Dear Lex X,
I have Sundays off work and I get romancey/nostalgic. Bear with me.
The beauty of the Rockets team is HOW under-appreciated they've been.
Lin, overlooked throughout his career, from high school to college to GSW bench to New York savior. On the verge of being cut nearly every year. It took a lockout and vast circles of circumstance for him to even get a chance at the spotlight.
Harden. A bonafide superstar saddled with the role of sixth man. Most likely the most efficient superstar. Part of the core group of OKC. Cut out from a chance for a final goodbye championship run. Just so OKC can get their hands on that Toronto pick.
Asik. Toiling away under Thibodeau. Closing out 4th quarters at times. A defensive powerhouse. Called 'soft' and 'easily-tired' for no reason other than the fact that Joakim Noah is a great starter. Deserved more money but could not get it because the Bulls ownership is too dumb to amnesty Boozer.
Parsons. 2nd Round draft pick. Supposedly-can't shoot. can't hit free throws. too pretty. Except he's the rockets lineup glue. The only one that plays the 3 and 4 to an acceptable to great level. Improving every area in leaps and bounds. From free throws, to trey rate. Rebounding, cutting, assisting. The most underapid contract in the NBA. No despair. Just constantly working on his game.
Patrick Beverly - too short they say. Cut, d-league, euroleague. Just playing until he got the chance to be called up. And he's been a fabulous backup PG. Non stop hustle and contribution even when his shot is off. Very likely given up on being in the NBA before Morey gave him his chance.
Olbrecht- took less money, refused a celtics 10 day contract, refused a european contract, just for an UNGUARANTEED chance for nba playtime. He's still not getting PT in the lineups. He wants to show his stuff in the NBA. Still toiling.
James Anderson- he started out from the top, but still having to constantly prove his worth. Drafted by the spurs, then broke his pinky toe, then sent to d-league twice. Cut. Hawks got him. Then Cut. Spurs got him. Then Cut. Now toiling on the Rockets C-bench because Mchale doesn't trust Anderson to give Harden rest. Still fightin'.
The underlying theme between the Rockets is that all these players know what it's like at the bottom of the barrel. No one feels a sense of entitlement.
As for the rest: delfino, terrence jones, thomas robinson, garcia, D-mo, greg smith, aaron brooks, and Royce white---they aren't cut from the same cloth. Some are too old. Others are too young. Some just don't fit in the Rockets play style. Some, i just don't like.*
Maybe keep Terrence Jones if there's not a better offer but trade the rest away. Morey seems to be aiming for the under-appreciated stars who seem to have experienced basketball on a metaphorical ferris wheel, whether from the bench to Euro exiledom to role-stereotyping.
A New Age means young, means hungry, means ego-less.
It does not necessarily mean run and gun. Or any strict strategy.
The Playoffs are going to require the best lineups. Not the same lineups.
Hopefull, the playoffs will spur Mchale into self improvement. Maybe he'll appreciate numbers more. Or for newer ways of creating lineups. The sense of entitlement should not just be stricken from the players but from the coach as well.
Let's see improvements all around.
Mchale: Let's see some improvements and basic understanding of player-matching.
Morey: Let's see some practice on team stability. Let's see some more draft picks that turn out like Parsons.
Like every major company, it's time to identify core competencies. Commit to your core and poor resources on them. Do not overplay Harden to injury. Do not refrain from tracking Mchale's hours in the video room. Do not be satisfied with Morey's victories.
KAIZEN. The state of constant self-review. Key to victory.
Thank you. My name is God. And I hope to see you when you die.
This is the way I write. Suck it.