The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: June 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

I just might have to buy a new jersey!

Was stumbling around on the Interwebs yesterday...

when I ran across this gem of an article.

Allow me to quote the great Robert Horry:

"I don't want to retire, especially after a year like I had last year,''
"I didn't get a full season in like I wanted to see if it's really time for me to retire. My last game I want to walk off the court sweating. My last game so far I walked off the court with a DNP (did not play) and I don't want it to happen that way.''

This makes me all happy and sad all at once. And you may ask - why is that? Well... first, I would love for Mr. Robert Horry to return to the Houston Rockets for his last season. That would be super badass. Horry could teach Luis Scola and Carl Landry - and now Joey Dorsey - all sorts of tricks of the trade (yes, even the sneaky playoff hip-check on former MVP Canadian players - you can never trust them with their beady eyes and flapping heads).

........ also, Horry's return would allow me to go buy another awesome Rockets jersey!!

[here I would have inserted a preview image of the Horry #25 jersey, but apparently the NBA store can't let me speculate on such things - I can't even order an Horry #25 jersey right now if I wanted to. What kinda bullshit is that??]

Moving along, on the flip side - there are at least three reasons why my reaction to this Horry news is somewhat muted:

1. The Rockets have a glut of power forwards.
2. Horry can't exactly teach T-Mac how to be clutch.
3. Horry appears to be the last person to know that he's done.

Yes, I am sad to admit, but even *I* think Horry should hang it up. It really sucks that he got a DNP-CD in his last game. It really sucks that he made exactly 0 FGs in the series against the Lakers. It really, really sucks that Horry might have to beg and plead for a job. But... Horry should retire. San Antonio is not going to sign him. The Rockets are highly unlikely to sign him. From the sound of the article -- those are the only places he's really considering. And as bad as last season was for the future Hall of Famer... I really don't think he has another "good" season in him... the league is not kind to 38 year old situational power forwards. You have no idea how much it kills me to type that.

I'll just choose to remember the good times:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Better late than never: Rockets trade Pip!

(sorry for not having a post up on Friday... or Saturday... or earlier today. I was not anywhere in town - and even further away from an Internet connection, e-mail or newspapers. It happens.)

From what I've read and been told upon my return earlier today -- the Rockets wised up and traded Nicholas Batum aka Frenchy aka Pip. I feel so relieved. And I really like what we got in return... according to Lee it breaks down like this:

Rockets get - Joey Dorsey and Darrel Arthur from Portland
Portland gets - Batum
Memphis gets Arthur and the Rockets late pick
Rockets get Donte Greene and Memphis's 2009 2nd rounder

Rockets ultimately get Donte Greene, Joey Dorsey and Memphis' 2nd rounder in '09.

This is excellent news!

Greene was one of "those guys" that I was hoping we would have an opportunity to pick. I'm quite happy with that. Now, while we didn't get CDR (who Morey apparently knows something about that I don't) - we did end up with his teammate Dorsey. Even if Dorsey is probably better being loaned to the Texans for a while (see what I did there? He's built like a football player!!!).

The interesting thing about Dorsey is my cousin used to be the Memphis trainer... which is probably why I was biased towards us drafting CDR to begin with. This is close enough I guess. Though it does create quite the backlog of power forwards for us:



I guess this allows us to use some leverage against Carl Landry if he's truly seeking more than $4-5M a year -- we heard rumors he might ask for upwards of $10M a year... if so, I like you Carl, but you're not worth that. Sorry. It also might provide us insight on what the Rockets plan to do with Chuck Hayes (since he is no longer starting and presumably still can't shoot free throws. Of course, we all know that Dorsey is just as bad at the stripe... it is just not as ugly as Chuck's shot.)

So, in conclusion, I am happy with the result of the draft for the most part.

Alas, Rafer and Luther are still technically on the roster. Which is a problem. But the Rockets maximized their draft picks again and have added to the team's depth. That's about all we could do considering we could not draft Rose or Beasley.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And... the Rockets draft Pip

So, Courtney Lee doesn't fall into the Rockets figurative lap.

But CDR did.

What do the Rockets do?

We draft Frenchy. F--k!

This is really going to test my newfound trust in you, Morey!!!
(How did we pass on CDR for Pip?!?!?!)

edit: rumors are starting to spread that the Rockets might trade Batum. I was wondering why we would take a teenager on a roster filled with veterans looking for a missing piece. I still maintain that CDR has the skills we are looking for (can create own shot, can attack the basket and also make mid-range jumpers)... we shall see what happens.

The Requisite NBA Draft Live-Blog!

Head on over to Ridiculous Upside for the
live blog

hopefully in the next six hours, Luther Head will be an ex-Rocket.

Trade Rumors

From Chad Ford's draft watch:

The Wizards have been talking with several teams about trading down in the
draft. Talks with the Pistons last night ended up going nowhere. The latest has them talking about a swap with the Rockets that would send No. 18 to Houston and No. 25 to Washington.

What I've been reading is that the trade is Houston's 25 and Luther Head for Washington's 18. That should allow us to have our pick of Lee, CDR or Hibbert AND get rid of Luther Head, seems a win-win for the Rockets.

Hope springs eternal: it's Draft Day!

Pursuant to NBA Blogger Law section 1995.4(a)(ii)(D)(3)... I'm informed that I am required to at least make a token entry/post regarding the 2008 NBA Draft.

Yeah, it's true - the NBA Draft is tonight!!!

For those that are really into the draft... and mock drafts... and trade speculation... and more mock drafts - I can only assume you've been visiting Ridiculous Upside with regularity and also waiting with baited breath each week for the next version of Chad Ford's guaranteed-to-be-wrong mock on

(I only mock Mr. Ford because he keeps assigning the Rockets some random french dude each week as our likely pick... even though reports are that said french dude has heart issues. Yeah, that sounds like a smart 1st round pick to make to me. Even though I fell for it in the mock draft we participated in...)

Here are some goals I can only hope the Rockets have heading into tonight:

1. Trade Luther Head.
2. Do not draft Pip.
3. Find the next Carl Landry.
4. See what the market might be for T-Mac.
5. Do not use a 1st round pick on a tall, white center.
(Those guys never work out).

In addition, when the Rockets are on the clock with the 25th pick (which, I'm guessing will be around 8:30pm or so CST)... here are the players I can only hope are still on the board and available for us to pick:

1. CDR.
2. Roy Hibbert.
3. Donte Green.
4. Brandon Rush
5. Mario Chalmers.

Look, I do not expect the Rockets to stumble into the next Kobe... or T-Mac... or Monta Ellis... or even the next Sam Cassell (24th pick in 1993!) with this draft pick. I only expect Daryl Morey to maximize the value of the draft. Trade up if you can. Trade down if necessary. Find a diamond-in-the-rough in Round 2. Morey is like a genius or something, so I'll trust that he can meet these simple guidelines.

Of course, I must include the disclaimer that this time last year I was pissed that the Rockets passed on Big Baby and Nick Fazekas to draft a midget. That midget turned out to be Aaron Brooks - who turned out to be a decent player as a rookie. Not bad for a Chris Rock look-a-like. I can at least admit now that I was wrong to be angry with the pick (and hey, how was I to know Morey was going to acquire super-badass Luis Scola just a few weeks later?!?!?). Like I said, Morey is a genius or something and I've learned to trust his instincts.

I guess I am just anxious to see what 18-22 year old future millionaire will be wearing the Rockets jersey in October. Hopefully the next Robert Horry (hey, I need a new favorite player since Horry is probably going to retire!).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shaq Versus Kobe

So let me get this straight:

Shaq and Kobe have both gone to the finals once without the other and lost. Shaq against one Mr. Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets, Kobe this year versus a 60 win Celtics team that was not as good as he made them look

They won 3 titles together, 2 in which I thought Kobe was the dominant player and 1 in which I thought Shaq was.

And at the age of 34, Shaq won (really was handed it thanks to DWade and the NBA refs, and I don't think anyone would mistake me for a Mavs homer) one without him.

Yet for some reason Shaq thinks Kobe only won because of him, I could easily say that Shaq only won because of Kobe and DWade (definitely the case with Wade). AND Kobe has FIVE prime years to go to match what Shaq did.

So, what exactly has been proven?
I'm going with:
1. Not a damn thing as far as what Kobe can do without Shaq
2. Shaq is a dumbfuck (though a funny one).
3. Shaq<<<<<<< Hakeem (Just had to get that in there)

Friday, June 20, 2008

When the worst case scenario happens

Lee and I participated... somewhat... in the mock draft sponsored by the Hardwood Paroxysm guys who now are moonlighting over at Ridiculous Upside. The Rockets have the 25th pick, and I am quickly learning that this is going to be a really tough spot to find a player that will immediately contribute to next year's Rockets roster.

Oh, and not to kill the suspense, but you can see our pick and our rationale for said pick here.

I really, really hated having to make this pick. We couldn't find a recent photo of our draftee. Here's one of him from third grade though:

This french piece of crap better be as good at basketball as he is at dodgeball.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some offseason fun

A few links from some friends of the blog

First up: TMac saving a dude that's falling

From Carolyn over at blog Cleveland: Yao's flippin sweet new kicks
I actually really want these, though a 6'3 bald headed white guy wearing these might not work out as well as I think it would in my head. In my head I rock them and I have to beat ladies off with a stick. In real life I'd be a guy with a dragon on his shoe and get looked at funny.

In other news:

Dave and I are participating in Ridiculous Upside's NBA Mock Draft currently. We pick for the Rockets tomorrow at 8AM. As I write this the following players have been picked:

The 2008 SB Nation Mock Draft so far:
1. Chicago Bulls- Blog-A-Bull: Derrick Rose
2. Miami Heat- Peninsula is Mightier: Michael Beasley
3. Minnesota Timberwolves- Canis Hoopus: OJ Mayo
4. Seattle Supersonics- Ridiculous Upside: Eric Gordon
5. Memphis Grizzlies- 3 Shades of Blue: Kevin Love
6. New York Knicks- Posting and Toasting: Russell Westbrook
7. Los Angeles Clippers- Clips Nation: Jerryd Bayless
8. Milwaukee Bucks- BrewHoop: Anthony Randolph
9. Charlotte Bobcats- Queen City Hoops: Joe Alexander
10. New Jersey Nets-Nets Daily: Brook Lopez
11. Indiana Pacers-Indy Cornrows: DJ Augustin
12. Sacramento Kings- Sactown Royalty: Marreese Speights
13. Portland Trailblazers-Blazers Edge: Brandon Rush
14. Golden State Warriors- Golden State of Mind: DeAndre Jordan
15. Phoenix Suns- Bright Side of the Sun: Danilo Gallinari
16. Philadelphia 76ers- Ridiculous Upside: Darrell Arthur
17. Toronto Raptors- The Dinosty: Chris Douglas Roberts
18. Washington Wizards- Bullets Forever: Roy Hibbert
19. Cleveland Cavaliers- Waiting For Next Year: Courtney Lee

So, no Rush, no Hibbert, no CDR, no Courtney Lee, and obviously no Augustin (anyone that doesn't think he is clutch isn't paying attention). So, we are kind of stuck with a project/backup center. I think we need a backup center, but if the draft were to really play out like this (it won't) I'm pretty certain we will be trading the pick.

What say you, who would you pick?

Robin Lopez is still there, he has skills, and his biggest deficiency is FT shooting to me, luckily Yao can teach him that
Donte Green is still left and he could be the next Robert Horry, 6’10, plays SF, but he would need to work on his 3pt shot a LOT, he could be an absolute steal this late
Mario Chalmers is a decent college PG, but I’m not sure we will draft a PG, but overall I hate his assist numbers and his A/T ratio even more. I'll pretty much tell you right now we won't be picking him
JaVale McGee I don’t know enough about

And if we have to take one of the Frenchys I'm going to be pissed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The better team won, but........

Here are a few observations I took from the NBA Finals.
Which mercifully ended with a 40 point killing in Game 6.

Anyway, as follows:

Good God, Simmons is going to be unbearable for the next 5 years.

At least Rajon Rondo didn't break Robert Horry's record for steals in an NBA Finals game. Horry had 7 against Orlando in 1995. Rondo came up just short with 6, though not for the lack of help from the Laker reserves.

When the hell did Kobe turn into T-Mac? Seriously... I know the "bailing out the defense with a bunch of needless 3-point shots" offense when I see it! That's T-Mac's trademark almost!

(Lee's comment to that? "There is no such thing as a T-Mac impression in the NBA Finals." So true...)

We just saw Phil Jackson get pwn3d by Doc freakin' Rivers. Red Auerbach must be laughing his ass off in the afterworld right now. Do they allow cigars up there?

JVG was about to have an aneurysm doing the commentary for the game. The Lakers were playing an excellent version of the matador defense. Giving up in the 2nd quarter in the NBA Finals? Shameful.

Hey, Kobe... even Joe Johnson was able to create his own shot against the Celtics. AND he took them to 7 games. I don't know what it means other than "I will never compare you to MJ ever again." Nor should anyone else. And I am a huge Kobe fan!

The NBA season is over. That sucks. But ever since the Rockets got dismissed from the post-season I haven't had much motivation to write. Guess I get to focus on the draft now!

(Please, Mr. Morey - don't draft the French guy! Please!!!)

Friday, June 13, 2008

I admit - Kobe is no MJ

I am a Kobe fan, but even I must admit this is pretty funny:

Oh, and thanks a lot for choking, Lakers. The Rockets no longer hold the record for biggest comeback in the NBA Finals. Grrrrrrrrrrrr...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The NBA: Where the Playoffs make me sad happens

Yes, I know we have not been writing much since the Rockets were unceremoniously dumped by the evil Utah Jazz. I can only hope that you all understand why... for the 2007/2008 NBA regular season was the most entertaining and fun-filled season in almost 20 years.

In fact, I think I enjoyed this year even more than 1994 and 1995 (because the playoffs were far more entertaining than the regular season then). This year we had a 22 game winning streak, Kobe's march to the MVP, the rise of CP3 and Dwight Howard, the re-birth of the Boston Celtics with KG and Ray Allen, a dunk contest that didn't suck, and so many other awesome storylines - specifically the greatest Western Conference battle of all-time.

.......... then the playoffs started.

And everything went to hell.

I'm not even talking about just the Rockets anymore. With so much anticipation for the playoffs following the regular season, I'm not sure the NBA higher-ups could have screwed the pooch anymore than they did.

I tried to watch every single playoff game this year. And for the first month or so I was successful in reaching my goal. I even watched the awful Raptors/Magic series. And the overrated LeBron/Wizards contests. To be blunt - it's all been disappointing.

We knew the best teams in the NBA were probably the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs and Pistons. So it was not a surprise that these were the teams that comprised the NBA's own "Final Four". What bothered me is how we got there. And as lame and cliche as it is to blame referees for how the games turn out - this year there is no avoiding it.

Last year had the stink of the Suns/Spurs suspensions and the Tim Donaghy scandal. The year before we had to deal with the NBA handing the Miami Heat gift-foul after gift-foul. To the extent that I went from being a Dwyane Wade fan to finding him incredibly annoying. The running joke for more than a year was that even mentioning Wade's name drew a foul and two free throws. The 2006 NBA Finals were that much of a sham.

Which made me naively believe that the 2008 NBA Finals would somehow be different. I mean, come on, it's the Lakers! And the Celtics! The glory days are back! Kobe... KG... Gasol... Pierce... PJ v. Doc! What could possibly go wrong? In a word: everything.

Now, full disclaimer -- I am not a Lakers fan. Nor am I a Celtics fan.
I am a big fan of both Kobe and KG.

But the referees are absolutely killing my ability to watch the NBA right now. I don't care that the Lakers are down 2-0. I do care how/why they are down 2-0 and why instead of continuing to watch the game on Sunday I decided to switch to watching Rounders. I think I made the right choice. There is no way possible that Leon Powe should ever shoot more free throws by himself than an entire team should. Ever. I don't care if you try to rationalize it as a statistical anomaly or a fluke or some other creative excuse. It should not happen.

Now, here are three immutable rules about the NBA:
1. Stars do and should get more foul calls than the average player.
2. The refs should never decide the game by calling fouls with time running out (i.e., the Fisher/Barry play in the Spurs series comes to mind)
3. The home team will always shoot more free throws in a playoff game.

And I'm okay with these rules. If applied consistently.

Now, I watched the first 15-20 minutes of Game 2 in absolute horror. If the Lakers were a jump-shooting team that never took the ball to the basket and settled for 3s every other time on offense, I could understand why they only shot 10 free throws for the entire game. That would make sense. Yet Kobe, Gasol and Odom did nothing but take the ball to the basket and try to make layups. With someone in green draped all over their arms/shoulders/back. Result? No foul... and an inevitable missed layup. On the flip side, every time a Celtic would throw his hands up in the air (aka, "pulling an Iverson"), the referees took the bait and blew the whistle. Kobe, Odom and the snowboarding Euro guy all had 2 fouls each seemingly before the first TV timeout. And....... goodbye TV audience when Kobe isn't playing. Way to think it through, NBA.

Meanwhile, the running joke has been that no matter what happens, David Stern will assign Bennett Salvatore to ref Game 3 in L.A., presumably to make sure the Lakers win and we have a 6-7 game series. I mean, haha, that's funny right... no way David Stern would ever be that obvious in his attempts to "fix" the Finals like that...

and then...

I see the announcement of today's officials.

Not only do we get Bennett Salvatore. We also get Joey Crawford.

David Stern isn't even trying to be subtle anymore.

And I'm no longer going to be subtle when I announce here that I won't even bother watching the Finals until we get to Game 5 now. If Kobe shoots less than 15 FTs tonight, I'll be stunned. Lakers should win by 15 or so... easily. And that's a shame.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tim Keown? You are On Notice!

Hey, Tim Keown... I usually like what you write. Usually.

But after today - you are On Notice!

No one (NO ONE!) disses Robert Horry like that and gets away with it here!!

Now, Tim, go stand over in the corner next to Ian Thomsen and the Sports Guy.