Y'ALL ABOUT TO
HAVE A PROBLEM
Game Time Start: 7:00 PM ET
Where: The Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Officials: B. Salvatore, K. Cutler, G. Zielinsk
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Houston Notes
Television: FOX Sports Indiana / CSN Houston
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / KBME 790 AM
NBA Feeds:*NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
*NBA League Pass Broadband (subscription req'd)
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Season Records: (W-L) 24-16 Home: 15-3
21-19 Away: 7-12
Upcoming Games: Jan 21 Jan 23 Jan 26 Jan 28 at at at at 1:00pm 10:00pm 9:00pm 9:00pm
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: ASIK PATTERSON PARSONS HARDEN LIN
Danny Granger - left knee tendinosis (out)
Lance Stephenson - sore right foot (day-to-day)
Royce White - suspended (out)
Perpetually Disappointing Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:
SI's The Point Forward: Rob Mahoney: James Harden walks the traveling line
Watch any Rockets game and you’re likely to experience a mental trigger — that
immediate notion that something you’ve just seen is ever so slightly amiss. There is
no evidence so flagrant as to get up in arms about and no whistle to validate your
instant suspicion. But James Harden weaved from just inside the three-point line all
the way to the rim with a single dribble, finished and drew contact in the process.
His syncopated strides bear a completely different rhythm from the quick one-two
step of a standard drive, to the point that they almost seem illegal.
That’s largely because Harden’s drives almost are illegal. No NBA player is more
slippery off the bounce, in part because no player is more willing to walk the fine
line of the league’s traveling rules. The widespread confusion over the letter and
enforcement of the traveling violation has locked most of the league into a very
conventional two-count driving style, though some of the more daring players are
prone to Eurosteps or jump stops on occasion. Harden’s cadence is a world apart,
largely because of his cunning manipulation of the “gather” provision of the rule.
To clear up any confusion, the 2012-13 NBA Rulebook states as follows in Rule 9,
Section XIII, Item (b):
A player who receives the ball while he is progressing or upon
completion of a dribble, may take two steps in coming to a stop,
passing or shooting the ball. A player who receives the ball while
he is progressing must release the ball to start his dribble before
his second step.
The first step occurs when a foot, or both feet, touch the floor
after gaining control of the ball.
The rules note that a player’s first step occurs after gaining control of the ball. In
other words, a player is allowed to collect the ball in his hands as he takes one step,
and follow up with two more full strides. Harden’s incredible driving and finishing
ability comes as a result of his understanding of what’s allowed in this regard, as
well as his mastery of timing and spacing those three steps. Observe:
All of the above are strange plays that may invoke a momentary doubt, but are
nonetheless legal according to the contemporary writing and interpretation of the
traveling rule. Look at the first play in the clip above. At the 0:07 mark, Harden
gathers his dribble facing two defenders at what is essentially the top of the key.
His foot is on the ground, and yet because he is only now formally collecting his
dribble, he’s privileged to two additional steps to cut through the heart of the
Bucks’ defense. That’s where Ekpe Udoh’s positioning creates a bit of a problem;
the Milwaukee big man is smart to expect Harden to go to his left, but
overcompensates for that possibility and allows Harden to split the defense. From
there, Harden simply takes two huge strides — one to get him inside the free-
throw line and another that brings him deep into the lane for a double-clutch finish.
By delaying his gather until...CONTINUE READING AT THE POINT FORWARD
The Dream Skahe: Houston Rockets vs. Indiana Pacers -- game preview
The Rockets are still looking to snap a their losing streak, which now stands at five
games. Tonight they take on the Pacers in Indianapolis.
Remember when the Rockets were 21-14? Seems like an eternity ago. Well, since
then the good guys have given up a safety and a field goal. The problem is that you
can't win by one in terms of overall wins. Well you can, but you can't. Next analogy.
We've got to ask ourselves: were those 10 wins in 12 games because the team was
playing poor competition (East teams mostly) or was it that the Rockets were
peaking and shooting out of their minds?
I'd say a little of both, but that's a cop out. I guess I'm worried that it's the first one,
but if the second fact is true that's also bad news. The Rockets have hung around in
four of the five losses. They have just been coming out of the gates slowly for both
halves. It seems they play well for about five or six minutes in the first quarter, then
start sliding, especially when McHale goes to the bench. Then out of the half when
the starters have to set the tone, turnovers or missed open shots are dooming the
So tonight's opponent is the Indiana Pacers, a team that was at one point 10-11 and
looking lost without Danny Granger. Then they got an admittedly easy stretch of
schedule and during this 14-6 stretch they've beaten Memphis, Miami, and the
The Pacers have the number one defense and are the best rebounding team in the
league. They are incredibly long and will force contested jump shots and will alter
shots around the rim.
Oh, and the Pacers are 15-3 at home.
If this game doesn't frighten you, you're already dead.
Point Guard: Jeremy Lin vs. George Hill
Yes, today George Hill is better than Jeremy Lin. I understand that Lin played well
in the fourth quarter against Dallas. But, Dallas played Collison and Mike James at
the point during that time. Neither one is considered a great defender. Hill is
absolutely a good defender and will contribute plenty on offense. He deserves the
advantage. He's also long and tall.
Shooting Guard: James Harden vs. Lance Stephenson
And thus begins and ends the Rockets advantage tonight. On the one hand, it's
scary to think that four out of five starters and their bench are better than the
Rockets' versions. On the other hand it's exciting to see how the Rockets will play
when they are expected to lose. Tonight is a ripe time for players to outplay their
counterparts and help swing the game.
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons vs. Paul George
Speaking of playing better...CONTINUE READING AT THE DREAM SHAKE