Here are some random thoughts on the Rockets, Rockets players, etc.
1. JVG lovers, is the old flame back? Today at the MIT Sloan Sports Conference (Daryl Morey, Founding Member) Morey spoke on a panel with...Malcolm Gladwell (who is always interesting if not convincing) and yes, Mr. Jeff Van Gundy (Houston resident). Van Gundy is clearly more on board with advanced analysis than he lets on for ESPN. Maybe those two crazy kids will make it work after all. I'm not sure what Malcolm in The Middle will be doing. Writing a bestseller about it presumably.
2. Could the TWill Problem(tm) not be the big scary mean conspiracy everyone seems to think? I'm not backing off what I said about the Clippers loss - as the bench was needed - but this thought occurred to me:
Chase Budinger is currently a more useful player than Terrence Williams
Courtney Lee is currently a more useful player than Terrence Williams.
Lee, in particular, deserves more minutes than he's getting. The man is shooting close to 44% from 3pt range, he's making good plays all over. But Kevin Martin is doing extremely well too. What's to be done? The answer right now appears to be "give Lee the extra SG minutes, and with a small lineup, the extra SF minutes for Budinger". Lee has proven he deserves a full-time role. In limited minutes the exciting, athletic and promising Terrence Williams has proven that he has some things to work on.
Williams' problem may not be entirely a conspiracy, but simply two guys in front of him who deserve the minutes more and are both young enough to benefit from them as much as Williams would. That said, Williams will never improve without some minutes, and the perfect opportunity arose for them in LA, yet he remained glued to the bench.
3. Hasheem Thabeet - He's 7'3" and athletic, yet nothing can be done with him? I refuse to believe it. I think the Rockets will certainly see what they can do with him in the off-season and next year. I do wish he could join Vipers if he's going to be nailed to the bench while Brad Miller impersonates an orange traffic cone on D.
4. Jeers to the NBA, The Maloofs, The City of Sacramento, Anaheim, Casino Expansions, and The Economy. It looks like the Sacramento Kings may be moving to Southern California with their primary mission apparently being to make the Clippers seem relevant and the Maloofs to seem solvent. This is terrible for the fans of Sacramento, and to do it while the region is flat on its back with almost 13% unemployment particularly reeks. Because of Katrina the NBA has shown some mercy to NO (for now) but neither Sacramento nor Seattle will get a reprieve, despite both showing in the past that they are much much better NBA cities than New Orleans, Charlotte, Memphis and for most of its dubious history Miami. Clearly LA needs a third team more than Sacramento or Seattle need any team. Well done, NBA.
5. Utah, tough break man, tough break. Fired your coach. Fired your best player. Well, the Al Jefferson Era has truly begun.
6. That was quite a beatdown San Antonio put on Miami tonight (125-95 MIA on a b2b yadda yadda), yet one online betting shop is offering 12-1 odds on SAS winning the title the average of them is about 5-1. LA is 3-1. Miami is 2-1. OKC is 20-1. I never bet on sports, and would only do it where legal, but....what?