February 24, 2017 at 12:35 am

On the debut of Lou Williams and Rockets deadline-day trades

Lou Williams Houston Rockets

Sweet Lou is fitting right in.

David Weiner, aka BimaThug, joins me on the podcast as we talk about what we just witnessed — Lou Williams popping off for 27 points in his Houston Rockets debut, a 129-99 thrashing of the Pelicans in New Orleans. We also discuss the trades the Rockets made at the deadline and how that helps the Rockets on the court and better position themselves to add more talent in the very near future.

Posted in Houston Rockets, Podcasts |
February 23, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Daryl Morey says Rockets will rain threes, hints at pursuit of Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut Houston Rockets buyout

Needless to say, Daryl Morey has been busy.

The Houston Rockets general manager acquired Lou Williams on Tuesday, then dealt off K.J. McDaniels to the Nets and Tyler Ennis to the Lakers in deals designed to bolster the team’s position in the coming buyout market.

Morey made the rounds after the trade deadline, speaking on both The Vertical’s live broadcast and local radio SportsTalk 790 to discuss the team’s new moves.

Morey said the Rockets weren’t looking to upgrade inside at the trade deadline, but they have something in mind in the buyout market, which was a clear hint that they have their eyes on Andrew Bogut, who is expected to be bought out by Philadelphia.

“We like our bigs rotation,” said Morey. “We really like what Clint (Capela), Nene and Montrezl (Harrell) bring. It wasn’t a big priority (but) there are some players out there in the buyout market.”

Morey said the Rockets will “have the most money of all the contenders” heading into the buyout period, and ESPN’s Marc Stein says the Rockets indeed will pursue Bogut.

As for the Williams deal, according to Morey, the Rockets are embracing who they are with this move, and that’s a three-point shooting and attacking offensive team.

“The top teams in the West, if we beat them, it’s going to be in a barrage of three-pointers,” said Morey. “We feel like we have a great window with (James) Harden and the players we have around him. We think Lou (Williams) is a big part of it. Having him next year is a big factor for us.”

Without mentioning Corey Brewer by name, Morey was pretty clear that he didn’t fit the team’s style.

“One of our big weaknesses up to this point of the season was we did have some folks that weren’t really fitting in terms of the shooting and Lou fits that in a big, big way,” said Morey. “Having shooters around (Harden) at all times, which we will have now, really upgrades his ability to operate in space. We’re really excited about how Lou will upgrade us from that perspective.”

Morey also addressed the talk that Patrick Beverley’s name was rumored to be out there.

“Pat is the heart and soul of our team. He’s got a toughness, an edge and (is) playing unbelievable,” said Morey. “Teams maybe falsely thought with Lou coming in that made Pat more available. That was wrong.”

Posted in Houston Rockets |
February 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Rockets trade Tyler Ennis to Lakers

Tyler Ennis Houston Rockets

More activity for the Houston Rockets on NBA trade deadline day.

Daryl Morey and company continue to position themselves for the buyout market. After unloading K.J. McDaniels to the Nets, the Rockets sent Tyler Ennis to the Los Angeles Lakers for Marcelo Huertas.

The Rockets will waive Huertas… but the fans are already expressing their appreciation for Huertas.

What’s happening? The Rockets created some cap room in the McDaniels deal and they are making room on the roster to be able to pick up guys who can help them for the stretch run. They have about $3.5 million now to spend, giving them an advantage over other teams that will only have a base exception of around $2 million. The big fish right now that likely will be available is Andrew Bogut, who the Rockets had an interest in acquiring this past summer, but there will likely be other interesting free agents to consider as well.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
February 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

Rockets trade K.J. McDaniels to Brooklyn

K.J. McDaniels Houston Rockets

The Rockets have made another trade on deadline day, sending K.J. McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets, as first reported by Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Rockets simply send McDaniels and his $3.3 million salary to Brooklyn, getting nothing of significance back. They are unloading salary to create roster spots and position themselves to spend money in the buyout market that will begin once the deadline passes.

For example, Andrew Bogut, who was just traded from Dallas to Philly, is expected to be bought out by the Sixers. The Rockets will likely be looking for a defensive wing, but they’re not going to be picky when talented players can be scooped up relatively cheaply after the deadline.

McDaniels, who interestingly was acquired by the Rockets in a deadline-day deal in 2015, never could earn a rotation spot with the Rockets. Both Kevin McHale and Mike D’Antoni kept him nailed to the pine. D’Antoni gave him a big opportunity entering this season, looking for McDaniels to be his defensive stopper in the backcourt, but it never materialized. He will likely get a shot at some playing time with the Nets.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
February 21, 2017 at 7:06 pm

Rockets acquire Lou Williams from Lakers for Corey Brewer, first round pick

Lou Williams Houston Rockets trade

Splash! With the trade deadline just under 48 hours away, Daryl Morey and the Houston Rockets have made a trade.

The Rockets have acquired sixth man scorer Lou Williams, sending Corey Brewer and a first round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski.

Williams is a top candidate for Sixth Man of the Year, currently averaging 18.6 points a night and hitting a career-best 38.6% from long range. Another top Sixth Man of the Year candidate? Eric Gordon. The Rockets now sport two scoring machines off the pine in Gordon and Williams… and Williams can score in a hurry. He put up 38 against Utah then followed that up with a season-high 40 against Memphis.

Historically, Williams hasn’t been a brilliant three-point shooter (34.7%), but he has stepped it up this season, particularly from the corners where he’s hitting 52.5%. By comparison, Brewer was shooting 26.2% from the corner three this season.

There also was a steep dropoff for Rockets at the guard spot after James Harden, Patrick Beverley and Gordon, so with the team’s injury issues in the backcourt, this is a strong addition to the squad.

The team also unloads Corey Brewer, who was a very poor fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system and has another year and some change remaining on his contract. As a result, it cost the Rockets their first round pick. I’m rarely a fan of moving first rounders and it kills me the Rockets will be without one for two straight years now, but this is a worthwhile move at that price.

So the Rockets are doubling down on offense, giving D’Antonio plenty of weapons to try to make something happen in the West.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
February 19, 2017 at 10:18 am

Eric Gordon wins NBA Three-Point Contest in overtime

Eric Gordon wins NBA Three-Point Contest

Eric Gordon shot his way to victory in the NBA’s Three-Point Contest Saturday night against Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.

All contestants were able to choose the location of their money ball rack and Gordon chose the top of the key where he shoots 47.1 percent for the season.

In the first round, Gordon beat out contestants with his highest score of the night at 25. In the second round he tied Irving at 20 which led to the tiebreaker round.

Gordon came out victorious beating out Irving’s score of 18 with a his own score of 21. The video below is the tiebreaker championship round, where Gordon pulled away for the win.

Gordon is currently sitting at fourth in the league in three-pointers made behind Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kyle Lowry.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
February 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Eric Gordon expected to return for Wednesday’s game against Heat

Wednesday’s game against the Heat could see super sub Eric Gordon back in action after sitting out the last two games due to a sore back.

Gordon is expected to attend practice today.

“I think he should be OK tomorrow,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said of Gordon on local radio Sports 790. “He was almost ready to play Saturday. If it was Sunday, he would’ve probably played. We’re not going to rush it for sure and if there’s any hesitation, we won’t do it, but I expect him to play tomorrow.”

The Rockets could use him as the Heat, while losers of their last two games, are recently off of a 13-game winning streak.

Gordon’s back isn’t the only injury the team has been dealing with. Ryan Anderson, who cut his finger on a piece of glass while taking out the trash, participated in Rockets practice today.

“I was pushing something down the trash chute and a piece of glass chunked a whole piece of my thumb off,” Anderson said to the Houston Chronicle. “It was bleeding for about an hour. I had to go to the emergency room. I’ll live though.”

Wednesday’s game is the last one for the 40-win Rockets before the All-Star break. They return to action February 23 against the Pelicans in New Orleans.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
February 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm

Houston fans honor Olajuwon with long standing ovation

“I’m very, very honored and proud to be here,” said Hakeem Olajuwon before the game.

During the game, the fans of Houston showed how proud they were of him.

The Rockets honored Olajuwon Tuesday night, playing this tribute video after the third quarter in their 128-104 win against the Orlando Magic. The fans couldn’t get to their feet fast enough once it was over, giving Olajuwon a long and loud standing ovation.

Take a look.

Olajuwon also spoke with us before the game, answering questions ranging from his favorite memories in Houston to President Donald Trump and the current political climate regarding Muslims.

Posted in Houston Rockets |