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Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: December 31, 2010 2:15 pm
 

Chuck Hayes is out 2-4 weeks with a bad ankle

Reserve center out 2-4 weeks with moderate to severe ankle sprain.
Posted by Matt Moore


Chuck Hayes took a bad fall in practice, bad enough to require a wheelchair Thursday. It was later announced that Hayes has a moderate to severe sprain of his right ankle and is out for 2-4 weeks.  Which means the Rockets are pretty much doomed down low. 

The Rockets are already without Yao Ming, obviously. Brad Miller can't put in long minutes at his age. Which means that Jordan Hill will be getting significant time at center. Which is not good for, oh, what's the word? Winning. 

The Rockets brought in a tremendous amount of front court help this year in order to have depth behind Ming. But now for two weeks, the Rockets won't have the stout defensive reserve center or their starting center who is out for the year.  For a team that hasn't been nearly good enough defensively all year, that's pretty terrible news. 

So along with the Magic, Knicks, and Suns, the Rockets are also looking for a good center. We are having serious problems with defensive big man depth.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 27, 2010 12:21 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2010 12:22 pm
 

Big surprise here: Steve Francis is done in China

Posted by Royce Young

Well, that was quick. Steve Francis is reportedly done playing professionally in China as reports are that the Beijing Shougang Ducks released Francis. His agent confirmed it to Sina Sports.

Francis played just four games with the Ducks and spent only 13 days with the team. He played 14 minutes a game and averaged only 0.5 points per game. So if you were to say it was an unsuccessful trip for Stevie Franchise, you'd be correct.

Evidently the rocky relationship between Francis and the Ducks came to a head on Christmas, which is a holiday not really recognized in China. Francis skipped the team's practice to spend time with his family and naturally, the team didn't like that. Before that, he walked out at halftime of a game a few days before and told the club he was willing to leave. Plus, Francis wasn't excited about the 14 minutes a game he was getting either.

Francis went to China to try and extend a basketball career that has been falling apart for years. China made some sense though because Francis had some name recognition left over with Chinese fans because of his time playing in Houston with Yao Ming. Reportedly ticket and merchandise sales were up since Francis arrived, but this was a relationship destined to fail.

The team though said Francis was out of shape and unable to really contribute how they hoped. Earlier in the month, the league hit Francis with a "serious warning" because of an inappropriate gesture he made on the bench.

Reportedly, Francis's deal was a one-year guaranteed contract with an option for a second season worth about $800,000.

Francis has never had the best attitude with teams or coaches so there was no reason to think this situation would be any different. Obviously he's hanging on to his basketball career by a thread and trying to get paid.

Category: NBA
Posted on: December 27, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: December 27, 2010 12:45 pm
 

Report: Rockets exploring trade options with Yao

Posted by Royce Young

Following his most recent injury, it's no secret the Houston Rockets are looking at their options in regards to Yao Ming. The big man is done of the season and has a very lucrative $17 million expiring contract. Oh, and on top of that, insurance on Yao's contract offers an $8 million discount on that $17 million.

So it's natural for the Rockets to shop him. And according to Yahoo! Sports, Houston is exploring a Yao trade on several fronts. Also mentioned is that some teams are exploring a trade for Yao to re-sign him on a short deal, or just to get a little cap relief on his big expiring deal.

Obviously Yao isn't going to be contributing this season as he's out for the year with a stress fracture in his left ankle. So anyone that deals for him is looking strictly for a little financial flexibility. Of course his new team could re-sign him to a short-term deal for low dollars, but that's just icing.

Not many are sure that Yao will still have an NBA career after returning from this latest injury. He definitely can, and probably will, but with the injuries piling up on his 7-6 body, he becomes a major liability. So any deal he gets will likely be short and not worth a ton.

The thing about dealing for Yao's expiring contract though is in order to match that $17 million, you've got to give up quite a bit. And the Rockets know how valuable that expiring contract is so they're going to want quite a bit. The Rockets will likely be looking for a contributor that can step in and play, as well as some assets. The Rockets aren't finished yet. They are playing better and are getting Aaron Brooks back, which is a huge boost.

Houston is going to be shopping Yao's contract to find something that helps them now. Daryl Morey isn't a general manager afraid to swing a big deal. He's not shy about taking a risk. So it's likely Yao is moved before the trade deadline. It's just who wants to give up some players in order to achieve a little financial freedom.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:36 pm
 

Melo is foolish not to consider Houston

Carmelo Anthony seems dead set on New York, ignoring overtures from Houston and Dallas. We don't think that's quite so smart a plan.
Posted by Matt Moore

Carmelo Anthony has been weighing his options for months. This whole, convoluted process started because Melo started examining his options.  But he's kept his preference limited to New York. He's been ambivalent about New Jersey, mostly because they're the only ones to make an offer to peak the Nuggets' interest. Otherwise, he's shown no real interest in headed to Newark, before Brooklyn. Dallas is considering acquiring him regardless of his extension-status. For whatever reason, Melo's not itching to head to Dallas, despite it being a huge market with considerable endorsement opportunities. But what's more perplexing? 

Why won't Melo consider Houston?

For months, Houston's been in pursuit of a star, as General Manager Daryl Morey has more than once recognized publicly that you need such stars to win in the NBA. Melo's been on the list for as long as he's been on the market, but still, there's been no word of Melo's interest in Houston. And if it's true that Melo simply doesn't have any interest in the Rockets, that makes him a fool. 

The Rockets certainly aren't a contender this year. They're improving with each game, but they're not a top team in their conference, and aren't locked in for the playoffs. Houston isn't the same kind of market as New York. There aren't the same kind of opportunities for endorsements or parties as there are in LA. But Houston does provide the right set of circumstances to get him out of Denver without losing too much, and most importantly, an organization committed to winning. 

Daryl Morey has made significant moves every year he's been with the Rockets, and his success rate has been pretty high, considering the injuries to Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Outside of the overspending on Trevor Ariza, largely acquired due to a nice playoff run on a stacked team in LA, Morey's been on point. More important, though,  is the organizational approach. Morey almost never shackles himself to long-term assets, seizes opportunities to improve his roster (as he did with Ron Artest), drafts well, and if something isn't working, will move to improve it. He supports his head coach Rick Adelman and works in conjunction with him, as opposed to autonomously.

The Rockets have the pieces to acquire Anthony without giving up the farm for him, as New Jersey is backed into a corner about. The Nets keep offering up more and more assets, and have been acquiring more to try and sweeten the deal. But what's left if they send all that? The only thing assured to be waiting on Melo in Jersey is Brook Lopez, who hasn't been having as good of a season as he normally does. 

Meanwhile, the Rockets can package Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, any number of combinations of reasonable solid players to acquire Melo, and will still have either the expiring contract of Yao Ming to trade, or the money this summer once Yao comes off the books. Should they elect to move Martin, they may be able to pull in another A+ player depending on who or what pick they choose to package with him. Should they keep him, they'll have a legit scoring 2-guard to put next to Melo. 

And as a core element, they have Luis Scola. Scola is a top power forward in the West this year. He has ability to play in the post, can defend out to mid-range as well as down low, and rebounds well. Even at 30 years old, he's a piece worth building around, especially at only $16 million over the next two years. 

Melo's wife La La Vasquez may want the bright lights of New York.  But if Anthony really wants to contend, he needs to hitch his wagon to a management and ownership group who is willing to work to make sure he has a contender each year, and will pounce on opportunities to make the team better. Daryl Morey offers that, and without the baggage that New York is still struggling through without draft picks. Mark Cuban's Mavericks are in a similar situation, but with Houston, there's no Dirk-Nowitzki-type player who Melo would have to share the spotlight and ball with. He'd have free reign to be the man, have a legitimate chance at winning, and an organization committed to success. 

A player's legacy isn't forged in commercials and cocktail parties. Houston's not the most glamorous city in the league. But ask Hakeem Olajuwon what playing there did for him. 
Posted on: December 21, 2010 3:52 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 5:40 pm
 

Rockets will pursue player exception for Yao

Due to injured center's status, Rockets seek exception to enable signing or trade.
Posted by Matt Moore

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Houston Rockets will seek a disabled-player exception from the league in light of Yao Ming's ankle fracture keeping him out for the remainder of the season. The exception will grant them the ability to acquire a player up to the mid-level exception of $5.765 million. Combined with the $6.33 million exception they were granted from the trade of Trevor Ariza for Courtney Lee, the Rockets have all the pieces in place to make a move. 

But they don't have the pull. 

The Rockets have been on the waiting list for Carmelo Anthony since word started coming out about his desire to move on. But no reports have surfaced showing Melo's interest in joining Daryl Morey's merry bunch of overachievers (or underachievers, depending on how you look at it). The Rockets might choose to pursue using the exception to sign a replacement center, though who that will be remains unclear. With Erick Dampier off the slate, solid centers are at an even bigger premium.  

Should the Rockets elect to make a move, they may seek to work their way into a three-way deal. They have to execute the exception within the next 40 days though (45 from the day they uncovered the injury, last Thursday). A few names the Rockets could elect to pursue are Andre Iguodala, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and of course... Carmelo Anthony.
The wheels keep spinning without traction for Daryl Morey
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: December 21, 2010 11:15 am
 

Game Changer: New Magic struggle to open

The new Magic struggle to get it together, the Rockets put the after-burners on in the last five minutes, and Jason Terry is a fourth-quarter man, all in today's Game Changer.
Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: WHERE THE NEW GUYS DON'T START OFF HOT



Not a super start for the Orlando Magic's new trio of weapons. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jason Richardson combined to shoot 6-23, score 27 points (mostly from the line), grab 9 rebounds, and dish 9 assists. Oh, and the Magic got trounced by an underwhelming Hawks team 91-81
There were some good signs, though. Turkoglu and Arenas both worked their way to the line three times, and looked in the flow of the offense. Turkoglu in particular looked like he was fitting back in with the Magic. In the second quarter, Turkoglu dished a perfect inside-lob to Dwight Howard over the Hawks defense setting up a massive dunk. 

Defensively, the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been. So that's good news, but they also didn't control the glass as well as they needed to outside of Howard. That's got to get shored up and fast. 

It should be noted that the Magic didn't have time for a practice with the new guys before last night's game. In reality, not even a walk-through. They simply walked out on the floor and tried to play together. When you consider that, it's a wonder they were even in this game, much less lost by only ten. 

When it comes down to it, the three are just going to have to shoot better. Jason Richardson we can expect that from. The other two we can't really depend on for that. 

JASON TERRY IS A FOUR-QUARTER MAN



After the Mavs defeated the Heat last night, coach Rick Carlisle called Jason Terry one of the best fourth-quarter scorers in the league. Turns out Carlisle's on to something. Terry averages 3.0 points in the first quarter, 4.0 points in the second, 3.1 points in the third, and 5.9 points in the fourth quarter. Not bad for an old guy.

Hornets FIND NEW AND EXCITING WAYS TO LOSE


After Mike Dunleavey (MIKE DUNLEAVEY!) tipped in the game-winner to drop the Hornets yet again Monday night, you have to wonder if the Hornets are running out of ways to lose. 

Your blog line of the night? Take it away, At The Hive:

"Today marks only the second time in the last 2,000 years that a total lunar eclipse has occurred on the same day as the Winter Solstice. The next time it will happen will be in 2094, when Trevor Ariza< will be clanging jumpers in a nursing home."

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT: 



Monta Ellis: 44 points, 7 assists
Runners-Up:
LaMarcus Aldridge: 29 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists
Dwight Howard: 19 points, 20 rebounds
Tim Duncan: 20 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists

FIVE GOOD MINUTES:


The Rockets scored 25 points in the final five minutes of last night's win over the Warriors
Posted on: December 20, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: December 20, 2010 10:31 am
 

Is there a mystery team in play for Carmelo?

Posted by Royce Young

The Nets and Knicks are the two teams at the forefront of the Melodrama. They've been the ones most active and the most involved. But there could be a mystery team that's quietly trying to also swing a deal for Carmelo Anthony too.

When all this stuff first started up, teams that started rolling off rumor mongerer's tongues were the Nets, Knicks, Clippers, Bulls, Magic and even the Rockets. The Magic appear to be out of the Anthony sweepstakes based of their recent moves that sent a number of assets west to Phoenix. The Clippers don't appear willing to deal any of their core young pieces. The Bulls seem content with their current unit.

So by a process of elimination, the obvious team left would be the Rockets. General manager Daryl Morey has talked publicly in the past about wanting to add a star player to the roster to build around. And I'm pretty sure Kevin Martin isn't that guy. Morey is a firm believer in having a go-to star and then corresponding pieces around that player. Right now, Houston is missing that, especially with it appearing that Yao Ming's Houston career is over.

The Rockets have some pieces and assets to get into the discussion, but of course the hanging question is if Anthony would sign and extension there. Probably not, considering he seems to have his heart set on the Big Apple, but Houston likely is at least interested.

Other teams that have been mentioned are the Bobcats, 76ers, Kings and even Timberwolves, but those seem like really big stretches considering Anthony has hesitations about signing long-term in Denver.  Those teams may have picked up the phone and called. Basically, pretty much two-thirds of the league have at some point been "involved."

Doesn't mean they're actual players in the Melodrama, but teams are certainly jostling right now. Someone is going to win this whole thing. Who knows, maybe it could be the mystery team.
Posted on: December 16, 2010 3:05 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Yao Ming suffers left ankle stress fracture

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle and is out indefinitely. Posted by Ben Golliveryao-ming-injury The Houston Rockets have informed the media via press release that Yao Ming, the team's franchise center, who missed all of last season due to injury and has missed significant playing time this season as well, has suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle, and is out indefinitely.
An MRI performed today on Rockets center Yao Ming revealed a stress fracture of the Medial Malleolus in his left ankle. The fracture, which is related to his previous injury of the Tarsal Navicular bone, presented itself during the course of his current rehabilitation program. There is no timetable for his return at this time.
The team will have no additional comment at this time. Information regarding his treatment program will be made available at a later date.
The Houston Chronicle speculates on Twitter that Yao's future as a professional is now up in the air, both this year and beyond. "Wondering now if he'll ever return ... Yao said the obvious in summer. If can't stay healthy, can't keep playing. Is it over?," tweets the paper's Rockets beat writer, Jonathan Feigen.  This is season-crippling news for the Rockets, who are already in the Southwest Division's basement at 10-15.  Yao, one of the league's most productive and dominant big men when healthy, has struggled to stay on the court since he missed just two games combined in his first three NBA seasons. Aside from a strong 2008-2009 season, which led to a nice playoff run for the Rockets, Yao has not played more than 60 games in a season, and he missed all of the 2009-2010 season with a hairline fracture in his left foot. Yao appeared in just five games this season, before ankle and leg injuries began to dog him again. He averaged 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 18.2 minutes per game, and was placed on a strict playing time limit.  Without Yao, the Rockets will continue to make due with a frontcourt rotation that includes big men Luis Scola, Brad Miller, Chuck Hayes and Jordan Hill.  Yao, at age 30, is in the final year of his contract, making $17.6 million this season. Given his uncertain health, that contract could become a trade chip for the Rockets, who have been linked in a number of trade talks. Even if Yao completes the season without being moved, the Rockets will have a decision to make on his future with the team. Yao's persistent injuries have left the team in limbo the last few seasons, and made for a trip to the draft lottery last season and potentially a similar trip this season. Yao will also have a decision: Does he still want to continue playing basketball? Perhaps it's time for both parties move on. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com