Harden sees title chance, says he'll sacrifice shots for it
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)NEW YORK – James Harden used his final interview in Houston to say that his team wasn't good enough. “You just add that all together, and it’s like, that’s a legit chance right there,” Harden said. General manager Daryl Morey and coach Mike D'Antoni weren't going to return and Harden didn't believe in the roster left behind. That seems OK with Harden — as long as the Nets are winning.
Net gains: High hopes in Brooklyn with Durant, Irving ready
NEW YORK – Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving sent expectations soaring when they decided to come to Brooklyn. And that includes 7-11, so get to know us,” Irving said, referring to their uniform numbers. He sat out all last season, while Irving ended up limited to only 20 games because of a shoulder injury. In just 9 1/2 minutes, Durant and Irving outscored the Washington Wizards by themselves, combining for 23 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Durant, Irving and Nash have all downplayed the talk.
Rockets Biggest Offseason Acquisition: Enthusiasm
Former Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni often spoke of the Rockets needing to play with "great spirit." The Rockets, even at their worst, weren't known as a team lacking in hard work. If they have acquired anything this offseason besides new players, coaches and front office staff, it appears to be enthusiasm. LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. Support UsWhat has been missing from the Rockets the last couple season has been that joy that was ever present early in Harden's Rockets career.houstonpress.com
Harden in Houston for COVID tests after missing camp's start
HOUSTON – James Harden is back in Houston after missing the start of Rockets training camp and was going through the NBA’s COVID-19 testing protocols on Tuesday. “But him being here shows a level of commitment to what we have going and what we have going forward. The Rockets have expressed no interest in trading Harden despite months of reports that he wants to leave the team. “Trust is built day to day, once the relationship begins, then we’ll begin that process of trust,” Silas said. But that’s the NBA and the NBA isn’t going to be roses every day.
Rockets Trade Covington to Portland. Are Bigger Moves on the Horizon?
Late Monday night, the Rockets dealt Robert Covington for former Rocket Trevor Ariza and two first round draft picks, including the sixteenth pick in Wednesday's draft. Which brings about the question: Are the Rockets about to implode the entire team and start from scratch? Any deal to net one of the team's two superstars would have to include a package of players and draft picks. Already strapped for cash, with minimal young assets and no draft picks, it makes sense that the Rockets would at least consider imploding it all. So, if this is the end of this era of the Houston Rockets, perhaps burning the whole thing to the ground is the right approach.houstonpress.com
Five Problems Facing the Rockets This Offseason
That means the Rockets will have even less room to maneuver than they would have if the cap number had increased. Free agency is set to start in a week and the Rockets probably won't even have a fully assembled roster before December. LocalCommunityJournalismI Support Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free. On one hand, this could deal a serious blow to the Rockets' chances right now. Whatever the case, it is going to be a very fast and very awkward offseason for the Rockets.houstonpress.com
Rockets to Hire Stephen Silas as New Coach
According to multiple reports, the Rockets will hire Dallas Mavericks assistant Stephen Silas as the team's new head coach after reaching an agreement on Wednesday. Silas will replace Mike D'Antoni, who decided not to return after the season, as the teams 15th head coach. Other candidates for the job included former Rockets coach and TV analyst Jeff Van Gundy, and current Rockets assistant John Lucas, who will likely remain with the team. The son of former NBA player and coach Paul Silas, Stephen Silas has been an assistant in the NBA for 20 years. He has worked as an assistant under former Rockets head coach Rick Carlisle and assistant Steve Clifford.houstonpress.com
AP sources: Rockets hiring Stephen Silas to replace D'Antoni
The Houston Rockets and Stephen Silas have an agreement for the Dallas assistant to replace Mike D'Antoni as coach, multiple people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday. Silas inherits a team led by a pair of former MVPs in Harden and Russell Westbrook. The longtime NBA assistant has worked worked with elite guards before, most recently in two seasons with the Mavericks and 21-year-old sensation Luka Doncic. The nine seasons as a Charlotte assistant for Silas included time with Kemba Walker, and he was with Golden State when the Warriors drafted Stephen Curry in 2009. Paul Silas spent 16 years as a player in the NBA and another 22 as a coach.
Oh, 2020! Here are all the Houston sports head coaches, GMs that changed this year
Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down on his own accord, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. All rights reserved)Daryl Morey - Houston Rockets general managerRockets General Manager Daryl Morey stepped down Thursday, and the decision was mutual, according to KPRC 2 sources. Coach Bill O'Brien speak after Texans fall to Chiefs (KPRC)Bill O’Brien - Texans head coach and general managerAfter an 0-4 start to the season, Texans fired head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien on October 5. Mike D’Antoni - Houston Rockets head coachShortly after the Houston Rockets exited the NBA playoffs, head coach Mike D’Antoni announced he was not returning next season. Houston Astros manager A.J.
General manager Daryl Morey leaving Rockets on Nov. 1 – Houston Public Media
Updated 7:06 p.m. CTHouston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is stepping down on his own accord. Tilman Fertitta, who has owned the Rockets since 2017, thanked Morey for everything he did in his years with the team. Morey tweeted an image that said: "Fight For Freedom. Houston went 640-400 with Morey as the general manager and won a franchise-record 65 regular-season games in the 2017-18 season. Morey worked as Houston’s assistant general manager for one season under Carroll Dawson before he retired after the 2007 season and Morey was promoted to his job.houstonpublicmedia.org
Daryl Morey Stepping Down as Rockets GM
According to reports, Daryl Morey's decade-long tenure with the Houston Rockets is coming to a close. Morey will step down as the team's general manager effective immediately and the team will promote Rafael Stone to the GM position. The Texans, just over a week ago, fired Bill O'Brien, who was both head coach and GM for the team. Immediately following the Rockets final loss of the postseason, coach Mike D'Antoni announced he would not be rejoining the team. He was responsible for trades that brought the team players like Tracy McGrady, James Harden, Chris Paul and, most recently, Russell Westbrook.houstonpress.com
Who might be the next Rockets head coach?
HOUSTON – Mike D’Antoni parted ways with the Houston Rockets on Sunday and the Rockets are looking for a new head coach. Sources: There is mutual interest between the Rockets and Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell. Former Cavaliers head coach and NBA champion Tyronn Lue was fired shortly after LeBron left and caught on with Doc Rivers in Los Angeles. Kidd made the playoffs in three of his five seasons as a head coach, but struggled with a strong Bucks team in 2017-18, which ended up making the playoffs without him. The superstars decided they didn’t want Atkinson as head coach, and now he’s looking for a job.
AP source: D'Antoni tells Rockets he's not coming back
The person with knowledge of those talks spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce anything publicly. It was not totally unexpected; the Rockets and D’Antoni couldn’t agree on an extension last year, meaning he was coaching this season with no guarantee of his future in Houston. “We’ve got a great organization, great city, great fans, team’s great,” D’Antonio said. “Mike has done some unbelievable things here,” Rockets star James Harden said Saturday night, making clear that he would have liked to have seen D’Antoni come back. Houston’s other star, guard Russell Westbrook, also raved about the type of person D’Antoni is and said he enjoyed his lone season playing under him.
At home, on the road or at Disney, James is tough to beat
Earlier in this postseason, he also became the all-time leader in playoff road wins. For the first time in NBA history, road teams have a winning record through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Lakers are 3-0 in the playoffs as the road team so far, which has pushed James total for road playoff wins to 65 two more than Tim Duncan managed in his two decades with San Antonio. Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. The difference was the supporting casts, and Rajon Rondos 21 points and nine assists were enormous for the Lakers.
Lakers brace for Harden, Westbrook and small-ball Rockets
James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets are the opponent when the top-seeded Lakers open the Western Conference semifinals Friday night. The Rockets' debut of their small-ball style was a big success when they beat the Lakers 121-111 in Los Angeles on Feb. 6 behind 41 points from Westbrook. Its a contrast from the last series but excited about what we hope to accomplish with this series, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. GORDON'S GAMEEric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets in Game 7, making five 3-pointers. SEASON SERIESThe Rockets went 2-1 against the Lakers, though James sat out Houston's 16-point victory at Disney on Aug. 6.
Rockets edge Thunder to win wild Game 7, move on to Lakers
The Rockets pulled out a tense final game of the first round that lasted long past the final basket as replays and fouls were sorted out. These are the games, you want to win a championship or win playoff games, you've got to do it with your heart, D'Antoni added. Covington had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Eric Gordon also scored 21 points for the Rockets. Rockets: Houston is 7-5 in Game 7s, including 1-1 under D'Antoni. The Rockets had lost their two other Game 7s in the first round, against Utah in 2007 and Dallas in 2005.
Paul has 28, helps Thunder force Game 7 against the Rockets
Paul gave the Thunder at least one more game at Disney, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for a 104-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in Game 6 of a Western Conference first-round series. In a game that was close all the way neither team led by double digits the Thunder bounced back from a blowout in Game 5. But they combined for 12 of the Rockets' 22 turnovers, saying Houston has lost the close games more than Oklahoma City won them. Houston got its most dominant playoff victory in Game 5, winning 114-80 after holding Oklahoma City to 31.5% shooting. Oklahoma City extended it to eight, but Houston wiped that out with an 18-4 run that provided a 98-92 lead.
Paul has 28, helps Thunder force Game 7 against the Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder's Dennis Schroder (17) is forced to pass the ball as Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook, bottom center, Jeff Green (32) and P.J. Paul gave the Thunder at least one more game at Disney, scoring 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter for a 104-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night in Game 6 of a Western Conference first-round series. But they combined for 12 of the Rockets' 22 turnovers, saying Houston has lost the close games more than Oklahoma City won them. Houston got its most dominant playoff victory in Game 5, winning 114-80 after holding Oklahoma City to 31.5% shooting. Oklahoma City extended it to eight, but Houston wiped that out with an 18-4 run that provided a 98-92 lead.
Harden scores 31 points, Rockets beat Thunder for 3-2 lead
Houston Rockets' P.J. That was a fortunate turn of events for the Houston Rockets. We need him.Schroder led the Thunder with 19 points 18 of them in the second quarter, when Oklahoma City had its only lead of the game. Steven Adams had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Darius Bazley had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder. Houston scored 20 of the games first 27 points, but the Thunder erased the deficit in the second -- taking a brief lead of as many as five points -- before the Rockets took a 48-45 lead into the half.
Lakers, Bucks look to clinch second-round berths Wednesday
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)It was only a week ago when the sky was falling on the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks lead the Orlando Magic 3-1; the Lakers lead the Portland Trail Blazers 3-1. The bottom line is weve come out and competed so much harder.The wake-up call helped the Lakers as well. James teams went 5-5 in his first 10 series-clinching opportunities; theyre 30-5 in those situations since. NEED TO KNOW: If the Bucks win, the Eastern Conference first round would be completed in just 17 games.
Rockets Take Game 1 Over OKC: 4 Winners, 4 Losers
Credit to Kelly Iko of the Athletic, who mentioned Green's name as someone the Rockets were targeting back in July. D'Antoni, who is known for his playoff-shortened bench, stuck with just three reserves including Green, McLemore and Austin Rivers. ScreenshotDennis SchroderWe almost felt bad for the OKC reserve guard who went 3-12 from the field including 0-5 from three. If there were any questions if the Rockets would change their style of play in the postseason, those were put to rest in Game 1. With no Westbrook on the floor, this was Paul's chance to control the game, but the contrast between his slower style of game and the Rockets overdrive only served to underscore the reason the Rockets made the swap of Paul for Westbrook in the offseason.houstonpress.com
Rockets Faltering at Midway Point Need a Dose of "Spirit"
Coach Mike D'Antoni is fond of mentioning the need for his players to play with great spirit. The bad teams don't. In the process, they went 9-45 from the three point line including James Harden's 1-17 from beyond the arc. But the Rockets look like a team that just doesn't know who it is right now. They certainly don't look like a team with high hopes for the playoffs.houstonpress.com
Harden scores 44 as Rockets beat Nets 108-98
HOUSTON – James Harden had 44 points and 10 rebounds and the Houston Rockets built a big early lead and withstood a late rally from the Brooklyn Nets for a 108-98 victory on Saturday night. Spencer Dinwiddie added a layup for the Nets after that, but Harden hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute left to stretch the lead to 107-98. The Rockets used a 10-2 spurt, with four points each from Harden and Westbrook, to make it 99-92 with about four minutes left. Westbrook had 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and Rivers added 14 points off the bench. Harden made one of two free throws with about 9 1/2 minutes left for Houston's first points since there were about two minutes left in the third quarter.
As the Defense Goes, So Go the Rockets
After seven straight wins, the Rockets dropped the last three in a row, the most recent to the Dallas Mavericks Sunday afternoon at Toyota Center. In the first six games of the season, the Rockets defensive rating was 29th out of 30 teams. Going from second worst to second best is quite a remarkable turnaround even in a small sample size. Ultimately, the Rockets don't need to be a top ten defense to win, even in the playoffs, but they can't be bottom third. That begins Wednesday against a Miami team that embarrassed the Rockets in Miami.houstonpress.com
Heat take huge early lead, rout Rockets 129-100
The Houston Rockets are incredibly talented. Jimmy Butler scored 18 points and had nine assists for the Heat, and James Johnson scored 17 in his season debut. The Heat had 38 assists to Houston's 19, and the Rockets were just 14 of 48 from 3-point range. Heat: Miami had a 48-point quarter at New York in 1989 and a 47-point quarter at Boston in 1990. So was Dorell Wright, part of the 2006 Heat NBA championship team.
Five Rockets To Watch in the Preseason
But there are players at the back end of the roster who won't make this team, but who deserve to be on an NBA team. Several will likely wind up in the G League, but others are auditioning for a spot on the Rockets bench, perhaps even a spot in the rotation. Here are some names to watch in the preseason. Chance of Making Team: 7 in 10Ben McLemoreThe former seventh overall pick by the Sacramento Kings has struggled to live up to his lofty draft status. Chance of Making Team: 5 in 10 (otherwise, he'll be in the G League)houstonpress.com