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Houston Rockets: Daily Rocket Science- Back Court Dominates Headlines

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Welcome to Space City Scoop’s newest feature: Rocket Science which we will bring you every week day.  So, when you grab your hot cup of java each morning now you can drink it while catching up on all your Rockets news here. Fill up your cup and sit back and enjoy your morning Rocket Science:

A big topic of conversation has been the integration of Ty Lawson to the Houston Rockets and how this will impact the Rockets and more specifically James Harden‘s production this season. Several articles took aim directly at Lawson’s comment regarding Curry slacking off on defense during the playoffs and others jumped on James Harden’s declaration he should have won MVP last season and will go after it again this year.

If nothing else it provides some fodder for Steph Curry and his Warriors as they head into the season. Here is a sampling of the best takes on the stars of the back courts in Houston and in Golden State:

Refreshed and recharged, Ty Lawson taking aim at Steph Curry, NBA’s elite | Yahoo Sports

Before Ty Lawson texted James Harden with a plea – “Man, get me over there” – he had studied the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in the Western Conference Finals and come to a conclusion: Half the time, Steph Curry was coasting.
– Adrian Wojnarowsk, Yahoo Sports  Link to full article

Oct 16, 2014; Des Moines, IA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives past Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson (3) at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Curry responds to Harden: ‘Doesn’t change what happened last year’| Fox Sports

When asked about Harden’s comments at Warriors practice on Wednesday, Curry kept his response short and not so sweet: 

Curry hadn't heard about the Harden MVP comments. His thoughts on it ended with, "Doesn’t change what happened last year.”

— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) October 7, 2015

-Fox Sports, Link to full article

May 21, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second half in game two of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Curry on James Harden’s MVP comments: ‘I try not to do a lot of talking’ | NBC Sports

But at what point does Harden risk motivating Curry even more than himself? This isn’t the first time Curry has addressed Harden picking himself for 2014-15 MVP. It might even spread into a team-wide issue, with Rockets general manager Daryl Morey endorsing Harden and Warriors coach Steve Kerr belittling that campaign.

-Dan Feldman, NBC Sports/Pro Basketball Talk, Link to full article

Another comment which grabbed the media’s and fans interest was Dwight Howard citing the fact he was a long way off from hanging up his sneakers and planned to keep playing for another decade. He even noted he might go for the all time record (remember Howard entered the league at 18). CBS Sports had an interesting take on this story:

Sep 28, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) during media day at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Howard says he can play longer than anyone in NBA history| CBS Sports

Time flies in the NBA. It seems like just yesterday Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard was a young pup, learning under Stan Van Gundy the importance of defense and rebounding, donning a cape and making gimmicky dunks.

Eight All-Star appearances, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and one back surgery later, Howard is 29. He’s the veteran leader on a Rockets team looking to advance to the team’s first NBA Finals since 1995. However, Howard still feels young and spry. So spry, in fact, he says he plans on playing another 10 or 11 years.
– Matt Moore, CBS Sports, Link to full article

With the regular season just around the corner odds makers and analysts begin to map out who’ll win the NBA Championship. Obviously this is meant strictly for entertainment purposes and we at Space City Scoop will once again offer our weekly Power Ranking List. This story from Sports Illustrated was interesting though as it touched on the Rockets potentially being one of the teams who could over achieve:

May 27, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Clint Capela (15) chases a loose ball against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first quarter in game five of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 104-90 to advance to the NBA Finals. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Examining the best and worst bets for the 2015-16 NBA over/under lines| Sports Illustrated

The above-average teams with the biggest upside compared to last year—based on their off season additions, projected health and coaching changes—include the Thunder, Spurs, Rockets and Clippers. While all four of those teams have the potential to win 60+ games if things break right, Las Vegas set all of their lines well above the Warriors’ 50.5 last year.

Houston is the most enticing of that bunch, at 54.5, given the general stability of its roster, James Harden’s ascendance as an MVP candidate, the something-for-not-much addition of Ty Lawson, and the reasonable assumption that Dwight Howard won’t miss half the season again due to injury. But, all things considered, 54.5 is still a high enough bar to inspire a little second-guessing.
– Ben Golliver SI.com Link to full article

Finally, my favorite article comes from Grantland as Andrew Sharp warns perhaps too many people are writing off the Rockets as legitimate title contenders. He outlines why the trade to add Ty Lawson was substantial and moreover addresses how deep and versatile the Rockets are after their big 3. Sort of what many of us at Space City Scoop have been alluding to pretty much all through the off season:

Sep 28, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) answers questions during media day at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ready to Blast Off: Don’t Sleep on Ty Lawson and the Rockets |Grantland

Harden is an underrated creator. He just hasn’t had many people to create for. Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer are capable spot-up shooters but not really dynamic scorers. Lawson can be that kind of player while creating easier looks for Harden at the same time. The Rockets could go from being one of the more predictable (though effective) offenses in the league to a nightly buzz saw of slash-and-kick offense with two of the best slash-and-kick guards on the planet.

– Andrew Sharp, Grantland Link to full article

Enjoy your day and remember to make Space City Scoop a daily stop for all your Houston Rockets news.

Send me any Rockets related link to @TTOTambz

Next: SCS Round Table

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