Tag: Luka Dončić

The Houston Rockets Championship window is closing

With the Golden State Warriors era of basketball running amuck on the league, the difficulty to win a championship for any team is tough especially for the Houston Rockets.

Winning against a team with 5 all-stars, in a 7-game series, is not only a daunting task but an impossible one for many teams. With Demarcus Cousins set to return on Friday against the Clippers, The Warriors now have 6 all-stars playing on their team.

Organizations around the league were forced to adapt to playing against Golden State’s brand of basketball. The three-point shot has evolved, becoming the most valuable way of scoring in today’s era of basketball. Post ups and Mid-range shooting are a thing of the past.

The Houston Rockets were one of the organizations who had to adopt a new style of basketball centered around 3 point shooting. Houston’s offense is the closest to the Warriors and even the Rockets couldn’t beat them in the Western Conference finals.

Last year, the Houston Rockets were only one game away from reaching the NBA Finals. But when Chris Paul went down with a hamstring injury, all hope was lost for the Rockets.

Chris Paul has been plagued with injuries playing in only 26 games this season. With the recent news that Clint Capela is out for 4-6 weeks with a thumb injury, James Harden is forced to carry the load for this team.

Chris Paul and Clint Capela are key pieces to the Rockets’ success. This team will go far as these two players go. If they can’t stay healthy or consistent, the Rockets will not be in contention for winning the championship this year.

The best shot the Rockets had to win a title was last season. It seems that the Rockets hasn’t mentally recovered from the western conference finals and free agency.

Chris Paul isn’t getting any younger and there are signs showing that father time is catching up to him. The Rockets are a struggling team this season. They had stretches where they were extremely bad, then they played good, and then bad again.

This team simply can’t stay consistent. If you can’t stay consistent in a Western Conference of the Warriors, Thunder, Nuggets, and Trail Blazers, you are bound to end up at the bottom of the pack.

 

With last night’s loss to the Nets, James Harden scored 58 points and the team attempted an unbelievable 70 three-pointers only making 23 of them. This raises concerns of if this team is even on the same page as they were up against the Nets late in the fourth quarter until giving up three straight 3 pointers from Spencer Dinwiddie to force overtime.

We have seen this same situation a couple weeks back against the Dallas Mavericks as rookie Luka Doncic capped off a comeback scoring 11 points in the final minutes of the game to defeat the Rockets.

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Urban Klavžar: The Next Luka Dončić

In professional sports, teams are always looking for the next ________. And in no league does that statement seem to be more true than in the NBA.

The next MJ? DeShawn Stevenson.

The next Larry Bird? Adam Morrison.

The next Arvydas Sabonis? Andrea Bargnani.

The next Kobe Bryant? Brandon Roy.

The next Kevin Durant? Brandon Ingram.

I think you get my point. Anyways, the latest young star that everyone is looking to get their own version of is Luka Dončić. As a rookie, he’s coming out of the gates firing on all cylinders, and he looks to be the future of the league.

So, naturally, it’s time to look for the next Dončić.

First off, I want to point out the obvious. DeShawn Stevenson never became Kobe, Bargnani came nowhere near Sabonis, and Ingram is only capable of showing near Durant’s ability for approximately one quarter per month.

These prophecies that people give to players before they even set foot in the league always fall flat.

With that in mind, please proceed to ignore that entirely as I hype up a 14-year-old’s NBA prospects.

Urban Klavžar may just be 14, but he’s already a somewhat well-known name throughout Europe. He made headlines toward the end of last season when he managed to score 14 points in just two minutes, and very quickly after that, made his move to Real Madrid.

The obvious comparison there is being in Real Madrid’s youth academy from a young age, as a young Slovenian perimeter stud.

Klavžar plays point guard, and at 6’1″ already at his young age, could easily grow to be a very lengthy player for a guard who could end up able to use his height to his advantage.

He has a lethal jumper from all distances and is extremely quick on his feet, making him extremely hard for opponents to gameplan for defensively.

He participated in the FIBA U-16 European Championship this past summer, representing his country, and he earned plenty of attention despite his team’s struggles. Slovenia finished in a disappointing 13th place.

Klavžar scored 11.9 points per game along with dishing out 2.1 assists. He particularly impressed in a game against Montenegro in which he scored 21 points with 3-5 shooting from deep, pulling down five rebounds, assisting five times, and also picking up two steals.

This is obviously way too early to realistically claim he’s the next Luka Dončić, but he’s the guy I’m betting my stakes on at this point.