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January 12, 2015 Updates

“It’s something that, at the time, would have been the best move,” Howard said Monday morning before his Rockets play the Nets at Barclays Center. “But everything happens for a reason. I was looking forward to one day being in Brooklyn at the time, but I found a great home in Houston, our team is playing exceptionally well, and we have a great opportunity to do something special.” New York Post

Instead, on a flight home from San Antonio the night before the trade deadline, he decided to to sign a waiver stating he wouldn’t opt into his contract – a decision he would soon come to regret – suddenly removing any incentive for Orlando to trade him and any chance of the Nets signing him as a free agent that summer. “I think when I opted in, it kind of changed everything,” he said. “But like I said, Houston is a great place. I love where I’m at. I found a great organization here. Even though I won’t be playing here in Brooklyn, I have a lot of family and friends here, so it’s a lot of fun to visit with those people.” New York Post

“Yeah, you always have those regrets or whatever,” Howard admitted. “But one thing I try to do is live without regrets. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. There was a point in time where I thought this was the best place for me to play basketball, and I guess things didn’t happen the way I wanted them to happen.” New York Post

After four Smith starts, McHale put Motiejunas back in the starting lineup and moved Smith to the second unit. In that role, Smith can get his hands on the ball and try to get better looks for the reserves. He's averaging 23 minutes a game coming off the bench. "I didn't know Josh," McHale said. "He's been great. I've really enjoyed him. He's got a high basketball IQ, from talking to him. He's been good. He's done everything I've asked him to do. I've sat him down and said 'okay, are you more comfortable coming off the bench? Are you more comfortable starting? Where are you at? 'Cause this is about you being comfortable, not me being comfortable. I just sit my big ass over on that bench.'" NBA.com

Surely, though, Smith has seen what the blogosphere and the analytics folk have said about his toxicity. "I really don't pay attention -- I watch Family Guy, I watch Maury Povich," Smith said. "I really don't put my ears and eyes to negative publicity. I know that every player's critiqued in this league, especially by ones that really don't know the individual players. I really can't get mad. It's something to talk about. If they had nothing to talk about on ESPN and other shows, then nobody would watch." NBA.com

"Stan and I, fortunately for both of us, we've had such a great chemistry and communication with each other since he's come on board, really from our first meeting," Gores said. "Stan is a very thorough guy ... for me, what was comfortable was knowing Stan is such a good coach, and with him, if we're 5-23, which we were, something's not right. "It's not just making a rotation change. I know he was working as hard as possible ... it was very collaborative with each other, like I would do with a CEO. I really challenged Stan to think creatively." NBA.com

"I think it's interesting how intangibles come into play," Gores said. "Our young guys are getting more minutes. We did get Meeks back and that's something you can't ignore, Having Jodie, first of all, he has great energy. Even if he doesn't have a great game he helps the team. He helps KCP (second-year shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope). "Meeks has been a big part of us coming back. And, really, letting Stan run the system he wants. Having Josh and Monroe, It just wasn't working. There just wasn't enough room." NBA.com

January 11, 2015 Updates
January 10, 2015 Updates

Before the Houston Rockets took on the New York Knicks on Thursday, a fan tried to get a selfie court side with James Harden while he was warming up. Harden looked right through the kid as if he wasn’t even there. Don’t you get it? Harden has to get in the zone before this game starts. For The Win

January 9, 2015 Updates

A team source says the Rockets have yet to talk with the Nets about Williams, and constructing a potential deal is close to impossible. Even if the Rockets were interested, they simply don’t have the right assets to take on Williams’s contract under the collective bargaining agreement; two of their above-minimum players (Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved) can’t be traded in combination with another player. Secondly, the contract that would fit best to help make salaries match is Trevor Ariza’s, who is making $8.6 million in the first of a four-year deal, and the Nets have balked at adding salary beyond this or next season. The Brooklyn Game

Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report: Daryl Morey, no doubt, is burning up the phones, and the expectation is that he’s going to go hot and heavy after a point guard. They love Patrick Beverley, but ideally, he is the third guard in that rotation. And to give an indication of just how aggressive they might be, sources around the league are saying don’t count Deron Williams out from the Brooklyn Nets, even though he has that fat contract and right now has a rib injury Far more likely is that they go back to a guy that they already know – Goran Dragic, who is in a crowded backcourt with the Phoenix Suns and could be got with that New Orleans No. 1 pick that the Rockets have right now. NBCSports.com

Rockets coach Kevin McHale could offer little insight about how he felt with the rotation now that he has Josh Smith coming off the bench, usually checking in for Dwight Howard. That was because McHale said the move was not made based on his preference, but for Smith’s. “The biggest thing is about getting him comfortable,” McHale said before the Rockets faced the Knicks on Thursday, Smith’s ninth game since signing with the Rockets. “You can’t play basketball when you’re thinking and funky. He has to get where he’s comfortable. He felt more comfortable with that second team. “I didn’t know Josh. Really, honestly, he’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed him. He has a high basketball IQ, talking to him. He’s done everything I’ve asked him to do. I’ve sat him down and said, “Ok, are you more comfortable coming off the bench? Are you more comfortable starting? Where are you at, because this is about you being comfortable, not me being comfortable?’ I just sit … over on that bench. I don’t have to be comfortable.” Houston Chronicle

January 8, 2015 Updates


Average height of the main three players is 6-foot-10. It's truly a big man franchise.


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