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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Houston, TX
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    January 2020 game thread

    We need a place to talk about games in here. We typically get off to a slow start every year, but the activity in here this season has been rough. I'm as much to blame as anyone, and I don't have the time to start a new weekly game thread every week. Let's at least start with a monthly game thread and see how it goes.

    So far, not a bad start to 2020. After a solid 10-4 December that ended in a total dismantling of Denver, I was worried about the Philly game last night. But Harden and Capela were outstanding, and I was impressed with how they kept counterpunching every time Philly made a run.

    Transition defense seemed like it was a problem last night (when is it now with this team?), but they outrebounded Philly and outshot them from the free throw line and 3-point line. I did think it was interesting that they only shot 32 3-pointers, though, but Harden and Westbrook were in attack mode all night long, and there weren't a ton of open looks for the supporting cast.

    Speaking of Westbrook, I'm glad the guy had a couple of big shots in the fourth, because he had a dreadful night. That stretch in the third when he blew that wide open dunk and was forcing everything allowed Philly to climb back into a game that the Rockets could have put away early. But he was pretty good in December and looked great against Denver, so I'm going to let it slide.

    I like the way the schedule works out the rest of the month. Four of their next five games are against non-playoff teams, and the playoff team is OKC. They do still have to face the Lakers, Utah, Dallas and Denver twice, but the Nuggets don't scare me, and only one of those games is the second of a back-to-back. The 2-6 seeds in the West are so tight right now; I'd love to see the Rockets have like a 12-2 or 11-3 month and take that 2 spot heading into February.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    35
    Agree with everything you said. I only get to watch a few rockets games a year (National tv, my cable doesn’t offer NBA Tv) and one live when they come to Milwaukee (remember when that was a gimme not too long ago), so a lot of times I only have highlights and box scores to comment on. These last two games and a few others sprinkled in there, especially the Toronto game, give me hope. Harden seems to really be adjusting to Westbrook and playing more under control. His efficiency has been better, while Westbrook is...well Russ. I cringe every time he shoots as I used to cheer when he took them against us. If he can just play a little more under control and attack like he did last night (or post like he did against Denver), we could be alright.

    I also like seeing coach go deeper into the bench (he played 10 guys last night), but Austin only played 7 minutes. Not sure if that was a match up thing or otherwise. Having Gordon back helps, hopefully he finds his rhythm soon. They give me hope that they have beaten some good teams, but cause me stress with some winnable losses (6 to subpar teams and choking away big leads against the bucks, mavs, and clippers).

    Will be interested to see how they match up with the lakers and jazz. I love how Clint showed up and showed out against Embiid last night and hope he can do that against Davis and gobert when we play those gyys. Not expecting 30 against them, but loved his activity and enthusiasm.

    Haven’t heard much on the trade front, other than the “chatter about trading Westbrook”, which is not going to happen this season unless Morey has his socks blown off. Not really sure what this team needs other than continued health, strong focus, and smart shot selection/clock management. Evan Turner is noted to be a buyout candidate, but I am sure he will be tied to the Lakers like everyone from Darren Collison to Andre Iguodala. Who knows, maybe we’ll get our faried this season too! I hope we can get a versatile big that can guard the Anthony Davis, Porzingis, and Giannis types. Tucker can’t guard the first and second best players on every team. I wish for a Millsap or Horford type, but know neither of them is available.

    Come on Morey, pull a rabbit out of your hat!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    6,827
    Good thoughts, you two.

    What’s up with a back to back (after 4 days off) starting in Atlanta and the next night a nationally televised game in Russ’s return to OKC? I guess he sits in Atlanta since he’s on a no back to back schedule?

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Gary Clark got waived.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    35
    Unnecessarily ugly win last night. I checked the box score around halftime and thought this might be hardens 60 point night again, but not so much. Glad McLemore showed up and EG hit thaf big 3. Coach has got to go deeper into that bench, especially on back to back nights. No reason why Clemons or sefalosha shouldn’t have got some burn last night, especially when they were up so big at one point. If D’Antoni isn’t here next season, I hope they get a coach that can protect harden from himself. We all know he’s a “hooper”, but he needs to rest sometimes. I am not sure if this teams leans on him as much as he thinks they do. I am not saying he isn’t a great player and we all know we go as far as he takes us, but the team is much more than him and Russ and until the coach stops treating it like that, I think we continue to struggle in games against inferior teams.

    So trade season is upon us and we know this team is not close to perfect. Does Morey go after love with Capela? Do we want that? Love helps the offense. He’s a decent rebounder, but his defense is lackluster. He might be a nice option in the post in a playoff/need a bucket type of situation. He and Russ played together in college. I love Clint and wouldn’t want to get rid of him, but love is available and Morey likes the big name. Maybe they do the trade and filler and bring back faried or look for a dedmon or buy out option.

    Looking forward to being able to watch the game tonight. I hope Russ doesn’t over sound it thinking he has something to prove...what am I saying, that is exactly what he’ll do. CP will also be out to prove something, but he’s so smart and can take over a game. Hopefully Gordon plays tonight and coach goes a little deeper. We are 10 deep, even if that is only 10-15 mins for some of the deeper bench guys.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2012
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    I’ve thought of this before now but now I’ll go ahead and say it. I don’t think this is going to work. Harden looks so disinterested at times and just proves to me over and over that he doesn’t really care about winning. Westbrook is what he is at this point.....amazing athlete that doesn’t know his limitations and has a low basketball IQ. The rest of the guys don’t matter enough to matter.


    Watching them at times is just pretty ****ing gross.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    What the hell is wrong with Harden the past few weeks? I think I’m going to stop watching every game for a bit until he gets his head out of his ***. Stupid cornrows.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2007
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    Huge win last night. I was thrilled for Eric to break out with a career game the way he did. And it was nice to see House and Rivers play so well. My hope is that Harden can climb out of this funk, and with the improved play of Westbrook, Gordon, House and co., we can finally see this team firing on all cylinders.

    I still have hope that this is going to work. But it's going to take Harden, Westbrook and Gordon all playing well for it to happen. Those guys are all getting paid a lot of money for a long time, so they've either got to figure it out, or this team and franchise is doomed for the foreseeable future.


  9. #9
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    Mar 2012
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    James has been in a slump here lately with a few wins sprinkled in. That Lakers game was great but thankfully I missed the PHX and Utah games as I was in Dallas (seeing the Mavs lose in the final seconds in a restaurant was pretty awesome Friday night). I’m so glad I didn’t watch the Utah game as I would have hated the last second loss AND it would’ve eaten in to my Switch time (just got one).

    Is Westbrook our MVP? Like ‘Tone posted on the main board, now that he’s not jacking up threes and attacking/attacking/kicking out he’s been so awesome.


    I guess EDU is dead.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2007
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    Houston, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddletramp View Post
    James has been in a slump here lately with a few wins sprinkled in. That Lakers game was great but thankfully I missed the PHX and Utah games as I was in Dallas (seeing the Mavs lose in the final seconds in a restaurant was pretty awesome Friday night). I’m so glad I didn’t watch the Utah game as I would have hated the last second loss AND it would’ve eaten in to my Switch time (just got one).

    Is Westbrook our MVP? Like ‘Tone posted on the main board, now that he’s not jacking up threes and attacking/attacking/kicking out he’s been so awesome.

    I guess EDU is dead.
    I caught pretty much the whole Lakers game a good chunk of the Celtics game. I caught a few minutes of the Utah game, but fortunately missed the end. Overall, I feel pretty good about the small ball experiment thus far. They have actually looked better defensively thanks to Covington and have certainly looked better offensively. Take out the ugly Phoenix loss (which feels like an outlier because of the back-to-back and Westbrook missing time), and they went 2-1 with two double digit wins against top 5 teams in the league and a last-second loss against another quality playoff team.

    Harden has been significantly better in February than he was in January, and Westbrook continues to be hot. And I think this current starting lineup with House and Covington on the floor just needs more time to gel, but has looked damn good on both ends of the floor. Gordon needs to get healthy and find some semblance of consistency before the playoffs, and Houston has to take advantage of an easy schedule to the end of the season.

    It's been dead around here, but maybe I'll start a new thread after the All-Star break and discussion will heat up. I'm not super high on this team as a legitimate championship contender yet, but it's been fun watching them lately and I've enjoyed this new brand of basketball they're playing. If nothing else, the end of the season should be super interesting.

    Side note, but I'm still holding out hope for a strong buyout acquisition. Not sure who it would be or what they'd be looking for, but a tweener big who could shoot some 3s and has some versatility defensively would be nice. I'm holding out hope for Mo Harkless.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    35
    I am with you guys. I was iffy on the small ball thing, but the small sample size has been successful. The way they swarm sometimes is a thing of beauty and they surprisingly still get a few blocks per game. I really was hoping we ended up with Tristan Thompson, Love, vucevic, or Horford at the deadline (when there was talk about or savings and picking up a center from the East). One more rotation player would be great and Harkless would be another good fit. Only problem is we seem to get one back and another goes out. Also, D’Antoni needs to get over the 8 man rotation, especially on back to backs without Russ. No reason he can’t let hartenstein, Clemons or chandler get 10-12 mins on those nights. When he has his full rotation, he needs to go 9 deep with harden, Russ, roco, house, Gordon, mac, thabo, tuck, and rivers. If we could get Harkless, that would be a solid 10 man rotation, but I’m sure he would drop thabo...who has been surprisingly solid in his minutes.

    I still worry what happens against the Sixers, bucks, and nuggets. I guess we will see. Still have to visit philly and mke. Not really sure what the buyout will bring, but during the celtics game they said the rockets were looking to fill both empty roster spots.

    Let’s shock the world boys!

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