Saturday Rockets DreamLinks

"I'm sorry I kicked your dog, Kyle. Can we just be friends again?"

In this segment, I'm going to take you through the noteworthy stories from the previous day, accompanied by a few of my daily musings.

In a recent interview, Patrick Patterson mentioned that he believed Kevin McHale's coaching would help Omer Asik improve his post game in the coming year. My initial reaction was that this was nothing more than wishful thinking. Rarely does a player improve from a near-zero offensively to become a post scorer.

More thought led me to consider the progression of other young bigs on the roster. Though McHale came to the Rockets hailed as a big man's coach, each young big man seemed to take a step back last season, struggling to fit into McHale's system.

Jordan Hill "broke" in a make-or-break season, Marcus Morris played miserably, and most notably Patrick Patterson struggled to regain his rookie form which had made him so highly regarded.

To a certain extent, each of these struggles was explainable. Hill had been equally inconsistent in the past, Morris was a rookie changing positions without a training camp or full season, and Patterson never seemed healthy after off-season ankle surgery.

But for none of them to make even the slightest bit of progress, especially in the post, was quite a surprise. Patterson, the most promising of the three, looked completely lost on the block, tossing up wild, rushed hook shots that consistently clanged off the rim. It seemed odd that McHale couldn't do anything to remedy these struggles.

At a certain point, bad luck and inconsistent players can't take all the blame. I'm willing to give McHale a pass for 2012-13 because he had such little practice time because of the compressed season and shortened off-season, but this year will be a crucial year for him.

Instead of being charged with developing a few young bench players, McHale is undertaking a roster full of prospects. Last year's squad was both deep and relatively experienced; this year, he will be starting a pair of young and inexperienced players in the front court, his bench will be comprised almost consistently of rookies and second year players, and Kevin Martin, his lone veteran, will likely be traded by mid-season.

In short, a great deal of this team's success moving forward hinges on McHale's ability to get the most out of his young big men and turn them into legitimate NBA players. In Royce White, Terrence Jones, Omer Asik, Patrick Patterson, and Donatas Motiejunas, the Rockets have plenty of talent. If McHale cannot mold them into the players they are capable of being, I see no reason why he should have a job.

Jump for your links!

Schedule Time

Must-See Matchups | Rockets.com
Jason Friedman has the twelve best home matchups for the Rockets.

Trying To Preview The Regular Season | Red94
Michael Pina takes a brief look at the roster, and then goes through the three most interesting games to watch in the coming season.

Miscellaneous Rockets Stuff

Rocketscast: 07/26/2012 | Rockets.com
Jason Friedman and Craig Ackerman join up for their always entertaining and informative podcast. A must listen.

Ultimate Rockets " Solomon: Why Not Market Omer Asik As Well?
Jerome Solomon: Troll Extraordinaire

Toney Douglas Is Happy Not To Pay New York City Rent | Ball Don't Lie
You hear that, Dwight? Cost of living is cheaper! Sign an extension now? Pretty please?

Trade Talk

Dwight Howard's Agent, Dan Fegan, Confirms David Stern's Accusation - ESPN
In the shocking news of the day, Dwight Howard's agent confirmed NBA commissioner David Stern's accusation that Howard's representatives were the sources that provided details of Wednesday's private meeting in Los Angeles with Magic officials.

It’s Now Or Never For The Lakers And Dwight Howard | Lakers Nation
Andrew Ungvari has his take on the Dwight Howard saga on Lakers Nation. Don't forget to click through to the second page.

Around The League

West Race Already Looks Like A Doozy | The Point Forward
Such is life in the Western Conference.

LeBron James Says The United States Olympic Team Would Beat The 1992 Dream Team - ESPN
Larry Bird seems to agree. He said, "They probably could. I haven't played in 20 years and we're all old now."

Adam Morrison, David Harrison, And Hilton Armstrong Try To Get Their Careers Back On Track At NBA Summer League - Grantland
Jordan Conn has a great summer league story for Grantland.

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