DuBose: Harden, Rockets show chops of a contender in staving off elimination

James Harden

The Houston Rockets probably don’t have the depth of physical talent to win an NBA title just yet. But mentally, James Harden’s team could already be there. They made that statement quite clear in Monday’s Game 4, a game most expected to be Golden State’s title coronation after grabbing a 3-0 series lead. Instead, led by 45 points from the MVP-runner-up, the Rockets improved to 4-0 this postseason in elimination games — and 7-2 in the Harden era. These Rockets are now just the

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SH Blog: Pat Beverley attempted return for West Finals; Magic prioritize Tom Thibodeau for vacancy

Beverley skills

Was an unexpected comeback ever in the works for injured Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley in the Western Conference Finals? It depends who you believe. Rockets’ officials, including head coach Kevin McHale and general manager Daryl Morey, consistently stuck with the company line that he’s out for the entire playoffs, which the Rockets first said on March 30 after Beverley opted for surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left, non-shooting wrist. But Beverley himself has had other ideas. In April, he told Mark Berman

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DuBose: Third star or not, Morey made the right moves for Rockets to contend

Harden & Howard

It’s time we start appreciating these Houston Rockets for what they are instead of wondering what could be down the road. For much of the 2014-15 season, the narrative about Houston for many around the NBA — myself included — has been more about the future than the present. Sure, today looked nice with James Harden and Dwight Howard, but general manager Daryl Morey seemed so close to forming a “Super Team” last summer with Chris Bosh and again at the trade deadline with Goran

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PODCAST: How McHale’s Rockets pulled off a comeback for the ages

Dwight Howard interview

With 14 minutes left, Game 6 felt just like the two in Los Angeles before it. The Rockets were close at the half, trailing by only two, but they were blitzed yet again in the third quarter, with the Clippers pushing the 64-62 halftime edge to 89-70. In the prior two cases, the Rockets folded and lost by 25+ points. This time? They were able to deliver a stunning 49-18 counter-punch to the Clippers to close the game and tie the series at 3-3, sending it back to Houston for a

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PODCAST: What’s Wrong With the Rockets?

Harden & Howard

The Houston Rockets haven’t lost three games in a row all season long. But if they’re going to keep that streak alive in Tuesday’s Game 5 — and with it, their season — they’re going to have to overcome a tidal wave of momentum in favor of the Clippers. [Read more…]

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DuBose: ‘Playoff Dwight’ is no laughing matter for Rockets foes

Dwight Howard interview

For Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, even a simple smile or laugh can be enough to fuel his legion of critics. We found that out before Wednesday’s Game 2, when Los Angeles Times reporter Ben Bolch tweeted this while watching Howard during his team’s shootaround. “Dwight Howard was laughing while teammates shot free throws during shootaround, as if this was a midweek game in January,” Bolch wrote. “It doesn’t matter if Howard played well in a Game 1 LOSS,” Bolch continued. “His team

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DuBose: Rookie Capela finds unexpected spot in McHale’s playoff rotation

Capela Draft

It’s been less than a month since Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale laughed at media questions over additional playing time for rookie big man Clint Capela. In fact, exactly three weeks before Tuesday’s Game 2, McHale said the idea of meaningful postseason minutes for Capela would mean that “a lot of guys are hurt”, adding that the Rockets would be “in trouble” if that happened. Yet there Capela was on Saturday night at Toyota Center, running the floor like a gazelle while playing

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SH Blog: Pacers, George hint at return this year; Jennings tweaks LeBron for free-agency departures

george4

Is Paul George really out for the season? If the Pacers can make a playoff push in the weak Eastern Conference, it sounds like he might not be. In a video interview on Tuesday, team president Larry Bird did not rule out the star forward’s return this season despite his horrific leg injury suffered last August. “We’ll see where Paul’s at. Still have no idea whether he’s coming back or not, but it seems like every week, he’s getting better and better.

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