Playoffs

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last

 

brad-pitt

Finally that debacle of a series is over with it and I’m ecstatic that I will not have to see those same players together ever again in my life. By the end of the series I found myself empathizing with Harden because he was the only consistent scorer on the team even with his ole defense followed by a deadpan stare at a teammate who he think should’ve helped. It’s obvious Dwight and Harden have their issues but a lot of it can be placed on JB Bickerstaff barely playing or not playing Capela at all this series when the numbers have backed up his productivity.

For being such an analytic driven team you would think JB would be paying attention to the numbers especially a staggering one like that.  He would also play Harden for long stretches of time without a break, as evidenced by him playing 40 straight minutes in game 4. During the first quarter last night Harden went 6 for 6 and the rest of the season went 0 of 15 which is a perfect microcosm of their season. After the conclusion of last night’s game the Rockets were granted permission to interview Luke Walton for the HC job which would be a phenomenal improvement.

Moving onto next year with Dwight out of the picture along with most of the role players except for Harden, Capela, Beasley, Beverly, Harrell, McDaniels,  D-Mo (going to keep him on a cheaper deal too) and Dekker. Harden is a exceptional offensive talent but he has to become more interested on the defensive end with his effort and not fall asleep on D like he is known to do.

Harden-Sleep

Part of the non effort is due  to his teammates clanking their shots not like never before this season and even more so during the playoffs. Dwight and Harden never really fit they only played around 2 seasons worth games together in 3 years because of Dwight’s injury problems. It was no coincidence Harden had his MVP worthy season in 2014-15 when Dwight missed the second half of the year. He also led the league in points in back to back years which hasn’t been done since his old teammate Kevin Durant did it 3x in a row  from 09-12′.  By the way the person who scores the most total points is my scoring champ not the one who averages the most.

There will be a number of free agents to go after this offseason and they will need to get another creator to go alongside Harden , with a center and a 3 & D guy to replace Ariza. Ideally I would like them to go after Al Horford, Pau Gasol to shore up the frontline. I don’t want Whiteside even though he’s elite defensively because he just strikes me as a knucklehead and its very hard to win with those. For the 3 spot that Ariza used to occupy I would go after Durant first then then Nic Batum who is coming off of his best season ever with the Hornets. The Rockets would be fools to not go after him when Durant ultimately spurns them. The last guy is Kent Bazemore , another underrated guy like Batum who has quietly had his strongest season. Now for the piece that has been missing longest during Harden’s tenure a player that can create shots alongside him. Mike Conley is my first choice followed by Rondo and Jeremy Lin.

PS. Finals Prediction , Cavs in 6 over The Spurs

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Texans Post Season Wrap Up

30-0, Welp not much to be said there, they got totally dominated in every aspect of the game. Hats off to the Chiefs. So moving on, it is very hard to get a playoff win in the NFL. Going back to before this weekend’s games  there were two teams the Chiefs who have not won a game in 22 years and the Bengals who have gone 24 years without a playoff win.  Then next comes in the Lions, Browns, Bills, who have all gone 20 years or very close to it without a playoff win as well. In that same span of time the Texans have won twice, albeit against the Bengals but a win is a win nonetheless. Hoping that Clowney and Watt are healthy next season , because if they are that is an elite front with Mercilus. Just please no more Hoyer, I can’t do it again.

Looking at this season as a whole it doesn’t seem as bad as it was early in the season. I know many people thought the they had no chance at the playoffs but they rallied and played really well down the stretch and made it. Many teams would love to just to get into the playoffs and have a chance. So its more a bittersweet season and give the fans something to look forward to because with a few of the right pieces this team can get very interesting.  Now its getting those pieces that is the hard part. I just hope they can address the qb situation and get a young guy that can deliver.  By getting in the playoffs kind of limited them in drafting one of the Goff’s and Lynch’s of the world. So its up to Rick Smith again to find that guy.

Chiefs Vs. Texans Playoff Preview

The day has arrived, I just got back from a couple stores and Texans jerseys/shirts were all over the place and the town is bumping. its exciting. A lot has changed since my last post with that Texans D caught fire added tot the fact that no one can stop Hopkins the Texans managed to wrestle the division title away from the Colts and get to face the Kansas City Chiefs.  Now lets get down to the matchups.

Kansas City 

  • On a 10 game winning streak after starting 1-5
  • 6th in league in rushing yards per game
  • 30th in passing
  • 9th in scoring
  • 4th in league with 47 sacks , big deal because the Texans lost their all pro left tackle Duane Brown last weekend. So watch out for Justin Houston and Tamba Hali to be delivering pressure all day
  • 2nd in the league with 22 interceptions led by rookie all-pro Marcus Peters, Eric Berry and Derrick Johnson
  • Watch out for Alex Smith’s scrambling , Kelce down the seam , and Maclin making ridiculous grabs

Houston

  • On a 3 game winning streak
  • Brian Hoyer returns from injury
  • 15th in the league in rushing yards
  • 18th in the pass, so a lot more balanced attack
  • 5th in sacks, led by JJ Watt with 17 and Whitney Mercilus with 12
  • The Texans also have the worst ranked special teams, so in a playoff game where mistakes are amplified this is worrisome
  • Watch out for Hopkins vs. Peters even though Peters will not shadow him but more likely get safety help more often than not
    • The Texans O-line since the loss of Brown

 

With the Texans D playing so inspired I can see this being a close game coming down to who can limit the turnovers. The Chiefs have the better guy in Smith and if he plays like he usually does with minimal turnovers . With a later start time than usual the home Texans crowd should be pretty rowdy. If its a low scoring game i can see the Texans winning, but anything over 25 points I just do no think they can hang.  My heart is telling me 20-16 Texans.

Bettor’s pick – Chiefs ML at -157