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Houston: We Have a Problem



James Harden Houston Rockets We Have Problem NBA

Two years ago, the Rockets were a young team that had yet learned how to win. They shocked the basketball world when they finished the regular season with a 56-26 record, which was good enough for second place in the Western Conference. Houston looked like a team that would play a prominent role into who gets out of the Western Conference playoffs, but they arrived to the party a bit early, and could not handle success.

So, naturally, they got in their own way, and a year ago they prematurely fired their head coach Kevin McHale, 11 games into the season. Houston had an inglorious 4-7 record at the time. To make matters worse, they opened the campaign with three consecutive 20-point losses, and Houston’s four wins were a result of four outstanding offensive performances from Harden.

The gifted scorer had outbursts of 37 versus Oklahoma City, 28 against Orlando, 43 at Sacramento, and 46 at the Los Angeles Clippers, and they barely escaped each of those games.

This was a team whom many experts and pundits picked to win the west, and some even, picked to win it all, and yet they could not buy themselves a win. The Rockets were sinking before their high expectations, and the front office needed a scapegoat, so McHale was fired.

McHale spoke honestly in an interview with TNT’s Inside the NBA, and his comments were tweeted out by Adam Wexler of KPRC-TV Sports.


The Rockets were in a scoring slump early in the season, but as the season progressed they got back to what they do best. In 2014-15, Houston had one of the most prolific offenses in the NBA. According to, Houston average 103.9 points per game, which ranked sixth in the NBA. They also had a Pace average of 96.5, which ranks second in the NBA.

Pace is basically the average of possessions per 48 minutes.

Houston’s offensive rating of 107.0 ranked 12th in the NBA in 2014-15.

Houston could score as a team, and when needed James Harden could go on a breathtaking solo act that simply had people in aw of his scoring prowess. Simply put, H-town was as lethal as anybody offensively, in 2014-15.

In 2015-16, Houston’s offense picked off right where it left off. They were scoring an average of 106.5 points per game, which ranked 4th in the NBA. Their Pace increased to 97.6, but it ranked only seventh in the league. And, their offensive rating went up to 108.3, seventh in the league.

And that was with Kevin McHale calling plays; can you imagine what Houston’s offense will be like with Mike D’Antoni on the bench? Look out below because here comes Houston. The Rockets should challenge Golden State for the title of best offense.

Houston will once again be amongst the most prolific offenses in pro basketball, but will their defense be able to keep up the pace? Which brings us to the big problem in H-town: defense.

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Although most fans see Houston as an offensive juggernaut, in 2014-15 they had one of the best defenses in the NBA. Once again, according to, Houston’s defensive rating was 103.4, which ranked eighth in the NBA as oppose to the below average rating of 108.1, in 2015-16, which ranked 21st in the league.

In a span of one year, Houston’s defensive rating went down 13th spot, while some of the blame falls on the shoulders of Kevin McHale, the players themselves can’t go blameless here.

The biggest problem here is that James Harden, Houston’s best player, simply does not play defense. In team sports, players look to the best player to galvanize the troops, and commit to the ‘dirty work’ in order for them to push themselves beyond their own limitations. Since Harden emphatically takes days off while Houston is on defense, opponents attack him directly or his side since they know he won’t be a factor in help defense.

In 2014-15, Harden’s play on defense was mediocre at best, but that was good enough to help Houston win 56 games. A year ago, his play decreased dramatically, and Houston finished with 41 wins.

In 2014-15, opponents averaged 100.5 points per game, which ranked 17th in the NBA, while in 2015-16, they averaged 106.4, which ranked 25th in the league. Houston could simply not keep anyone from scoring, cope that with a superstar who simply did not care about half of the game, and either you are on fire, or you will lose.

The results are pretty clear, Houston won 15 fewer games, and lucked into the playoffs because Utah lost a lot of games down the stretch otherwise Utah would have been in the playoffs.

To add to Houston’s obvious defensive problems, they traded their best rim protector (Dwight Howard) to the Atlanta Hawks, and simply did not find a way to replace his presence. At the moment, Houston does not have an average player playing the center position, and outside of Patrick Beverley, they don’t have an NBA-level defender on the roster.

To make matters worse, they hired Mike D’Antoni, a coach who fittingly does not care about defense. While coaching the Lakers, D’Antoni was asked if the Lakers had practiced defense, and he said, “Hell, yeah, we worked for a half-hour on it,” per USA Today.

This hire will either be great and Houston will be near invincible a la mid-2000s Phoenix Suns who were always in the top three to five in offensive rating. Houston will be up there this year, Harden’s numbers will be astronomical hence he should be in the MVP race.

Or, they will sink and by the start of the New Year, Houston will be fighting Los Angeles and Philadelphia for the first overall pick.

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Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women



watch this work the wnba bets on women
Fight and win like a girl...

Great expectations.

Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.

The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.

It tells us the CBA means…

When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.

Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.

Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?

This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.

It’s about time.

Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.

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Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.

And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.

But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.

Again and again until we don’t have to.

The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?

Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.

The game changed for real today.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006



shai gilgeous alexander 20 pts 20 rebs 10 asts first canadian nba triple double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists joins elite NBA company

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.

Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.

Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.

Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA

Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.

Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.

RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.

The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.

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The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.

Canada NBA All-Star Drought

The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.

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