Tag:Jordan Hill
Posted on: January 11, 2012 12:16 am
Edited on: January 11, 2012 1:46 am
 

Report Card 1.10.12: Washington Wizards get a W



By Matt Moore

Your nightly report card gives you a big picture look at what happened each night in the NBA. Grades are granted based on team or individual performances, and are graded on a curve for each element. Leave your own grades in the comments. 

Washington Wizards


A win! A real win! The Nets (0-18 start) is safe! Crack the champagne! Or Shasta! Or something. The Wizards were desperate, the Raptors were lethargic, the Wizards' offense wasn't gangbusters but their defense was stout. The Raptors cut the lead to 8 at one point, and then the Wizards just hit them in the mouth. Trevor Booker was tough inside, Chris Singleton was productive, John Wall had an efficient game passing (and still can't shoot). It wasn't a great game. But a win to get them off the snide, their first of the season? That's an A.


Chicago Bulls/Minnesota Timberwolves

Since we grade on a curve, the Bulls weren't flawless on defense, and the Wolves game them a good scare. But they executed and executed and answered everything the Wolves tried to do in order to steal momentum. Rose came back from an ankle injury and still closed out the game in style, including a dagger right in the eye of Ricky Rubio to put the fire out.

But the Wolves were right there. And where so many teams would wilt and die under the Bulls' pressure, the Wolves stayed in there. What's more, they controlled the turnover battle and produced on offense. Defense was their problem (*cough* Kevin Love *cough*) but they still got some big performances from their stars (*cough* Kevin Love *cough*).

Portland Trail Blazers

The Clippers hung in this one, and that says something about where both teams are at. But the Blazers got what they needed, particularly from Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton. Felton took over with a whirling dervish of layups and stripped Blake Griffin down the stretch. The Blazers continue to pressure teams into mistakes. It wasn't a flawless performance by any means, but it is a revenge get from the game they let slip in Staples. Blazers keep rolling. 

Houston Rockets


They beat the Bobcats while shooting 39 percent from the field, 35 percent from the arc, and 75 percent from the line. They turned it over 22 times and the Bobcats were missing two starters. So no, I am not impressed. One thing to watch, though. Jordan Hill has become a legitimate center in this league. After being cast off by the Knicks, he's one of the league leaders in rebound percentage and is playing efficiently at both ends. A good gamble that paid off for Houston. 




Memphis Grizzlies down the stretch


The Grizzlies were in this. In all honesty, they should get a B for their work against an exceptional OKC team. But down the stretch, in a tight game, the continuously made stupid fouls against Russell Westbrook who they have never been able to contain when he's in gear. Rudy Gay repeatedly took threes when they needed him creating inside, then turned the ball over in one-possession game. The Grizzlies' final meaningful possession was a Westbrook block of a Conley layup. Someone has to step up and make plays for this team if they're ever going to get out of their hole.

Toronto Raptors


Lost to the Wizards. Au-to-mat-ic.





LeBron James and the Heat in the clutch



Oh, here's a new one! 

The Heat did what they are most known for, completely self-destructing in the fourth quarter. LeBron James did not attempt a field goal in the fourth quarter. In overtime he missed several key shots and was blocked. He took a poor shot to go for the tie instead of working inside and all that post work we talked about? Gone. 

The Heat have been incredible this season, and that's not media fawning, that's just how good their play has been. But Tuesday night was a reminder that that hideous version of themselves that cost their team a championship still exists. They freeze, they lock up, and they let the whole world rain down on their heads. They utterly failed against a team they had down 17 Tuesday night. 


Gold Stars: Kobe Bryant (48 points on 18/31 shooting); Gerald Wallace (20-4-4 and so many huge plays there are too many to count plus a dagger three); David Lee, Dorrell Wright, Raymond Felton, Al Jefferson (30 and 12), Russell Westbrook
Posted on: June 27, 2011 10:26 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 11:06 am
 

Rockets made offer for Biedrins?

Posted by Royce Young

The Rockets are looking to find a new starting center. Yao Ming's future is extremely uncertain, Brad Miller just got traded and Chuck Hayes, the current starter, is only 6-foot-6. So they're targeting some available big men.

One that's seemingly available? Golden State's Andris Biedrins.

According to the Bay Area News Group, the Rockets made an offer, albeit sort of a halfhearted one, for the Warrior seven-footer.

"Was able to confirm reports by the Houston Chronicle that the Rockets are indeed interested in acquiring Biedrins," he wrote. "So why is Biedrins still a Warrior you ask? While this may seem the perfect answer to the Warriors' ills, Golden State, according to multiple sources, are not at all enamored with the Rockets' offer thus far. I've been told the Rockets have offered Hasheem Thabeet and Jordan Hill. Haven't confirmed if they were offered as a package, but the figures add up ... Bottom line for the Warriors: that's not enough."

Biedrins isn't an All-Star center or anything, but Houston's going to have to do better than Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet. Biedrins is a horrible offensively liability, but he's a defensive presence and one of the league's best rebounders. He averaged a double-double for two straight years, including a season of 11.2 rebounds per game.

The Warriors have been rumored to be interested in trading Biedrins for some time. Biedrins though is signed through 2014 making $9 million a season with an early termination option in the final year. So it's understandable that people aren't blowing the Warriors away for a one-way player that's owed $27 million over the next three years. 

Fact is though, Biedrins would probably be a pretty nice fit in Houston. The Rockets need some size and need someone to handle the primary minutes at center. Pretty much anyone will work next to Luis Scola, but Hayes, while a tough, hardworking player, just isn't going to get it done. Biedrins would give depth and size the Rocket front court.

So he'd work well there. They're just going to have to do better than Thabeet. Which is understandable, but really, why are the Warriors intent on hanging on to him? Biedrins isn't a fit for the Warriors and they have young talent that needs to see the floor. Even if you lose the trade, dumping Biedrins is probably for the best.


Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:21 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 11:33 am
 

Rockets looking to trade up in draft for big man

Posted by Matt Moore

The Houston Rockets may have a dilemma at their spot, but they have no intention of hanging around to bite their fingernails over it. CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the Rockets are shopping their two first-round picks, the No. 14 and No. 23, in order to move into the top ten. Specifically, Berger reports that talks have opened with the Detroit Pistons in a two-for-one swap that would allow the Rockets to get what they really want: a big man. Berger reports that late-riser Tristan Thompson is at the top of the list, along with Congolese phenom Bismack Biyombo.

The Pistons don't have an outstanding need beyond getting rid of their locker room-cancer vets, so this makes sense. It puts the Pistons in a position to gain more depth without getting stuck with a pick that's too good not to take, but only in a draft this low on star power. Still, that eight spot will have one of several good prospects available, especially with some of the reaches being discussed. However, it sounds like Detroit's not the only team Houston is chatting with in an attempt to move up. 

The Racine Journal-Times reports that the Rockets are also talking to the Bucks about the No. 10 pick, and this one is more than just a pick-swap, there are players involved: 
The teams have tossed around different trade scenarios with Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova being prominently mentioned.

It's hardly a secret the Bucks would be interested in Rockets forward Patrick Patterson, whom the Bucks were hoping to land in last summer's draft.
The Bucks could also have interest in Rockets forwards Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill, yet another player they liked in the 2009 draft.
via BUCKS NOTES: Milwaukee, Houston discussing a deal.

Ilyasova is a promising all-around player still with upside at 24, and would give the Rockets a talented big man to pair with Luis Scola. Patterson seems like a high cost, though, as he showed a world of potential in his rookie season. Budinger is just the kind of player that GM Daryl Morey often raises the value of and then sells high on, while Hill is still somewhat of a project. Draft Express reports that the Rockets may have sweetened their deal by including Courtney Lee, which would likely get the Bucks' interest considering their desperate need for backcourt depth.

The Rockets' pursuit of a big man makes all the sense in the world, considering Yao Ming's highly questionable return to Houston and their glaring need for height. Thompson makes for an odd fit next to Luis Scola, but Thompson has been the one player who has made the hardest charge up the draft rankings in the past 24 hours, with some reports pegging him as high as No. 4. Biyombo on the other hand is a freak athlete with great work ethic and the <a href="http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=2011&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&source=All&sort=5" target="_blank">second-greatest wingspan of any prospect in the draft. Fellow workout prospect Chris Singleton described Biyombo as being able to scratch his knees standing up yesterday, which is just circus-clown freaky.

The Rockets need a homerun. In a draft without really any of those types of pitches, the Rockets seem dedicated to fighting their way into the batter's box anyway.
Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:10 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 9:20 pm
 

Rockets C Yao Ming will attempt comeback

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming discusses the progress of his rehabilitation from a foot injury and his desire to come back to the court. Posted byyao-mingBen Golliver.

Back in December, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming suffered a stress fracture of his ankle that required season-ending surgery and threatened to end his career.

On Thursday, Yao met with media members to provide an update on his progress and to make it clear he is working towards a comeback to the court. NBA.com has video of his comments.

"I've been doing well," Yao told reporters. "Once in awhile, seeing the doctors, checking to see how things are going. I'm happy about the progress and [I'm going to] try to make it back. They said I probably need another 10 weeks before I can start running on the court. That's as far as I know."

Later, he added, "I still have very limited workouts. I cannot walk with my full weight." 

Yao, a free agent this summer, said he was unable to give a firm estimate on when he might return to the court and hadn't yet thought about his future, which may or may not come with the Rockets. "Right now it's more focused on my injury. About the future, it all depends on this foot." He did say that he enjoys playing in Houston. "I like it here. I'm used to playing here. I'm really, really comfortable."

He also said it was too early to tell whether he would be the same player he has been in the past. "The foot will tell me how much I can get back," Yao said. Asked whether he would be disappointed if wasn't able to play again, Yao said: "That's a sad question, first of all. If there's a possibility that I'm not going to come back to play, I'm going to tell myself I already did everything I can."

Asked when a decision about his future might come, Yao said, "After the lockout, I guess." He then caught himself and laughed, "We're not allowed to talk about this."

As Yao was only able to appear in five games this season, the Rockets have made due with a small frontline that includes Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes and Jordan Hill. Houston also traded for project center Hasheem Thabeet at the deadline, but Rockets coach Rick Adelman has expressed concern about Thabeet's role going forward given his lack of experience. Meanwhile, the 33-33 Rockets are in the basement of the Southwest Division and on pace to miss the playoffs for the second straight season.

In other words, the Rockets still badly need a center. However, they need one now and may not be able to wait indefinitely to check on Yao's progress. Persistent injuries have kept Yao from the court for major portions of four of the last five seasons and it may be time for the Rockets to go a different direction. Yao was rumored to be on the block prior to the trade deadline, as his massive $17.7 million expiring contract could have allowed a rebuilding team to shed long-term salary committments. 

The Rockets didn't move him, however, so his future, and his future in Houston, remains up in the air.
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. 
Posted on: October 20, 2010 2:58 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:56 pm
 

Chuck Hayes out for preseason with ankle sprain

Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes has suffered an ankle injury that will keep him until opening night. Posted by Ben Golliverchuck-hayes Sam Amick of AOL Fanhouse reports on Twitter that Houston Rockets forward Chuck Hayes has suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out of the Rockets' final two preseason games.  Those two games are a Texas two-step, as Houston travels to San Antonio to face the Spurs Thursday night and to Dallas to take on the Mavericks on Friday night. Marc Spears reports on Twitter that it is a "mild to moderate sprain" so one would expect Hayes will be ready to go on opening night. The Rockets open the regular season in Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Oct. 26. Hayes had played in all six of Houston's preseason games to date, and had averaged 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per game. The Rockets have been spreading around the minutes during the preseason, in part because franchise center Yao Ming is on a strict minute limit. Indeed, Jason Friedman of Rockets.com reports on Twitter that coach Rick Adelman plans to hold Ming out of Thursday's game against the Spurs.  This should be a good chance for some of Houston's younger players, like second-year power forward Jordan Hill or rookie forward Patrick Patterson, to see some more court time in Hayes's absence. 
Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:38 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Houston Rockets

Posted by Matt Moore

The Rockets finally have Yao Ming healthy. They finally have Tracy McGrady out of their hair. They finally have the pieces together to make another run. But can any of the pieces fit together? Are they really as dangerous as everyone says they are? Does speaking in rhetorical questions make you want to read this, our next selection in our Preseason Primers ? Let's find out as we talk about the Rox.


Training camp site: Houston, TX (Hidalgo, TX in early October)

Training camp starts: September 25th

Key additions: Brad Miller (free agent), Courtney Lee (trade), Patrick Patterson (draft)

Key subtractions: Trevor Ariza (trade), David Andersen (trade)

Likely starting lineup:
Aaron Brooks (PG), Kevin Martin (SG), Shane Battier (SF), Luis Scola (PF), Yao Ming (C)

Player to watch:
Patrick Patterson. Assuming the Rox don't go all nuts and acquire Carmelo Anthony during camp, their starting lineup is pretty well set. But Patterson is a rookie who comes out of that ridiculous Kentucky class and could wind up being the kind of flex player that makes a big impression on Rick Adelman. He's versatile, strong, has a good mid-range, and can work inside of a complex offense. He's got a great opportunity to make an impact for the Rockets during camp.


Chemistry quiz:
The Rockets have seemed like a team that's liked one another for years. They hung together when Yao Ming went down, and their samurai-like approach last year was noble, even if it fell short. Basically, even without the star talent you need to win in this league, the Rockets were the team you didn't want to run into in a dark alley. They were tough, gritty, and hung together. The addition of Kevin Martin, trying to reassert himself as a premier player in this league could cause issues, and there's no telling if the same goodwill will maintain with as many changes as the Rockets have made in the past two years. But the core elements are in place, and the tone of camp should be fun and focused, instead of contentious and tense. Not having solified expectations due to Yao's injury should help with manners as well.


Camp battles:
Small forward was set to be a huge battle but promising second year man Chase Budinger tweaked an ankle and won't be able to battle old man Battier for the slot left open by Trevor Ariza's departure. Jermaine Taylor, Courtney Lee, and Jared Jeffries should have a good one for the backup role behind Martin. Jordan Hill vs. Patterson should make for a nice one as well, with Hill's scrap versus Patterson's finesse providing contrast in style.

Injury issues:
Budinger's ankle is significant, but other than that the Rockets seem really healthy and don't have any pro...OH, YEAH. Yao Ming is coming back from an injury that's held him out for a year and a half and is trying to just stay on the floor while the rest of the team holds its breath everytime his feet leave the ground. camp.

Biggest strength:
Doin' work. The Rockets put in a full effort every night, a testament to both the roster assembled and Rick Adelman's job. They lacked an identity last year without Yao, but it did help them to adjust to whatever they faced. The Rockets can get out and run, or grind it out. They're really best when they're doing both. They'll battle for every loose ball and every player knows his role. It's a strong team they've put together.

Glaring weakness:
Three point shooting. Brooks isn't an efficient shooter. Martin's three point shooting dropped off a cliff last season. Budinger can shoot, but the rest of the team isn't great from the arc, including backup point guard Kyle Lowry.
Posted on: August 31, 2010 2:43 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 2:48 pm
 

Pop Quiz: Can the Rockets jell?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question..

Can the Rockets jell?


Normally the year after you lose one of your biggest stars is supposed to be a tough one to swallow. But the Rockets are liberated after losing Tracy McGrady, and have put that cap space to good use. Tack on the return of their other star in Yao Ming, and the Rockets have high hopes for 2010. They only added three players of note, Courtney Lee via the Trevor Ariza trade, Brad Miller in free agency, and Patrick Patterson in the draft. But those players combined with the assets they picked up through trade last season and the return of Yao Ming are what make people so high on the Rockets.

The Rockets built a roster based on versatility last season but injuries left them scraping things together, and in the meantime, their primary lineup didn't produce as expected. As a result, GM Daryl Morey went even further towards the versatility approach. The trade of Trevor Ariza was the most controversial, essentially starting over after only a year with Ariza. When we look at the lineups, though, that doesn't sound so crazy.

You always have to take plus/minus with a grain of salt, but there are circumstances where you can notice specific outliers. The Rockets lineups are such an example. The Rockets' three most-often used lineups (via 82games.com) all featured Ariza at small forward, and were a combined -19. That's in contrast to their fourth, fifth, and sixth most used lineups (all over 100 minutes), which were a combined +91. That's a big number. It's not conclusive, but it does provide some evidence for why the Rockets elected to ship him out for a backup shooting guard best remembered for a missed alley-oop in the Finals.

Kevin Martin was the other significant acquisition. The Rockets were able to snag Martin at the trade deadline after an injury plagued season was compounded by his inability to gel with Tyreke Evans. Martin wasn't bad with the Rockets but he was far from the instant fix-all for their problems and they lost steam (again with the injuries) down the stretch. But he and Aaron Brooks seemed to be finding their way, despite both of them being heavy usage players.

So the big question for the Rockets isn't one of talent, it's one of chemistry.

"" Yao Ming has been away from the practice floor since May of 2009. Kevin Martin has been with the team only two months of actual playing time. Courtney Lee is completely new. Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry just received new contracts. Jordan Hill is a newcomer, still settling in. Patrick Patterson is a rookie. Brad Miller just hopped on board. And for a team that relies on ball movement and separation like Rick Adelman's, this is a dangerous approach to trying to throw it all together.

Luckily, egos seem to be sparse in the locker room. Kevin Martin is certainly going to want his chances to score, and he'll get them. There's enough to go around. The rest of the team is largely filling in the gaps. Luis Scola should get a step back since he won't be guarding or guarded by centers with Ming on the floor, and Chase Bundinger and Lee give the team versatility and shooting. Shane Battier is the leader and prime example of the sacrifice this team will need to instill as a virtue in order to make a run in the West. This is not a case of any one player shouldering the load. Morey and Adelman have built a system based on depth and versatility, and they need to use that, exploiting matchups and tendencies where they can.

The addition of Yao cannot be understated. This was a dogged, tenacious, well-balanced team last year that struggled due to injuries and a lack of size. Yao provides them depth (vaunted post-defender Chuck Hayes is now third string behind Brad Miller), unparalleled post offense and defense, and a focal point for the perimeter cuts to work around. He's a willing and able passer, and even Miller works well in the pinch post with those wings slashing around. Consider all the perimeter shooter/slashers they have to work around their bigs:

Aaron Brooks (39.8% from the arc, 47% on 3pt attempts in hand-off situations)
Kevin Martin (44% in spot-up situations)
Chase Budinger (37% 3pt, 40% as a spot-up three-point shooter)
Courtney Lee
Kyle Lowry
Jermaine Taylor

And here are their mid-range defenders:
Shane Battier
Jared Jeffries (.84 points per possession allowed defensively, allowing only 39.2% from the floor)
Patrick Patterson - who can also stretch the floor

And their low-post guys:
Yao
Miller
Scola
Hayes
Jordan Hill

That's just a ridiculous amount of depth, and all of them with multiple skills. Martin can work on-ball or off, slashing or spotting up. Scola can work in the high or low post and has a reliable mid-range jumper. Making it all work will be Adelman's job, and there is such a thing as too much depth. It can cause discontent when players feel they're not getting time. And there's the ever-looming threat of the Big Move.

Daryl Morey has said repeatedly that though they've been successful in finding high value players, you cannot win in this league without superstars. And he clearly wants one to go with Yao's potentially final year with the Rockets. With Jeffries, Martin, Lee, Scola, Hill, and others, along with the picks he's acquired from New York, he has a set of assets to use if he wants to pursue, say, Carmelo Anthony. But that means more changes to the ship. All of this and they have to hope they stay healthy, which is an unlikely scenario given Yao's feet history.

In a perfect world, the Rockets could be contenders for making the Western Conference Finals, and facing a Lakers team they have consistently taken it to over the years. But that's the best case scenario. In the meantime, they'll have to try and integrate all the moving parts into one machine, and see how far it takes them. They've got the parts. They've just got to make them work together now that they're assembled.

(Situation-based data courtesy of Synergy Sports )
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com