Hi Rockets fans, semi-fans and non-fans.
Right now the Rockets are getting some needed practice, getting some needed sleep, and generally following their basketball bliss back in Houston. This is perhaps an auspicious moment to address two irksome issues, and make a respectful observance.
For the moratoria, I can only ask that we attempt to respect these a bit. The first isn't that serious, the second has changed the character of the site, largely for the worse. I'd like to suggest an approach that I think will bring some old friends back, keep the readers we have and minimize ongoing troubles.
First Moratorium - Omer Asik
This is addressed to the national basketball media as much or more than it is addressed to the readers of this lovely and welcoming Rockets blog. PLEASE STOP SUGGESTING TRADES OF OMER ASIK BEFORE HE PLAYS A SINGLE MINUTE WITH DWIGHT HOWARD.
That's right, the Rockets ostensible bookended big men have yet to log minutes together in a pre-season, let alone a regular season game. It's my understanding that the practices of the last couple of days are their first practices together.
Last season the Rockets boasted the second best scoring offense in the NBA. They also could claim one of the worst defenses in the NBA, even adjusting for pace. When analysts, pundits and others speak of a stumbling block to greatness for the Rockets this season, they almost always point to the defense. As bad as last season's defense was, it was considerably worse when Omer Asik was out of the game.
Asik can play about 28-32 minutes a game generally, from what I've seen. He's certainly good for more than 15 minutes, but not a lot more than 30. So, for the sake of argument let's say he spent about 40% of a given contest on the bench.
The Rockets have added Dwight Howard, best defensive center in the NBA. At their pace, he can play, probably, about 30-32 minutes a night. This again, leaves 35%-40% of a given contest with no Dwight on the floor. A reasonable person might ask, "Couldn't Omer Asik easily cover that 40%ish part of the game at center?"
Why, yes, he could. Using a combination of minutes designed to both maximize in-season rest and effectiveness and freshness for post-season, two of the five best defensive big men in The Association could spend, wait for it, 100% of any given game at center.
Would the Rockets defense be better with 100% of it played this season with an excellent defensive center in the game, as opposed to 60% of a given contest last season? Logic says, yes, it would be better.
So quit trying to trade Omer Asik.
Second Moratorium - Jeremy Lin Rants, Rage, Recriminations
I like Jeremy Lin. Given a chance, a nice bottle of wine, a moonlit beach, a soft, warm breeze, perhaps I could love Jeremy Lin. So believe me when I say, I have no axe to grind, no bone to pick, no peeve to pet when it comes Jeremy Lin.
I want the Rockets to succeed, and so I want all Rockets players to succeed. I like Lin, think his story is fantastic and want him to succeed individually as well, no matter the team. But this is a blog about the Rockets, not about any one player on the Rockets.
I am asking for a moratorium on conspiracy theories, rants and rage centered on any Rocket, but on Jeremy Lin in particular, on The Dreamshake. If you've got proof for your rant, well, that's different, but I follow the team pretty closely, and I don't think you do have proof. (If you are just sure you have proof, email me.) If all you have is a white-hot sense of grievance regarding one player, and one player only? Express that elsewhere, keep it to yourself, but generally, keep it in check on TDS. (You hear that, Lithuania?)
This is a Rockets blog. We encourage talk, even very odd talk, about the team, and its players and everything else about it. We like the NBA in general too. TDS is a great community and the fact that people bring so many different perspectives is part of what makes it great. We love it, we wouldn't do this if we didn't love it (trust me).
We all have our favorite players, and if Jeremy Lin is your favorite player, great. Tell us about him, praise him, analyze him, but be aware, he's on the Houston Rockets. As an NBA player he does not exist outside of the context of the Rockets. As a cultural phenomenon, he exists globally, perhaps eternally and universally, but he plays for the Rockets.
Thus, this blog, about the Houston Rockets, should not be highjacked by interminable rants and conspiracy theories revolving around ANY player. Players have come, and players have gone, but the Rockets, and this blog, have remained. The blog is named for Hakeem Olajuwon, who hasn't played games for the Rockets since 2001, but here we all are.
You may have strongly held beliefs, and unlike so many of us, you may be blessed with true beliefs. Regarding some of these beliefs, well, this is not the forum for airing your (lengthy) grievances.
This is a community of friends, supporters. fans and lovers of the Rockets. Let's watch the Rockets play basketball and talk about it.
A moment of silence for the passing of a Texas legend, Bum Phillips. He was an iconic coach, and I believe an excellent one. He was harshly honest when others lied, he was funny where others were dull, and I think he got more out of his teams than anyone else could have. His like is gone from the NFL, and perhaps Texas in general, and we're all poorer for it.