The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: Follow-up to Dave's Follow-Up

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Follow-up to Dave's Follow-Up

1. Can someone explain to me why a career 33% three-point shooter (and 29% this year) averages more than 5 attempts from beyond the arc over the last four years?

Answer: Though I hate it probably even more than you, all of the superstars do it. It's a feel thing, but (and I have no actual proof) from what I've seen, they sure as hell don't waste them in the 4th quarter and then do nothing else. And 29% is awful, it's worse than LeBron and not even close to Kobe this year. So while Tracy has continually gotten worse from out there, Kobe has raised his game. Not that Kobe or LeBron have anything to do with Tracy, others have just brought them up in the comments. It's plain and simple, Adelman should be telling him not to shoot them. There should be no gray area on it.

2. Would Kobe Bryant ever be caught saying "I didn't have anything (in the fourth quarter)" .... "It's tough, banging with these guys."???

These too, in this regard, are closer than others have said. Tracy once demanded a trade out of Orlando, so leave the "Kobe whined all off season stuff out of it". The answer to the question is hell no. Kobe right now is playing with what I feel is a worse injury than anything Tracy is dealing with (his pinkie vs. Tracy's shoulder). And I haven't heard him whine once about it.

3. Would Michael Jordan ever say he was tired?

Not in a million years, and he would punch you if you told him he looked tired. MJ played through everything but his broken leg in his career.

4. Should the supposed "best player" on a 55 win-playoff team (one with home court advantage) get cut some slack after averaging a robust 0.5 points in two 4th quarter efforts???

I say no, the 4th quarter is winning time. It is Tracy's 19-20 million dollar a year job to win and take the blame if they lose. Sorry, that's what a max contract earns you. Is it fair? What do I care? I have a great job, where I make very good money, and Tracy still makes roughly 19-20 million year more than I do. When I do my best, but it wasn't good enough, do you think anyone else cares that is my "customer"? Hell no, they want it right every single time. I don't get to blame my team like he has done, I don't get to bitch about the experience of my team around me. I do my job and I do it well. I expect nothing less of Tracy, and while I feel everyone else that comments here is welcome to their opinion, so am I.

By the way, to the commenter saying that Tracy is the best player in this series, have you been watching Deron Williams? There is no way Tracy is outplaying him right now, it's not even debatable.

5. Would the presence of Rafer freakin' Alston really have made a difference? (I'll answer this one: NO!)

I hate to tell you Dave, but you are flat out wrong on this one. I have had my battles of hate with Rafer, but he is better than Bobby Jackson at this point in his career and much better than Aaron. That's not a knock on those guys, right now they are roll players. Rafer is the starting point guard on this team for a reason. He's strong enough to body up Deron Williams and he is great at getting in the paint and disrupting the defense. I for one believe he would have helped a lot.

6. When the guy who was actually called for the foul (Scola) doesn't blame it on the refs, why is McGrady making statements like this: "You can't call that," McGrady said. "I saw a replay, and that was a bad call. I like Tony Brothers, but that was a bad call. Very, very bad call. Three points down at a crucial point in the game, and Kirilenko flops. He flops, and you call the foul on that? It was a bad call. It was a bad call."

To anyone saying Adelman did this too, I offer up this: So what? Adelman is the coach, it is his job to lobby referees and the league when the team is wronged. He is the general, and Tracy is the soldier. Tracy should have shut his mouth and just said "there were a lot of plays that could have changed the outcome, one play doesn't make a game." Instead he came off as a whiner, something he has gotten very good at after games this year. I'm so sick of it. In my book, at 19-20MM a year, whining, not having enough gas in the 4th quarter and being "tired" are in no way acceptable.


Eric said...

1. Agreed

2. T-Mac demanded and got a trade. He didn't demand, then rescind, then demand, then rescind. But anyway, Kobe whines all the time about stuff too. Every superstar does. But I guess he whines about legit things, right?

3. That was funny.

4. Agreed, but make sure it's fair.

5. Agreed

6. Coaches get fined for complaining about refs sometimes, so no it's not really part of the job to whine about calls. Does anybody even know what the question was to Tracy? That may shed some light on whether his response was appropriate or not.

For example:
"Do you think the call was a good call?"

Appropriate response was given

"Do you think the call cost you the game?"

Appropriate response was not given.

UofTOrange said...

Your responses are very level headed. I'm still a little sad, so my responses have probably been less so.

Kobe has whined, I agree, and that's a fair assessment.

I don't know the exact question, but I do stand by the fact that the coach is there to insulate the players to some extent, and Tracy has no business answering either of those questions.

grungedave said...

No one will convince me that Rafer would have been the difference between an "L" and a "W" in either of the first two games.......

UofTOrange said...

I didn't say he would, but to dismiss it as even possible is a little silly

Patrick said...

Actually, Rafer probably doesn't change the outcome of last night's game as Jackson and Brooks both played well. If Adelman was willing to start Rafer and use both Brooks and Jackson to come off the bench, then maybe things change. Problem is, Rafer playing would have cost Brooks playing time and the guy that should be sitting, Luther Head, would still be getting his great big 0 points in 12 horrible minutes. So Rockets still lose last night.

Game 1 would have been the difference as Bobby Jackson has a terrible game and Brooks looked like a rookie. Throw in more of Luther Head awfulness and absolutely no defense on Williams and you have to figure Rafer makes some difference, even going 3-17 with 11 points. He would have played better defense and that 11 points would have still been better than Jackson's output. Rockets may still not win Game 1, but they would have been in it. If Rafer does any better than what I described, Rockets go to Utah tied 1-1.

I'm not a Rafer fan either, but at this point he does add something over what is available. He also seems to have some chemistry with Scola and Landry who have been struggling to find easy shots without him. If anything, he gives the Jazz just one more person to worry about if he does get hot. Even with Jackson and Brooks having good games last night, the Jazz didn't really respect them at all.

Hopefully he comes back and he's decent. Hopefully, TMac can rest his "tired" legs and Battier and Landry can get a little healthier. Hopefully, Adelman realizes that Luther Head shouldn't be on the court against the Jazz and to go to Landry for more than 8 minutes. Hopefully, if the Rockets have any heart left, they come and play their best game of the season Thursday and make sure this damn series gets back to Houston.

Omar said...

Statistically? McGrady has been the best player in the series. It's not even close. He's doing all the playmaking, scoring, and even doing more than he should have to on the glass.

Moving away from statistics, the Jazz have run their entire defense on trying to limit McGrady's ability to drive, either sagging a defender to his side of court or double-teaming on the perimeter. The Rockets have paid almost no respect to Williams and have been playing him man-to-man with a combo of Jackson/Brooks, neither of which is a good defender.

The Jazz are winning this series for one simple reason. The Rockets, beyond McGrady, simply cannot score. Missed layups, missed ft's, and missed open jumpers are killing. Rebounding, "toughness", and lack of size are really irrelevant. If anyone on Rockets, beyond McGrady, could make a shot, they would be looking at a 1-1 series, or even 2-0.

Side comment: That was not a foul by Scola. Not in the 1st quarter, not in the 3rd quarter, let alone in the 4th quarter with a minute left. That's a play that happens every possession in the NBA. It only gets called because Kirilenko flops and Brothers misses the initial contact. I agree with McGrady, that call was absolutely pathetic.

I hope Jerry Sloan never wins a title. He produces team after team of dirty, useless, classless players. I feel bad that Deron Williams (my favorite NBA point guard) will likely have to play the rest of his career for such an ass.

bean of joy said...

I posted this in the initial 'followup' post, but it seems more appropriate in light of the comments here. Please forgive the double post.

On the Scola call at the end of the game: In one sense I think it's a bad call because it was inconsistent to the rest of the game, where both teams were hacking/getting hacked all night long with no whistles. To suddenly call it at that point is understandably hard to swallow for Rockets fans.

That being said, it was a foul. Kirilenko flopped, no question. It wasn't even good acting. But you can't use your arms to clear out like that. Frankly, I think Scola was lucky he didn't get called for a loose ball foul on the rebound of his missed layup seconds earlier.

The point is, it was bad/inconsistent officiating all night long, as I'm sure both Rockets and Jazz fans would agree.

tassell said...

(Already posted this elsewhere, but wanted the DreamShake feedback)
Sorry T-Mac, but you deserve every bit of criticism you get. Granted, I'm a Jazz fan, but based on what I've seen in the last two play-off series T-Mac loves to take contested, long-range, fade-away jump shots in the 4th qtr.

Whenever the games get tight in the 4th, I'm yelling at my TV for T-Mac to shoot the 20 footer/3 pointer . . . and most of the time he obliges. It doesn't take a genius to figure out these are LOW percentage shots, especially if you don't have your "legs" under you.

To me, this is just plain lazy . . . or perhaps T-Mac actually thinks he's good enough to make these consistently. The problem (for him) is that he occassionally does make enough of them to win a game (or two). But he's fooling himself if he thinks he can make enough of them to win a 7-game series.

I hate to encourage the guy . . . but work for a better shot! You're clearly athletic/quick enough to go around any player we throw at you . . . and probably any two players we throw at you! Take it to the hole and take the hard foul that Boozer/Memo/Harpring are gonna put on you! It takes heart, it takes courage, and you have to WORK for those shots!

But you know what . . . I don't think you have it in you. I'm convinced you're so lost in your egotistical world that you think you're really good enough to win taking (stupid) low-percentage shots that don't take a lot of effort to create. You think that the "great T-Mac" shouldn't be expected to take the "hard" foul that comes when you go to the hole.

Don't worry though T-Mac, I'll be cheering for you every time you settle for the bogus turn-around 20 footer . . . even when you make a few . . . because I know it will just encourage you to do the same next game.

You absolutely lit us up for 3 qtrs in game 2 (I was VERY impressed) . . . but I wasn't one bit worried about the 4th qtr . . . and neither were the boyz in blue.