Five Things To Watch: Houston Rockets

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Should we really be surprised that the league’s most interesting general manager chose to take the path of higher risk, higher reward? That’s where the Houston Rockets, led by daring and analytically driven GM Daryl Morey, enter the 2014-15 season. When we last saw them, contention didn’t feel far away. In the first year of the Dwight Howard-James Harden foundation, the Rockets went 54-28 in a loaded West and secured home court advantage in the first round. That was in line with preseason

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Terrence Jones, Gorgui Dieng Lead West’s Breakout Team

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On Thursday, we gave you our All-Breakout Team for the upcoming season for the Eastern Conference. Today, we bring you our Western Conference All-Breakout Team. These are the players we believe are on the verge of breaking out or standing out. We used the same parameters – five players, one at each position, but no rookies. Let’s get right to it.  

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SH Blog: GMs see Dallas/Parsons contract helping more restricted free agents swap teams; Pacers extend Vogel

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Could the unique contract structure arranged by the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban to pry Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets become a template for freeing future restricted free agents? Multiple league GMs think it could, according to a new report from ESPN‘s Marc Stein. The Parsons contract, which is almost-max-level over three years and includes a player option after Year 2 and maximum 15% trade kicker, proved difficult for the Rockets to match on several levels, even though they fully intended

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SH Blog: Miami Upset LeBron With Miller Amnesty, Durant Plans To Rejoin Team USA in 2016

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Many believed the Heat’s loss to the Spurs in the NBA Finals was when LeBron James first began to seriously consider leaving Miami. As it turns out, the wheels may have already been put in motion. Mike Miller, who followed James this offseason to the Cleveland Cavaliers, told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer this week that James initially began questioning the Heat’s brass when they used the amnesty provision on Miller in July 2013, sparing owner Micky Arison millions in salary and luxury-tax fees

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SH Blog: Daryl Morey Fires Back at Mark Cuban

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The San Antonio Spurs may be the reigning NBA champions, but it’s the Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets who are stealing headlines out of Texas. From players swapping teams to front office members trading barbs, there’s been no shortage of drama in the state where everything’s bigger. On Monday, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey took the gloves off and returned shots at Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Morey responded to the consistent jabs that Cuban

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DuBose: Harden Hopes Team USA Lessons Drive Defensive Turnaround

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HOUSTON — Is James Harden capable of being Kevin Durant 2.0 when it comes to post-FIBA growth? Many credited FIBA international play in 2010 with aiding Durant’s evolution into an NBA superstar. Now, fresh off a gold medal in Spain with the U.S. national team, Durant’s former teammate and good friend Harden is hoping to see a similar transformation of his own as he embarks on his third season as a franchise cornerstone, a Big Two alongside Dwight Howard for the Houston Rockets. The theme for

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SH Blog: Kyle Lowry apologized to Kevin McHale, Celtics’ owner questions if Rondo is coachable

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The summer of 2014 is remembered in Houston for what might have been. The most noteworthy names to highly consider forming a “Big 3” with James Harden and Dwight Howard were Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, but former Rocket point guard Kyle Lowry is firmly on that star-studded list as well. In a wonderful feature by Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams on Lowry’s career-long search for trust, Abrams outlines Lowry’s falling out with Houston head coach Kevin McHale in the 2011-12 season and the subsequent

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