Houston Rockets: Saying No To A “Big 3”
Since the end of the trade deadline, and continuing into NBA off-season, the talk in Houston has been of adding a third star to the Houston Rockets. Depending on who you talk to, that third star always changes.
Whether it be Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony or Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love you can’t go wrong with who you choose Either one of these guys can take your franchise to the next level, and adding them with two other dynamic stars in James Harden and Dwight Howard just makes things even more lethal.Dec 26, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Luke Ridnour (13) looks to pass against Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin (7) and center Omer Asik (3) during the first quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has not been shy about his lust for adding a third star to the duo of Harden and Howard. History also tells us that he isn’t shy about making the necessary moves and deals to land said star, however, the question remains; what if the Rockets don’t need a “Big 3”?
I know “you need a third star to win in the Western Conference” or at least that’s the notion. However, the Rockets problems wasn’t scoring in the playoffs, it was depth. Watching the Portland/Houston series the only bench players that were used outside of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik was rookie Troy Daniels (who played in the Developmental League throughout the season).
It’s easy to point the finger at Rockets head coach Kevin Mchale and say he was the problem solely, but watching the Rockets this season here is some perspective. Asik missed half the season partly because he was disgruntled and also because he was injured.
Lin was well…Lin. Some games he looked like he had turned the corner, and was that reliable 6th man Rockets need. Other time there were those games where you just lost all faith in him, and wanted him traded immediately after. Outside of those two guys (who’s contract both equal close to 30 million to come off the bench), who was a constant?
A lot of fans remember the Francisco Garcia from two years ago in the Oklahoma City playoff series where he surprised everyone with his defense on Kevin Durant, and his three point shooting. I admit I thought Garcia was going to be key in this years’ Rockets run, but his three point shooting was average this year and that’s his only value.
Omri Casspi was great earlier in the season, and seemed like the role player that the Rockets needed. Then something just went wrong during the season, and his game went with it.
Aaron Brooks was here and that was great, but his annual trade came up and he was sent to the Denver Nuggets for Jordan Hamilton and more playing time. Hamilton had some flashes, but after April didn’t see the floor I still can’t explain this one.
Donatas Motiejūnas has never gotten over the hump as being anything more than a role player, and hasn’t added much to his arsenal since being drafted.
The other 3 players were up and down throughout the regular season, and we all know the legend of Troy Daniels.
So in theory; who could Kevin McHale really trust when it mattered most if none of these players came through for him consistently when needed less?
James Harden was quoted a few days ago stating that the team shouldn’t sell out for a third star, rather strengthen the bench. I am inclined to agree with him, trading for a star would most likely require Asik, Lin, first round pick(s) and either Parsons or Jones. Either way you giving up two key players from your bench, and a vital piece to your starting lineup for virtually one player (Love who can opt out of his deal, if he doesn’t like the situation).
Is the gamble for a third star really necessary? You’re not that far away from a deep playoff run, and potential final appearance. Why not strengthen your bench, add some vets that can contribute consistently and upgrade the defense? Why after one season with a team with new faces blow it all up without seeing their true potential together?
Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither are championship teams. It takes pain, struggle, fire, chemistry and talent to win that coveted Larry O’ Brien trophy. The Rockets aren’t that far off. They just need to fix a few kinks in the armor.