Just wanted for you guys to read what other Rocket fans are talking and thinking about. It’s an interesting take on how the Rockets should build its team, who how what should be added or traded etc. I took the more interesting bits. (Sir, if this post is not allowed, please just delete it.)
From CF forums: Building a team around Harden
Valorita (thread starter):
This is not an endoresement or knock on our players. Its just that if we are building around Harden, then management now has to think how we will put the right players around him to make it work. This is just for the starting 5 since thats what matters in the playoffs.
Need: good spot up shooter, great defender, low turnover guy
Have: terrible spot up, so so defense, high turnover
Verdict: current version of Lin is not a good fit. I dont think he will ever develop into that kind of player, too far fetched from his strengths. That is why I think Morey will trade him when stock is high vs have him come off bench.
Need: utility man to hustle, move without the ball, and guard opposing team's best wing.
Have: The above + incredible contract + glue guy
Verdict: Parsons is a good fit as any. His contract and charisma make him absolutely invaluable to our team going forward. As close to "untouchable" on our roster sans the beard.
Need: Good at setting picks and can both roll & pop. Bruiser/enforcer type. Get up and down the court with ease.
Have: mediocre rebounding and no real post option.
Verdict: Both Morris and Patterson can spread the floor but that is about it. Morey will not hesitate to move either this season because none are the answer at PF and we have Motie and Jones waiting to develop and fill their spots.
Need: defensive anchor and rebounder, can catch and finish down low
Have: the first portion of the above. Asik can improve by being mire vical in the defensive end and coordinating the other players and keeping them accountable. As for his hands and and ability to finish, he will never be DeAndre or Tyson, but he can learn to keep the ball high and away from guards, and also practice catching a lot of tennis balls al Yao.
Verdict: at a little over 8 mil per year, Asik is a great fit and as shown by his free throw improvement, management will stick with the Turkish center for a long time.
So, I think that even slightly above average players that fit the bill in the PG and PF spots would make this roster a 55 win team while we wait for our second star. For example a Mike Conley and Paul Milsap. Both Asik and Parsons should be given the chance to improve.
You can never replace the heart, charisma, the following, play-making abilities, and most of all, the MAGIC Jeremy Lin brings/has brought to this franchise. It's beyond statistics, really.
Alongside Harden, this team/city has become relevant again. People talk about them. There's a distinct buzz around the league and the globe. They now have an identity. Chemistry. It's a new age era called Beard-Sanity!
You worry about shooting, defending, and turnovers? Listen, he's young. Heck, the entire team is young. Give them some time. Shooting can be developed. But heart, charisma, and the knack for performing at your best under the bright lights, big stage, and enormous pressure is what makes him unique.
You let go of him once, is a mistake. You let go of him twice, is a crime.
Man, give our guys some time. Most of them played just a season of basketball.
You say we need a spot up shooter as a PG? Are you kidding me? Attacking PGs is a MUST. One of the things that makes us so versatile now, is because we have an attacking back court.
Jeremy just needs to improve his 3pt shot and that's about it. His defense is more than solid and he fits the fast pace style we are running.
There isn't just one blueprint to succeed... Harden might end up shooting more spot up shots while Lin is driving for example - and I am pretty sure that Lin will improve his shooting.
What you need is simply a great post player and paint protector. Someone that gets around 20 ppg with post plays and hustle plays (offensive rebounds), that hits the open shots to spread the floor and that blocks a lot of shots.
Now it won't be easy to get a player like that and you will have to make some compromises. I still think we will take a gamble on Josh Smith. He is not a good shooter and I would be a bit worried about a guy that long in the league that relies a lot on his athleticism - but he is still fairly young (28), gets the hustle points and helps this team a lot on defense (when our guards know there are good shot blockers in the paint they can focus un defending the outside shots) - all while being very capable to get you 18 points a night.
And perhaps the most important thing: you don't have to give up anything to get him but cap space...
A PF with 3-point range is more important than a bruising, pick and pop 4.
I think this team has exceeded expectations coming into the season as the youngest team and because of this , we immediately want to make things better by getting Better players that we currently have. As fans, we want immediate results and that is totally fine but we need to to give them a chance to grow.
The great thing about getting players like Lin and Asik is that they are not finished products. If you want someone who is a seasoned player , it would be hard for them to shake off old habits and there is also the issue with egos. The lakers are an example (for now..not sure about the future) . In Miami, if Wade didnt sacrifice his game, I highly doubt that he and Lebron would have co-existed. I do not know how Asik or Lin would turn out but they seem hard workers to me. I am not going to say" we will wait till this season ends" because frankly, you cant improve vastly during the season. The next season would be a better indication in my humble opinion.
The issue with Lin is that he is expected to compliment Harden by being spot up shooter which he clearly is not. Lin's weaknesses is being displayed and it is easy for us to say that he sucks .If Lin has the ball all the time, and he puts up numbers like in ny , then his weakness are dimmed because the system plays to his strengths. If you were to ask Rondo to become a spot up shooter , people will probably say he sucks too. I believe that is a reason why Lin passes the ball in Asik despite him not being able to catch. That is to build confidence . if Mchale had keep putting Lin out in the 4th quarter like he did early in the season, then Lin will never have the confidence .
Certain things need to played out during the game itself because it is very different from practicing. Lin seems to be someone who is willing to defer and that is good for this team. When he does it too much, it does hurt the team but when you have a guy who is WILLING.. I think that is a positive sign.
I know it is only 1 game, but in the spurs game Lin has showed that he can step up when needed. What Lin needs to do is to make his weaknesses become his strengths. Lin's defense in my opinion has been rather good. I do not think Lin is at a level where he can play stellar defense AND be good offensively at the same time.
It would seem like there are alot of excuses for Lin but I am willing to see what happens next season and the same goes for ALL of the players.
Lin's problem is inconsistency. Is it his knee? Is it that he cant hold up back to back games? I dont know. What I do know is that this team has hardworking players who are unselfish and that is something good moving forward. The PFs position is still a question mark and I think they all bring something valuable to the table. Till next season, I cannot say who they should keep. Asik is an example of how one can change drastically during the offseason and I look forward to seeing what the young guys can bring to the team!
LOL ok goodluck starting a thread saying we should replace Lin for Conley JR, a guy who makes 1M more than Lin but has like 80% of the talent.
Secondly, what do these three teams have in common:
1. Cavs with Lebron
2. NO with CP3
3. Orlando with Dwight Howard
I'll tell you what, they all tried to build around their stars and it failed miserably. Building around X player is such a stupid notion because what happens is you construct a team that can only function when your star is doing all the work. Cleveland surrounded LBJ with shooters and defensive guys, as a result the team can't create a shot without him on the court. Orlando surrounded Dwight with shooters, and they couldn't rebound or play D when he's not around.
On the other hand, look at successful teams. Are Manu and Tony Parker built around Tim Duncan? Of course not, TD likes half court sets while Manu likes space to drive inside, and Parker at his best leading the break. How about Miami? Weren't people saying there isn't enough balls on the court for both of them?
The fact is, you get talent and then build a SYSTEM that can make them co-exist, instead of looking for players that fit a given archetype. This is because in the playoffs, your star will get shut down, and if your team is wholly dependent on just guy to make it all work, then your entire will collapse, like what happened to the Bulls when LBJ locked Rose up.
So really all Morey needs to do is keep getting better players period. Mchale and the rest of the coaching staff will find some way to make it all work.
What the original poster fails to realize is that the Rockets are a team that thinks outside the box in terms of team building.
Great Penetrator, Finishes well at rim, efficient scorer, draws fouls, distributes the ball well
Is the same kind of copycat rigid team building that every team has been trying to do for years and the final result is usually everyone competing for the same players and over paying for lesser players because they fit closest to the "blueprint".
You may like to see a starting lineup like:
[PG] 12 pts 12 asts 2 reb 2 stl
[SG] 25 pts 5 asts 5 reb 1 stl
[SF] 15 pts 3 asts 8 reb 2 stl
[PF] 20 pts 2 asts 10 reb 1 blk
[C] 15 pts 0 asts 15 reb 2 blk
But would it be any better than:
[PG] 15 pts 3 asts 8 reb 2 stl
[SG] 15 pts 0 asts 15 reb 2 blk
[SF] 20 pts 2 asts 10 reb 1 blk
[PF] 12 pts 12 asts 2 reb 2 stl
[C] 25 pts 5 asts 5 reb 1 stl
It shouldn’t because they are the exact same stats. For that matter you can take off the individual positions and label them GGFFC or GGGFF or GFFFC or GGGGC or GGFCC and if the stats are the same it doesn’t matter.
However, if you found a PF C combo that could put up 12 pts 12 asts 2 reb 2 stl and 25 pts 5 asts 5 reb 1 stl no one fight you for them because they don’t rebound or block shots. Same for a PG that doesn’t get many assists.
Rockets basic gameplay/ strategy:
What I believe the Rockets actively look for/ have on the current roster:
Player that best fit Rockets style of play and valued attributes:
Josh Smith- With the Rockets pace, he could easily put up 20/10, and also throw in 3-5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He’s actually shooting well from 3 with 38%, finishes at an extremely high percentage in the paint. Great defender and shot blocker, potential Defensive POY every year. Besides having always played on the Hawks, his main flaw is that he shoots way too many mid range shots and shoots them horribly (25%). Even with half his shots being midrange jumpers he still manages a decent 44% shooting average. If he was to play within the Rockets system, which would let him shoot more threes and eliminate midrange jumpers, he would be far more efficient.
Good points, a team is best when no one player is required to handle the offense. That said, our "system" needs a pg that can penetrate as we're constantly pushing and attacking the basket. That to me is more valuable to this team than having a spot up shooting pg and also much more harder to find. I am acceptable of Lin's turnovers as long as he's consistently aggressive.
Why do so many feel the Rockets need to run out and get a PF...???
How many opposing frontcourts have dominated the Rockets front court... *Not many* But how many frontcourts have the Rockets dominated and shut down... *Count em*
With Patterson and Morris (and Smith and Parsons when they play them as a PF) the numbers out of that position have been good enough.
I think Morey should just add pieces to the bench. Maybe Anderson can be a lock down defender on the perimeter off the bench. The Rockets need more help defensively in the backcourt than they do the frontcourt. And a catch shoot player (any position). And never know what T Jones or D Mo will develop into.
I would rather watch this team grow and take their bumps in bruises in the playoffs for the next two years. By then L. James will be a free agent and K. Love will be in the last year of his contract and Minnesota will be forced to trade him and Houston would be a prime destination for one of those super stars.
Shooting is the easiest thing an NBA player can improve. The things that are hard to improve; aggressiveness, playermaking ability, finishing around the rim, Lin does these very well. He looks pretty accurate from about 18 ft too, hes a good ft shooter, so he isnt even a BAD shooter. Just needs to add a few feet to his range. The most important thing he brings is his ability and willingness to push the ball, which is what this team is built on.
As for PF, even though he has been pretty garbage in garbage time, I still think D Mo is the guy. He is the PERFECT fit for the other 4 starters. Can spread the floor, run the floor EXCEPTIONALLY well, can pick and roll, pick and pop, and when the offense stalls just throw it to him in the post and let him go to work. His post moves are his biggest strengths. Defensively he is still weak, but this can be mitigated based on certain matchups (for example when we are playing the spurs and matt bonner is at the 4, or anderson at the 4 vs NO, he would be PERFECT). He actually has good hands, gets a lot of steals and deflections, so he isnt a total disaster on D.
I dont think Morey should make a splash with his cap room this summer. Our guys we have are perfect. Use that money to resign them when their contracts are up
Of course the example I provided was oversimplified, however, the basic principle is correct. Yes there are certian roles that are much better performed by bigs, for example intimidating and changing shots at the rim. This is one of the main needs of the team.
The point is there aren't specifically designed roles that everyone can do. There was once a time when PG and SG were not differentiated along with SF and PF. The Rockets play mor in this manner.
The point guard doesnt have to be the designated spot up shooter, as long as we have guys on the court who can do it. The SG doesnt have to be the primary penetrator as long as we have people who can. etc.
The goals of our team are to:
As long as we get players that improve our ability to do that, we are improving as a team.
There is a reason why our team plays better with unconventional lineups. We play better with our most efficient players on the court, regardless of position. Most teams would.
LOL well duh obviously in a perfect world you'd want someone who is both as talented and yet is complimentary to your star. But the reality is when building a team you have to make sacrifices between game and talent, and most GMs pigeon hole themselves into getting a specific type of player rather than looking at what's available and picking the BPA. For example Orlando had max capspace but ended up spending it all on Rashard Lewis simply because they wanted a PF who could be a stretch four for Dwight. I don't recall anyone calling Paxson and Thibs dumb but Miami manhandled the Bulls simply because other than Rose they had no one on the perimeter who could create their own shot.
OTH, Miami signed Battier last year, and Ray Allen this year even when SF/SG is already their strongest position, and they needed help at C and Pg. That resulted in a ring last year, and things are looking bright this year as well. Remember the Bulls won 6 rings running with MJ and a squad that could go to the NBA finals without him. That's the right way to build a team, create a good team that can stand on it's own and then add your star, not look at what your star can do and then look for specific players that fit your star to a T but might not be the most talented guys on the market.
The NBA isn't like the Olympics. You don't have a near infinite amount of talent AND players who can complement each other. You have a limited amount of options. And when that happens, what is more value in the market? Its talent. So you always try to obtain the most talent, and then when you've found 4-5 championship caliber pieces, you target role players to solve deficiencies.
Best way to build around Harden? Get another big time talent.
What do YOU think?