NBA Purgatory

Neither the best nor the worst, the Rockets remain stuck in professional basketball's great midsection.

PREDICTION

As of now, early in the season, the stars are aligning for the Rockets to at least have hope that they could sneak into the back end of the Western Conference playoff mix. The perennial conference powers (Mavericks, Spurs, Lakers) look far more beatable, and the Grizzlies were just dealt a crippling blow with Zach Randolph's MCL tear. The flip side is the Thunder look like they're ready to make the jump to the elite level, the Clippers now need to be dealt with and Denver looks better without Carmelo Anthony than they did with him.

In the end, I can't get past just how weak this group is defensively. Until Dalembert works off his beer belly, they have next to nothing inside, and on top of that Scola and Martin are among the worst defenders at their respective positions in the league. This team has no trump card to mask its deficiencies. They are what they are.

Forward Luis Scola is the only current Rocket who has been in Houston for the entire Daryl Morey era.
Groovehouse
Forward Luis Scola is the only current Rocket who has been in Houston for the entire Daryl Morey era.
The good news is Kyle Lowry has grown into the Rockets' best player; the bad news is the Rockets' best player is Kyle Lowry.
Groovehouse
The good news is Kyle Lowry has grown into the Rockets' best player; the bad news is the Rockets' best player is Kyle Lowry.

They are your Houston Rockets. They are the ninth-place team in the West. My prediction: They will finish 34-32.

And the thermometer will continue to read 40.

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6 comments
HTown
HTown

If you look at the all the NBA champions since 1980, all the teams had at least one superstar. There may be one exception with the 2003-04 Detroit Pistons that real good starting five. So, based on the last 30 years a superstar is pretty much needed to win a championship. The Rockets do not have that super star.

thetruthsports
thetruthsports

The Rockets are ONE exceptional basketball player away from being the best team in the West, and until they get that player, being your favorite basketball teams, favorite basketball team, will continue

Polly Jenkins
Polly Jenkins

Of course luck has a lot to do about it but skill is in there too.

nobody
nobody

When Morey got to town, he inherited a team that had most of its salary tied up in two players (Yao and T-Mac). Using the very little wiggle room he had to work with, he assembled a remarkable amount of talent on the cheap: Scola, Lowry, Budinger, Hayes et al.

But that could only get him so far. He was forced to gamble that Yao would return to full strength. And it was a gamble that he obviously lost. This was, and to a large extent remains, a team built to revolve around a superstar that we no longer have.

So here we are: a franchise with arguably the best supporting cast in the league, with no centerpiece.

I understand King's sentiments about Morey. Until recently, I somewhat shared them. That changed when Morey had the deal in place for Gasol. Remember: the only reason it didn't happen was because of Stern.

I remain a believer in Morey. It's not just because he's playing Moneyball, although that's a big part of it. He understands the intangibles in finding good players, thinks strategically, always works several moves ahead.

Yeah, this season is gonna be rough. But I'm sticking with my team. And In Morey I Trust.

KING
KING

Never thought I'd say this, but it may be time to start looking at Morey as a possible source of these problems. Houston isn't L.A. and New York, but it sure as hell is a lot better than Oklahoma City. You're right in saying the team in its current make-up is built to be broken down, but that doesn't mean you still can't put a quality product on the floor. The trade pieces are there, but what's left if Morey does finally obtain a superstar? Two of last year's team captains are gone. The team is young and directionless and without a core in place to entice any superstar to want to come here.

Yao and McGrady were bad breaks. That's excusable. But those problems became evident SEVERAL seasons ago. There's no excuse for the fourth largest city in the country with a good infrastructure and flexible owner in place to not have a contending team.

Yeah, the pieces on the floor are not the answer, that's obvious. But it's time to start questioning whether the man putting these pieces together is the one to do it.

As String would say, 'There's games beyond the fuckin' game.'

Guest
Guest

That's insane. This proves what people have been saying about the league for years. Luck is more important than anything in the NBA.

The Bulls get Rose but the Wizards get stuck with John Wall, Blazers get Oden and the Thunder get Durant. The Rockets got their luck with Yao from the 12th pick position up to #1. The Spurs get Duncan...it happens over and over. Blaming Morey for not being able to fool a GM into a Pau Gasol to the Lakers deal isn't reasonable.

It looks like we'll have to take a shot on a player like Cousins or the like and make it a boom/bust thing.

 
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