2013 was a great year for the Rockets, they got to the playoffs for the first time since 2009, signed Dwight Howard, and now are embarking on what should be the best Rockets season of the decade. Not only have the Rockets done great things over the past year, all of us here at The Dream Shake have done great things as well. Over the past year, we've eclipsed the 6 million mark in total visits, the 13 million mark in page views, and the 3 thousand mark in total articles/stories. We were able to do this because of an editor in Patrick who works tirelessly, a great staff of writers who put the work in to keep y'all updated on the latest Rockets' news, and because of y'all the reader. Without y'all reading, creating discussion via comments, and posting your own Fanposts we wouldn't of been able to have the great year of 2013.
With all of that said, I would like to look back at some of the best writing from our writers from 2013. These posts include film studies, breakdowns of players journeys to the NBA, commentary, interviews, breaking news, and an April Fool's prank. Now, none of the writers know that I'm writing this piece, so it will be a surprise to them to see some of their posts included here.
Without further ado, here are some of the best articles written on The Dream Shake from the past year:
Rockets Film Study: Don't Watch The Man With The Ball by: NVP.
NVP breaks down how the Rockets' use off ball movement to show how they not only create free shots, but also how they keep the flow of their offense running. This is as good as it gets in film studies, go check it out!
James Harden Uses the Gather Provision to Perfection for the Rockets by: Allen Ojeda
Did y'all know you can "travel" in the NBA and it be legal? Harden has mastered the gather provision which allows for him to legally "travel" on the court. Click on the link to see how Harden gets away with 3 steps on his drives.
Commentary on Players:
Dwight Howard Did It His Way by: BD34
"They have more in common with a washing machine than they do journalism" - That's a direct quote (talking about ESPN) from BD's semi-controversial piece on Dwight's decision making this off-season. With a portfolio of great writing, this is one that stands out.
Is Jeremy Lin as a Fourth or Fifth Option Really so Bad? by: Mike Kerns
Comeback Writer of the Year Mike Kerns(y) challenges the reader to "forget about Linsanity" and instead to "live in the now" with Lin as a fourth or fifth option on offense. He details why it makes sense and why it would be beneficial
Patrick Beverley's Journey to the NBA by: 3ptsTheHardenWay
Wow. That's all about I can say about this piece. Wow, this is one of the best pieces of writing I've ever read on The Dream Shake. Wow, Patrick Beverley has been through a lot these past couple years to make it to the league.
Another Look at the Rockets' Chandler Parsons by: 3ptsTheHardenWay
Sadly, the title isn't talking about Chandler's looks, but what it is talking about is Chandler's growth and development through his first two seasons with Houston. This is another gem from the mind of Jordan Foley.
Royce White: Through The Looking Glass by: Abel Prado
Reading this hit me hard. Not in a bad way, but in an emotional one. Abel breaks down the wall that separates blogger and reader by revealing his own past before going on to conduct his interview with Royce White. I can't put in words what this post really is and what it means because it's that powerful. Read it if you haven't yet.
As negotiations drag along, CSN Houston's future is in jeopardy by: Patrick Harrel
As everyone was discussing timeframes of 2015 for carriage, Patrick reported in July that CSN Houston was headed for bankruptcy despite statements from the network that said otherwise. Sure enough, in September, NBC Universal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on behalf of CSN Houston, and the battle has begun in the courts.
Commentary on Bad-Asses:
Robert Horry is a Hall of Famer. This Shouldn't even be a Debate by: Grungedave
Now, what would this list be without going back to the roots this blog was built on? We began as a shrine to Robert Horry and we can't forget it. Here's Dave's plea for why Horry should be a Hall of Famer. Warning: Lots of bias.
TDS En Espanol:
Berkut Martin mans this section of The Dream Shake by posting articles and recaps all the time. Unfortunately, my Spanish isn't up to date enough to actually understand them, so here's a link to all his work. Here
All Around Awesomeness:
The Houston Rockets Play Jazz by: Xiane
Unfortunately for all of us, Xiane doesn't get the chance to write as much as he used to. When he does though, he writes posts like this. He shows how the Rockets are like a Jazz band in that when they're all in sync they're great and when they're not, they're awful.
How The Dream Shake Pranked Houston by: Max Croes
LOL. LOL. LOL. Max Croes is a funny guy if you didn't know already. The title says it all. We pranked Houston! Check out how Max and all of us at The Dream Shake pranked Houston and in particular, Chandler Parsons.
[Editor's Note: If the Rockets had lasted longer in the playoffs last year, we probably would have seen Chandler in a tie that said "respect the corndog." That we didn't get to see that was perhaps the biggest unintended casualty of the Rockets' early exit.]
The Best Article From The Dream Shake:
Royce Refuses, Rockets Need to Repudiate by: BD34
I refuse to let the fact that this was written on December 30, 2012 be the reason this isn't on the list. Royce White refused his D-League assignment and thus prompted BD34 to react. It's not only powerful, informative, but it's full of raw emotion and logic on BD's side. I highly recommend it and fully believe this is arguably one of the best posts ever from The Dream Shake.
A Special Thanks To Three Others:
First to Thomas Fenoglio who doesn't get the chance to write very often, but every gameday he's clutch with putting up the game thread. Thank you for allowing us to spark up discussion while watching our favorite team Thomas.
Second to AK2TheMax, the heart and soul of The Dream Shake. He works relentlessly to put up previews for every Rockets game, year in and year out. All his previews are great and get me pumped for the Rockets game that will follow that day. I didn't want to include previews in this post, but know they don't go unappreciated. Come back soon to check out his great work. Thank you Armin!
And finally to our editor Patrick Harrel. Patrick is one of the hardest working people I know. Not only is he juggling a Princeton workload, he keeps The Dream Shake going like no editor I've seen before. He writes recap after recap, conducts interviews with Hall of Famers, gets the news out within the half hour, and sometimes even reports the news before anyone else (See: CSN Bankruptcy article). He is the glue, the engine, and the rock of this blog. On behalf of all of us in The Dream Shake community, thank you Pat.