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This week we have an honest discussion about Royce White, the unappreciated tenacity of Patrick Patterson and we look ahead to the playoffs, That's right. Playoffs.
We sadly didn't get any submissions this week, probably because we are a bunch of bigoted hooligans that want nothing more than to watch the world burn. We're OK with this. But still, this is no fun if you guys don't play along...
On with The Spill:
Abel Prado: We still haven't gotten anything in the tdsbpspill@gmail account. have you got anything on your end?
BD34: Nope. We are currently left to our own devices.
AP: That makes me sad. Why wont anyone talk to us? I'm thinking we should have a conversation about Royce White. But like, a real one.
Personally, I think he has a very small chance of being successful in the NBA given the severity of his condition that has now forced him to miss an entire week of camp, several preseason games and the entire season so far. I'm familiar with his type of G.A.D. and I know how hard it can be. That being said, what's so frustrating about the White situation is that he doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get a handle on this and begin his career.
None of communiques coming out of White seem to suggest that he wants to play basketball. His twitter feed his littered by missives demanding "equal treatment" of all and he seems to be quite proud of not making any concessions when it comes to his treatment. And that is well and all but, Royce, its not up to the Rockets to bend to your every whim because you have a mental illness. They can certainly make accommodations (and they've made several) but White doesn't seem to understand that its up to HIM to manage his illness as best he can and maintain accountability to his employer.
I just fail to understand why he has not reported to the team or the Vipers (especially puzzling, when you consider that the Vipers don't have to fly as often).
So where does that leave us? Do you think there is any chance of the Rockets seeing any payout from their first round selection?
BD: Royce is just a gigantic pain in my ass lately. His crusade about anxiety is subsequently cheapening everyone without a severe mental disability the way he carries on on Twitter. Raising awareness is one thing. Exploiting your condition as though it puts you on the same level as schizophrenia is another. More to the point he is propagating misinformation about what a reasonable accommodation is under the ADA. Last I checked, he wasn't pre-law or undergrad and he really shouldn't be espousing bad information on Twitter to a group of people who will lap up his comments like manna from heaven.
I think his ultimate shortcoming is simple. In high school he was most likely "the man" on his team. In college he was "the man." Now, in the NBA, he's playing with a bunch of guys who were "the man" and some of them were that on transcendent levels. He had to deal with his anxiety, let's not shortchange that, but his current behavior really shows that he's having more of a problem dealing with not being a focal point and not receiving some sense of praise for his work more so than it is his anxiety shackling him.
I've blown up my Twitter feed more than a few times espousing how sick I am of his schtick. He's exploiting the ignorant who hear mental illness and immediately join his crusade. He's consistently giving the Rockets Hell for not having some elaborate structure in place with playing time in order to cater to his demands yet he'll never directly tell you what Houston is doing wrong or what exactly he wants (Aside from what I just mentioned before). It's just baseless whining he's doing at the moment because based on the FACTS we do know the Rockets have; (1) provided him with a therapist, (2) got him alternative travel plans to drivable games (Something the ADA doesn't require if your job requires long distance air travel, mind you), and (3) have remained silent on Royce aside from stating that he is still someone they hope to help. Royce has; (1) ranted against the Rockets on Twitter, (2) started a slander campaign against the Rockets protocols for dealing with mental illness (A team that once housed Ron Artest, mind you), and (3) refused to accept any of the accommodations Houston has provided for him. That third point, the critical one, is the problem. You're gonna starve if you don't eat what you've got. Royce is starving and it's his own damn fault.
I'm a little more than peeved at him, I hope that's not subtle. His career is a waste, his crusade is a waste, and ultimately, he is a waste for the entitled attitude he's trotting out at the expense of people who can't see through his BS.
So, can we get to talking about how Patrick Patterson (rebounding aside) is going to give some people slight pause against going out and offering a stupid ass max contract to a guy who really doesn't deserve it this summer?
AP: Patterson is certainly making people pause. And the attitude towards him is kind of indicative of how insatiable the typical Houston Rocket fan is. In the 15 games Patterson has played, he's managed double digits in 11 of them, but he's had a hell of a stretch lately, Patterson has scored 19 or more points in five of the last six games, and 20 or more points in the last three games in a row. He keeps this up and he'll be flirting with an All Star ballot soon enough, yet all we can talk about is his crappy rebounding.
I remember talking with Patterson in the RGV and I asked him what he thought was gonna be different about his game this season. He said he was working a lot more on adding range to his jump shot. It's certainly worked so far. His three point shooting percentage has jumped from 44% last season to 51.1% through 16 games. I wonder if that will hold up for the long term especially considering that Chandler Bang takes a lot of threes as well. Usually, if your forwards are taking the bulk of the three point attempts you're probably not going to be a very good team.
Maybe Paterson is not a good re bounder to begin with, which is something of a major flaw at the power forward position but we also have to account for the fact that he plays most of his minutes along side the Hoover vacuum that is Omer Asik. He's averaging 12.3 rebounds per game.
I'm a fan of the PDPatt, his twitter feed is no where near as annoying as White's.
I wonder which Rocket would be best at beer pong. You'd have to go with Chandler Bang, right? I mean he's the obvious choice. But I think Cabeza Delfino could probably give him a run for his money.
BD: I'm really entertained by the rebounding conversation. Patterson is balling pretty hard right now and he's at about where Luis Scola was last season (Legitimately about 1 rebound a game shy of that). No one rode Scola about his rebounding and when he was the tallest guy on the court he averaged about eight boards a game). I think people get lost in the scheme and personnel that effects a player's stats and then they just go right to the complaints based on the box score. Unfortunately the game is just as much about how something happens as it is what happens. I honestly stopped following Patterson on Twitter because I assumed he was gone once we drafted a bunch more power forwards. Then he came right on and started doing what we all hoped he would've done in his second year (Make Luis Scola someone we could forget). Either way, I'm happy, we're young, we're a well put together team and there's room to grow down the line. I'd be concerned if we were routinely beat on the boards and losing games but we're not. We have annoying spats where no one is pulling down much when Asik isn't out there, but we need a legitimate bench long term. Can't put an entire game on your starters.
I feel like Parsons would be the default for the guy to play beer pong with because let's face it, he's a bro. Patterson is good on the spot up shot so I'm taking him. He's also my vote for the guy who can probably drink enough to put down a bull elephant. The dude is jacked and it would take a while for that alcohol to register.
What do you think the offseason is going to look like for the Rockets? We'll be entering it with about 20 million dollars worth of cap space and a free agent class that is really only highlighted by Chris Paul, Josh Smith, Al Jefferson, and Paul Milsap. Nobody in that class strikes me as the guy I want the Rockets to sign. An established PF vet would help but ideally he'd be in his 4th year or so. Primarily because I think it breeds a better winning culture to have guys with some tread on the tires left with a complete game (When Harden is your first option your second option doesn't have to be an all-NBA guy, just be a good player) happy to come in and help forge a winning culture. I'd much rather dump some money into creating a bench with some of the rest of the free agent options. That 20 million could become 3-5 guys out of this free agent class. Would anyone really complain if the Rockets loaded up a bench off that money to hold onto leads the starters get them?
AP: I'm a firm believer that this roster can contend for a playoff spot this year but will flame out due to a poor bench. The drop off is HUGE between Lin and Toney Douglas, ditto for Harden/Cook and Omer/Aldrich. Terrence Jones has looked good at SF, even if my evaluation of this is only Summer League stuff and preseason games but I think he may be pretty viable to back up Parsons in a pinch.
I looked at possible free agents for this summer (which feels kinda silly figuring as how there are still 5 solid months left in the season) but I thought about good affordable guys that could provide a sustainable bench.
What are your thoughts on bringing on Chauncy Billups or Shannon Brown or Luke Babbit? anyone of these guys would be gold off the bench and all three are unrestricted free agents. As is Chase Budinger, who I really miss. As far as a talented power forward, why not David West?
BP: I'm thinking the Rockets sneak in at 7 or 8 and don't draft this year, which I'm not necessarily thrilled about but, ultimately, if the bench unravels over the course of the season this team only makes it to the post season at the cost of its starters bodies breaking. Given rebounding deficiencies on this team I think the only rookie we have that would be "safe" is Jones because Motie needs to pack on weight on his frame to be much of a difference maker and White is done. I'm with you that the gulf between Jones and Parsons isn't going to be that deep.
I don't think it's too early to look at what next steps the team needs to make. They're young and growing and that works out well for us anyhow. Future planning for an up and coming future team, yea? I get the feeling that David West is a guy who would command starter pay and time. He's right about 18 points and 8 boards per game right now. Granted that's 3 points and 3 boards more than what Patterson is giving you and I'm not sure that really warrants the discrepancy in pay that you'd have to shell out to get him. I'm more keen on the idea of bringing in a guy like Devin Harris as a back up point guard. Billups would be very much the elder Sam Cassell if we brought him in. A guy who is basically coaching from the bench more so than he's playing and contributing.
I don't feel like Shannon Brown will get a fair shake in free agency because he'll get snatched up but I'd be happy to have him. As for Luke Babbit, I don't know well enough about him to really comment. I have no urge to see C-Buddy back even though I got flack for calling him a career bench 3 and that's exactly what he's settled into. Someone I fling a little bit of money at, honestly, is Omri Casspi. I liked what he brought in Sacramento and his numbers have declined steadily but I think that has to deal more with being in toxic situations than it does his actual quality of play. He's a 6'9" small forward but I feel like he could spell Patterson just fine.
So, how long do you think until the Rockets see a Western Conference Finals? Yes, let's dream and put ourselves out there.
AP: What would have to go down in order for the Rockets to reach the western conference (and lose to the Thunder I'm assuming)? I'm thinking it takes at least three years. (Les Alexander says two) we'd sure as hell better make the play off next year with a strong showing. By then we would have Lin, Harden and Dwight (who I'm dreaming we went off and signed this offseason, dream big right?), by then Motiejunas has blossmed into the second coming of Toni Kukoc only bigger and with a better jump shop.
I think three years. If we are not making serious noise in three years then fans might really start to wonder if Morey knows what he's doing.
BD: I really feel like next year we'll see the second round and from that point forward we'll see the WCF. No other team in the West except the Thunder really matches the youth. We just need to build the depth and the chemistry then the rest of it just fits into place. I'm not sure any failure of the team as assembled brings about "fire Morey" chants for the simple fact that he's done everything right.
Have a question for Prado or BD34? Send in your questions to The Spill at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or via twitter @AiPrado @QuestionablyBD, or you can always sound off in the comments.