videogames
 
 



The Wire Troll: Norman Powell Taking Toronto By Storm
Mike Alonso Left a Major League Legacy at Upland

Houston Rockets 2016-17 Team Preview

August 10, 2016 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Ryan Anderson will add perimeter shooting to the Houston Rockets.
Ryan Anderson was Houston’s top addition. (Chuck Cook, USA Today Sports)

The Houston Rockets slid 15 games in the win column last season, suffering from defensive lapses that cost Coach Kevin McHale his job early in the season. They barely squeaked into the playoffs before being eliminated in five by eventual Western Conference Champion Golden State.

After an offseason of change, it’s unclear this team is any better. Small wonder WilliamHill.com, where you can bet on the 2016 NBA season, currently has the Rockets listed at $67 (for a $1 bet) to win the 2016-17 NBA title. At a $51 payoff, Houston isn’t exactly one of the faves for the Western Conference championship, either.

Let’s explore some of the key changes since we last checked in on this squad.

It was certainly a summer of change, but the phrase “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” keeps running through our head. The fact that Dwight Howard is now gone can’t exactly help a Houston club that ranked 25th in points allowed last season.

Howard bounced back somewhat last season, but is miles from the force he was before he left the Magic. Still, we’re talking about a high-percentage shooter (see video below for one of his top Rocket highlights) capable of racking up the boards and blocks — not easy to replace.

Superman’s departure leaves the starting centre gig to youngster Clint Capela. This Swiss prodigy has the raw skills to suggest he can be a serious defensive force, but it takes time for young bigs to mature. Capela spent nearly half of last season starting for the Rockets, so at least he’s not being completely thrown into the fire, but expecting him to duplicate Howard’s numbers is unwise.

The big additions this summer (after failing to land the likes of Kevin Durant and Al Horford) were PF Ryan Anderson and SG Eric Gordon. Houston spent a ton of cash on a player that’s very one dimensional in Anderson and very fragile in Gordon.

It’s hard to envision the Rockets being a better defensive team next season.

On the other end of the court, however, Houston should run wild if its new players can stay healthy — exactly what you envision with a Mike D’Antoni-coached club. Having a better perimeter game to go along with James Harden’s overall game should make this team very tough to defend.

Speaking of Harden, he takes a lot of flak for his defensive indifference, even if Durant recently came to his defense: “Nobody really appreciates what he does except for the players in our league,” KD told the Houston Chronicle.

SF Michael Beasley’s contract was recently guaranteed, and he seems like the ideal D’Antoni player — instant offense, laughable defensive skills. It’s clear Beasley will never live up to being the No. 2 pick in 2008, but after having to go to China to find work, his performance after his return to the NBA last season was impressive — and efficient. He longer hoists many shots up from beyond the arc, but is a better rebounder who will chip in with the occasional block. Still, it’s all about the scoring with Beasley, and if he’s given more PT this season (which is likely), he can be a very sneaky Fantasy asset. After he put up a whopping 31.9 PPG in 36.5 MPG in China, watch for him to be the key to the team’s second unit.

The Rockets also added veteran PG Pablo Prigioni, for some reason signing a 39-year-old backup to a two-year deal. Of course, this is the same team that ran fellow senior Jason Terry out there the past two seasons.

Prigioni barely gets any touches, and his outside game really deteriorated last season, but he’s a strong FT shooter at least.

If bloodlines mean anything, perhaps the addition of undrafted guard Gary Payton II will pay off. He proved he can score at Oregon State, although failed to show that skill in Summer League play. The upside here is Payton makes the team and steals the job backing up PG Patrick Beverley from Prigioni.

Two other undrafted players Houston added on a non-guaranteed basis are: Isaiah Taylor from Texas and Kyle Wiltjer from Gonzaga, the latter of which could fit in well as a big that can stretch the floor.

Perhaps Houston’s best move this summer? Using the cap space created by Howard’s departure to give franchise player Harden a four-year, $118 million contract extension that will likely keep him in Houston until the end of this decade. Sure, better D would be nice from the Beard, but this is a durable SG which Houston really relied on from outside last season while he set career highs in points, rebounds and assists per game and maintained a strong FT percentage.

Terrence Jones was also allowed to walk and Donatas Motiejunas has yet to re-sign (even though it sounds like both parties want to make that happen), so Nene Hilario has been brought it to bolster the frontcourt. Yes, another injury-prone senior citizen. Nene’s game has slowly been eroding the past couple of seasons, so he’s mostly just a bench player now, no longer a strong rebounder but one capable of blocking a shot every now and then.

Fortunately, Houston didn’t pay much to land him.

Unfortunately, the Rockets did shell out a hell of a lot of cash to raid the Pelicans of Anderson (four years, $80 million) and Gordon (four years, $53 million). Gordon spent five seasons in the Big Easy. His games missed by season: 73, 40, 18, 21 and 37. Um, ya. That’s some serious durability there.

On the plus side, Gordon really went to the outside game more than ever last season, while also scoring more points from the line.

Still, this is a contract Houston may live to rue.

Anderson, meanwhile, will really help improve Houston’s three-point game — a key component of the team’s attack. However, it’s a also a ton of money to commit to another injury prone and defensively weak player.

All told, Houston may wind up being worse before it gets better. It wouldn’t be a shock to see this team miss the playoffs, and the betting sites clearly agree, given the long odds that have placed on this team.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below how you think Houston will do next season.

Share
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

2015-16 NBA Wire Troll All-Star Team

May 15, 2016 | by Adrian Wallace | Comments (0)
After a slow start to the season (arguably because of usage), he emerged as one of the top rookies in the league, finishing with averages of 9.9 points (on 51.2 per cent shooting), seven boards, 2.4 assists, and one steal in just 21.7 minutes. The key takeaway: Jokic averaged 16.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 10 games when he played 30-plus minutes. Keep in mind that this kid is only 21, so could very well have a breakout season in 2016-2017.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

The Wire Troll: Justin Anderson Showcasing His Skills in Big D

April 9, 2016 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Now here’s a dude that hasn’t really gotten any Fantasy love, but with all the injuries in The Big Easy, Frazier is getting a chance to shine. He shook off an ankle woe and started Friday, putting up a dozen assists in the process. Frazier is solidifying his job on the Pelicans for next season while averaging nearly 15 points, 10 assists, 1.5 treys and two steals over the last five games.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

The Wire Troll: Norman Powell Taking Toronto By Storm

April 2, 2016 | by Adrian Wallace | Comments Comments Off
With double-digit points in four of his last five contests, Curry is taking clear advantage of his opportunity to start in Sacramento. His best effort came in a loss to the Heat Friday as he managed 21 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal. It will be interesting to see what else Curry does while the Kings are shorthanded, as he may just add to the legacy of the “Curry” name in due time.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow

2015 RotoRob Basketball Awards

April 1, 2016 | by RotoRob | Comments (2)
This season, Thompson started perfect at the line in October, got more touches in November and then started really shooting the lights out from downtown as 2015 drew to a close. The first half of this season put him on a trajectory to set a new career high in treys. Yup, studly.
Share
more
Feed Burner eMail Get RotoRob by Email: Enter your email below to receive daily updates direct to your inbox. Only a pink taco wouldn’t subscribe.
PostShadow