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  1. #1
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    April 2018 Game Thread

    There's not a ton of games left, but I figured there still needs to be a way for us to discuss Rockets basketball until the playoffs.

    I caught a good chunk of the first half of last night's game, and it really felt like the team took that Spurs loss and D'Antoni's comments about being out of rhythm seriously. Harden was a monster, and Capela had one of the most dominant games I can recall of him from recent memory. It felt like they were treating it like a playoff game, and it was obvious Washington didn't stand a chance about halfway through the first quarter.

    These last four games don't matter much, but I would like to see them win all four if possible to go into the playoffs on a high note. The matchups against Portland and OKC will be especially interesting to watch. And if they could somehow win 67 games, that would truly be something special as I believe only 12-13 other teams in NBA history have accomplished that.

    On a minor note, Ryno banged up his knee last night. I wouldn't be surprised if they shut him down until the playoffs. But hopefully he's OK and will be back soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giannis94 View Post
    Bucks vs raptors in the ECF. Mark my words.

  2. #2
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    So, we're down to the two final days of the regular season. The Rockets play two meaningless back-to-back games in the West coast. Meanwhile, we still don't know who the Rockets will face in the first round. Three games will decide that: the Wolves and Nuggets play an early Playoff game for their lives on Wednesday (going to be one hell of a game), the Pelicans and Spurs meet in New Orleans and the Thunder get the Grizzlies hoping avoid both the Rockets and the Warriors with a win. Assuming the OKC beats Memphis, the three scenarios are:

    If Denver beats Minny, the Rockets get the loser of the NO/SA matchup.

    If Minny beats Denver, and NOLA beats San Antonio, the Rockets get the Wolves.

    If Minny beats Denver, and San Antonio beats NOLA, the Rockets get the Pels.

    Interestingly, the Rockets can't get the Nuggets in Round 1.

    And if you're looking to avoid the Spurs, you should be rooting for Minnesota.

    All of that is assuming OKC beats Memphis. I'll get back with a scenario where OKC loses.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, those Minnesota/Denver and San Antonio/New Orleans games will have a huge say in the Rockets' first and second round matchups. Ultimately, though, if the Pelicans lose, then they're sitting at 8th. Even at home with the best player on the floor, I just don't see an Alvin Gentry-coached squad beating Pop in a playoff atmosphere. But if the Pelicans pull it out, I'm fine with the Spurs or the Wolves.

    In an unrelated note, Mbah a Moute dislocated his shoulder again last night and is out for at least the first round of the playoffs. Some people in other forums were faulting D'Antoni, but I don't. Yeah, you don't want to hurt your key rotational guys if you can avoid it, but they can't just rest every single relevant rotational piece these last two games. Mbah a Moute was going to have to play at some point.

    Hopefully he takes some time to heal and is OK for Round 2. If nothing else, having him for the WCF would be really huge. So I'm just hoping he gets back by then...

    Quote Originally Posted by Giannis94 View Post
    Bucks vs raptors in the ECF. Mark my words.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, Luc's injury is definitely unfortunate, to say the least. According to Feigen, the Rockets are "hopeful" the injury is less severe than the one he had in December, which caused him to miss a month, but they expect him to be out at least through the first round. In the 15 games he missed that time, the Rockets went only 8-7, including that 5-game losing streak and 7 losses in 9 games, while also losing in his first game back.

    Edit: By the way, I also don't blame coach D'Antoni for the injury, as Luc is actually a backup who would need to play even if D'Antoni elected to rest his main guys, because you still need 9-10 guys playing. You rest all 5 starters, plus Ryno who's out and maybe EG, how the hell are you supposed to rest backups as well?

    With that said, I hope to see guys like Qi, Quarterman and Black playing a lot of minutes tonight, no matter how ugly it's going to be.

    About the Playoff race, this covers every scenario, from the NBA:



    Basically, the Rockets can get OKC, Minny, SA or NO. If OKC somehow loses at home against Memphis, they're 8th. There's no chance they finish 7th to face the Warriors.

    There's a scenario that would be just perfect for the Rockets, in my opinion. Minny beats Denver, NO beats SA, OKC wins, and Utah beats Portland. That way, the Rockets get the Wolves in Round 1, and the winner of Blazers and Pelicans in Round 2, with the Spurs getting the Warriors in Round 1, and both Utah and OKC falling to their side of the bracket. If you're not confident in a Pelicans win against the Spurs, getting the Pels in Round 1 is also fine. Just hope for OKC and Utah wins, and the Rockets get the winner of Portland and San Antonio in the second round.
    Last edited by EDUTEXANS; 04-11-2018 at 06:38 PM.
    Rockets | Texans | Astros



  5. #5
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    Ah, one thing I've been meaning to bring up and just remembered watching the game last night, the Rockets signed Tim Quarterman to a 2-year deal, with the second year (next season) fully non-guaranteed, which is an obvious asset for a trade before June 30th, when his contract is fully guaranteed (see all LeBron James trade via the Chris Paul route rumors), as non-guaranteed contracts are now worthless under the new CBA.
    Rockets | Texans | Astros



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    Ah, one thing I've been meaning to bring up and just remembered watching the game last night, the Rockets signed Tim Quarterman to a 2-year deal, with the second year (next season) fully non-guaranteed, which is an obvious asset for a trade before June 30th, when his contract is fully guaranteed (see all LeBron James trade via the Chris Paul route rumors), as non-guaranteed contracts are now worthless under the new CBA.
    And as I say this, the Rockets release Quarterman, to sign Aaron Jackson. Same kind of contract it appears, through.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    Basically, the Rockets can get OKC, Minny, SA or NO. If OKC somehow loses at home against Memphis, they're 8th. There's no chance they finish 7th to face the Warriors.

    There's a scenario that would be just perfect for the Rockets, in my opinion. Minny beats Denver, NO beats SA, OKC wins, and Utah beats Portland. That way, the Rockets get the Wolves in Round 1, and the winner of Blazers and Pelicans in Round 2, with the Spurs getting the Warriors in Round 1, and both Utah and OKC falling to their side of the bracket. If you're not confident in a Pelicans win against the Spurs, getting the Pels in Round 1 is also fine. Just hope for OKC and Utah wins, and the Rockets get the winner of Portland and San Antonio in the second round.
    Yeah, I agree that's the best case scenario. Even though the Rockets handled the Blazers this season, they still scare me a little bit, but they scare me a hell of a lot less than OKC, Utah and the Spurs (in the unlikely event that Kawhi makes an appearance). As of halfway through the 7 p.m. games, that scenario is looking pretty damn good. If Minnesota and New Orleans hold on, it'll be up to Utah. It feels icky to root for the Jazz, but I'll take it if it gets them an easier path to the Finals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giannis94 View Post
    Bucks vs raptors in the ECF. Mark my words.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, it's looking good right now. Works with an 18-point lead. But if Portland beats Utah, it's OKC or Utah in Round 2 for the Rockets.

  9. #9
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    Minnesota it is. Amazing game. Certainty did not disappoint. But the Wolves don't scare me at all. The Rockets obviously swept them during the season, and after watching the whole game tonight, I feel confident they can swept them again in the Playoffs. They don't space the floor, they don't even bother to create mismatches, Teague always has that look that he'd rather be anywhere else, Wiggins completely disappears for huge stretches and Butler has played 3 games since coming back. And they have Crawford and Rose coming off their bench. Taj Gibson is a monster defending the post, but fortunately the Rockets don't post up bigs like Denver.

    OKC and New Orleans won, so it's up to Utah now to secure the best possible scenario for the Rockets.

    The wolves reach the Playoffs for the first time in 13 years, but the news is Russell Westbrook averaging a stupid triple double.

  10. #10
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    Watching last night's Rockets-Kings game, I'm guessing this Black-Onuaku-Qi won't see many minutes in the Playoffs.

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