The irony in Houston
As i start to recollect back to last summer, it was clear that the Houston Rockets had one goal in mind: stockpile talent and prospects in order to attempt to trade for Dwight Howard, even if he was unwilling to sign an extension in Houston. However, after the Lakers pulled off the trade for Dwight's services, Houston looked elsewhere.
After losing out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes last season, Houston was able to pull of an incredible trade. They were able to trade Kevin Martin, a prolific scoring 2-guard and Jeremy Lamb, the 12th overall pick in the draft over to Oklahoma City for James Harden. After the deal was completed, Harden signed a 5-year, $80 million dollar contract in Houston.
The Rockets only traded one of their first round draft picks and an expiring contract for a perennial superstar. That's amazing. Not only did they land a superstar in James Harden, but with the moves they have been able to pull over this past season, they were able to clear cap and acquire enough assets to try to convince Dwight Howard to sign there this summer, a year after Howard had very little interest in Houston.
Landing James Harden was a triumph for the Rockets, and with this feat, they were able to convince Dwight Howard, the best center in the NBA to leave the most prolific team in the league, the Los Angeles Lakers, and join the likes of James Harden and Chandler Parsons in an attempt to win an NBA Championship.
I just find it remarkable that the Rockets were able to miss out on an opportunity for Dwight, find another superstar, trade virtually nothing but a prospect for his services, and then acquire the pieces and salary space to be able to convince Dwight Howard to come to Houston the following summer, instantly turning Houston into serious contenders for an NBA Championship. Their front office deserves a ton of credit. Much respect to the Houston Rockets organization.
serious contender is too much cmon now.. Not only do their defense suck (Dwight will help), but now their high scoring offense will be containable by the Hack a Dwight method.. And the Spurs will use it in the playoffs..
&$#%#&@! that minus 11 even if it climbs up yo, and yea their defense did get a little better with dwight but still their only consistent d comes from the center position.but yea dwight will slow down their up tempo offense, still they need more than asiek's inside presence of 10pts a night on putbacks. And forget specifying the spurs whoever goes against houston in the playoffs will hack em.
if they gone keep asiek, i hope you guys realize greg smith just became a commodity to trade for. He is a solid inside presence that many teams need at the moment.
The thing Dwight did in Orlando was his defensive presence creates a defensive atmosphere amongst the team, Not only does he bring his own defense but his presence inside helps the whole teams defense. And their high scoring can't be containable by a hack-a-dwight method in my opinion, they have too many good scorers, if they start to hack dwight you just avoid giving him the ball and leave him to doing putbacks. Harden can create his own offense extremely well and I really love Parsons' game and expect him to improve even more this year. They're definitely a strong possibility in the west, think about their team in comparison to the others in the west.
Honestly, I'm wishing the Rockets do really well. They have a lot of great pieces moving forward.
Unfortunately, I don't think I will ever be able to get over Dwight and his immaturity. Houston COULD BE a great spot for him where McHale gives him some pointers on how to fake out a defender rather than just try to power through or throw up more of his hooks. On the other side, he could just start complaining as soon as they hit a losing streak and we hear reports about how James Harden is a "bad teammate" or someone on that team. I hate to be so pessimistic about it, but with that guy and all his past antics, can you really say that won't happen?
The Harden and Dwight combo kinda reminds me of the T-Mac and Yao combo, hopefully injuries doesn't ruin what they can become.
i really dont think howard had very little interest in houston last year. i thought brooklyn and houston were his 2 first choices, but then the magic wouldnt trade him there.
Parsons has to be the biggest bargain in the league. He is signed the next two years and both seasons they will pay him under 1 million dollars. I think he will be even better with Dwight giving him more open looks and should score at least 16 a game and shoot over 40% from 3. If they get solid PG play they are certainly a threat to win it all...that could be a big if though.
Parsons was also a major part in convincing Dwight to come to Houston by talk/texting with him every day, becoming good friends, and answering all his questions. Can't ask much more from a 2nd rounder.
I can see Houston coming out of the West this upcoming year. The West is deep but it is full of very, very good teams but no locks as title
The Rockets did a fantastic job building this roster. Getting Harden was almost luck, but you have to give Morey credit for being an active GM. He was eager looking for another star. In his interview with Zach Lowe, he admitted that his team was going to be awful before the Harden trade. But before the season began, he was able to trade "potential" for a bonafide scorer.
I'm still a little skeptical how good the Rockets will truly be next season. If Dwight can reach his Orlando form then this team could be scary. But if he's still hampered from back problems, this team could easily be a 5 seed.
Goes to show you what careful planning and execution by an organization can lead to. Don't just make fast quick decisions all the time aiming for the fences. (Bryan Colangelo, Mark Cuban)
Houston I think will have a lot of regular season success. Could be a 3 seed. I think Dwight is in a perfect place and will be healthier and an anchor defensively. I think they are a solid PG and veteran on the bench short of being a contender though. Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverly are good bench guards. Not great starters or great shooters which this team needs. If they can somehow get a good shooting PG and veteran they could be a force. Thinking off the top of my head of guards that would fit maybe Mo Williams or a Luke Ridnour. Then a bench veteran like they lost in Delfino. Someone who has been around and won't mind taking a big shot or taking a charge. Otherwise this will be a successful regular season team that can win in the first round but would struggle after that. Not saying they are a top team in the west but think their style can win a bunch of games. Think teams like OKC, LAC, SA and maybe even GS could be better teams but maybe not in the regular season.
Interesting stat courtesy of Henry Abbott of ESPN:
Asik was on the floor for 62 percent of the Rockets' minutes last season, during which time the team was very good, outscoring opponents by six points per 100 possessions. During the other 38 percent of the season the team was so bad that all the other big-minute Rockets -- Harden, Chandler Parsons, Lin -- finished the season with negative plus/minus ratings.
The OP makes a GREAT point. That Harden was huge.
Lets dig a little deeper though because Morey's luck is bigger than that.
Lets go back to the infamous Chris Paul trade that Stern killed for no valid reason (and then had to convince Dell Demps not to quit by making him looking like a figurehead GM/puppet).
The real loser of the deal getting killed was the Rockets, who were poised to not only acquire Pau Gasol in the deal, but then use their cap space to land Nene and build around that front court.
Now, they still coudl've made the Harden deal IIRC. But I think we're seeing that stern's egregiously bad act actually helped take Dwight from LA more than he could've imagined. And I'm glad it's his fault everyone got messed up.
Getting Harden was the key to Houston getting D12 undoubtedly, with Harden there Dwight saw long term potential of a star running mate which few other teams could offer. Players from the 1990's may still be stars but the younger players maybe look long term to see what the roster will be and what the window is. Short of linking up with CP3 somewhere, I would think Harden was very high up on Dwight's list of available running mates.