Archive for the ‘ Houston Rockets Blog ’ Category

Eric Gordon wins NBA Sixth Man of the Year award

During tonight’s inaugural NBA Awards on TNT, Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the first player in franchise history to receive the award.

In his first season with the Rockets, Gordon came off the bench in 60 of his 75 games played after starting 398 of 417 career games entering 2016-17. He finished second on the team in scoring with 16.2 points per game and had the third-highest scoring average (16.3 ppg) of any reserve with at least seven appearances this season.

Gordon ranked fourth in the NBA with 246 3-pointers made this season after not having more than 141 in a season prior. He set the NBA single season record for the most 3FGM by a reserve with 206, breaking the previous mark of 179 by Mirza Teletovic in 2015-16. Gordon also became the first player in Rockets history to win the 3-point contest during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Over a 21-game span from Nov. 27 through Jan. 5, Gordon averaged 4.6 3-pointers made on 47.1% shooting. He hit at least three 3FGM in each of the first 13 games of that stretch, tying for the third-longest streak in NBA history.

The Rockets were 35-7 in games in which Gordon scored at least 15 points, including 17-2 when he scored 20 or more. He averaged 17.6 ppg on 43.6% shooting (41.3% 3FGs) in wins compared to 13.4 ppg on 34.3% shooting (28.4% 3FGs) in losses.

Patrick Beverley named to NBA All-Defensive First Team

Today, the NBA announced that Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley was named NBA All-Defensive First Team as selected by a global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. He is the fourth different player in franchise history to earn All-Defensive First Team honors and the first since Scottie Pippen in 1998-99. It is the second time Beverley has been named to an All-Defensive Team, having earned Second Team distinction in 2013-14.

Despite missing 15 games in 2016-17, Beverley still ranked tied for sixth in the league in charges taken and was third amongst guards. He was also one of eight players with at least 200 deflections and 100 loose balls recovered, and the only one to do so in fewer than 75 games played.

Beverley helped the Rockets rank fourth in 3-point defense in 2016-17 (opponents 34.3%) after Houston finished 21st in 2015-16 (opponents 36.1%). The Rockets were 26-5 when holding opponents below 33.3% shooting from behind-the-arc this past season.

Ryan Anderson excited to reach 2nd round

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with some insight on Rockets forward Ryan Anderson, who isn’t used to reaching the second round of the playoffs and is obviously excited about it:

Ryan Anderson excited to reach 2nd round

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson found himself in the second round for just the second time in his career, having advanced past the first round in his first playoff experience, but never since.

Anderson reached the second round with the 2009-10 Orlando Magic, but lost in six games to the Boston Celtics, the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Back in the second round, Anderson, a nine-year veteran, sought to appreciate the opportunity that has not come often.

Rockets begin resting up for playoffs

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on the Rockets, who have begun a resting pattern as they prepare for the upcoming playoffs, which begin a week from tomorrow.

Rockets begin resting up for playoffs

The Rockets on Friday began mixing in rest days for some of their regulars, giving starting center Clint Capela the night off and making plans to have sixth man Eric Gordon sit out either Sunday in Sacramento or Monday in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

James Harden, Pat Beverley and Trevor Ariza are expected to play through the remaining games, though likely with reduced playing time.

“We want to have some dress rehearsals, we want to keep our rotation similar, but possibly less minutes,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Rockets sign Troy Williams

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Troy Williams and assigned him to their single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. He originally signed a 10-day contract with the Rockets on March 10.

In five D-League games with the Vipers, Williams is averaging 21.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 52.8% from the floor.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Troy Williams to a 10-day contract. Williams is the 38th “Call-up” of the 2016-17 season.

And immediately with this move, the Rockets have assigned Williams to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley.

Williams (6-7, 218) was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Indiana University and signed as a free agent with Memphis on Aug. 8, 2016. He appeared in 24 games for the Grizzlies this season.

In 23 D-League games, Williams is averaging 12.8 points in just 20.0 minutes per game. He won the D-League Dunk Contest held during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Rockets trade Tyler Ennis, Brad Newley draft rights to Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired guard Tyler Ennis and the draft rights to guard/forward Brad Newley from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Marcelo Huertas, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Ennis has appeared in 31 games for the Rockets this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.1 assists in 6.3 minutes per game. Formerly the 18th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 110 games with Phoenix, Milwaukee and Houston.

Newley was selected by the Rockets with the 54th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. A two-time representative for Australia’s Olympic team, he currently plays for AEK Athens in Greece.

Huertas averaged 3.9 points, 1.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 76 games with the Lakers.

Rockets trade K.J. McDaniels to Nets

Rockets trade K.J. McDaniels to Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have acquired K.J. McDaniels from the Houston Rockets in exchange for cash considerations.

McDaniels has appeared in 128 career games with Houston and Philadelphia, recording averages of 5.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. In 29 games with the Rockets this season, McDaniels has averaged 2.8 points and 1.0 rebounds in 7.3 minutes per game. The 24-year-old native of Birmingham, Ala., began his NBA career with the 76ers, averaging 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.4 minutes per game in 52 games during his rookie campaign before being traded to the Rockets on February 19, 2015. He signed a multi-year contract with Houston on July 20, 2015. McDaniels was originally selected with the 32nd pick (second round) in the 2014 NBA Draft by Philadelphia after spending three years at Clemson, where he garnered All-ACC First Team honors and was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year following his junior season.

Lakers trade Lou Williams to Rockets

Lakers trade Lou Williams to Rockets

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has acquired guard Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for guard/forward Corey Brewer and the Rockets first round pick in the upcoming 2017 NBA Draft.

“This trade allows us to continue on the path of building something special, while maintaining future flexibility within the organization,” President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson said. “Additionally, Corey is a proven veteran that will make a positive impact on our team right away.”

Brewer, 30, has appeared in 58 games (eight starts) for the Rockets this season, averaging 4.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 15.9 minutes per game. Originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, Brewer has averaged 9.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists through 687 career NBA games. The former Florida standout was a two-time NCAA champion before winning an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.

Williams was originally the 45th overall pick by Philadelphia in the 2005 NBA Draft out of South Gwinnett High School near Atlanta. In 12 NBA seasons, he is averaging 12.8 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 759 career games with 90 starts. Williams was Sixth Man of the Year while playing for Toronto in 2014-15.

This season, Williams is averaging a career-high 18.6 points in just 24.2 minutes per game. In NBA history, the only player to average at least 18.0 points in 25.0 or fewer minutes played was Freeman Williams (19.3 ppg in 24.1 mpg) for San Diego in 1980-81. Williams also ranks fifth in the NBA in fourth quarter scoring this season with 7.7 ppg. He scored a total of 137 points off the bench over a four-game stretch from Dec. 3 through Dec. 9, marking the highest four-game total by a reserve since starts were tracked by the NBA in 1970-71.

Williams is shooting 44.4% from the floor this season, which would be his highest percentage since shooting a career-best 47.0% in 2009-10. He is averaging over two 3-pointers made for this first time in his career on a career-high 38.6% shooting. Williams is also shooting a career-best 88.4% from the line this season and 82.5% for his career.

Of reserves with more than one appearance this season, Williams has the highest scoring average at 18.7 points per game. Houston’s Eric Gordon is second with 17.5 ppg. Dating back to 2007-08, Williams has the highest point total (7,918) of any reserve in the NBA. Over that 10 season span, he also has made 348 more free throws than any reserve has attempted.

The 40-18 Rockets are reportedly sending little-used shooting guard K.J. McDaniels to the Nets.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, via Twitter, “Houston has traded K.J. McDaniels to the Brooklyn Nets, league sources tell @TheVertical. Unloading McDaniels to the Nets frees $3M in cap space to use on the buyout market for Houston.”

McDaniels, a 6-6, 205-pound guard who played college ball at Clemson and is in his third NBA season, is averaging 2.8 points in 7.3 minutes per game this season.

James Harden will need new agent

Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting on Rockets guard James Harden and how some Laker-related news will affect him:

James Harden will need new agent

Once Rob Pelinka completes the process of going from player agent to Lakers general manager, Rockets guard James Harden will be a max-contract without representation. But he said he has not been barraged by agents trying to recruit him.

“I changed my number so nobody’s calling,” Harden said, at least in part to avoid the pitches sure to come.

“I told him, he’s worked extremely hard. To get an opportunity to be a GM, and the GM of the Los Angeles Lakers, take it. I’ll figure out what I got to do next. But it’s the opportunity of a lifetime and I’m happy for him.”

Eric Gordon wins 3-point shootout

The 3-point shootingest team in NBA history has its first 3-point shooting champion.

Eric Gordon had to work overtime. He had to overcome the distraction of James Harden’s fishing lure shiny jacket. He even had to tune out the smattering of boos around Smoothie King Arena, where he played for five seasons before he escaped the “dysfunction” to join the Rockets.

Gordon, however, had spent the season coming off the bench and shooting 3s. With 3 ½ months of preparation, he had the best round of the competition and a triumphant extra round, taking the championship before he even reached his final rack…

Gordon defeated Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving in the overtime shootout, fittingly defeating a player that grabbed headlines with a flat Earth theory in a game of ‘around the world.’

– Houston Chronicle

Pelicans sign Donatas Motiejunas

Pelicans sign Donatas Motiejunas

The New Orleans Pelicans signed free agent forward/center Donatas Motiejunas (pronounciation: doh-NAH-tahs moe-tee-YOU-nus) today.

Motiejunas, 7-0, 222, played for the Houston Rockets from 2012-16. In 214 career regular season games, the Lithuanian native holds averages of 7.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.0 minutes per game. He was set to return to the Rockets this season but the two sides were unable to work things out.

Motiejunas will wear number #12 for the Pelicans.

The team’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

James Harden gets 53-point triple-double

As often as James Harden had given the Rockets whatever they needed, part of the magic was knowing just what was required at any given time.

On Saturday against the Knicks, that was obvious.

They needed everything.

They needed more points than any Rockets player had ever scored in a triple-double, more points than he had ever scored in a game, and then they still needed more.

When he was through, Harden became the first player in NBA history with 50 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game, driving the Rockets to a 129-122 win at Toyota Center.

With that, the Rockets went 15-2 in December, matching their most wins ever in a month. They sent it out in style.

Harden had a career-high 53 points, and matched his career high with 17 assists. His 16 rebounds were one shy of matching the most in his career.

Houston Chronicle

Memphis (17-8) and Houston (17-7) begin the week as the NBA’s hottest teams. Both own six-game winning streaks.

Memphis Grizzlies

grizzlies

The Grizzlies have taken over the league lead in defensive rating. Their stinginess was on display in Saturday’s 110-89 victory over Golden State – a rare lopsided win for the Grizzlies, who have thrived in close games. New coach David Fizdale’s team is 12-0 this season in games with a three-point margin in the final minute of regulation or overtime.

Marc Gasol has been fantastic (25.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 5.3 apg during the winning streak) and Zach Randolph is flourishing in his new role as sixth man, helping Memphis overcome the absences of Mike Conley and Chandler Parsons.

The Grizzlies are also benefiting from the play of several NBA Development League alums such as current starters JaMychal Green and Andrew Harrison as well as reserves Troy Daniels (16.5 ppg in December) and Jarell Martin.

Memphis’ next two games are against the defending champion Cavaliers – at Cleveland on Tuesday and home on Wednesday.

Houston Rockets

rockets

The Rockets also count a victory over the league-leading Warriors as part of their six-game winning streak. Also like Memphis, Houston has adjusted quickly to a new coach.

Mike D’Antoni’s Rockets rank second in the NBA in points per game behind James Harden, who leads the league in assists and is tied for fourth in scoring. With Harden orchestrating a spread attack, Houston paces the league in three-pointers made and has hit at least 10 threes in an NBA-record 23 straight games. Four Houston players are among the NBA’s top 12 in threes made: Eric Gordon, Harden, Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson.

In addition, the emerging Clint Capela is excelling in the paint and Houston has clicked since the return of Patrick Beverley, who has been a part of 11 wins and just two losses.

– VIA NBA News

Rockets waive Pablo Prigioni

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has waived guard Pablo Prigioni.

Prigioni finished his fourth NBA season with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015-16. He appeared in five games for the Rockets this preseason.

The Houston Rockets have waived guard/forward P.J. Hairston, forward Le’Bryan Nash, and guard Gary Payton II, General Manager Daryl Morey announced today.

Hairston signed with the Rockets on Sept. 30 while Nash signed on Oct. 22. Payton II was eligible for the 2016 NBA Draft and competed for the Rockets in the Samsung NBA Summer League and in this preseason.

Rockets may soon cut P.J. Hairston

Here’s the Houston Chronicle with some insight on the Rockets’ roster plans:

Rockets may soon cut P.J. Hairston

The Rockets have 18 players on the roster after waiving Taylor. P.J. Hairston, who like Taylor did not travel with the Rockets on the trip to China, is also unlikely to make the final roster. Signed on Sept. 30, the Rockets could be keeping Hairston on the roster longer to have him on the roster long enough to make sure they would have his NBA Development rights.

That could leave Tyler Ennis, Gary Payton II and Bobby Brown vying for a roster spot as a third point guard.

Rockets waive Isaiah Taylor

The Rockets waived guard Isaiah Taylor today, General Manager Daryl Morey announced.

Taylor (6-3, 170) was an early entry candidate for the 2016 NBA Draft following his junior season at Texas. He appeared in three games for the Rockets this preseason.

As preseason continues, teams around the league will cut players until they’re down to the regular season roster maximum of 15. The season begins Tuesday, October 25.

Rockets vs Knicks pregame notes

Rockets team pregame notes for preseason game vs Knicks tonight:

· The Rockets and Knicks split the 2015-16 season series but Houston has won 20 of the past 22 meetings.

· New York hasn’t swept a season series vs. Houston since going 2-0 in 2002-03.

· James Harden averaged a series-high 25.0 points against the Knicks last season and had 19 assists with just 5 turnovers in the two games.

· Clint Capela averaged 17.0 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting 70.0% from the floor vs. New York in 2015-16.

Connections:

· Rockets center Nene and Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony were teammates in Denver for Anthony’s first seven and half NBA seasons.

· Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and Knicks guard Sasha Vujacic were teammates with the L.A. Lakers for part of 2007-08 and won the title the following season in 2008-09.

· Rockets forward Corey Brewer and Knicks center Joakim Noah were teammates at Florida for all three of their collegiate seasons and won the national title in each of their final two seasons.

· Rockets forward Trevor Ariza was the 43rd overall pick by New York in the 2004 NBA Draft and spent his first one and a half seasons with the Knicks, appearing in 116 games with 22 starts.

Injury/Status Report:

· For the Rockets, Patrick Beverley (Left Knee Soreness) is out.

· For the Knicks, Joakim Noah (Sore Left Hamstring) is questionable and Lou Amundson (Sore Lower Back) is out.

Rockets News & Notes:

· The Rockets scored 131 points in their preseason opener against Shanghai on 10/2… Houston’s high in scoring last season was 132 points at the L.A. Clippers on 1/18/16… the Rockets were 23-9 when scoring 110+ points in 2015-16.

· Houston outrebounded Shanghai 52-41 in its preseason opener on 10/2… the Rockets were 26-9 when outrebounding opponents last season, including 10-2 when doing so by double-digits… Houston outrebounded opponents by 2.3 rebounds per game in wins last season (-5.5 rpg in losses).

· James Harden had team-high of 16 points and 10 assists with just one turnover in the preseason opener vs. Shanghai on 10/2… he recorded 23 double-doubles in 2015-16 and had 10+ assists with just one turnover twice.

· Clint Capela started the preseason opener vs. Shanghai on 10/2 and had 10 points with a team-high 11 rebounds… he averaged 8.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in 35 starts last season… Capela scored in double-figures 20 times last season after doing so once as a rookie in 2014-15.

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