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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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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DuBose: After Fanning on Bosh, Rockets Still Shooting for Stars

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HOUSTON — After being unexpectedly jilted by Chris Bosh, the Rockets found themselves in a precarious spot this summer. They are now hoping that Jason Terry, who just turned 37, can be a small part of the solution. General manager Daryl Morey has said since January that Houston needs to acquire the “third-best player on a championship team” to align with established stars James Harden and Dwight Howard, implying he did not believe that player would be found internally on the current

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Tweet of the Day: Team USA Athletes Remember 9/11 Amidst World Cup Semifinal

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September 11th. It is a day that carries a lot of meaning in America. 13 years ago two hijacked airplanes crashed into the North and South Towers of the Word Trade Center in New York City, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a fourth plane crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All told, the nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the attacks. In the years since, the area where the Twin Towers collapsed, known

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Tweet of the Night: Ty Lawson Takes Hilarious Shot At James Harden

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden has a notorious reputation for being a lousy individual defensive player. Though there aren’t any statistics that perfectly measure a player’s actual impact on the defensive end of the court, there are a few that help paint the picture a bit more clearly. One such stat, which weighed heavily in San Jose Mercury News sports writer Tim Kawakami listing Harden on his 2014 NBA No-Defense Team, is Defensive Real Plus-Minus (DRPM). DRPM, as defined by ESPN, measures a player’s

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Sheridan: Team USA is not good enough to beat Spain … as of now

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BARCELONA — If the gold medal match was being played Sunday, Team USA would not beat Spain. It wouldn’t even be close. But the gold medal game is not this Sunday. It is next Sunday. And a lot can change in a week. So the burden is on coach Mike Krzyzewski: Figure out who is going to give you the best chance to beat the host nation, start shortening up the rotation, and hope that in one week you can achieve what it

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