Archive for the ‘Houston Rockets’ Category

real-tmac-thanks-posters

Tracy McGrady tweeted those posters you see up there, thanking the most notable stops of his NBA career. It was a very nice thing to do. But he also forgot the other four teams he played for, which is too bad for those cities since they were a part of the Tracy McGrady experience too.

So to make things fair, I whipped up a few Tracy McGrady posters in Photoshop, thanking each of the cities where T-Mac showed up for a season before moving somewhere else for a season. I think you’ll agree that these cover all the non-Chinese Basketball Association bases.

tmac-thank-you-new-york

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Do you guys remember Jeremy Lin? I sure do. That was an unbelievable month he had before completely vanishing from the NBA landscape, never to be heard from again.

What’s that? He’s on the Rockets? Oh, that’s right. Totally forgot. Cute kid though.

In theaters October 4.

(via Reddit)

HEADBAND COLLECTION

If you are anything like me, then you have long hair and sweat a lot when you’re playing basketball and therefore wear a headband for logical reasons while also acknowledging that you started wearing one back in high school because a bunch of guys on the early 2000s Trail Blazers were wearing them — Cliff Robinson and Rasheed Wallace, chief among them — and you thought it was cool. Given those similarities between me and you, I’d imagine you’d be as much of a fan of Million Dollar Ballers’ “Headband Collection” of t-shirts that feature some of the league’s most notable current headbanders as I am.

As you probably guessed from the pictures, the shirts feature James Harden, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo — no, not Paul Pierce, as he’s no longer a Celtic and the shirt doesn’t have an archipelago-ish beard on the face — all of whom have worn headbands throughout their careers. (Well, Rondo is a sometimes guy who occasionally flips his around like it’s Ken Griffey Jr.’s hat, but that’s still better than yet another LeBron James shirt.) They each retail for $35, which is a small price to pay to show how much you love headbanded basketball players. It’s more expensive than buying an NBA headband, sure, but at this point, you probably already own several of those and you’re running out of places to put more terrycloth.

Nonetheless, as a bro who owns a few of these MDB shirts, I can vouch for the actual comfort of the shirt, which is top-notch. But this isn’t The Shirt Fabric Jones, so let’s stick to the players, who look pretty great on these things. I mean, what’s better than walking down the street while wearing something that is pretty much just a beard, a mohawk and a headband? Basically only growing out a giant beard and mohawk, then buying a headband and walking down the street, which would take way longer than simply ordering one of these shirts. Choose wisely.

monta-ellis-sad-bench

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Southwest Division: the Mavericks, Rockets, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Spurs.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Most Interesting New Player: Monta Ellis

All of Dallas’ big free agent pickups were the same basic level of Interesting But Not Really. Seeing decent players like Jose Calderon, DeJuan Blair and Devin Harris in new roles in new jerseys will have some limited novelty, but these are players we’ve seen for long enough now that we basically know who they are and what they do — any legitimate surprise they provide in Dallas will be, well, surprising. Of these players, Monta seems the closest to an unknown quantity, since while we know his strengths and weaknesses a player pretty well, there’s still some debate about how much he can help a solid, veteran team actually win ball games, which is ostensibly what he’ll be called on to do as Dirk Nowitzki’s teammate in Big D. The answer very well might be “little” or “none,” but he’s never played on a team like Dallas, for a coach like Rick Carlisle, or with a teammate like Dirk before, so at least there’s some chance for personal growth there. It’ll be moderately interesting to see.

I would have liked to pick any of Dallas’ rookies in the backcourt for this — Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo both intrigued in Vegas, and some people seme to think Shane Larkin has sleeper potential — but after the Mavs’ offseason splurging on mid-tier guards, they’re all likely to enter this season buried so deep on the depth chart that they’ll be lucky to even get consistent minutes in garbage time. Wayne Ellington eats first, you know how it is.

Most Interesting Returning Player: Brandan Wright

Brandan Wright is either the league’s most underrated big man, or the best piece of evidence remaining to show how flawed Player Efficiency Rating is as an all-encompassing stat of player evaluation. Wright has had a PER of 21 or better each of the last two seasons, and his 21.0 last year would have ranked sixth amongst all big men in the league. Of course, this is fairly small sample size stuff, as Brandan played only 64 games and just 18 minutes a game. But in those minutes, he shot nearly 60 percent, rebounded decently (about eight per 36) and essentially never turned the ball over, making him a big man of the Tyson Chandler-type, know-your-role offensive efficiency.

It’s surprising to me that Wright didn’t garner more interest in free agency. True, he’s never done it in big minutes, partly because he’s too much of a defensive liability against more physical post players to earn those defensive minutes, but offensive numbers that good, attached to a player only 25 years of age (and still with a lottery pedigree), generally tend to draw some interest around the league, more so than the two years and $10 mil he re-upped for with the Mavs. If he ends up taking big minutes from Samuel Dalembert — and considering Sammy couldn’t hold down starting gigs the last three seasons with the Kings, Rockets or Bucks, I’m guessing he won’t lock this one up either — he could end up being as important to Dallas as any of their bigger-name new pieces. Hope so for Dirk’s sake.

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Sometimes it’s good to remember that even though you and I might find Dwight Howard corny and distasteful, moms and grandmas still think he’s the best. And apparently, some grandmas think he’s REALLY the best and can’t help touching his arms. And his thighs. And his glutes. And his shoulders. And his arms again. And maybe some more glutes.

P.S. This is literally someone’s grandma, so imagine if this was your grandma.

(via The Buzz)

I don’t know about you guys, but at this point in my life, this clip is more valuable to me for its beard maintenance tips than it is for learning a proper Eurostep. I appreciate the instruction, but I think I’d just rather learn the Eurostep from a true Euro like Manu Ginobili.

Not to mention, now that “Duck Dynasty” is popular and we’re all growing our beards down to our chests, it’s good to know that it’s both sanitary and cool to comb your beard while you’re doing anything. Can’t wait to bust out a pick the next time I’m out to dinner.

dwight-howard-trade-chart

(Click for full-size version)

Excellent work from Rob Mahoney at the Point Forward mapping out all the on-court consequences of Dwight Howard inking a deal with the Houston Rockets. This just goes to show how much a single important transaction can have on the NBA, even if it just seems like one guy choosing a team. I can’t wait for the followup from Darren Rovell explaining the minute candy price variations and supply chain fluctuations after Dwight decided to take his sweet tooth to Texas. Cracked magazine’s regional fart exposé should be pretty good too.