting 5 the best in the league.

The question is why isn’t there more noise about the possibilities LeBron, Carmelo, or Bosh coming to Houston. LeBron and and Carmelo are virtually ruled out as options for the Rockets, with LeBron even considering making a return to Cleveland.

It is true that the Rockets play in the toughest conference in the NBA, so that would make the road to the finals much tougher than it would be in the East. But with the lineup the Rockets would have it almost wouldn’t matter how much tougher the competition would be. Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA, and James Harden, who has experience playing with multiple superstars, is the league’s best shooting guard.

Carmelo claims that winning is a priority, but neither the Knicks or Lakers will likely have the ability to compete for a championship in the near future. Chicago is probably the best fit for Carmelo, and along with the Rockets give him the best opportunity to win. It is obvious that the high profile cities of New York and L.A. weigh heavy in his mind.

Chris Bosh wants to stay in Miami with LeBron, that much is evident. You can’t blame Bosh for wanting  stay in a city like Miami with the best player in the league.

I found it a bit surprising that LeBron is said to be seeking maximum money on his next deal. LeBron took less money to go to Miami four years ago with the idea of winning championships. LeBron is one of the most famous athletes in the world and makes loads of money off giant endorsement deals every year.

LeBron James is going to make money one way or another, and everybody knows that LeBron is the best player in the world whether his contract reflects it or not. At this point in his career championship rings are the only thing that matter, that his how he will be judged when his career is done. The Rockets would a super team if he chose to come to Houston, and would almost undoubtedly win multiple titles.

LeBron James desiring the max deal doesn’t make much sense in terms of trying to win more championships. Even if LeBron doesn’t want to come to a team like the Rockets, who are in “win now” mode, asking for max money restricts the quality of talent that he can be surrounded with in Miami. LeBron James has never been the highest paid player on his team, but if there ever were a player worth the money, its LeBron.

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Of LeBron Landing In Houston Is Still Alive

Houston Rockets, LeBron James, NBA

A team with talent is still a priority for LeBron James, which makes Houston a possibility.

According to reports, LeBron staying in Miami is not a forgone conclusion, Rockets among possible destinations

There were reports these past several days which had the Heat trio staying together after all, with LeBron taking the max and Wade/Bosh taking less than originally suspected, especially Bosh who could still garner big money on the open market.

However, according to ESPN reporters and the ever reliable Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, LeBron James’ agent has met with 4 NBA teams and “seems ready to explore the market”.

The Rockets’ meeting with Carmelo Anthony was said to have “went well”, but earlier today reports were saying that he is in talks with Pau Gasol to possibly team up in New York. Because the Rockets have a real shot at acquiring LeBron, they have to go all in for him even if it means missing out on Carmelo Anthony.

The Rockets have more established talent than both the Cavs or Suns, and the Mavericks do have a good team but several of their key players may not be as effective for much longer. If it is truly out of these 4 teams the Rockets hold a very strong case.

Daryl Morey has proven to be one of the best and smartest General Managers in the NBA, who is always aggressively looking to improve the team. The Rockets have a legitimate center in Dwight Howard, something LeBron hasn’t have in many years and is one of the big problems his teams have struggled to overcome.

There have been conflicting reports since the days leading up to free agency, only time will tell what is to actually unfold.

Houston Rockets Must Add a Top Player

Houston Rockets, Carmelo Anthony,

The Rockets had a depiction made in effort to help entice free agent Carmelo Anthony.

The Houston Rockets make their case to former Rocket Kyle Lowry, and Carmelo Anthony

We are two days into NBA free agency and the Rockets have met with free agents Carmelo Anthony and Kyle Lowry. They have also reportedly been in contact with, or plan on contacting Luol Deng,  Jordan Hill, Trevor Ariza, Paul Pierce, James Johnson, and Pau Gasol. Many of us held out hope for a possible LeBron James landing, or Chris Bosh but it is looking as though the big three in Miami will stay with the Heat. The Boston Celtics resigned guard Avery Bradley to a 4-year, 32 million dollar deal and with that came speculation of Rajon Rondo being on the trade block.

After the fate of the big three in Miami and Carmelo Anthony are officially decided, the rest of the pieces in the NBA should fall into place. It is obvious that the Rockets’ number one option who is realistically available to the Rockets is Carmelo Anthony. The Rockets “rolled out the red carpet” for Anthony earlier today and the meeting reportedly “went well”. Chandler Parsons remains a restricted free agent, which means he is free to accept any offer from any team, but the Rockets have the ability to match that offer and retain Parsons.

Parsons has yet to officially be tendered an offer from a team and the longer that process gets held off the more beneficial it is for the Rockets.  Before the Rockets can match an offer that Chandler Parsons accepts, they must first have the the max level contract player and/or free agents signed. Because of the fact that Chandler Parsons’ cap number is so low the Rockets have the ability  to sign players and match that offer, but as soon as Parsons accepts an offer his cap number turns into whatever that contract number is. The Rockets would then have three days to match, which could crumble the Rockets’ plans in acquiring a potential big name. (According to Grantland’s Zack Lowe)

Many believe that the Chicago Bulls are the favorites to land Carmelo Anthony, and the Raptors favorites to keep Kyle Lowry. Carmelo Anthony would vault the Rockets to the top of the Western Conference and make them a legitimate contenders to win the Finals for the next three years. Carmelo would be undersized against most power forwards but on the offensive side Carmelo would be a match up nightmare. Kyle Lowry is the Rockets’ back up plan if they miss out on Carmelo, and would certainly still make the team better. Continue reading

McHale, Rockets blow last play of game

Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers, nba, playoffs. Damien Lillard, Chandler Parsons

The Houston Rockets blow the final play, Lillard sinks dagger to end Rockets’ season. Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer, USA Today Sports

The Houston Rockets come close, but blow the game with 0.9 seconds left.

The Houston Rockets fought valiantly and were able to take the lead 98-96 with 0.9 seconds left, but on the last play of the game allowed Damien Lillard to easily release and get off a 3-point shot for the win at the buzzer. It was  totally disheartening, crushing buzzer beating 3-pointer that ripped the hearts out of all Rockets fans.

One has to question the match-ups and the defensive strategy on the final possession of the game. Yes coach/coaching is going to take a lot of the blame when a team loses, but I haven’t been one to overly criticize McHale. However, this falls on him and the rest of the coaches.

Damien Lillard has hit a few buzzer beaters this season for the Blazers and the Rockets had to know he was most likely getting the ball. With 0.9 seconds there is no looking for the open man, the most skilled and versatile player is going to get that shot.

If Portland hits a tough 2 point shot it goes to overtime, but you absolutely cannot give up a 3 point shot to lose the game. McHale in the post game press conference said he specifically told the team no 3s. This raises a few questions about how the final played out.

Here were the match-ups at first before a timeout was called due to some confusion.

Initially Beverly is on Lillard, Lin on Williams, Parsons on Matthews, Harden on Aldridge (who knows how) and Howard guarding the inbound pass.

For some reason there was some confusion on the match-ups and Harden was on Aldridge. I think the Rockets would have been fine with the players they had on the floor. They just needed to rearrange Howard on Aldridge, Harden on Matthews, and Chandler Parsons guarding the pass.

Beverly is the best possible defender to stay with Lillard. NOT that Beverly can stay with Lillard, because he is so athletically quick and fast, but Beverly has the best chance out of anybody else on the Rockets to stick with him. The Trail Blazers had killed the Rockets, Beverly included, all series long setting screens for Lillard and letting him launch 3s. So this is something that could have been expected for Portland to do.

 

Here the Rockets are trying to get things straight during the timeout.

 

After the timeout the Rockets made a few changes, now Chandler Parsons is on Lillard, Beverly on Mo Williams, Dwight Howard on Aldridge, and Harden on Matthews.

I pointed out that all series long even Beverly had been getting caught on screens that resulted in Lillard hitting 3-pointers. And the screens were usually coming from Portland’s big men, on this particular play Mo Williams was on the screen.

Now if Beverly has trouble staying with and contesting Lillard on screens I don’t really understand the logic of putting a much slower and less agile Parsons on Lillard. I suppose the length over Lillard was why, but he has to be able to stick with Lillard first.

The second thing I don’t understand is why the Rockets didn’t switch defenders that they were guarding on the screen? The Rockets have been through these situations before, it even cost them a game against the Lakers during the season.

Mixing and matching players and having them switch would have been much easier to contest the Blazers’ player that got loose.

Maybe the Rockets were guessing that Mo Williams was going to end up with the last shot, and wanted Beverly on him? Who knows.

Lastly, McHale specifically said he told the team no 3s. So if that is the case it makes no sense that Terrance Jones is not blocking off the path to the 3-point line. Batum had a completely open passing lane to Lillard on the 3-pointer once he easily got away from the Rockets defense.

Terrance Jones is instead positioned to block a passing lane in the direction of Aldridge who is closer to the basket. So not only is there a bad match up for Parsons holding Lillard on the last play. And not only do the Rockets not switch on defense to better defend a man that got loose off of a screen. The Rockets also allow a totally open passing lane to the 3-point line to  the one Portland player who makes the most ridiculous and deflating 3-point shots.

It has been unbelievable all series long how Portland was able to hit so many incredible and improbable shots. No words.
Game footage courtesy of CSN Houston

Clutch City, Rockets Game 6

Houston Rockets, James Harden, Portland Trailblazers

James Harden must put the Rockets on his back. Photo Credit: Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images

What a win tonight would do for the Rockets

Forcing a game 7 with a win tonight would give the Houston Rockets an opportunity to shock the entire city of Portland and re-create some real Clutch City magic. The people of Portland think that they have the series won, and the Blazers’ players feel confident going in (so they say).

Some talking heads in the media believe the pressure is on the Rockets, and others say it is more on the Blazers. I personally believe the pressure is all on Portland because if they manage to lose tonight, I don’t see any way that they would be able to recover after being up 3-1. Aside from the Blazers players being mentally fragile on a verge of collapse, the atmosphere at Toyota Center for a game 7 would put them at an incredible disadvantage.

Also if the Rockets can pull it off tonight, it would mean that they are rolling and that they have figured out how to beat the Trail Blazers. Going into the series the Rockets might have overlooked the Blazers and underestimated the fight that they had.

The Rockets know that they should have this series wrapped up already, and disciplined play at the end of games would have secured the series for them. But having backs against the wall may have been the wake up call the Rockets needed to take the series back.

James Harden has to be the best player on the court

In order for the Houston Rockets to complete the series comeback James Harden must be the best player on the court. He has had a rough series, but the Rockets need him to be the superstar he can be because they are only going to go as far as he takes them.

Harden has put up a decent stat line at the end of games, but has lacked the efficiently. If Harden is play making, hitting shots, getting to the free throw line and playing a little bit of the defense the Rockets will not lose this series

The Rockets soaked up all the rebounds in game 5, getting 14 more rebounds than Portland and that is going to be a key tonight. The Rockets also assisted on 23 plays so they well need to continue getting each other basketball and have several players with 15+ points again.

Jeremy Lin was huge off the bench two nights ago and will need a similar performance off the bench tonight. I don’t know that Lin can come up big again like that in back to back games, so it might Troy Daniels that shines . Turnovers were down in game 5, and the Rockets have to keep them down again to prevent Portland from capitalizing on them like they have a knack of doing.

The Rockets were fortunate that LaMarcus Aldridge was able to be taken out of the game getting in early foul trouble, along with Asik’s continued great defense on him. We can’t rely on Aldridge only scoring 8 points again, but the Rockets must try to replicate the blueprint from game 5 that took Aldridge out of his flow. If the Rockets can stop Aldridge from scoring at will, it will be difficult for the Blazers to win.

Lets go CLUTCH CITY.