Southwest Notes: Rockets, Pelicans, Grizzlies

As the Rockets prepare for a pivotal offseason, the team will have to make sure all of its most prominent figures are on the same page. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, there was “something of a clash of styles” brewing during the season in Houston, as some members of the team – including Chris Paul – pushed Mike D’Antoni to include more movement in his offense.

D’Antoni and the Rockets, of course, relied heavily on James Harden‘s isolation-centric style, and those iso possessions became less efficient in the postseason.

There were some “tense moments” between Harden and Paul throughout Game 6, according to Charania, who hears from sources that the two Rockets guards had a verbal back-and-forth about ball distribution in the locker room after the game.

Charania cautions that occasional heated moments like that aren’t uncommon around the NBA, and emotions run particularly high after season-ending losses. Still, it will be interesting to see if an apparent difference in philosophies will result in any tweaks to the Rockets’ offense next season.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Rockets hosted a free agent minicamp this week, and veteran guard Xavier Munford was among the participants, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic. Former Spurs guard Brandon Paul also attended that minicamp, per Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype (Twitter link).
  • With Pelicans head of basketball operations talking about the possibility of retaining Anthony Davis, Will Guillory of The Athletic makes the case for Davis staying in New Orleans, even as he acknowledges that a trade is still the most likely outcome.
  • Bobby Marks of takes an in-depth look at the Grizzlies‘ upcoming offseason, exploring the team’s plans for Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons, along with key dates and deadlines worth monitoring.
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12 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Rockets, Pelicans, Grizzlies

  1. x%sure

    This is actually a good thing, with Chris Paul. If he was operating independently of the coach, that would explain why he was so out-of-sync and ineffective when he tried to do it his way. I mean, it’s better than him just getting old.
    Or maybe that’s just what they want critics like HR posters to think!

  2. Codeeg

    Chris Paul is a distributor and Harden has his hand on every play. It is very clunky sometimes when Paul is more about getting everyone involved and harden needs his touches.

    • fishy 9 dogs

      Right? This was the exact thing people were worried about. While a clear upgrade from beverly, the fit isn’t great. Plus beverly is wayyyyy cheaper and is a perfect compliment to harden.

  3. Like both players, or their games at least. But this is another “players only” arranged pairing. Harden (not MDA or Morey) recruited CP3 to the Rockets, while he was still under contract with the Clips but about to become a FA after the end of the league year. Harden convinced him to forego FA and opt-in to the last year of his contract with the Clips, so he’d be available to be traded to the Rockets (who didn’t have the cap space to sign him as a FA). Morey took it from there, but I never got the sense this was anything but a team placating its superstar, particularly when all he wants is another AS player to join him. They won 65 games together, but it never seemed like the two could each be maximized when playing together. Great to have both, but likely not the best use of 71 mm of cap space.

    • x%sure

      Well Harden continued with his game but CP not usually, off to the sideo. So that’s where the waste is. Positions matter and Dantoni had already converted Harden to Paul’s position.

      I think Paul is still mad that Harden won’t admit he almost burned down Paul’s house when he put metal in his microwave oven! But the evidence was clear!

      Anyway ;) the clashing alpha-guards are not what will hold Houston back.

    • victorg

      yeah I think its very clear CP3 does not take his conditioning as serious as others and probably relys mainly on his god given gifts which can be said about many athletes.

  4. victorg

    if lakers strike out in FA I wonder if they will give thought to making a trade for CP3 ? or I wonder if Kyrie and Rozier both leave via FA if the celts would entertain a trade built around them unloading hayword for CP3?
    I would like to see the Rockets look to trade Harden if I am being honest they have tried for 7 years and I am tired of watching him fold like a cheap suit in the clutch mainly with ill advised turnovers and questionable shot selection in the final 4 mins of tight games I am just ready to move on even with things were at an all time high and things are rolling Harden is a very difficult player to get behind similar to say Marbury/Francis/CP3.. I know he is a CALI guy so maybe something with the Clips/Sac and he is also a big time strip club guy so he would probably be right at home in ATL/BKN/NY.

  5. clubberlang

    Still, Harden and CP3 have pushed the Warriors further than any other team in the NBA

  6. hoosierhysteria

    No trade coming for cp3. He makes way too much money and is past his prime.

  7. formerlyz

    Chris Paul is Houston’s best player, and shouldn’t be watching Harden dribble from the corner like a glorified Patrick Beverly

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