Five Things To Watch: Houston Rockets

James Harden

The 2014-15 Houston Rockets were a feel-good story, shaking off major injuries and muted preseason forecasts to become the Western Conference’s second-best team. The 2015-16 Rockets, on the other hand, shouldn’t come as such a surprise. Following the bold offseason trade for former Denver point guard Ty Lawson, the story in Houston is back to being about what is, rather than what might be. In other words, GM Daryl Morey is finally “all-in” on his roster. While Lawson fills the obvious need of


Tweet of the Day: After demanding trade, Markieff Morris appears to be working out with Rockets’ players

Markieff big

Markieff Morris remains a member of the Suns, but he doesn’t seem happy about it. At only 26 years old, Phoenix doesn’t seem overly eager to move him, and it’s not hard to understand why. Morris is signed through 2019 on a very team-friendly contract of $8 million/year, and that’s an absolute bargain these days for his production. After all, Morris started all 82 games at power forward in the bruising West and averaged 15.3 points and 6.2 rebounds in 31 minutes. But since


Tweet of the Night: Trevor Ariza reacts to being rejected by 5-foot-9 Isaiah Thomas

Thomas Ariza block

Boston guard Isaiah Thomas is a relatively-tiny 5-foot-9, while Houston small forward Trevor Ariza is 6-foot-8 and one of the league’s premier defenders. So if Ariza were to take the ball hard to the rim, you wouldn’t expect Thomas to reject him. But that’s exactly what happened in a recent Seattle Pro-Am game:Ariza, to his credit, had an appropriate emoji response about the incident when asked on Twitter:😂😂 — trevorariza (@TrevorAriza) August 29, 2015Thomas, a Pacific Northwest native, didn’t directly comment on


Tweet of the Day: Warriors-Rockets rivalry escalates as Morey trades barbs with Golden State blogger


The Warriors and Rockets were the two top teams in the Western Conference last season, led by the league’s top two MVP candidates in Stephen Curry and James Harden. Both sides seemed on a collision course all year for the Western Conference Finals. Ultimately, the Warriors prevailed on their way to an NBA title, and Curry (media) and Harden (players) essentially split the MVP hardware. Given all those high-profile meetings, it’s only natural for some animosity to develop along the way. It


Bernucca: 2012 Draft Class Contract Extension Scoreboard


The silence following Jonas Valanciunas’ contract extension was deafening. When the Toronto Raptors gave a reported $64 million over four years to Valanciunas, there were no proclamations from pundits that the NBA’s financial sky was falling. Owners didn’t start forming plans of collusion. No one drew comparisons to Jim McIlvaine. On the other side, there have been no whispers that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri engineered another steal. Virtually no one has suggested that Valanciunas got fleeced. Agent Leon Rose – who days


Top 10 Remaining Free Agents: Aug. 7 Edition


As I said recently on NBC Sports Radio and in my previous free agent rankings — there are still bargains to be had on the free agent market. Just ask the New York Knicks, who landed Kevin Seraphin on a one-year, $2.8 million deal. Seraphin was No. 1 on our previous free agency rankings. Seraphin turned down several significant offers for a better chance at playing time with the prospect of cashing when the salary cap spikes next summer. [Read more…]


Sheridan: Midsummer Report Cards — Southwest Division


No division in the NBA was more competitive last season than the Southwest. Every team made the playoffs, and the division champion was not decided until the final night of the season. Now, with the summer signing season all but complete, the division appears as though it will be as competitive in the upcoming season as it was in 2014-15. The San Antonio Spurs have added LaMarcus Aldridge and David West, the Houston Rockets have added Ty Lawson, the New Orleans Pelicans


Top 10 Remaining Free Agents — July 28 Edition


Free agency shopping at the end of July is similar to waiting all month for the giant coupon booklet from your neighborhood grocery store. With that in mind, which players will be this year’s bargains on the clearance shelf? Can you find a scoring guard and a big man off the bench with a $2.8 million mid-level exception? Yes, that is somewhat akin to a two-for-one deal on soon-to-expire potato chips at your favorite grocery store. Some of the unrestricted free agents in