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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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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SH Blog: J.R. Smith says Knicks were a confused bunch, Cousins says Rondo is the best point guard

JR Smith

After coming off one of his best seasons ever and winning the Sixth Man of the Year award over Jamal Crawford in 2013, J.R. Smith spiraled down in the wrong direction last season. Due to off-season knee surgery, Smith had no time to work on his game or stay in shape. Consequently, he started the 2013-2014 season comically bad, scoring 11.7 points on just 32.8 percent shooting in November and 12.4 points on 36.8 percent shooting in December.  To be fair, Smith

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Tweet of the Day: Carmelo Anthony World Tour Continues

Tuesday brought forth the beginning of the NBA free agency period and, with it, the subsequent Carmelo Anthony World Tour. The tour began with a visit to Chicago to meet with Bulls staff and players. During his stop in the Windy City, he was greeted by coach Tom Thibodeau, who rode with him to the United Center, where they met general manager Gar Forman and executive vice president John Paxson along with Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah

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SH Blog: Donald Sterling Bailed out of Barbara Walters, Anderson Cooper interviews; Noah’s ‘Melo recruitment was sustained

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We almost got to hear Donald Sterling’s side of the story. Almost. TMZ.com is reporting that Sterling bailed out of a planned interview with ABC News and Barbara Walters, deciding he was not prepared, along with a second interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The woman at the center of the scandal surrounding him, V. Stiviano, kept up her side of the bargain and sat with the woman once called BabaWaWa. “I think he feels really alone, Now really supported by those around

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Bernucca: Have Pacers Lost Belief in Themselves?

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Four

Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who doesn’t think the Indiana Pacers are coming apart at the seams.  “Everybody goes through this,” Spurs guard Tony Parker said last week after San Antonio manhandled Indiana, 103-77, on the Pacers’ home court. “I’m not worried about them. They’ll still make it to the Eastern Conference finals and they’ll still play Miami.” Parker is somewhat right. From time to time, every championship contender has a stretch during a season where they look ordinary.

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