Trans. May 16 2:05 ET (May 16 2:05 ET ) With every season that ends, for the playoff teams at least, we felt it right to take a look ahead. TNT already has the rights to "Gone Fishin'," and because we're sure that someone, somewhere, still likes that Wyclef song, we're going with "Gone Till November." And, yes, we know the season starts in October. Today? The Oklahoma City Thunder.
Russell Westbrook’s knee injury may have cost his team an NBA title this season, but it could also go a long way towards saving coach and general manager Sam Presti a whole heck of a lot of criticism. To some Oklahoma City Thunder fans, that statement is just piling bad on top of bad.
Scorn for Brooks’ abilities date back two years at this point, and whether they come in the form of complaining about his limited mid-playoff adjustments or overreliance on certain vets, he’s taken quite a bit of heat following two straight five-game finishes to seasons in 2012 and now 2013. Presti, meanwhile, will receive tempered but certain criticism for his choices to ostensibly value contract extensions for Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka over one for Houston Rocket All-Star James Harden.
Both will be back next year, though. Brooks just finished the first year of a four year contract, and Presti has done so well in his first six years with the team that he’s earned several more years of goodwill. Both admirably and staunchly defended themselves (and by extension, the team’s owners) in the wake of the deal that sent James Harden to Houston, allowing for the team’s ownership to skate in the face of paying the luxury tax. On top of that, Westbrook’s season ending injury allows for most to consider the 2012-13 team a once-again championship contender that was just felled by bad luck at the worst possible time.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Zach Randolph remembers blowing a 22-point lead in the second quarter. For Tony Allen, the play that stands out came when Russell Westbrook threw a left-handed pass jumping out of bounds to James Harden for a crucial 3-pointer in the first overtime.
With every season that ends, for the playoff teams at least, we felt it right to take a look ahead. TNT already has the rights to "Gone Fishin'," and because we're sure that someone, somewhere, still likes that Wyclef song, we're going with "Gone Till November." And, yes, we know the season starts in October. Today? The Houston Rockets.
The Houston Rockets entered the 2012 offseason as a great unknown, flush with draft picks and cap space and the usual batch of assets. It entered last fall’s training camp as a great unknown, with a massive roster with no clear cut direction. It then entered the regular season as a great unknown, dealing those assets for James Harden and ushering in an intriguing new roster without the benefit of a training camp or exhibition season to warm up its new star.
After a fantastic 2012-13 campaign, the Houston Rockets now enter the 2013 offseason as, you guessed it, a great unknown. The team has still managed to retain endless assets and cap space, and figure to be a major player once again as it deals in trades or works with free agents. There is a very real chance that the Rockets that their fans knew and enjoyed in 2012-13 could be moved elsewhere by autumn, as the team attempts to take that tough step between the lower rungs of the playoff bracket, and a potential championship contender.