Usually around this time, at the end of June, I'm all about NFL Training Camps and DFS MLB teams. I mean, who cares about basketball? To be honest, I stopped being a basketball fan until the Warriors and Cavaliers burst onto the NBA scene. I thought the game had gotten pedestrian. It was boring.
But, LeBron, Steph, Russell (at Oklahoma City), KD, and The Beard (at Houston), has made basketball fun again. I don't mind playing NBA DFS. I appreciate putting together a roundball team on DraftKings.
That's why I had to throw in this NBA blog along with my usual MLB and NFL summer blogs. The Houston Rockets managed to trade for Chris Paul, nicknamed CP3, this past Wednesday on June 28. Big deal? You better believe it's a big deal!
CP3 Gives Coach Mike D'Antoni a Steve Nash
In 2003, Mike D'Antoni became the head coach of the Phoenix Suns. D'Antoni's system is based on possessions. If you get more possessions than your opponent, you win the basketball game. He had the perfect point-guard to run his system in Phoenix with converted soccer player Steve Nash.
What made Steve Nash so great was his speed and vision. Don't get me wrong. James “The Beard” Harden is fast. He can get to the other side of the court in the blink of an eye. But, The Beard doesn't have the vision that CP3 has.
Don't believe me? In Game 5 versus San Antonio, Harden committed 9 turnovers. In Game 6 in that series, where San Antonio beat Harden and the Rockets 114 to 75, The Beard committed 6 turnovers. He also only had 10 points.
D'Antoni's system needs a true point-guard. James Harden isn't a true point-guard. Chris Paul is a true point-guard. Paul committed 147 total turnovers in 61 games played this past season. That's around 2.5 turnovers per game. CP3 also averaged 9.2 assists per game.
With CP3 playing D'Antoni's Steve Nash, James “The Beard” Harden figures to be much deadlier on the scoring. Hard to fathom, but it's true.
Houston Might Make a Move for Paul George or Carmelo Anthony
Signs are that Houston isn't done wheeling and dealing. The Rockets are supposedly in play for Paul George. If the Rockets can find a way to trade for Paul George, they'd be the most logical contenders to Golden State's iron-like grip on the Western Conference.
I believe George is a better player than Melo. But, Melo won't have to do much with the Rockets. D'Antoni used to coach Melo when he was the head guy in New York. He knows exactly what Melo brings to the table.
Let's say that the Rockets manage to trade for Melo, or Paul George. The starting line-up would probably look something like this:
PG – Chris Paul
G – James Harden
SF – Paul George/Carmelo Anthony
PF – Chinanu Onuaku
C – Clint Capela
My guess is that any deal that involves George or Anthony should involve Eric Gordon, Ryan Kelly, and Trevor Ariza from the Houston Rockets. Ryan Anderson is most likely in the mix as well. Heck, to get a deal done, it might involve all 4 of those players.
The Rockets must try and keep Clint Capela. With a starting lineup that includes Paul George, James Harden, and Chris Paul, Houston only needs their bigs to play defense and grab boards ala Zaza Pachulia at Golden State.
I must hand it to Houston. Instead of sitting on their laurels, the Rockets decided to do something about Golden State's dominance. It could work out like magic for the Houston Rockets. This is especially true if they Paul George or Carmelo Anthony to a starting line-up that includes James “The Beard” Harden, and Chris “CP3” Paul.