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Rockets debut, fighting the clown menace, the naked truth about Playboy and some gambling opinions: The update for Oct. 27

James Harden and the Rockets are not moving the needle.

We come not to praise the Rockets, nor to bury them.

Sure, Wednesday’s opener did not go well at all.  They lost to the less than stellar LA Lakers 120-114. It was not “stunning,” as the Houston Chronicle called it, because this team is not much different than last year’s mediocre group.

They were outscored in the fourth quarter 30-18. They played no defense. Once again, James Harden’s numbers on the surface looked terrific — 34 points, 17 assists and 8 rebounds — but if you look deeper, it was a stat padding kind of night. He had 7 turnovers, hit just one three in seven attempts and shot under 50 percent from the field. As usual, he did most of his damage at the free throw line, going 15 of 16. Trevor Ariza, useless most of last season, was useless again last night. The bench was a combined -29 in plus minus.

Still, it’s one game. There is no reason to panic. Unless you think Mike D’Antoni was a terrible hire in the first place.

The Rockets were able to blast through the preseason outscoring teams. But when the lights came on for real, they were what we thought they were. A team that can score, but does not play defense. A team with a coach who has no interest in them playing defense.

As you probably know, this is not a place for one game overreactions. They are working in new players. They are working in a new coach. They are going to lose games to teams like this. They are also going to beat somebody like the Warriors or Spurs and give hope they can be special. It takes at least 10-12 games to start forming opinions.

But the reality is they are likely pretty much the same bunch they were last year. A team that will baffle with bad losses, surprise with big wins, make the playoffs and do little once they get there. That is not a judgement based on one game, but a full season last year and an off-season coaching hire that made little sense. They have plenty of time to change that opinion.

But the biggest question is what have they done since last year to make you think they will?

Welcome back: The Texans re-signed Jeff Adams to replace Derek Newton, who is done for the year and maybe for his career. They should be on the phone with the Browns, offering a small fortune for Joe Thomas. Meanwhile, I don’t think Rick Smith is watching the same offense the rest of us are seeing…

Not so Dynamic: Houston’s forgotten team is changing coaches.  Remember when the Dynamo were consistent winners? Sure feels like a long time ago. The problems go higher up than the coach.

Cubs even it up: The World Series is now tied at a game apiece..

In case you missed it: Some nice work from yesterday…an excellent beer review of Karbach’s amazing quintuple IPA and a really good piece from Lamont Mann on partisan politics. I really like the premise, but I do with disagree that it’s a cop-out to call yourself independent and say that being socially liberal and fiscal conservative is pandering or not taking a stand. I have said many times how I would pay for programs on the state level while lessening taxes on current businesses. Legalize casino gambling and weed and tax it at a much higher level, much as the same as we do with alcohol and tobacco. But we want strong opinions on this site, even if we disagree with pieces of them, which was kind of the point of the article…Meanwhile, here are A.J. Hoffman’s week 8 fantasy rankings.

Betting opinions: So since last Saturday’s debacle we have quietly hit three of our last four plays. We only gave them out on the show, because…well, when you suck for two weeks, you lose confidence. Tonight we will go over 58.5 on Toledo-Ohio…We will also keep riding the Maple Leafs over train until it hits the station. The number is 5.5 vs. the Florida Panthers.

Eastbound and clown: See, this is what happens when you dress like an evil clown and do stupid stuff to try to get YouTube views.  You get your ass kicked. Gotta say, this dude had it coming. The clown menace is real. We will not go down without a fight. Trying to piggy back on it for YouTube hits gets you what you deserve.

Play it again? Playboy went away from nudes for some strange reason. They have quickly realized that was a mistake and are reconsidering.  Nude or not, when was the last time you actually looked at a Playboy magazine? I can’t remember either.

Lotto money: Dead set against lotteries, so maybe I should do what this woman did.


President Whitmore’s Speech in Independence Day, dedicated to you evil clowns (I know it is not July 4, but we stand against you as one):

“Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight!  We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

1 Comment on Rockets debut, fighting the clown menace, the naked truth about Playboy and some gambling opinions: The update for Oct. 27

  1. Had to step out of bounds.


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