2016 Warriors-Rockets Playoffs
The Rockets Need Serious Work to Contend
The Houston Rockets have a ton of work to do, both in terms of improving on the court chemistry and shaping their roster. Dwight Howard, who will most likely decline his player option for the 2016–17 season, is just not that good anymore. In a league shifting towards pace and space, a lumbering giant who can’t shoot free throws isn’t something that the team needs. That’s not to say that Dwight isn’t good and what he does, he dominates the paint and the rebounds. However, as his athleticism begins to leave him after age and injuries set in, his production will drop massively. In addition, if I was a GM I might not even want Dwight on my team. This doesn’t even seem that crazy to me. He’ll want something like $25 million a year (the salary cap is around 4x that to put things into proportion). I’d much rather pay Harrison Barnes 25$ million a year than Dwight. I don’t even like HB’s game.
The real problem for the Rockets is probably in their locker room. Every successful squad has a great leader, but what about the Rockets?
James Harden is the best player, but he’s more worried about getting his stats than winning or leading his team. Have you seen his defense, for crying out loud? I could probably do better, and I’m 4 foot 10 (not really). He’s a really smart player, but he just doesn’t care. I wouldn’t want him on my team either. If you want to lead a team without being a rah rah guy, then you gotta lead by example. By no means am I an expert, but I don’t think that showing up to training camp overweight and trying to get a player on your team traded counts as a good example. I really respect Harden’s game, but I just really don’t like him.
Their aren’t enough capable veteran leaders on the Rockets either. Jason Terry is a great leader, but since he doesn’t produce as much as before, he isn’t as respected. Guaranteeing a win could help infuse confidence into the team and shows faith in them, but it looks silly if you can’t back it up.
The Warriors are a really, really good team.
It’s not just about the talent and depth of their teams, it’s the personalities that makes them good. There are absolutely no locker room problems, they only care about winning and not playing time. A perfect example: Shaun Livingston. He comes in for his injured teammate and puts up 15 points a game while playing outstanding defense. I love that guy, such a good story as well.
They are good on both sides of the ball. I don’t know if anyone in the league can stop them with Curry healthy. If he doesn’t recover, then they might not make it out of the West.
Who don’t I like on the Warriors Team: Andrew Bogut. People says he’s a really good defender and he can do work on the glass too, but how is that possible if he doesn’t make it back on defense 50% of the time? When he is inbounding the ball after a made basket, sometimes there is around 15 seconds left on the shot clock before he enters the camera frame. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? It’s just another testament to the Warriors greatness that they can even get a basket with Bogut on the floor. He doesn’t have a jumper and barely even an offensive game in all. If not for all of the illegal screens he sets, he would be utterly useless. Something a little less biased: Andrew Bogut cannot really guard centers that often hang around the perimeter, like Lamarcus Aldridge. He doesn’t have the lateral quickness to run out to contest the shot and then recover. Also, he gets exposed in pick and rolls by shooting big men. He wants to sign an extension with the Warriors this season, but I’m begging Bob Myers to not.
What’s in the Warriors Future:
If I was the Warriors’ GM, I would look to offload some of the older players and infuse some youth. Andre Igoudala is a great, great player and a comforting presence, but as he gets older his production will decline even more. You already know my feelings about Bogut. How about Harrison Barnes? The 7th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, he hasn’t lived up to expectations. His role on the Warriors right now is to be a lockdown defender and a spot-up shooter. He does the first task well, but he’s very streaky on the offensive side. I don’t know what his potential could be, so I can’t really evaluate him. He’ll fetch a max contract with team(s) desperate for young wings, but he isn’t worth bringing back for the Warriors, especially since his deal will probably make him the most paid player on the team. They should be good to go with Steph, Klay, and Draymond no matter what happens this offseason.