I'm going to rant a little before getting to my main point.
After watching these first two games, two things became clear to me.... The Rockets need a post presence, they get absolutely nothing out of the 4 spot and James Harden is probably the worst defender of all the stars.
Our power forwards don't even get PT under McHale! Jones was showing out towards the end of the season and now he gets no PT! T-Rob isn't even close to what we thought he'd be. D-Mo didn't show anything and Greg Smith is inconsistent. I'd be more than happy to sign Dwight this off-season regardless of his drive or even trade for Pau Gasol and the 1 year left on his contract.
As for James Harden, he'll never be Top 5 in this league until he plays with more heart and tries harder on the defensive side. I hate seeing him settle for outside jumpers and I hate watching him attempt to play defense. It's so lackadaisical!!! I die a little with every lazy swipe he takes or anytime his man beats him back door. He sags off so much and always has his back turned and gets caught ball watching. It's pathetic! I've been noticing it all season, but it just isn't improving at all. One would think if you're slumping from the outside you'd drive, but no.... He continues to shoot. Keep in mind this is the first time as a Rockets fan I've seen him slump with us. It started with the Lakers game I think. He was one of the most efficient players in the L up until the last week of the season and playoffs. I think it has to do with all the minutes and games. I'm not sure... Okay end rant.
The real point of this thread was for me to ask the question...
Would this team with Howard be a contender?
Would this team with Gasol be a contender? If so, what would it take to get Pau over? I think a trade of Jones, Smith, 1st Rounder, Garcia, or Beverley would work. Some sort of combination involving those pieces. I haven't really looked too much into it so I don't know the contract situations and numbers.
Al Jefferson would fit real nice with you guys
Also, he played under McHale for a year in '08 on the Twolves.
Jefferson AND Asik on D? Who is going to defend 4's?
I don't see him as a big man on a contending team although I have thought about him before too. We just strike out on so many bigs.. Dwight, Bosh, and Gasol. We almost had Marc and Pau! It's ridiculous. Hopefully Harden really is recruiting for us.
Also, I'd like to point out McHale is a horrible coach when it comes to late game situations. He made some nice adjustments yesterday, but I could've told you to start Beverley and play small-ball. In fact, I tweeted that right after the blowout game on Sunday. After TO's he always draws up a play and it hardly works.. He sits Lin way too much at times and his rotation is horrible imo. Garcia, Delfino, and Parsons shouldn't all be on the floor together. There are so many more things I could point out about him. I like him, but he isn't a Championship coach. Hopefully he steps down or something. I feel for him, but I don't see him taking us anywhere. I've heard rumors of a Stan Van Gundy hiring and Dwight Howard reunion because they've been talking.
I honestly think you guys will land Dwight. The way he has been playing latley, it seems he is ready to leave LA. Plus Howard would play well alongside Harden because for one, Harden doesn't mind passing the ball. Plus Dwight would give that team a boost defensivlely because like you said, they have no post presence. Is it possible the Rockets could sign both Josh Smith and Dwight Howard? I know the Rockets have a lot of cap space but I don't know if they have the money to sign both of those guys. But a starting 5 of Lin/Beverly, Harden, Parsons, Smith, and Howard sounds like a team contending for a championship. I know its just been a couple of games but I really like how Beverly plays and I would start him over Lin honestly. Maybe have Lin come off the bench
The shouldn't have traded Patrick Patterson, he put up double figures scoring, and traded him for Thomas Robinson who can't get off the bench, he looks like a bust.
Terrence Jones could develop into a nice athletic 4, although I don't see him a post-presence who post's up on the block and you can work your half-court offense around. He's kinda Josh Smith-lite, hopefully with a better IQ and work ethic.
I think Paul Millsap would be a good fit. He is an underrated defender and also has an ability to stretch the floor for Asik to stay down in the post.
Dwight should be the #1 target, even if Asik is a high-quality defensive C.
Dwight checks off most of the boxes we need:
1) A #2 option
2) A big that can catch, finish, and score from the post (relatively well)
3) An athletic, full-court big who can play both ends
Jones has the tools to be our long-term 4. Whenever he gets on the court, good things happen, but right now it's apparently his maturity which has kept him out of the playoff rotation. I think he'd help quite a bit against OKC, but that's the coach's call. I'm hoping he matures and works on his game this offseason.
Millsap and definitely Jefferson are not the answer. Jefferson's impact has never matched his numbers.
Asik can then be flipped in a trade. We need a wing off the bench with athleticism who can defend. Otherwise, Parsons wears out on D (see: last night chasing Durant), and doesn't make the needed impact we need on O.
Would this team with Howard be a contender?
Yes. Howard is exactly what they need. This team is built very similarly to the Magic teams Howard had a lot of success with a lot of three point shooting. The difference is Harden is much better than anyone he had on the perimeter there. Also, Harden and Howard are kind of perfect for each other. Harden isn't quite a #1 on a legit contender, but part of what has made him so good this year is his confidence to be the go-to guy. With Howard, he'd have a top 5 player in the league but could still be the crunch time scorer. Howard, despite being one of the best in the league, really needs a perimeter star because he just can't do a lot of things late in games. And finally, from Howard's perspective, what's a better situation? I know about the glory of playing in LA and everything, but going to a team on the rise with a 25 year old star vs playing on the Lakers, with a beyond washed up Steve Nash, Gasol, no idea when Kobe is returning and no cap room? C'mon.
Dwight Howard alongside James Harden would make Houston a 50 win team but I do wonder would they really contend in the play offs, it's almost a hark back to the Yao-T-Mac era.
I personally like the idea of them getting Pau Gasol, they have some nice team options they could offer the Lakers and a few young pieces so the deal could work. Also Millsap would be an under-rated signing as he'd be a rock solid durable PF who could also stretch the floor and give another good scoring option.
@#$//*&##! Royce White. @$//^^###&
I think millsap would be a great fit, he will space the floor and rebound, but he isnt a second star so that would be a problem. I know they probably couldnt do it, but if they could get him and howard and find a way to dump asik that would be the best thing for them, I dont think it would work but if they were able to do it they would be contenders for the championship.
Too bad we got robbed with that Perkins foul in game 2. This series should be 1-1 going back home.
Millsap would not really need to be the 2nd star as they already have a good supporting cast around Harden. I wonder if they might take a short term look at David West for a veteran presence for a couple of years, they could front load his deal this year to balance out Lin and Asik's big salaries in 2014-15.