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Preview: The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog

The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog



A blog dedicated to all things Houston Rockets. Past, present and future. Expect criticism, commentary and shameless promotions to get Robert Horry into the Hall of Fame.



Updated: 2014-10-03T02:39:35.761-05:00

 



Time to switch your bookmarks!!

2008-10-23T11:43:51.335-05:00

If you are seeing this... well, you probably have the wrong link.

We are now at www.thedreamshake.com -- adjust your bookmarks accordingly!



Voting for best blogs (Houston Rockets and others)

2008-10-21T14:57:07.954-05:00

Daniel with LA Ball Talk has put together a poll/voting contest to determine what is the best (or at least most popular) blog for each team in the NBA. We have been nominated for best Houston Rockets blog along with Red Rowdies and Clutch Fans. Even though Red Rowdies is dormant and Clutch Fans isn't really a "blog" per se.

Please go VOTE HERE to inflate our egos even more!



Central Division Blogger Previews

2008-10-17T14:41:30.963-05:00


(image) (image) (image)

(image) (image)

Chicago Bulls
Nels: Give Me The Rock
Matt: Blog-a-Bull

Cleveland Cavaliers

Rock: Waiting For Next Year
FTS: Fear The Sword
David Friedman: 20 Second Timeout
Amar Panchmatia: Cavalier Attitude

Detroit Pistons

Brian Spencer: Empty the Bench
Natalie Sitto: Need4Sheed.com
Matt Watson: Detroit Bad Boys

Indiana Pacers

Tom: Indy Cornrows

Milwaukee Bucks

Jeramey Jannene: The Bratwurst
Frank Madden: BrewHoop



Announcement! An update!

2008-10-15T09:37:45.098-05:00

A few weeks ago... okay a long time ago we tipped everyone off to the fact that we are moving this blog over to SBNation.

Well, the time is almost near.

Within the next 7-10 days we should be active over at SBNation. No need to change your links or anything - just be aware that things are going to look a lot different at the new location. It will still be us, and we'll still be writing about the same things as before. We certainly aren't selling out to be "real" or "professional" journalists now. F that!



It's called the "preseason" for a reason!!!

2008-10-14T09:15:58.408-05:00

The Rockets lost to the Durants last night. Yeah, yeah I know - the Durants suck. A lot. But then again, it did not count for anything!! That's the beauty of the preseason: it is the one time in basketball where the final score does not matter. At all.

And yet....

the Chronicle has a headline talking about the Rockets being "unwatchable" in the preseason. Yes, really. I have no idea why. If the goal was to win, I can guarantee that Joey Dorsey wouldn't get much playing time. Certainly not 24 minutes worth.

I mean, seriously, Von Wafer was in the starting lineup. Von Wafer!!! That right there should be a signal that the Rockets care not about your entertainment value in a preseason game. And they should not care about us (yet). Now is the time to see who can make the *final* roster spot - not who is worthy of a starting spot. That is how you lose to the Durants by 6. That's about the only way the Rockets could lose to them.

Now, Mr. Feigen, I typically like what you write - but this was unnecessary. If there is ever reason to worry about the Houston Rockets, it won't happen until after October 29th. Unless Yao Ming gets injured... or Rafer gets cloned. Or something like that.

For what it's worth though - Yao had 16 rebounds in 24 minutes. Yeah, he's a badass!



Southwest Division Previews

2008-10-11T07:39:34.900-05:00

To go along with our preview over at CelticsBlog, the rest of the Southwest Division previews are as follows:

Southwest
Dallas Mavericks - Mavs Moneyball
Memphis Grizzlies - 3 Shades of Blue
New Orleans Hornets - Hornets 24/7, AtTheHive, and Hornets Hype
San Antonio Spurs - 48 Minutes of Hell

Seriously, the Hornets have a plethora of good blogs, Mavs Moneyball is always great, even when we disagree, 3 Shades of Blue somehow finds things to talk about the Grizzlies on a daily basis, 48 Minutes of Hell puts together a great site to go with a fantastic name.

Also, Dave and I will be at the March 16th Hornets game in New Orleans, you know if any of us still have jobs then thanks to this economy.



Comments on the Rockets from Deadspin

2008-10-10T12:31:35.117-05:00

Yes, I know, Deadspin isn't nearly as good as it was before Will Leitch left... it's disappointing on many levels most days now.

That said, they did post a season preview of the Houston Rockets today.

Using Brent Barry as the representative picture (!?!?!?). Odd.



10 things Rafer sucks less than

2008-10-09T17:40:23.933-05:00

I've been informed by many people that maybe - just maybe - I am being too harsh on Rafer Alston. He did after all start a majority of games for a team that won 55 games last year, and he was a big part of the Streak. He also had that memorable game against the Lakers, which just so happened to be the one day ever recorded when I actually encouraged him to shoot the ball.

So, on that note, here is a list of 10 people or things that suck more than Rafer Alston:

1. The English Patient
2. the 1990s version of Jenna Jameson
3. the Utah Jazz
4. J.R. Towles (that bastard owes me $20)
5. Sage Rosenfels in the 4th Q on 10/4/2008
6. Limp Bizkit
7. Pearl Jam's Vs. CD
8. New Coke
9. John Travolta
10. Hurricane Ike

feel free to add to the list in the comments...



No, no, no!! My head is about to explode

2008-10-09T10:25:43.609-05:00

The Rockets like who they have at point guard? Right now?!?

Did we make a trade I was unaware of???
No?

(image)
... because assault, drunk driving and all around sucktitude clearly isn't getting the message across!!



Rockets preview on SI.com

2008-10-08T10:45:53.353-05:00

The 2008/09 Houston Rockets preview has been posted on Sports Illustrated -- well, more specifically SI.com, but it's all the same these days, right?

Here it is for your enjoyment.

And yes, that little sidebar on the page was written by yours truly. That was fun to write, but limiting myself to 200 words was difficult!



I expect to win... with flair!

2008-10-07T12:51:32.763-05:00

In the midst of all the season previews, there is one prevailing theme: the Houston Rockets are going to be very, very interesting this year. Win or lose, this team now has personality.

A year ago, the roster was rather bland. People were mostly unfamiliar with Scola; Tracy and Yao were not exactly Agent Zero level personalities; Chuck Hayes was good, but bland (okay, he's still kinda bland which only amazes me more that he's got a Chinese shoe contract); Rafer not only sucked but was uninteresting in the process. And the only player with personality on the bench was Dikembe. Who didn't play much. Bonzi Wells was the most boring crazy person ever...

but something changed.

Now we have Crazy Pills.
We have a white dude who also used to be a Slam Dunk Champ.
We have a rookie that may or may not be addicted to strip clubs.
Alston at least is now interesting when he f--ks up.
Yao is engaging in beer drinking competitions.

Yes -- you read that right. Yao... beer... how freakin' awesome is that?!?!?

One thing I know - I will never lack for material this year.



NBA Blogger Previews: Your Houston Rockets!

2008-10-07T14:02:52.454-05:00

Today is the Southwest Division bloggers entry day, and we were honored to represent the Houston Rockets. Team Name: THE Houston RocketsLast Years Record: 55-27Key Losses: Bobby Jackson and maybe Dikembe MutomboKey Additions: Ron “No Lay-ups, Crazy Pills, Ron Ron” Artest1. What significant moves were made during the off-season?Steve Novak leaving this team will come back to haunt it. I have no idea how Daryl Morey can sleep at night knowing that he traded away the next Reggie Miller. Novak could average 30 in this league, you know, if he was always left open, didn’t have to create his own shot and was allowed to not play defense. It’s unfathomable to me that we could let that kind of player go for nothing but a pick swap!I guess Ron Artest coming to the Rockets for Bobby Jackson, a rookie and a sure thing NBA first round bust next year is big news, but I just don’t see it. That guy can’t even shoot 60% or play defense for 49 minutes on average a game. Wait, just a second, my sources are telling me that he actually is pretty good.The Artest trade will go down as one of the biggest steals in NBA history if you ask me, and since you did, that’s my stance. Even if Greene turns out to be a solid player, we got a top 30 player for a rookie, an old PG and a future very late round pick (I can only assume). That’s a steal as long as Ron Ron can play more like No Lay-ups and less like Crazy Pills. I believe he can. I don’t think anyone who has paid attention to the man thinks he is stupid, and this is a contract year. He will be playing to stay on the best team he’s ever been a part of. That’s right; it’s a step above the Pacers team that was ruined after the brawl. There are two players on this team better than anyone on that Pacers team, and Ron was the second best player on that team behind O’Neal. Plus, I love crazy on my team, just one guy can be crazy, but I really think you need that one guy.2. What are the team's biggest strengths?Defense – JVG installed a philosophy with this team and the greatest coaching move Rick Adelman could have made was to reinforce that philosophy. There are a couple of teams equal to the Rockets on the defensive end, but none of them are better, that’s not conjecture, that’s a fact. When you go down the lane, you won’t enjoy it, when you shoot a 3 pointer, someone will be in your face, and when you try to take your man one on one, someone will come around with the help defense. It’s the best part of our game, and it’s generally infallible no matter how poorly we play on the offensive end in a given game. We rarely get outplayed by a good offense and that is a testament to what JVG put in and to how good a coach Adelman is to not try and fix what wasn’t broken.Coaching – I truly believe Rick Adelman is a fantastic coach. That’s not to say that JVG wasn’t, I still have a mad man crush on that guy’s basketball knowledge. But JVG getting a raw deal doesn’t change the fact that Adelman was a fantastic hire, that the offense got better throughout the year and was rolling when Yao went down, and that his staff is solid to very good.Ugly Free Throws – No team in the league can boast a worse free throw shooter than Chuck Hayes or a center that shoots their technicals like Yao Ming. That means that 1. There are a lot of bad free throw shooters on the team and 2. Yao is one of the best centers at the stripe of all time. Watching Chuck shoot free throws is one of the guiltiest pleasures around, you know, provided it’s in a blow-out and the Rockets don’t actually need them to go in the basket.3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?Offensive Consistency – Last year, with players in and out of the lineup, the Rockets could not keep things straight on the o[...]



The Rockets and Hurricane Ike relief efforts

2008-10-06T16:24:21.907-05:00

Part of the joy of writing for this blog every day is that I get to make fun of Rafer Alston. Constantly. Of course, it would be highly unfair to do that and then overlook it when Rafer actually does something really cool...

like this.

Chuck Hayes and Rafer Alston delivered 2,400 pairs of Crocs shoes and hundreds of boxes of food to 1,200 Houston residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Ike earlier this month.

a tip of the hat to Rafer and Chuck!



Atlantic Division season previews

2008-10-06T09:35:04.802-05:00

We normally avoid talking about other teams here... but in the spirit of sharing and the commonly-held anticipation of the 2008/09 regular season, we've joined in with other bloggers to share various thoughts and commentary on each of the divisions. Even the Eastern Conference!

Today? The Atlantic Division.

(image)
Boston Celtics
Jeff Clark: CelticsBlog.com
Jim Weeks: Green Bandwagon
FLCeltsFan: LOY's Place
John Karalis: Red's Army
Dustin Chapman: Celtics 24/7

New Jersey Nets
Dennis Velasco: About Basketball

New York Knicks
Joey: Straight Bangin'
Seth Rosenthal: Posting and Toasting

Philadelphia 76ers
Dannie & Pete: Recliner GM
Jon Burkett: Passion and Pride

Toronto Raptors
Franchise: RaptorsHQ.com
Ryan McNeill: Hoops Addict
Cuzzy: Cuzoogle

Thank Jeff over at CelticsBlog for the idea and the effort in organizing a bunch of team-specific bloggers for this task! (Don't worry, the Southwest Division preview with our Rockets commentary is coming soon!)




Sage makes Rafer look competent

2008-10-06T10:02:10.433-05:00

For one day... Rafer's sucktitude takes a backseat to the Houston Texans. Specifically one Sage Rosenfels. FUCK YOU, Sage. I can only wish you meet these creatures:


(image) Seriously, Fuck you, Sage - this is why your dumb ass is a back up QB.



Season previews have begun!

2008-10-03T08:41:41.681-05:00

Matt over at Hardwood Paroxysm also now writes a few entries for the NBA Fanhouse. Matt must really, really like blogging because he seems to be everywhere these days! Nevertheless, he posed an interesting question to us and asked us to answer it in a few paragraphs.

"How is the Shane Battier/Ron Artest/Luis Scola thing going to work out and will it be enough to get the Rockets to the second round? Conference Finals? What's the ceiling for this team?"

What he got in return, well... you'll just have to see for yourself!

Season preview: The NBA's Southwest Division

(and yes, I had about 20 more quotes I was prepared to use. I did my best to show restraint!)

(image) Crazy Pills = Maverick??



Hey, Rafer! You suck, ya jackass!

2008-10-02T09:43:14.355-05:00

We are only 27 days from the start of the Houston Rockets' regular season (where we host Memphis at 7:30pm that Monday night). Which means we need to re-declare something:

RAFER ALSTON SUCKS!

Whew... that felt good!!
For some reason, I haven't felt compelled to say that in a while!

Why now? Maybe it's because John Hollinger agrees with me.


Biggest Weakness: Point guard
The Rockets have four-fifths of a championship starting lineup and a championship-caliber bench. Also, they have Alston. While he was better last year than in 2006-07, he's pretty clearly the weak link in an imposing starting five. Alston is a solid defender and dribbler, but he hasn't shot over 40 percent in four years and opponents feel free to gamble off of him to double Yao or McGrady. Finally, he's 32, an age when many quick guards start losing it.
You see, I'm not the only one who thinks knows he sucks...

Yes, I still say Rafer needs to be traded. The Rockets are going places this year, and I don't want drunky mucking everything up. I'll even risk the inevitable midnight threats from Rafer's mom -- Rafer sucks and we need to get value for him while we can.

Or, in other words... "don't pass to this guy, he sucks!"

(image) YOU SUCK!

(note: anyone who thought I might have softened my stance on Rafer in the offseason clearly hasn't been paying attention...)



55: Making numbers work in your favor

2008-09-29T16:16:18.876-05:00

55. I consider this to be a magic number for the Houston Rockets franchise. Why "55," you might ask?? Well... in the limited history of the team, "55" has always been a good indication of future success. And by 55, I mean regular season wins.

You see, last year the Rockets finished 55-27 in the regular season. It was good enough to get to the playoffs, but not very far beyond that. It was also only the 2nd time in franchise history the team won exactly 55 games.

Maybe you see where I am going with this now...

Today, ESPN put out their pre-season power rankings. The Rockets are currently ranked 4th, behind Boston, L.A. (Lakers, of course) and the New Orleans CP3s. I care not about arbitrary power rankings and yet I always find myself reading them. Just for fun. But something struck me this time. When I saw the regular season record and Marc Stein's plea for "cautious optimism" for our team - I remembered something from the team's glory days.

You see, the last time the Rockets won exactly 55 games was the 1992-1993 season. That just so happened to be Robert Horry's rookie year. Yes, this is important. Keep reading.

Anyway, in 1993, Kenny Smith couldn't make a freakin' open jumpshot so the Rockets lost to Seattle in overtime in Game 7 of the Western semis. That sucked. And I'm still mad about it. Just like I am still mad about Tracy McGrady being an Initech employee during last year's playoffs. And yet... this is a good sign for the future.

Why?

Well - in the entire history of the franchise, EVERY time the Rockets won 55 games in a regular season, the team ended up winning the NBA Championship the very next year. It's true. Go look it up for yourself. So, maybe playing the "Robert Horry role" for this team is Luis Scola... and in his 2nd year, the Rockets will shock the world and win the ring! Again.

Ahh, a story with a happy ending. I like that.



Oh, yeah - we got interviewed or something

2008-09-26T08:32:37.270-05:00

the Laker Nation blog sent us some questions to distract us during Hurricane Ike. When we had no power and limited access to the Interwebs.

Here's the results. Their commenters are like funny and hypocritical and stuff.

Go Rockets!



Names we can safely remove from lists

2008-09-26T08:08:34.122-05:00

That did not take very long - the Rockets matched the offer sheet Carl Landry signed with the Charlotte Bobcats. No surprises there, except that maybe now Luis Scola will demand a pay-raise (and no argument here, he'd deserve it).

The really good news is that we now no longer have to hear the name "Buddy Baker" for the next 2-3 years! Yes, "Buddy Baker" is the clown acting as Carl Landry's agent. A wannabe Scott Boras/Drew Rosenhaus type who missed the day they taught about "leverage" at Agent school. But now he gets to collect his 5% or whatever and leave us Rockets fans alone.

... at least I can tell Danny McGrath to remove his name from the list of "People to Kill."

(image)

I sure am glad we called that guy...



Get Red, Give Red: Rockets Blood Drive TODAY 9AM-2PM

2008-09-25T08:01:35.345-05:00

The Rockets are holding a blood drive at the Toyota Center today. Get Red, Give Red is the slogan.

Sept 25
9AM to 2PM
Benefiting the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Bank

Free T-Shirts to the first 300 donors and Rockets players will be in attendance

To see Tracy McGrady's message, click here



I can only assume: Welcome Back Carl Landry!

2008-09-25T07:51:16.924-05:00

If the deal is really 3 years and $9 MM from the Bobcats, then I think we can safely rest assured that the Rockets resident GM genius will be matching it. And seriously, the third year is a team option? That makes it the perfect contract. It's not too expensive, will put the Rockets close, but possibly not over the luxury tax threshold and Landry gets what he wanted, he didn't have to do the knee MRI. Really it's a win all the way around for the Rockets and a no lose situation for the Bobcats.

So, I say welcome back Carl, now come and show that the Rockets should tie you up longer term in the next two years.

Daryl Morey, you are a genius, you proved your point, as $3MM was probably not far off from your offer and that's all he could get. He didn't go overseas like we all knew he wouldn't and you made his agent spend countless dollars of his own to get right back to the same spot they already were in.



Let the training camp Battle Royale begin!

2008-09-24T09:17:05.648-05:00

With training camp about to begin, there is one primary question associated with the Rockets. No, that question is not "will they ever get out of the first round?" because we know the answer to that is "hell yes, and this year in fact!" Instead, the real question is "who starts at small forward for Houston this year: Shane Battier or Ron Artest?"

Let's face it, the Rockets would not have acquired Ron Artest if we didn't consider there to be at least some sort of a weakness at the small forward position. Shane Battier is great at what he does - which is defend the opposing teams best non-center while staying out of T-Mac and Yao's way on offense. The problem is that this supposed strength is great for the Rockets when they are on the defensive end, but it slows down the offense. SI.com's Marty Burns discussed this exact dilemma today:

The skinny: Don't assume Artest will just step into the starting lineup. Battier is a valuable cog as a long-armed defender and three-point shooter. He also does a lot of other little things that complement Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Houston coach Rick Adelman might be reluctant to tinker with success, and instead opt to use Artest off the bench as a sparkplug and scorer much the way the Spurs do with Manu Ginobili. (At the end of games, Adelman can always use Artest and Battier on the floor with T-Mac as the principal ball handler). Artest, by the way, has said he would accept a reserve role.
Here's my concern with Burns' conclusion - yes, the Rockets have seen "success" using Battier as the small forward. But only in the regular season. Come April and May, the offense historically suffers dramatically. This is precisely why the Artest trade was made. Further, even the Spurs typically end up using Ginobili as a starter in the playoffs. Why? You play your best five guys as much as you can for as long as you can. That's what wins in the NBA. Lastly, while Artest says he would accept a reserve role, by December it would probably irritate him to see Shane continue to be a relative non-factor on offense. The last thing the Rockets want is an irritated Crazy Pills. Let's try to avoid this.

Meanwhile, because it is Ron Artest we are talking about... why not have a WWE-style Battle Royale to determine the training camp winner? Shane Battier is basically the whitest non-white dude there is, so I'm almost certain he watches professional wrestling. This could be awesome. Artest diving off the top rope to finish off Battier... only for Battier to be playing possum and roll away from the flying elbow...

(image) Okay, yeah, it's clear I need the NBA to start. As soon as possible.



Really, really sorry... but...

2008-09-23T08:46:07.168-05:00

I really am sorry for the lack of posts here recently. The problem is that neither Lee or I have power at home yet. Still. Which means no Internet access during our free time. And the job doesn't pay me to blog during the working day on corporate/client time. So......

Not sure who annoys me more right now... the Utah Jazz or Centerpoint Energy.
(???)

Training camp should provide some interesting stories soon. And there will be season previews posted everywhere before you know it. Basketball is almost here!



Site news: Sorry about the domain name issues

2008-09-18T10:46:31.852-05:00

We are in the transition phase of moving over to Sports Blog Nation (SBN)... and the http://www.dreamshake.com/ domain name will once again point to this here blog in due time. Right now though, it's a dead link for reasons I can't explain, so I am forced to temporarily go back to the blogspot domain name (thedreamshake.blogspot.com). We will let ya know when the transition is finished.

In the meantime, it's a complete cluster-fuck over here. Just like most everything else in Houston right now. Maybe I can blame this on Hurricane Ike, to0?

(image)
Always remember -- don't mess with Texas!