Rockets Notes: Westbrook, Green, D’Antoni, Paul

Nearly everything went right for the Rockets on Tuesday as they dominated their playoff opener without Russell Westbrook, who is sidelined with a strained right quadriceps. Before the game, coach Mike D’Antoni offered a medical update on the star guard, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN, saying the injury is healing, but there’s no set date for his return.

“Can’t rule anything out, but don’t rule anything in,” D’Antoni told reporters.

Westbrook was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday to check on his progress, but the results haven’t been made public. A late arrival to the Disney World campus after contracting the coronavirus, Westbrook began feeling soreness in his right quadriceps after an August 4 game. He rested the next two games before playing 28 minutes last Tuesday. An MRI later that day revealed the strained muscle.

There’s more Rockets news to pass along:

  • Ben McLemore and Jeff Green both made huge contributions off the bench in the playoff opener, notes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. McLemore hit four 3-pointers in his first career playoff game, while Green, who was signed in late February, contributed 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. “We’re just trying to put the defense on their heels, giving them a different look,” Green said. “We know that all the focus is going to be on James (Harden), so it’s just another opportunity for us to take the pressure off him with Russell out … for everybody to get involved.”
  • In a separate story, MacMahon examines D’Antoni’s belief in small-ball, which dates back to when he was in Phoenix more than 15 years ago. The Rockets fully committed to the concept when they shipped out starting center Clint Capela at February’s trade deadline. “If you think something’s right and the numbers prove it’s right, then go all-in,” D’Antoni said. “You can’t muddy the waters. You can’t just go halfway.”
  • Chris Paul, who is facing his former team in his first playoff series since being traded last summer, addressed his relationship with Harden, his ex-backcourt partner (video link from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports). “We don’t talk or communicate or nothing like that, but that’s all good and well,” Paul said. “I wish him the best in anything and everything he does. That’s one thing I think people fail to realize, sometimes, in these situations. Sometimes you have teammates, and it is for that period of time. But that’s okay. You can wish each other well going forward. It doesn’t mean you have to be kumbaya, and it doesn’t mean you have to be enemies. At the end of the day, everybody’s got a life to live.”
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25 thoughts on “Rockets Notes: Westbrook, Green, D’Antoni, Paul

  1. Okay in case you missed it last week here’s a reminder of a couple points that you need to take a screenshot of. Don’t forget this time !!

    Lakers lack outside shooting and it will cause them problems in trying to move on.

    Watch out for the Blazers.. this is Dame time.. he knows he only has so many years left at the top of his game.

    Luka Doncic and Donovan Mitchell have to score 50 points just stay in the game and they still won’t win.

    Draft lottery will wind up this way.
    Detroit
    Atlanta
    Golden State
    New York
    Cleveland
    Minnesota
    Chicago
    Charlotte.

    No charge for this valuable information. Impress your friends with your newfound NBA post season knowledge.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Make sure to renew your subscription to Espn insider. You got knowledge like Trump on Virus. Wear a mask on your fingers lol.

      • Is ESPN saying the same as I? Well they’re getting it from me cuz I said it first here last week LOL. If I was going to pay money for any sports site I would give it to these guys first. This is the site with all the best info and the best writers.

    • Marvel's MAGA Man

      You didn’t quit your day job did you?

      99% chance your post doesn’t age well.

    • justinkm19

      Luka didn’t score 50 and the Mavs would’ve won if KP didn’t get ejected for some bullS€£t

      • I agree on KP ejection. That was horrendous. But just like LeBron moving on from the first round, the NBA wants the Clippers in the WCF as well.

        • x%sure

          Lakers have not shot well outside all year. Lilliard has been bent. Those were not new or unusual predictions. Predict ORL smashing MIL! Or the last Utah game. Royce ONeill hello.

          However the draft order, that would be something.

          • People have been claiming the Lakers.. the number one seed, are going to win it all no problem. Told you last week and so did a bunch of other people watch out for the Blazers. I think you even said so too. I guess the sharp fans can see the Blazers pack a little punch.

            • x%sure

              Yes, actually I’ve claimed both sides, Lakers and Blazers, too bad they meet so quickly, but a TV guy pointed out: The Blazers have had a playoff attitude throughout, even through the seeding games, and may get tired. Lebron starts tired but perks up. Its up to AD to get the team up at halftime but he did not play well.

              So far it looks like Rockets vs Celtics just by apparent team happiness. The happy campers win the camp’s title!

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    I was impressed by Rockets. Green I have always liked. Good to see him playing well. He’s had some rough paths in NBA. I really believed Thunder had a shot here. Rockets took out SGA. Played him well. Also played good D. Can’t believe I said that. Only one gm. Thunder better come back.
    I always believed Capela was perfect for small ball. He plays C and can guard the perimeter. This trade was more about money. Crazy since they had just signed him. Rockets have been trying to build around Har en for awhile now. So far nothing has worked. CP3 code words were f$r&e? Har en.

    • Rockets have been here before and know what it takes. That defense is something special even without capella, who I agree they miss. You’re right it was about the money.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Money was just a part of it. Covington’s $12M salary is certainly more cap-friendly than Capela’s but it had more to do with the spacing he provides. They basically traded Capela’s rebounding for Covington’s outside shooting, while both a very good shot-blockers. Their offense just didn’t work efficiently with Capela and Westbrook in the lineup together since they’re both poor 3-point shooters.

        • I think capella made Harden more effective because of the lobs. Harden could Waltz through the lane without threat of big man double team because of that LOB. Big man comes over to help on D, it’s an easy two.

          But yes I see why they did that… I see why they made the deal.

          • x%sure

            Funny thing is they didn’t have Westbrook either, and still looked advanced.

            • x%sure

              Okay that wasn’t new or original either!— given the page’s opening sentence. Edit

        • KnickerbockerAl

          Covington salary is up in 2022. Capela in 2023. Capela just signed a contract with Rockets 5 yr. Rockets also gave away a 1st rd pick to Denver. To give away Capela and Nene and Green. It was a salary dump. All they got was Covington. In 22 gms he’s played well. But Capela had much better stats. And he was a rim protector. It was a salary dump bro. Your owner does not like to pay the tax.

          • harden-westbrook-mvps

            Think whatever you want, makes no difference to anyone. The fact is Capela is somewhat injury-prone, and they really wanted Covington who averaged 2.2 blocks per game with them compared to Capela’s 1.8 BPG this season. The only stat that Capela is superior to RoCo is rebounds, that’s it.

            • KnickerbockerAl

              Yeah OK. I’m sure he can guard Centers much better too. It’s not what I think. It’s facts, just showed you what they gave up. You Trump now. If it’s red it’s red. What’s the big deal. Small ball Rockets style is a big failure. Your coach who brought it to you. Is not even resigned. Has no contract which means no support. You think he is staying. Explain that. D’Antoni is gone. Your Master of small ball. What sense do you or Rockets make lol. It’s hilarious

      • KnickerbockerAl

        What it takes ? Have I’ve been in a coma. No Har en team has ever beaten. Team they weren’t favored to beat. These a Rockets haven’t done anything yet, sorry.
        You know every team in NBA can carry 15 players. Can suit up 12 players. There shouldn’t be any team in NBA today. That can’t play small ball. But you don’t give away your bigs for perimeter players. Tyson is done so he don’t even count. Celtics won 11 rings basically playing small ball. Cause Bill Russell was one of most athletic bigs ever. He was listed 6’10” and 215 LBs. They say he was more like 6’9” with long reach. Small ball has always been around. Fans today think Warriors invented it. Heat with Bron, Suns with Amare, Bullets with Unseld. Even the Lakers when Kareem went down in Finals and a Magic played C. All teams should be able to play small ball. You can teach it to all. What you will never teach is size. Size will always matter. Blazers showed that against a big Laker team.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          It’s funny how the Warriors went to five consecutive Finals playing small ball and everyone wonders if the Rockets “experiment” can work. Like you say it worked great for the Celtics, and that was 50 years ago. History repeats itself.

          • KnickerbockerAl

            See this us where your ignorance shows. You really should think things thru. Before you expose yourself so willingly. Just to be a homer. All real fans are some what homer’s. I am too. Warriors had centers 7’ footers on every team. In those 5 yrs. Lol KD is the same size as Bill Russell. Read the post before you react. Why you take it personal. Is why you can’t have a good argument. Today’s game ALL teams should be able to go small or big. In the old days there weren’t enough bigs that can play to go around. Now with Europeans. We don’t have that problem. Warriors didn’t play small ball. Warriors stretched and opened the floor with their shooting as a team. That was the diff in their gm. But they played team offense not watch Har en offense. They could go small. Kills me how you always use the Warriors. As ammo to support the Rockets. They couldn’t be more different dude. Warriors were top 3 Offense and top 3 Defense every yr they were in Finals. They shared the ball. Not just two guys. They had 7’ footers. We’ve been here before dude. I’m repeating my self. It’s cool that you blindly support your team. But dude there are fans out here. Who really know and study the game. And follow the facts. You should try that. You dont even know the Rockets have not one player. Who has played PF in NBA. A Moute is the closes one. All have been SF all were drafted as SF. Tyson is done. So he don’t even play. Look at your roster. And look up Warriors Finals Roster you compare to so much. Nothing similar. There is not another team in 2020 playoffs. Who have no PF or C on their roster. Every team has SF who are bigger than most of Rockets roster lol. Seriously dude look that up. NBA is about big athletes lol. It’s about size. Today’s gm you can have size and be a wing. Rockets got no PF no one over 6’8” . Don’t bring up the two that don’t even play. So the moral of the story is. For wanting to pay the tax. You gave away a player. Who could have helped you win the west. For money lol.These are facts you can look up right now.
            on their roster.

            • jump shot

              Coach Kerr, relax and get off this site! We know you guys weren’t playing small-ball! Enjoy your one postseason off. You’ll be back next year.

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