Former Houston Rockets beat man and current NBA.com writer Fran Blinebury was a guest on MaD radio this morning dishing about new Rockets signees Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, and the longtime basketball coverage guy isn't a fan of the Houston moves.
Blinebury told hosts Mike Meltser and Jim Mudd:
"There's a whiff of desperation to (these moves), I think. They wanted to be in the big conversations with Durant and didn't get to sit down at that table. If you look at those two players... at the top of their games, yeah, they're a very good fit. The problem is both of them have trouble staying on the court, staying healthy.
The last three years, Anderson hasn't played more than 66 games in a season, so that's missing one-fifth of the season. Eric Gordon has only played more than 64 games one time in eight years. That was his rookie season. So that's a big concern.
At the top of their game, sure, but for a team that really took a step back defensively last season, they don't bring any of that to the table."
Blinebury does bring up some good points, and they are the sames ones we've been discussing all weekend here at TDS in regards to injury history and defensive capability (or lack thereof), but where he gets it wrong is the desperation claim.
I outlined it a bit in my piece on Anderson a few days ago, but the Rockets weren't desperate, GM Daryl Morey merely did the best he could with what talent remained available. Neither Anderson nor Gordon come without faults, but they both fill team needs and the Rockets didn't overpay for either (relatively speaking with the new cap situation).
Both are fantastic shooters from long range, with Anderson a 37.7 percent career shooter from deep and Gordon a tad better at 38.3 percent, and both are capable of filling it up in a multitude of ways, something Houston lacked outside of James Harden last season.
Gordon is also a capable, if unspectacular ball handler, who can run the point in a pinch and averages 3.3 assists per game on his career while also being a solid general in the pick and roll. His 0.95 points per possession on the play in 179 possessions last year finished in the top 10 percent of efficiency for pick-and-roll handlers in the league.
With Anderson coming in as the first or second best roll man on the Houston roster, that combination will certainly be one to watch in Mike D'Antoni's system.
You have to sign someone, and grabbing players who fit a need and fit a system after your top choices are gone is hardly desperation. It's smart GMing.
The rest of the Blinebury interview is worth a listen, as he dishes on Kevin Durant, Lebron James and whether or not Rockets owner Les Alexander had a hand in the Mike D'Antoni hiring (hint: "Les is about big names.")
You can catch the rest of the interview here.