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Thread: Fox Sports Houston: Daily Rockets Update

  1. #26
    All World Pelicans78's Avatar
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    Rockets Get Defensive. Win 7 Out of their Last 9

    Despite losing Carmelo Anthony for a good stretch with a scratched cornea, the Rockets have won 7 out of their last 9 including going 5-2 without the all-world rookie. A big reason has been a much improved defensive effort. Throughout the season, the Rockets have been struggling defensively in the half-court allowing one of the highest FG% in the league. However, with the ability to cause turnovers, coach Jeff Van Gundy has employed an aggressive half-court trapping defense limiting easier shots and forcing more turnovers. Although teams are going to the FT line more, Van Gundy prefers that compared to giving up easy baskets. This method worked against the Celtics where Boston outshot the Rockets 35 to 15 from the FT line, yet also committed 25 turnovers helping the Rockets stage a stunning 4th quarter comeback. Teams have averaged 17 turnovers in the last 9 games against the Rockets and only shooting 43% in that stretch. A big reason for the success has been Manu Ginobili who is second in the league in steals including having 7 in the win at Miami. The team will be without Anthony for 2 more weeks so sustaining the defensive effort will be key to rack up more victories.

    Emeka Okafor - Joe Smith - Carmelo Anthony - Manu Ginobili - Jason Williams

    Al Jefferson - James Posey - Aaron McKie - Shaun Livingston

  2. #27
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    Manu Stepping Up. Showing Go-To Ability While Carmelo is Out

    When Carmelo Anthony went down with a scratched cornea, the Rockets knew they were going to have to count on Manu Ginobili to carry the load. Ginobili has been a strong second option all season and has brought defensive production being 2nd in the league in steals. With a tough 7 game stretch including 5 on the road, Manu came through helping the Rockets go 5-2 including tough road wins at Boston and Miami as well as winning against the Lakers in Houston. Manu averaged 23 points per game in the 7 game stretch including a dominate 34 point performance against the Lakers and 7 steals at Miami in a 97-95 win against the Heat. With Carmelo out for 14 more days, the team will continue to rely on Manu as the go to scorer.

  3. #28
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    With your disapointing record, where does the team plan to go from here? It seems like you will be following the Knick methodolgy in collecting picks and young players. Is this the direction going forward?
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  4. #29
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    Fox Sports Houston: Daily Rockets Update

    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post
    With your disapointing record, where does the team plan to go from here? It seems like you will be following the Knick methodolgy in collecting picks and young players. Is this the direction going forward?
    At this point, it will be draft picks. Still have guys tied for next season and outside of the big 3, no one else has much trade value. Training camp hurt my team as everyone got worse outside of Melo and Manu. Didn't see that coming. Also expected younger guys to improve and they got worse. So my depth got worse and a lot of guys are still signed into next season. I hate relying on draft picks because I signed veteran guys to help me win now, but right now I will have two top 5 picks which helps, but not really the path I wanted to go on because I will mix really young players with older players. Disappointing last sim. Really was back-breaking considering I went 5-2 the previous sim with a pretty tough schedule. Not sure why things fell apart this sim, especially losing two home games by 20+ points. I thought the previous sim helped me figure out things with the gameplan, but this last sim messed me up. Hopefully having Melo back helps.

  5. #30
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornets78 View Post
    At this point, it will be draft picks. Still have guys tied for next season and outside of the big 3, no one else has much trade value. Training camp hurt my team as everyone got worse outside of Melo and Manu. Didn't see that coming. Also expected younger guys to improve and they got worse. So my depth got worse and a lot of guys are still signed into next season. I hate relying on draft picks because I signed veteran guys to help me win now, but right now I will have two top 5 picks which helps, but not really the path I wanted to go on because I will mix really young players with older players. Disappointing last sim. Really was back-breaking considering I went 5-2 the previous sim with a pretty tough schedule. Not sure why things fell apart this sim, especially losing two home games by 20+ points. I thought the previous sim helped me figure out things with the gameplan, but this last sim messed me up. Hopefully having Melo back helps.
    I think you're doing fine considering you lost Melo for an extended stretch. Your worst contracts are starters on your team and you have a few years of rookie deals to pad those contracts. You're building one of the better teams in the league. Manu and Melo are an amazing core and you may end up getting and worse case you may get Okafor in the draft who would actually be pretty amazing on your team and do everything you expected from etan.

  6. #31
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    Losing season gets to coach Jeff Van Gundy. Criticizes media for lies and accusations.

    Van Gundy: I'm sick all of you guys just creating rumors for the sake of a good story. Show some integrity. You guys say we're trading this person or releasing this player and yet none of that has happened in two years. If you're gonna print a story, at least have some facts to back it up. And then to say that I'm satisfied with how the season ended is just a bold face lie by you people. I never said I was satisfied with a 50 loss season. I was pleased with the improvements I saw during the season and think the future will get better, but in no way am I satisfied with a 50 loss season. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. I don't even want to look at you guys right now.

  7. #32
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    Rockets Draft Day Coverage

    Rockets looking to fill holes in the Draft.

    Emeka Okafor hopes to return home on Draft Day.

    Van Gundy and Rockets GM at odds on how to improve the roster?

    Center spot will be up for grabs.

  8. #33
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    Rockets Looking to Fill Holes on Draft Night

    Rockets Looking to Fill Holes on Draft Night

    Missing the playoffs the last 3 seasons has allowed the Rockets to acquire high draft choices. In 2002, they selected SG Manu Ginobili. Last season, they selected SF Carmelo Anthony. This season they have the number 2 pick (from the Mavericks after trading PG Sam Cassell in 2002) and the number 6 pick. This team has young players mixed in with veterans. The team is locked in at the PG spot with Damon Stoudamire who is their best overall player and at SG with Ginobili and SF with Anthony. PF Etan Thomas is also locked in with his long-term contract. That leaves the center spot as a potential opening for a rookie.

    The center spot is not lacking in quality or quantity in the draft, but unfortunately for the Rockets, C Dwight Howard will most likely go with the first pick. Howard brings inside scoring and a strong defensive presence missing since the days of Rasheed Wallace and Kelvin Cato. After Howard, the 3 candidates with potential at the center spot are Houston native and former UCONN center Emeka Okafor, Mississippi high school star Al Jefferson, and Lativian native Andres Biedrins. Okafor is the reigning national player of the year leading UCONN to their 2nd national championship. He is polished with inside scoring and interior defense and rebounding having the ability to anchor the paint for years to come. Plus, he is a native Houstonian starring at Bellaire High School. Jefferson is a young phenom from Prentiss, Mississippi. The 18 year old averaged 42 points, 18 rebounds, and 7 blocks per game his senior season and spurned college offers from Arkansas and Mississippi State to enter the draft. While not as polished as Okafor, Jefferson brings upside at the center spot. Biedrins is a young 18 year old with no experience in the US. He averaged 18 pts and 9 rebounds per game in Lativa last season and brings potential with his energy, defense, and rebounding. He appears to be better suited later in the first round.

    Outside of the center spot, the team is lacking star power at the power forward position and depth across the board. While having depth at PF, neither Etan Thomas, Sofoklis Schortsianitis, nor Drew Gooden bring star potential at the position. Thomas is still locked in for 3 more season while Sofoklis and Gooden are locked in at rookie contracts. The team could look at adding moving one of the rookie centers to PF or go with high schooler Josh Smith who appears to be a SF for now, but could bulk up to a PF in future seasons. The small forward position is locked up with Carmelo Anthony, but long-term depth is lacking. Wally Szczerbiak is in the last year of his 3 year 15 million contract and Brian Cardinal will not be resigned. Duke freshman Luol Deng or Josh Smith could fit in nicely behind Anthony. Ginobili has the shooting guard position locked up, but long-term depth is lacking with veteran Voshon Lenard set to be a free agent after the season and 2002 1st round pick Maurice Evans making a minimal impact. Andre Iguodala, J.R. Smith, Kevin Martin, and Ben Gordon could slide in nicely behind Ginobili providing heavy fire power off the bench. Damon Stoudamire is arguably the team's best player and is still locked in for 2 more seasons. However Speedy Claxton is set to expire after the season leaving a hole at the backup spot. That could leave the Rockets going for Shaun Livingston, Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson, or Beno Udrih.

    The Rockets have big decisions to make on draft night. The team could fill holes with young players or even trade picks to acquire established veterans.

  9. #34
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    Rockets select C Al Jefferson from Prentiss High School to fill a need at center.

    Long-term should score in the paint and rebound well. Defensively will take time to evolve. Will battle with Brad Miller for starting spot.

    Next will be the 6th pick.

  10. #35
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    Rockets have no plans to pursue anyone in free agency. They are 8 million over the cap and have a full roster.

  11. #36
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    Training camp battles.

    C - Emeka Okafor vs Brad Miller

    PF - Etan Thomas vs Al Jefferson

    SG - backup - Voshon Lenard vs Tim Pickett

    PG - backup - Speedy Claxton vs Shaun Livingston

  12. #37
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    Rockets GM contemplating move on after 5th season.

  13. #38
    Can I get a hot tub? Soundwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicans78 View Post
    Rockets GM contemplating move on after 5th season.
    Please explain further.
    Quote Originally Posted by Conroy View Post
    I feel like I'm wasting my time compared to Sound.
    Quote Originally Posted by NOLa. View Post
    I think Sound just upped the standards in the league.
    GM of the Year


  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
    Please explain further.
    Looking for a long-term contract from the Rockets. I'm in the last year of my deal. Do or die this season.

  15. #40
    Can I get a hot tub? Soundwave's Avatar
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    Ok, sometimes I get confused wether you are the GM or the owner. Just making sure we are talking about an imaginary GM position. At least imaginary to us..........

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
    Ok, sometimes I get confused wether you are the GM or the owner. Just making sure we are talking about an imaginary GM position. At least imaginary to us..........
    I think I'm the GM. But I'm not exactly sure.

  17. #42
    Can I get a hot tub? Soundwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicans78 View Post
    But I'm not exactly sure.
    Me either.

  18. #43
    The Mad Titan    Contributor   
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    Fox Sports Houston: Daily Rockets Update

    I may become a "free agent" one day and take over a dead franchise in place of the lakers.

  19. #44
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! LoCo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallSoHard View Post
    I may become a "free agent" one day and take over a dead franchise in place of the lakers.
    I've also thought about doing this. Especially when it comes to getting new GMs. The way I see it is participation would be better among new GMs, if taking over a decent team rather than one of the teams in last place.
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  20. #45
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    I may be a free agent as well but not by choice. Missing the playoffs for 3 straight seasons is unacceptable, but missing a 4th straight season would just be disastrous.

    In fact, if I miss the playoffs again, I will (fill in the blanks...)

  21. #46
    Can I get a hot tub? Soundwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicans78 View Post
    I may be a free agent as well but not by choice. Missing the playoffs for 3 straight seasons is unacceptable, but missing a 4th straight season would just be disastrous.

    In fact, if I miss the playoffs again, I will (fill in the blanks...)
    Didn't you just fire Hornets78 as your GM?

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundwave View Post
    Didn't you just fire Hornets78 as your GM?
    He actually got moved to the business side of the operations.

  23. #48
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    What should the Rockets Depth Chart and Gameplan be with the current roster?

    Training camp will determine alot, but right now looking at the roster, this is what we expect to happen.

    C - Okafor, Miller (he can never find a starting role on this team), Collins
    PF - Thomas, Gooden, Jefferson (he's only 18 people!)
    SF - Carmelo, Wally Z
    SG - Manu, Voshon, Pickett
    PG - Stoudamire, Claxton, Livingston, Dickau

    I see the team going with a faster pace this season especially with the limited inside scoring. The team struggled offensively last season and may need to speed it up. Maybe Jefferson can change that, but he's still raw. I don't see much trapping or pressing with Okafor in the middle. He gives the team an added interior presence defensively. Offensively, I think the team will have a balanced attack with Melo inside and Manu and Mighty Mouse on the perimeter.

  24. #49
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    Training camp Update:

    Okafor will be the starting center over Brad Miller. Will provide a defensive presence.

    Etan Thomas remains the starting PF mostly due to his defense, plus the Rockets feel Jefferson will provide scoring off the bench until he improves defensively. Still, early struggles by Thomas and expect the Rockets to quickly insert Jefferson.

    Speedy Claxton is the backup PG, but expect rookie Shaun Livingston to get playing time. Rockets not happy with the regression of Damon Stoudamire. If the Rockets are out of the playoff race, expect Livingston to get heavy minutes and possibly see both Claxton and Stoudamire get traded by the deadline.

  25. #50
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    Rockets struggling behind the 3 point arc. Shooting only 33% from 3's.

    Voshon Lenard expected to be ready for the Rockets next game against the Kings. He dislocated his finger earlier in the week.

    Rockets Team Statistics

    Scoring - 104.1 (7th),
    Rebounding - 55.0 (4th),
    APG - 23.1 (17th),
    STL - 9.4 (7th),
    BPG - 7.3 (7th),
    TO - 12.6 (12th),
    oPPG - 91 (3rd)

    Team Leaders

    Scoring - Carmelo Anthony - 21.6 PPG
    Rebounding - Etan Thomas - 11.8 RPG
    Assists - Damon Stoudamire - 9.4 APG (8th in the league)
    Steals - Manu Ginobili - 2.6 SPG (6th in the league)
    Blocks - Emeka Okafor - 3.4 BPG (4th in the league)
    FG% - Brad Miller - 55.3%
    FT% - Carmelo Anthony - 88.9%
    3P% - Speedy Claxton - 50%

    Upcoming games

    Day 12 - Kings (4-2)
    Day 13 - at Bucks (6-2)
    Day 14 - at Clippers (2-5)
    Day 17 - at Jazz (3-7)
    Day 19 - Blazers (3-5)
    Day 20 - Lakers (4-5)

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