Daryl Morey-Snub of the Century

Daryl Morey-Snub of the Century

I may not be Russell Westbrook’s biggest fan, but that guy deserved the MVP award. As a Rockets fan, I would’ve loved to see someone from the city of Houston make that acceptance speech (that Westbrook wrote when Durant signed with Golden State) on Monday night and be added to a list of legends. However, Harden not winning the Most Valuable Player award says a lot more about the all-around strength and skill-set of the Houston Rockets team than it does about the discrepancy in numbers between Harden and Westbrook. This team that I speak of, was developed by a man who goes by the name of Daryl Morey, the best executive in basketball. So while maybe Harden deserved MVP over Westbrook because of the overall success of his team, he was not the biggest Houston snub at the NBA Awards…by far. In the 2015-2016 season, the Rockets were still led by James Harden, had arguably a better center in Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverly was a defensive presence to be reckoned with and Trevor Ariza and Jason Terry were two of many solid role players. Those Rockets, at 41-41, finished in the 8th seed in the West and saw an early first round exit. This is where the term, “In Morey We Trust” became a reality. Dwight left Houston, but Morey had all the faith in Clint Capela. He went out and signed Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to four-year deals, something that many other executives and analysts grimaced at due to the injury history between the two. He then brought in Mike D’Antoni, a storied head coach whose...
MVP or Not-LeBron James Still Runs the NBA

MVP or Not-LeBron James Still Runs the NBA

I know you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks now. You can look at this in one of two ways. A) You can be resentful and annoyed or B) You can be grateful that you didn’t have to suffer through whatever tantrum I would’ve thrown over the last two games of the Rockets/Spurs series. But c’mon man. If you’re Houston, how do you manage lose a game in overtime in which you lead the entire game while the other team’s best player rode the bench throughout the whole overtime period? If that wasn’t sad enough for Houston…okay okay I’m done. In a few days from now, all basketball fans will gather ‘round their televisions to watch the most anticipated NBA finals of my lifetime. Going into the preseason, both the Warriors and the Cavaliers had an 80% chance to reach the finals according to the Westgate Las Vegas Sports Book, which were the best combined preseason odds in league history. People are always talking about how intriguing the all-star game would be if it actually meant something to the winning conference. Well, I can promise this 7 game series won’t be too far off from that dream scenario. Between LeBron, Kyrie, Love, Richard Jefferson, Deron Williams, Steph, Durant, Draymond, Iggy and Klay, there are 10 players who were All-NBA caliber at one point or another in their career, with the majority of them being probable hall of famers. No need to worry. I’m not here to bore you to sleep with another finals preview. This might be the first time in NBA history where the team names...
Why the Playoff Field Should Fear the Houston Rockets

Why the Playoff Field Should Fear the Houston Rockets

The only thing that should scare the Western Conference more than the Rockets 31-point blowout of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the series opener is the way in which they won that game. Possessing arguably the best offense in the NBA, the Houston Rockets averaged just over 115 points per game, a total nearly 10 points per night higher than their total from last season. The way in which the Rockets won over 50 games this year through their unique ability to run away with a game with a barrage of three pointers was well documented and has kept the rest of the contenders in the West on their heels. However, nothing should scare the rest of the playoff teams more than the idea that the Rockets shot poorly for the majority of game one, turned the ball over, and still blew the Thunder out enough to give Bobby Brown some playing time. Now, if you only watched the fourth quarter which consisted of James Harden hitting three pointers at will with a smile on his face, stop reading. Sure, Harden had 37 points and Eric Gordon eventually got hot. As usual, both of these guys helped the Rockets out greatly. However, their shooting was nowhere near the reason the Rockets won this game in the fashion that they did. In game one, the Rockets beat the Thunder at Thunder-basketball. Oklahoma City came into the game as the leagues top team in both rebounds and points in the paint. The Rockets walked into game one as arguably the best three point shooting team this league has ever seen. The...
LaVar Ball Adds to the Pressure That Lonzo Is Bound to Face

LaVar Ball Adds to the Pressure That Lonzo Is Bound to Face

The insurmountable pressure on a first round draft pick begins to build up long before we even remotely have an idea of what the draft order will look like in late June. From the college basketball preseason through March Madness and beyond, basketball analysts spend much of their time determining where each collegiate star will end up falling in the upcoming draft. While guys like Maryland’s Melo Trimble go through the season undecided on their future, big name college stars such as Josh Jackson and Lonzo Ball treat the season as a resume builder for NBA franchises. This isn’t to say that every college basketball star is only focused on their future, because many of these guys pour their heart and soul into trying to win a national championship. The point I’m trying to make is that elite college basketball players are exposed to loads of unnecessary publicity for people of their age. The last thing these young guys need is more pressure added on by their own actions…or family members. The way Lonzo Ball carried the 2016-2017 UCLA Bruins did not go unnoticed. While Jimmer Fredette’s ability to score at will for BYU during his premier year and Willie Cauley-Steins defensive presence in the paint for Kentucky two years ago helped carry their teams, there wasn’t an area of the game where Lonzo Ball didn’t succeed. With Chris Paul-like vision, Curry-like scoring abilities, and a defensive presence that allotted him almost two steals per night, Ball proved to be the backbone of this Bruin’s squad. As I stated earlier, a season-long performance like this most certainly would not...
It’s Time We Put This Issue to Rest

It’s Time We Put This Issue to Rest

As much as it would have bothered me to show up to the highly priced Cavs vs. Rockets game last week only to realize that LeBron and Kyrie decided to take the second night of a back-to-back off, I would have at least respected the idea. However, if I pay $400 to go watch two NBA powerhouses face off with the playoffs around the corner, you’re damn right I’m going to be pissed off if I have to watch the 65-year-old Richard Jefferson-led Cavs get run out of the building. Fortunately for me, this wasn’t the case. But what about the guy with a low-income job who saves up some extra spending money throughout the year so he can buy tickets to watch LeBron James make his once a season appearance against his favorite team? Would we still be talking about this if teams at least had the courtesy to rest their stars at home where they play 40+ times a year? Jordan never needed to rest. When’s the last time James Harden took a night off for the Rockets? At the very least, rest these guys at home rather than on the road. On the same day that LeBron came out and defended the idea of resting star players, James Harden let the media know that he just wants to play and he’ll rest “when [he’s] done”. Now, while I could sit here and pick apart the star players in the NBA for showing up on the box score as “DNP-Rest,” this problem lies with in the NBA’s lack of punitive decisions and it’s unfixable scheduling issue. Unfortunately, there...
Assessing the NBA Trade Deadline

Assessing the NBA Trade Deadline

  If you read my last article, you probably learned that this year’s deadline was more predictable than usual. Charles Barkley could have called some of these deals…okay maybe not, but still. While most owners and general managers spent the last 24 hours of the deadline on the phone with other executives around the league, Mark Cuban spent his time engaging in Twitter wars with Bleacher Report and Trump supporters. The Warriors would have most likely been more involved in the sweepstakes for wingmen on the trade block if Durant’s injury had happened before the deadline, but the bright side is that this gives them yet another year to use a knee injury as an excuse for not beating Cleveland in the finals. Oh and did I mention the Knicks suck? There was much hype about a possible blockbuster deal involving Jimmy Butler or Paul George, but the biggest name dealt was Demarcus Cousins. Apparently, the Pistons offered the Kings Drummond for Cousins but Vlade Divac determined it would be very un-Sacramento Kings-like to improve the roster, so they settled for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and that other guy who’ll be in the D-League by mid-March. Nevertheless, here are my winners and losers of this year’s deadline. Winners Houston Rockets What the Rockets got in Lou Williams might be less of an impressive feat than what they gave up for him. Corey Brewer hasn’t hit a shot since Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 2015 and the Rockets appear to be getting a pick in the late 20’s in this upcoming draft. Aside from the Rockets taking...