Archive for the ‘Houston Rockets’ Category

Tough ‘talk’ … from a NBA coach’s perspective

November 14, 2008

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”Anonymous

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With the ‘taunting‘ that took place in the Raptors vs Celtics game, earlier this week, and the ‘skirmish‘ which then developed in the Rockets vs Suns ‘tussle’ … What qualifies as authentic Toughness, in the NBA today? … is a pertinent subject.

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Mitchell’s tough talk
“We want to be tougher from the standpoint of playing tougher defence, but I don’t get into that toughness thing,” Mitchell said. “The NBA has rules and no one is going to let you physically beat anyone up, and you can’t get into a guys face and trash talk or wave your finger in a guy’s face,” he added, clearly taking a shot at the crew that officiated the game in Boston on Monday and let Kevin Garnett do just that without being penalized.

“For me that stuff doesn’t mean anything,” Mitchell said. “For me toughness is executing. Going to set picks when you are supposed to set picks. Make hard cuts. Run the floor. Those types of things. Being mentally tough for me is when the game comes to a grind, being able to execute. That other stuff is more for the cameras. You really want to find out who is tough? Meet me behind the arena or in a back alley where it’s just you and I. Then you find out who is tough and who is fake tough because the camera is on.”

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Know that this space agrees 100% with the perspective of the Raptors’ head coach.

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Of particular interest, though, is the extent to which, the sentiments expressed by yours truly, sometimes, elsewhere in the blogosphere [in this case, yesterday] …

Sixers exact revenge as Wings waste Big 3 effort, Comment #119

… have a n almost magical way of preceding [by a day or two] echoing that which a real life NBA coach has to say on a specific matter.

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The good people at RaptorsRepublic.com are off to a fine start with their new venture.

This corner of the net would simply encourage all Raptors fans, everywhere around the globe and beyond, to drop by and participate freely in the lively exchange of thoughts and ideas which happens there daily, concerning the fortunes of this franchise.

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The Dream Shake that changed the NBA

April 7, 2008

Supreme salutations to the ‘Man from Lagos’ … whose ‘Coming to America’ changed the game forever.

Behold …

the newest member of the NBA’s Hall of Fame.

Update: In honour of Raps Fan … 2 more vid clips, Hakeem’s Greatest Hits and The Legendary Olajuwon. Enjoy!

Where 20 in a row happens

March 14, 2008

First things first.

Do yourself a favour and click this link. 

When the NBA unveiled its new marketing slogan this past summer … did you really envision that on March 14, 2008 there’d be a team in the league with a home page at NBA.com that opens up like that?

Hmmmmm …. didn’t really think so.

Know anyone who did?

* Brian McCormickHas Adelman Solved Houston’s Problems (Oct. 13, 2007)

All the hype is in Boston right now, but Houston will be the breakout team this year, both in terms of wins, play-off success and entertainment. If they get consistent PG play and stay healthy, there is no reason why the Rockets cannot win the championship and give Adelman the elusive title which would establish him as one of the era’s best coaches.

Q1. Who should get the lion’s share of credit for the Rockets’ historic streak?

(e.g. Rafer Alston, T-Mac, Daryl Morey/GM)

A1. One aspect of this streak that has been underplayed, to this point, is the effectiveness of Rick Adelman’s ‘System’ … which is quite unique and what Shane Battier recently made reference to when he said, “We have tremendous confidence in how we play the game.” (or words to that effect)

Rick is using, right now, everything he developed through his upper echelon years at Portland and Sacramento … long before the recent rise of the ‘Moneyball Concept’ advocated by Daryl Morey … to assemble a team of highly complimentary parts, capable of winning a swack of regular season games.

Although it took him an inordinantly long period of time to figure it out … when Adelman finally settled on Rafer Alston as the main PG for this team which, in conjunction with the move of Luis Scola into the starting line-up, and Aaron Brooks as the back-up PG, and using serviceable players like Carl Landry & Steve Novak in his regular rotation with Chuck Hayes & Luther Head … he made the type of personnel decisions that took the Trailblazers and the Kings to an elite level in the Western Conference.

Rick Adelman … has been THE key to the Rockets’ resurgence.

PS. Kudos to Brian McCormick.

PPS. Houston’s streak will end at 21-0 … when Kobe comes a-calling on Sunday, March 16, 2008.

UPDATE: Title should now read as ’22’ instead of ’20’.

Where the Rockets go from here

March 14, 2008

A 20-game winning streak … which equals the 2nd longest in NBA history … has propelled the Houston Rockets to the upper echelon of different Power Rankings compiled by NBA experts …

2007-2008 Holinger Power Rankings
FoxSports NBA Power Rankings
Yahoo! Sports NBA Weekly Power Rankings

And, yet … there are still divergent opinions about Houston’s long term prospects for

i) making the playoffs this season (in the ultra difficult Western Conference);
ii) going beyond the 1st Round of the Playoffs; and, eventually,
iii) winning a 3rd NBA championship.

Rocket’s Moneyball approach paying dividends (Mar. 13)

Kenny Smith – the Rocket’s prospects without Yao (Mar. 6)

Q1. What’s ahead for the Rocket’s version of NBA Moneyball?

A1. The current edition of the Rockets are built to (i) withstand a season-ending injury to their dominating #1 Center, (ii) win their fair share of regular season games, and (iii) even put together an historic 21-game winning streak … but, unfortunately, just like the principles of “MoneyBall” tend to run out of steam, annually, in the MLB post-season tournament … so, too, will such a fate befall an outfit in the NBA that adheres to this ‘statistical-based’ methodology for constructing its team with designs on ‘going the distance’ in June.

As Moses Malone first alluded to, 25 years ago … it (only) takes, “4, 4, 4 and (today) 4” wins to capture the NBA championship … and, MoneyBall-based teams, not built along these lines to begin with, are simply not equipped to get the job done right in this type of “quadruple 7-game series” environment.

NBA championships are won by teams that can …

I) Rebound, Defend and play efficient Offensive basketball, in a balanced way; with,

II) either 2 or 3 super ‘star’ players who can both (a) create and (b) take advantage of the different mis-match situations that exist on the floor, due to their unique and complimentary skill sets.

Without Yao, this no longer applies to the Houston Rockets.

Just watch & see.