James Harden only scored 24 tonight…
And the Rockets lost.
So, apparently…the Rockets are going to need Harden to play like the “Bearded Michael Jordan” every night if they want to keep winning…
Contrary to popular belief, the Houston Rockets did NOT trade for James Harden…
They CLEARLY kidnapped Michael Jordan, accompanied Captain Jack Sparrow to the Fountain of Youth and put a fake beard and a Houston Rockets’ jersey on him upon his return.
James Harden is in BEAST MODE, ladies and gentleman.
41 points per over the season’s first 2 games.
“Fear the Beard” indeed…
BALLER OF THE NIGHT (Oct 2)
Many weren’t sure that James Harden would be able to top his 37 point, 12 assist Houston Rockets’ debut.
They were WRONG.
James Harden put up 45 points on the Atlanta Hawks, on 14-19 from the floor, 2-4 from 3, and 15-17 from the line on Friday night in Atlanta.
The Bearded Michael Jordan is now averaging 41 points per game so far this season, and with every monsterous effort, makes the Thunder appear dumber and dumber for not handing this man the additional $5 mill and paying the luxury tax.
Something tells me that this “Baller of the Night” award won’t be the last one I give to James Harden this season…
Why will James Harden succeed in Houston?
Because he has BALLS, of course…..
BALLER OF THE NIGHT (Oct 31)
Apparently, the new recipient of an $80 million contract extension decided to dress as a bearded assasin for Halloween….
And BOY were the Detroit Pistons sorry that he did.
37 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 4 steals and a block, all while shooting 14-25 from the field for the new face of the Houston Rockets.
I know that OKC Thunder fans think that Harden is an ass for not taking that $4 million less to stay in OKC.
But I gotta tell you, Thunder fans. To the rest of us, you guys look like idiots for not giving this man the extr $4 million and paying the fucking luxury tax.
FEAR THE BEARD.
2012-13 Season Preview and Predictions: Houston Rockets
2011-12 Record: 34-32
Key losses: Kevin Martin
Key additions: James Harden and Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin had all of a couple of months to enjoy being the Houston Rockets biggest offseason acquisition.
That all changed a few nights ago when the Rockets took advantage of Harden being unwilling to be the 3rd wheel on a perennial contender for $5 million less than the max, and shipped Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, and a 1st round draft pick to OKC for the defending 6th Man of the Year.
Now, for those of you delusional Rockets fans that believe that you are suddenly a contender because you acquired James Harden, allow me to break it down for you.
You traded a guy who averaged 17.1 points last season for a guy that averaged 16.8 points last season and doesn’t really excel at anything else. You guys that believe that makes you a playoff contender should ask the Thunder brass about how much “The Beard’s” abysmal Finals’ performance last season may have cost them an NBA championship. Perhaps the Thunder brass would’ve found a way to anty up that additional $5 mill had Harden showed up when it all mattered most….
What you guys NOW have is a severely over hyped, turnover machine of a point guard in Jeremy Lin, a shooting guard that is more famous for his beard and haircut than his play, and not a whole helluva lot else.
Sure, Harden will put up numbers in Houston in 2012-13. I’d say it’s fair to assume that Harden will average 20+. The question is, who else is going to score? Who is going to play defense? Who is going to slash the lanes to catch passes from a slashing Jeremy Lin?
Poor James Harden.
He is going from one over hyped point guard that dominates the ball to another.
Only this one isn’t anywhere near as good as the last….
All the Houston Rockets have done is assured that they will suck with 2 players that have built in marketing schemes. That’s all good for selling tickets and merch. Not so hot for winning basketball games…
Prediction: 29-53. 13th in Western Conference.
James Harden traded to the Houston Rockets
I don’t know why everybody is so shocked by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s decision to trade James Harden only days before the start of the 2012-13 season.
James Harden’s fate was essentially sealed last season when the Thunder signed Serge Ibaka to a 4 year $48 million extension.
With that deal, the Oklahoma City Thunder could no longer afford the maximum contract that James Harden would certainly command in free agency, and by inking Ibaka to his deal, they essentially made their choice between the two.
I know that many Oklahoma City Thunder fans were holding their breathe, both assuming and hoping that Harden would take less money to chase down championships with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for many years to come in an aging Western Conference that would almost certainly belong to them.
But I think the Thunder fans were naive as to how RARELY a big athletic talent opts for less money and less spotlight to be a sidekick on a team that plays out in the middle of nowhere.
So…Harden declined a $55.5 million offer over 4 years that was a mere $4.5 million less than the max, and the Thunder offered to ship him now, rather than later.
Rather than allowing themselves to be held hostage Dwight Howard style by a star athlete, a process that would have overshadowed their chase for an NBA championship, the Thunder opted to get as much as they could for Harden NOW, build as much chemistry as possible heading torward the playoffs , and make a chase for the gold come this Summer.
And I can honestly say that I wasn’t surprised at all.
So, what did the defending Western Conference champions get in exchange for the former 6th Man of the Year?
They received guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks and a 2nd round pick in exchange for Harden, Daequan Cook, and Lazar Hayward.
Kevin Martin is a 29 year old, career 18 point a night scorer in this league. He has averaged more than 20 a night 4 times, is a career 38% 3 point shooter, and an 87% free throw shooter.
I just can’t see where there is THAT big of a drop off between Martin and Harden, to tell you the truth.
Yes, James Harden shoots a higher percentage from the floor, but he has also played with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook throughout his career while Martin has turned himself into a near elite scorer with the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets. How much more efficient will Kevin Martin be with Durant and Westbrook on his team? Will he accept his new role as a team’s 3rd wheel? Will James Harden be the same player he was in OKC with only an overrated Jeremy Lin to bail him out?
All of these things remain to be seen.
To Oklahoma City Thunder fans, I know that you spent a lot of money on your “fear the beard” shirts. I KNOW you were hoping Harden would take a little less money to chase championships with Durant and Westbrook for the next few years. But it seldom ever happens that way. Elite athletes always believe that they can turn their next team into a title contender, and hardly any of them will accept less money to be the 3rd wheel on a contender when the believe that they can make max dollars to turn their next team into a contender as it’s primary star.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are STILL among the 3 best teams in the Western Conference and could absolutely win an NBA title THIS season. For those of you running around, cursing your franchise for not finding a way to anty up the additional $4.5 mill to make Harden, a career 12.7 ppg scorer, a maximum deal that he didn’t deserve, shame on you!
Your team is going to be fine, Kevin Martin is as good a basketball player as you ever could have hoped to get in exchange for Harden, and you are still in control of a destiny that could take you to an NBA title THIS season. If you REALLY love your “fear the beard” T’s THAT much, throw away all of your Thunder merch and become a Houston Rockets’ fan. But I PROMISE you that you won’t like the results.
This trade only means that the Houston Rockets will be a bad team with a marketable athlete with a built in marketing scheme.
My evaluation of Jeremy Lin…
Lin is an average basketball player.
The 2 weeks of Linsanity in New York this past season simply don’t impress me that much when you look at the position the Knicks were in.
The sample size that each and every New York Knicks’ fan needed to look at, were the games played, and numbers Lin put up AFTER the return of Carmelo Anthony.
Jeremy Lin’s 4.7 turnovers per game, were dead last amongst point guards who were eligible.
In my opinion, Jeremy Lin, based on what I have personally seen, is good enough to start on the following teams:
- New Orleans
Jeremy Lin is a very good back up on a good team and a starter on a bad team. And make no mistake about it, the Houston Rockets will be a bad team in 2012-13.
The Knicks trade for Raymond Felton. What does this mean for Jeremy Lin?
The New York Knicks have agreed to a sign and trade deal with the Portland Trailblazers that will land them Raymond Felton and former Knick Kurt Thomas in exchange for Jared Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric.
The deal for Raymond Felton, is reportedly for 3 years and $10 million.
That amount is SUBSTANTIALLY less than the 4 year, $25 million that the Knicks would have to agree to pay in order to match the Rockets’ offer sheet for Lin, and Raymond Felton is an established and experienced point guard in this league. Does this trade for Felton all on it’s own guarantee that the Knicks wouldn’t bring back Lin? No. But the trade for Lin, along with the signing of Jason Kidd earlier in the month, gives the Knicks two veteran and proven point guards, BOTH more capable of running the Knicks current offense of head coach Mike Woodson than the currently expensive Jeremy Lin.
I have a sneaking suspicion that the Knicks didn’t acquire Kidd OR Felton to have either of them be a 3rd string point guard, and they CERTAINLY wouldn’t pay Lin $25 million to ride the pine.
The truth is, Knicks fans, with the signing of Kidd and the acquisition of Raymond Felton, the Knicks are now beyond set at the point guard position. And for a FAR cheaper price.
Brace yourselves, Linsanity supporters, but I believe that the New York Knicks are going to let Jeremy Lin walk. And it is the CORRECT decision.
Why, you ask?
Linsanity has tapped out in the Big Apple. They milked him for all that he was worth last season as he stepped in and played quite impressively as then head coach Mike D’Antoni put the ball in Lin’s hands and ran the pick and roll offense through him, much the way he did with Steve Nash in Phoenix. But now, with D’Antoni gone, Woodson as the new head man in New York, and Carmelo Anthony healthy, Lin, a player who needs the ball in his hands in order to be effective, has had his role significantly reduced. Lin kept the Knicks afloat last season, kept the fans interested, sold a lot of jerseys and souvenirs, and ultimately, made himself a lot of money, and a starting job. It just appears that it will NOT be with the New York Knicks.
Bottom line, now that the Knicks have Kidd and Felton, it makes all of the sense in the world to let Lin walk, even though it hasn’t been made official yet. Both the New York Knicks and Jeremy Lin win in this deal.
The Knicks get stability in their half court offense, via sure handed, veteran points like Kidd and Felton, and Jeremy Lin gets a rebuilding team where he can be the focal point on offense. They can run the pick and roll around him, and rebuild their team based on Lin’s strengths and weeknesses. He will no doubt do a lot of losing along the way, but now, the floor is all his.
Anonymous asked: Where do you think Howard is gonna end up? How do you think the rockets/lakers/magic are gonna do next season?
I will answer them to the very best of my knowledge in order.
I think that ULTIMATELY, Dwight Howard will end up with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In Andrew Bynum, they have the best possible player to offer the Magic in a straight up trade, and as the Magic showed in the proposed three team trade between the Lakers/Magic/Rockets last week, they appear to be more than willing to rebuild, start from scratch, and participate in a deal with the Lakers that DOES NOT land them Dwight Howard. The Brooklyn Nets are genuinely OUT, in my opinion. They just signed Brook Lopez to a maximum deal, and the Magic brass never appeared to be all that high on him anyway. The Magic could’ve made that deal with the Nets at anytime over the last year and a half. They didn’t, because they simply didn’t like what the Nets had to offer. The Atlanta Hawks appear to be very interested, but by the time they unload all of the pieces from their roster that it would require to get Howard back in a trade, how would their team be any different than the Orlando Magic team Howard currently plays on? There is no chance in hell that Dwight Howard would sign on long term in Atlanta. As far as the Houston Rockets are concerned, I truely dig their enthusiasm and persistance, but I don’t know what in the hell they are doing. They are unloading evey piece that could be valuable to getting Howard to sign on long term in Houston. Why would Howard leave Orlando to sign on to a rebuilding process in Houston long term? He wouldn’t. PERIOD. Eventually, after the Magic hire their new coach, they will revisit the three team deal with the Lakers and Rockets, the Rockets will get Bynum, the Lakers will get Howard, and the Magic will get draft picks and expiring contracts. The REAL key to getting this deal done, is that Bynum will have to agree to sign in Houston long term, and the Rockets and or Lakers will have to agree to take back Jason Richardson or one of the other expiring deals the Magic want to unload. When all of those things are resolved, the deal will get done. Dwight Howard will be a Laker before opening night.
Next season, if everything goes down the way I think it will, the Houston Rockets will be a 30-40 win team. They will have Andrew Bynum, the franchise big man they have seemingly coveted since Hakeem OLlajuwon hung em’ up, and with all of the cap space they have cleared this summer, they are well equipped to take on Jason Richardson or whatever expiring Contract the Magic wish to unload. 30-40 wins for the Rockets, they will finish between 8-10 in the west, and be in solid position for a decent draft pick in 2013.
The Orlando Magic will be abysmal in 2012-13. They will win anywhere from 20-30 games, and will compete for the top draft pick in the 2013 draft. But if you ARE the Magic, and you have a great track record in the draft, if you are going to rebuild, do it NOW and do it RIGHT.
The Lakers will be either the 1st or 2nd seed in the West WITHOUT Dwight Howard next season. WITH a motivated and invested Howard (which I often think is impossible), the Lakers become the favorites to come out of the West, and the NBA fans will finally get the Kobe/LeBron NBA Finals matchup they have long desired.
Thanks for the awesome question. I hope my answer helped.
Jeremy Lin reportedly “butt hurt”
Jeremy Lin, who has verbally agreed to a 4 year, $28.8 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets, is reportedly upset at the New York Knicks for not making the 1st move to bring him back.
The thing is, despite all of the hype and all of the “Linsanity,” Lin only played in 35 games this past season, was brilliant in some, and flat out careless in others, and was NOT THERE as the Knicks were being bounced from the postseason due to injury.
Not to mention, he was not nearly as effective after head coach Mike D’Antoni, who ran a pick and roll offense in which the point guard always had the ball and his hands, a system in which Lin thrived in, was fired. D’Antoni was replaced by Mike Woodson, who wants to grind it out on defense, and win or lose with the ball in the hands of Carmelo Anthony on offense.
The truth is, had Lin played for ANY team NOT known the New York Knicks, “Linsanity” would’ve never come to be. So now, Lin is apparently upset at the ONE team he has ever signed with that was willing to ACTUALLY give him a chance to succeed for not jumping right out there with out guaging the interest in Lin throughout the league, and throw a truck load of money and the keys to the big apple right in his lap.
Jeremy Lin was a restricted free agent. That means that the New York Knicks were perfectly within their rights to sit back, see what kind of offer Lin would get, and match that while possibly getting Lin for an amount less than what they would have initially offered him themselves.
THAT is called “good business.” Plain and simple.
Why would the Knicks bid against themselves for the services of a player who has played about 15 really good games in this league?
Certainly they offer economics at Harvard, right?
Jeremy Lin will now be a very rich man, with a role on one of the most valuable franchises in all of sports, playing in the world’s most famous afrena, in one of the world’s greatest cities, without having to ever sleep on his friend’s couch, again.
It’s just business, Jeremy. You are going to be a Knick, so shut up and go work on your jump shot. You won’t get many pick and roll opportunities under head coach Mike Woodson.
I never thought that the Houston Rockets stock piling of draft picks and assets could potentially help out my beloved Lakers…
I just thought it was an all out bid on their part to attempt to get Deron Williams and Dwight Howard.
And I’m sure, that at first, that’s the way they looked at it, as well.
But the MOST RECENT trade scenario works out like THIS:
A few of the draft picks the Rockets stock piled in the weeks leading up to the NBA draft, and a few expiring contract.
So what would this deal mean for each of these three teams?
For my beloved Lakers, it means that we get the best player in the deal. More importantly, it means that we are ALL IN for running the Oklahoma City Thunder down for the top spot in the West, and winning the NBA title. My personal feelings about Dwight Howard have been WELL documented, and those aside, IF motivated, IF healthy, and IF he buries ALL of the drama and focuses on basketball, a combination of Kobe, Howard, Gasol, and Nash will NOT be fucked with. But in all honesty, I am NOT convinced that Howard can deliver on a single one of my “IF’s.”
For the Rockets, it means that they get the second best player in the deal, and the 2nd best center in all of basketball in Andrew Bynum. Bynum has reportedly expressed interest in signing long term in Houston, and he at only 24 years of age, he could be the center piece of the Rockets youth movement going forward.
For the Magic, it is CLEAR that they are in fool blown rebuilding mode. It ALSO makes it abundantly clear just what it is they REALLY think of the Nets’ Brook Lopez. It is easy to forget looking at the potential trade scenarios NOW, but anyone who has been following it from day one, KNOWS that the Orlando Magic have had the opportunity to make some version of a Howard for Lopez deal since day ONE. The simple fact that they have NEVER pulled the trigger on this deal, and that they at this moment appear to be more interested in completely rebuilding with draft picks and expiring contracts from the Rockets and Lakers WITHOUT EVEN GETTING ANDREW BYNUM IN THE DEAL, than giving Howard what he wants, and taking Lopez back in a deal. Seriously, who EVER though that a scenario would arise in which Howard could become a Laker without Bynum going to the Magic??
I seriously didn’t see it coming.
For the Magic, THIS deal makes the most sense.
Any of you who believe that my opinion on this trade is biased because I am a life long Lakers fan should go back and read my opinions of Dwight Howard over the last year.
If you are the Magic, you are NOT going to win with Brook Lopez as the center piece of your team. You won’t even make the playoffs. Don’t believe me? Ask the Nets. So if you are the Magic, why not use this opportunity to rebuild completely, alleviate yourselves of a few expiring contracts, and reload with a clusterfuck of young draft picks that you won’t have to pay much under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Orlando Magic have a strong history in the NBA draft.
The Lakers get a chance to chase one or two more titles as the Kobe era winds down, before handing the keys to the city to Dwight Howard for years to come, the Magic get a chance to completely rebuild through the NBA draft, and the Magic get a young and dominant center that they can build their team around going forward.
This deal, is a win, win, win.