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Chris Vernon of The Ringer needs to shut up about the Houston Rockets

N.B. Lindberg
Chris Vernon laughs while interviewing Max Homa on his podcast the Chris Vernon Show inside the
Chris Vernon laughs while interviewing Max Homa on his podcast the Chris Vernon Show inside the / Chris Day / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Where Chris Vernon was sort of right about the Rockets

The most truthful thing Vernon said was about the passing. The Rockets attempt the 24th most passes per game in the league, while the Pacers attempt the third, the Spurs the sixth, and the Jazz the 11th. However, Vernon hasn’t been watching the Rockets all season because if he had been, he would have known that they have been passing far more frequently. 

I wrote an article about the Rockets not passing enough on November 3rd. At that point, they were attempting 261.3 passes per game, and it led to an offensive rating of 107. Over the next five games, they’ve attempted 290.8 passes per game, the 13th most in the league over that span, and have produced an offensive rating of 114.4. 

The final part of Vernon’s masterclass in gasbagging centers on the Rockets’ lack of veterans. The Rockets do have far fewer veterans than just about any team in the league, but making a massive fuss over it without doing any research is how fact-checkers make a living.

Due to the Rockets’ buy-out of John Wall, they have $41 million in dead money just from that move alone. The Rockets also waived Derrick Favors and his $10.1 million salary. Throw in Eric Gordon’s $19.5 million, and that’s nearly $70 million tied up in three veterans, two of which aren’t even on the team. I’m sure Vernon would argue they should have kept Wall and Favors, but Wall already sat out all of last season, and Favors has yet to be signed. 

The Rockets simply don’t have the financial capabilities to have veterans on their roster. Is that disgusting? No, they’re in a rebuild, and next season they’ll have more cap space than nearly any other team to add the veterans Vernon so loudly proclaims would teach the Rockets how to be professionals. 

Next: Chris Vernon wasn't done with the Houston Rockets just yet