User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Young Rockets look to future after loss

HOUSTON (AP) - The young Rockets are eager to see what they can do in James Harden's second season in Houston.

Advertisement
The Rockets reached the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and battled back from a 3-0 deficit before being eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6.

Harden was traded to the Rockets just days before the season opener, leaving him little time to bond with his teammates before stepping in as the leader in Houston.

``Now we have an entire summer together,'' Harden said. ``This was definitely a great learning experience, but now we can use the summertime to get better.''

When asked how the time would help the Rockets, Harden couldn't narrow it down to just one thing.

``Confidence, chemistry - everything,'' Harden said. ``Kind of knowing where each other will be on the court. Getting a feel for each other off the court will help us just as much on the court. So, it's going to help us build our relationship up. We have a core group of guys that love to work and want to win. This series was definitely a good thing for us.''

Houston got blown out in Game 1 before leading in the fourth quarter of Games 2 and 3, only to lose both and fall behind 3-0. They won the next two games before a 103-94 loss Friday night ended their season.

Harden thrived in his first year in Houston, as he moved from being the sixth man with the Thunder to the Rockets' top player. He averaged 25.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 steals, setting career highs in each category.

``It was a good year for me,'' he said. ``Now I get some time to really work on my game coming in here and being the franchise player and working on ways to get better at my game.''

Kevin McHale raved about the adjustments Harden made in his move to Houston. He averaged 16.2 points a year ago.

``James had a (heck) of a year,'' McHale said. ``I don't think anybody understands how hard it is when every defense is set up to stop you. He did a great job with that. It's a big summer for James coming up. He's a young kid. He's got room for growth.''

The Rockets were also encouraged by the development of point guard Jeremy Lin. A year after becoming a star with the Knicks and starting the ``Linsanity'' craze, Lin started all 82 regular-season games for Houston, averaging more than 13 points and six assists.

A bruised chest muscle kept him out of two playoff games and limited him in two others, and he averaged just four points in the postseason.

The Rockets also got a great season from second-year forward Chandler Parsons. He scored 15.5 points a game after averaging fewer than 10 a year ago. He was even better in the playoffs, when he averaged 18.2 points with 6.5 rebounds.

``We have something to look forward to,'' Parsons said. ``This summer is going to be huge for us to develop that trust and chemistry, and we'll be back next year.''

He thinks the Rockets opened some eyes against top-seeded Oklahoma City.

``The world saw that we have a chance to be really good,'' Parsons said.

Another player who thrived for Houston was 7-foot center Omer Asik, who joined the Rockets after two seasons in Chicago. He averaged more than 10 points and 11 rebounds and started each game for Houston a year after averaging a bit over three points a game.

``Everybody feels bad now. This is a start of a journey for these guys collectively,'' McHale said. ``But the only way this journey gets fulfilled is to trust each other and keep playing together.''

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: Win Total Update - November
Lillard, Blazers defeat Heat 99-92
Hayward leads Jazz past Nuggets, 105-98
Thomas leads C's past 76ers, 'over' hits
Barnes, Matthews power Mavs past Bulls
Wolves rally, edge Hornets 125-120 in OT
Daniels leads Grizz past Lakers, 103-100
Players: Kerr's admission could spark talk
Warriors' Kerr admits marijuana use
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
8-4 L12, 34-15 Run, +1,594 TY
9-4 L6 Days, 7-2 L9 Guarantees
9-2 L11, 12-4 L16 Picks
8-2 L10 Guaranteed Plays
4-1 L5 G-Plays, +1,343 This Year
11-2 L13 G-Plays, 12-4 L16 Picks
6-2 L8 Picks, 12-4 L16 G-Plays
4-2 Picks Last Night
6-2 NBA Guarantees TY
2-0 Record Yesterday
6-1 Last 7 NBA Selections
3-0 Record Last 3 Days
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks - Chip Chirimbes
2016 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1489
Doc's Sports + 1341
Zack Cimini + 505
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 474
ASA + 318
Paul Bovi + 286
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Andy Iskoe 75 %
Chip Chirimbes 62 %
Zack Cimini 59 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 908
Alex Smart + 797
ASA + 573
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 628
ASA + 368
Paul Bovi + 353
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 470
Mark Franco + 467
Jimmy Boyd + 459
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership