Blogtable: Warriors Or Rockets?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Western Conference showdown | Eastern Conference showdown | Kobe’s comeback

Of these Western Conference up-and-comers, who’s more likely to end up the better team in 2014: Golden State or Houston?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comHouston. Golden State won two more games than Houston last season but one team added Andre Iguodala and the other added Dwight Howard. I like the Warriors’ talent and what they did with it, but that was with Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry as key rotation players. They’re gone now. Daryl Morey‘s not done with that roster yet, and the Rockets are hungry. Also, I think Howard has a big year in him, bottled up through the nonsense of his last two seasons and uncorked through his new partnership with Hall of Fame big men Kevin McHale and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comThe Rockets.  Dwight Howard is healthy and feels like he has something to prove after the horrible experience of last season in L.A.  That is a very big motivator and, if he stays healthy, gives Houston a significant upgrade at both ends of the court. While the Rockets still lack depth and could use an established power forward (don’t think the Omer Asik experiment at that position will work), Howard, James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin now can play an inside out game to go with their high-tempo, bombs-away approach.  While I like what the Warriors did a year ago and the addition of Andre Iguodala  is a perfect fits, you have to have doubts about Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut avoiding the injuries that keep them out of the lineup for long stretches.  That’s the difference.

Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry

Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry (Rocky Widner/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, Good question, but give me Golden State for a couple of reasons. Of course, all Warriors predictions come with an oversize asterisk denoting the suspect ankle durability of Steph Curry and the everything durability of Andrew Bogut. Assuming health, the Dubs are a cohesive and confident group with young, athletic talent at every position. The inclusion of Andre Iguodala should be seamless. They’re entrenched in their system and believe in their coach so this group is poised to take off from the jump and surpass 50 wins for the first time in 20 years. The Rockets, obviously, have loads of potential, but they’re also more or less starting from ground zero with the addition of Dwight Howard. The offense has to adjust from a 3-ball free-for-all to one that runs through Howard. There’s a handful of new players to assign roles and also one possibly disgruntled Omer Asik to appease (starting power forward anyone?). The Rockets will also find a giant target on their back, something I don’t think the lovable Warriors will have to deal with on a nightly basis. Golden State is ready to roll while the Rockets will need some time to figure out exactly who they are.

Scott Howard-Cooper, Golden State. The Rockets will be improved, but the Warriors were already the better team and then improved off that with the addition of Andre Igoudala while losing Carl Landry (predictable departure) and Jarrett Jack. Golden State needs to answer the question of backup point guard by either having Igoudala step into the role or Toney Douglas or Nemanja Nedovic succeed. If that happens, top four in the West is possible. Houston will be in the next tier.

Sekou Smith, As much as I enjoy watching the Golden State Warriors play, I think the Rockets will be the better team in 2014. The Rockets inside-out duo of Dwight Howard and James Harden will be as potent a 1-2 punch as there is the Western Conference next season. The Rockets have a solid supporting cast and will need to establish an identity early on, but they’ll have two top 15 players in the league in their first five and that’s hard to bet against. I do think the Warriors will be one of the deepest and most versatile teams in the league next season. Without a low-post presence to balance the work Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and even Harrison Barnes will do, I still have some reservations about the Warriors right now.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blogI’m going to go with Golden State, for a couple of reasons: They found the key in the postseason last year (playing small) that made them a better team than they were in the regular season. To this they added Andre Iguodala, a versatile player who is coming from a similarly uptempo system in Denver, which means he should fit right in. They lost Jarrett Jack, but they still have enough quality depth to sustain back-to-backs and injuries. Houston has to figure out how to work Dwight Howard into the post while maintaining the tempo that made them an interesting team last season. Seems like Houston has a tougher road ahead of them than Golden State.

Hanson Guan, China: The Houston Rockets. Dwight Howard lifts them rightly into the top ranks and his successful integration would see Rockets become hot favorites for Western Conference champions. The Warriors improved a lot following the arrival of Andre Iguodala, but the absence of a superstar will probably prevent them from going further.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, Greece: I’ll go with the Warriors. There is no reason not to like the modern version of Run-TMC. They run fast and shoot the ball even faster. Last season they had a solid playoff run and managed to gain veteran experience through free agency. Iguodala is a perfect fit for Golden State, as he is tough on defense and deadly on transition. With him the Warriors have one of the most talented starting five in the league, great offensive balance and became more physical. The Rockets, on the other hand, brought a piece that can give them solutions to their defensive problems and create a strong one-two punch (as Harden is a great passer) in an already high-octane offensive line-up. Golden State, though, has the edge, due to their last run in the postseason.


  1. coolitdude says:

    GSW is just a one-off… Rockets all the way anytime.

    GSW and Lakers will miss the playoffs in 2014, replaced by Portland and Dallas..

  2. RJ says:

    One thing I like for Golden State is that Mareese Speights is a solidly built 6’10” power forward who can score. Carl Landry was a solidly built 6’8 maybe and a half inch power forward who could score sometimes. Rebounding wise, I’d say they’re about equal, though Speights should be better. But Speights’ size and scoring make them better as long as he buys into the culture now there.

    Honestly, Toney Douglas isn’t that much of a step back from Jarrett Jack. He is a deadly three point shooter, he hustles, finishes layups through contact, can be a great defender, though not all the time, and gets steals with ease. Jack is physical and could will shots in sometimes at crunch time, but I don’t think the Warriors are losing much more than that. Lee and Curry are capable of that at times, and I think Thompson and Barnes a year older, as well as Bogut a season removed from any injuries will all be increasingly able to help out in crunch time, too.

    As for the Rockets, they should take a slight step forward as well, but where’s their starting power forward now without Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris, or a sure to improve Thomas Robinson there now? I would love to see Asik and Howard play big minutes together, but I doubt they will unless McHale has the guts to go against the grain in today’s small ball world.

    • RJ says:

      And yes I’m aware of Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas, and Greg Smith. I think Terrence is a year away from consistency, D-Mo is likely a bust, and Greg Smith probably isn’t quick enough to play the 4. In summation, healthy Warriors by one game.

  3. rhea says:

    You have to go rockets seriously they beat gsw last year and finished just a few games behind them and added a huge upgrade in Howard who will help out the rockets bad defense the rockets were already great at scoring and Howard will help that slightly too as he is more of a scorer than asik while the warriors added Iggy…… No one who watches basketball and either isn’t a Howard hater or lives in California would say that Iggy can compare to Howard

  4. Jslen says:

    Warriors no doubt…Iggy is a big pick up for them

  5. Charles73 says:

    Unless Golden State has a bunch of injuries all at once, they will REMAIN better than Houston this season. They have four starters who have shown periods of all-star caliber play and only Lee is starting to slip. Their bench is deep and only a team like the Spurs can slow down their 3-pt. game. Their only major problem was replacing Landry’s scoring and Iggy will do that. If Bogut can play good minutes then GS have no glaring holes, provided Barnes & Green keep improving.
    Houston plays high-tempo, but Howard’s back keeps HIM from playing that way. Dwight wants to be “the man” but showed he won’t listen basketball minds with rings like Kobe or VanGundy; Hakeem & McHale will be the same. Their offense will now be standing around hoping for a kickout now, until they pull Dwight at crunchtime. Harden will not have room to drive the lane with it packed. Houston has little depth this year and will have to go small with Parsons @4, since Asik can grow on offense next to Howard and will get traded. Lin must cut down on turnovers, as his scoring won’t recover as a spot shooter. Understandable the writer for Chinese media thinks Houston is tops, but Yao Ming isn’t there anymore wearing a uni that’s modeled after the Chinese Nat’l Team’s, and Lin has no chances to be creative next to Harden.

  6. underdog says:

    Now I understand why one of my posts cant be posted in HTB,, Apparenty we are not allowed to type JJ Redik’s correct last name, or is it just me..

  7. sports fan says:

    I’ll call it even between these two teams because I don’t think either will make it past the 2nd round of the playoffs. Any pairing between Spurs, Thunder, & Clippers will be in the conference finals. I think Houston has potential to be a contender in 2-3 years.

  8. Mitchell says:

    I’d take Houston, only because I don’t fully trust Curry and Boguts health. In a perfect world, basketball injuries wouldn’t happen… but they do, and more often to some players than others. No doubt the Warriors are better healthy, the problem is I don’t fully trust them to be healthy. Not to mention, once Houston moves Asik (and they will) for someone like Ryan Anderson, this Rockets team will look precisely like an upgraded Magic team that Dwight brought to the finals all those years back.

  9. underdog says:


    01 Spurs
    02 Clippers
    03 Thunder
    04 Warriors
    05 Grizzles
    06 Rockets
    07 Timberwolves
    08 Nuggets
    09 Trailblazers
    10 Mavericks
    11 Lakers
    12 Pelicans
    13 Kings
    14 Suns
    15 Jazz

    Warriors key addition Iggy will be very solid. Barnes and Thompson will be improved. Bazemore is a revelation in the summer league. Curry proved last season he’s a legit star. And Scalabrine is now in their coaching staff!

    Grizzlies got worse by firing their coach and the other teams just got better, well except for the OKC, but I think they’re still better than the Rockets because of chemistry and the team looks more cohesive.

    Rockets still have lots of move to do to become contenders. Some key pieces still do not fit. Lin is not an effective catch and shoot player, which he needs to be when Harden and Howard are doing their PnR. Asik will also clog the paint if he starts with Howard. There are still cohesiveness issues for this team. They will not be contending yet.

    • Fan of Basketball says:

      First of all why is Thunder 3rd. I know that they gotten worse but still they have young players that are good and Durant and Westbrook have a lot of potential. Durant, the 2nd best player in the NBA, is Beast. He could make make game winners and just drive up and dunk. He could also shoot threes. Westbrook on the other hand is pretty good at mid range and you dont wanna get in his way when he is about to dunk. Also they got Ibaka who is good at defense and he is almost like Dikembe Mutombo at blocking. Jeremy Lamb is pretty good and they got other people.They should either go first or second.

      • underdog says:

        Because I believe in Doc Rivers.. He turned the Celtics into Champions just in the first year they were togther and that’s when Rondo is still unproven and Perkins is an unknown. Clippers were very competitive last year but unable to sustain that I think because teams have figured them out and Vinny their coach wasn’t able to adjust. Now we will be seeing Doc guiding them.

      • underdog says:

        Blake is still improving, DJ is still improving, and you have Chris Paul as your point guard surrounded by legit shooters (Redik, Dudley) to space the floor. Collison is also backing him up. The Clippers are deep just like last season but now are smartly deep, not just deep with no cohesiveness,,

        The Thunder on the other hand still needs a third scorer to be effective. They have no replacement for Harded/Martin yet. I don’t trust Lamb, he’s not that dominating in D-League or in Summer League so how can he replace Harden/Martin production?. The Thunder will drop to 3 not just because they got worse but also because the Clippers are much improved.

  10. DZaak says:

    Also to add. One of the writers in the article made a great point. GSW were only 2 games ahead of the Rockets last season. Add to that the fact that the Rockets DESTROYED GSW last year.

  11. DZaak says:

    Agreed that we don’t know about the Rocket’s chemistry, but how can people seriously say that Iggy is a better addition than Dwight. Maybe those comments are from Lakers fans. GSW are better only if the Rockets’ chemistry doesn’t work.

    Why are Lakers’ issues last season ALL Dwight’s fault? The Lakers record IMPROVED after Kobe got injured. Yes he played his worst season, and still averaged 17 and 12. WTF? On what planet are those bad numbers? They are still better than Iggy and his bad percentages.

    And don’t under-estimate the power of a strong center. Dwight is weak against the all-time greats, but he is still the best center today. He’s much better than Hibbert, and look how he impacted the Pacers’ playoff run.

    • rhea says:

      I agree thank you man look Howard is a much better upgrade than Iggy hence gsw one of the teams in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes that lost now that they didn’t get him gsw fans are lying to themselves saying Iggy better than Howard HA!

  12. ffrigga says:

    The Dubs were lucky last year and they didn’t became better. The Rockets will be 10 wins better

  13. J says:

    golden state they’ll be 3 seed and Houston will be 5 seed

    lineup versus (I’ll say who I think is better i’ll put a * next to their name)(both means even)

    PG curry* lin
    SG Thompson harden*
    SF iggy* parsons
    PF lee * asik
    C bogut *howard
    6 barnes * beverly
    7 douglas * Garcia*
    8 speits * camby *
    9 O’Neal* montyounas*
    10 ezeli brooks*
    11 green caspi*
    12 baxemore* smith*

    winner golden state 4-2 ther better but not by that much

  14. Ultimate Warrior says:

    Curry was throwing down dunks in a recent video, same as DLee. Bogut is now completely healed. So their risk for injuries will be the same as anyone else. Barnes would now be leading the second squad to become the spark plug off the bench that JJack and Landry provided. KThompson is still improving. Now add Iggy to the mix? I see good times are coming.

    Rockets actually is a bad match-up for the Warriors last year in the regular season. I hope they dont meet each other on the first round. Warriors should advance to the Western Finals, that’s the logical bet.

  15. Joe Minero says:

    Hmm…. The Rockets or The Warriors! This is a tough one, I like the 1-2 punch with Harden & Howard, gets me thinking of 1-2 punch with Kobe & Shaq. On the other hand one of the best, if not the best shooting team last season The Warriors. Picking up Iguodala was a big factor for them. He is use to tempo, as well as, being that big & quick you guys better watch out with him The Warriors have one of the most talented starting five. As for who I decided, well that can wait when they face each other off round one of the playsoff 4/5. The Warriors & The Rockets

  16. Kamote says:

    Hopefully, DH’s arrival won’t transform Houston into Magic 2.0, where they just dump in the low post and have 3pt shooters waiting for a kick-out. If you have Harden and DH (especially now he’s training with Hakeem), then they should at least be a Shaq-Kobe tandem where both can do damage with their respective strengths.

    GS on the other hand will forever have that issue on Curry and Bogut’s health. But the upside of having Klay, AI, Lee and Barnes definitely helps them to be the better team.

    • Dan says:

      I honestly don’t believe Curry’s health is that much of an issue. He played in 78 of 82 game last season and averaged the 2nd most minutes out of PG’s. You’re right about Bogut though. If he cant stay healthy the Warriors wont make it far in the playoffs.

    • dommy lee says:

      howards been training with hakeem for the past 3 years or more dont u think he should of picked up one or two skills by by now?

  17. knicks33 says:

    id choose GS over Houston but itll be really close cuz theyre similar teams if you think about it . with chandler parsons and harrison barnes and steph curry and james harden and lee and bogut and dwight and camby . and the warriors got iggy too so they should excel offensively and defensively so its gonna be a good regular season matchup.

  18. Duv says:

    One reason why the Golden State Violet Crumbles won’t succeed: Andrew Bogut. He’s about as reliable as a Chinese-made motor vehicle. Enough said.

  19. Lakers-Warriors-Suns. says:

    Golden State. It’s just obvious, where did Howard lead L.A. to? A pit. Dwight will just ruin the Rockets great chemistry. Also G.S. ALMOST beat the SPURS in 7 games. They are a young team to. BTW Rockets lost to an OKC team that was missing Westbrook.

  20. Kimmy says:

    Warriors, going into this season, are a much better team than Houston. Houston is making the playoffs again, in a higher seed. They definately got better w/ Dwight Howard. But I agree w/some of the comments. Depending on his mood and health, their could be chemistry issues. I’m leaning on the positive that Houston could be the breakout team of the West.

    New Orleans

  21. some random guy says:

    i’m sorry. but for the writers who said Rockets over warriors i have to disagree. the warriors even unhealthy made it further than the rockets in the playoffs and the season. adding iggy to them made them more a danger than adding dwight to rockets. i will keep my statement like that until i see a BIG change in dwight’s play this coming season. plus i highly doubt they can win a game with just their starting 5. but i know warriors are set for success.

  22. Jude says:

    Dwight Howard will sulk as soon as the scorpion realizes his true nature. Harden wants the ball and he hogs the ball to prove to Oklahoma that he is now “The Man,” which is also the big reason that Jeremy Lin didn’t flourish as well in Houston. The moment Kevin McHale pulls out Dwight in close games in the 4th quarter due to his laziness to improve his free throw shooting will mark his “Stan Van Gundy” relationship with his new Center. My West Coast team (Golden State Warriors) will meet my East Coast team (Miami Heat) in the 2014 NBA Finals. Mark My Words.

  23. rhea says:

    Clearly its the rockets Howard is a way better upgrade than iguadala and I honestly believe in my heart asik should stay starting center and let the more athletic Howard play power forward that would keep the best 5 players on roster as the starting 5 ( well I also think bev should get a shot over Lin guess we will see how preseason unfolds) Howard can play the 4 when asik is in and he can rotate to the 5 when asik isn’t and Terrance Jones can back up Howard at the 4

  24. Bob M says:

    It takes time to develop a championship team. The Rockets chemistry is going to take a hit with Howard. He is going into the same type of team as the Lakers last year. Asik did a great job being unselfish and doing all the dirty work; Howard wants to be crowned the man without winning.
    He whines a lot, but that is what people lacking mental toughness do. So, I’m looking forward to what you can do with your “clean slate” and big smile while losing. Howard has the physical tools to be great, but the psychological and emotional skills of a rookie.

  25. term says:

    the rockets will be the better team. they added the best center in the nba.

  26. GSW_fan says:

    And the Warriors have gotten four more new additions to the team!!!

  27. GSW_fan says:

    Rockets (Dwight Howard) addition isn’t as good as the (Andre Iguodala) addition.So the Warriors are WAY BETTER than the Rockets!!!

    • htg2828 says:

      Get real! Iggys the man, but dwight is SUPERman! Why do u think he was so coveted by the league! U may be bitter bcuz he didn’t choose to come to G.S..

  28. Jordan says:

    Bottom line is this: For the Warriors it all depends on the health of their players (curry and bogut). For the rockets it’s how well they mesh. If those things are accomplished, watch out NBA cuz both are dangerous teams. If not, either team could get knocked out in the first or second round. Cuz when is the last time a conference has been this deep. So many talented teams it’s ridiculous. The thunder, spurs, grizzlies, and clippers are all capable of eliminating the rockets and warriors. It all comes down to health (for the warriors) and chemistry (for the rockets)

  29. Dan says:

    Just based on young talent and the room for growth, I think the Warriors could potentially be the best in the west this year.

    Thompson and Barnes: Both players are far from peaking and have a chance to be elite at their positions in this league.

    Green, Ezeli, and Beazmore. All sophmores who have already shown to be quality players in their rookie season. Who knows how much of a jump these guys will take next season.

  30. yall are idiots says:

    Warriors may be good. But they aren’t better than the Rockets. People just think Dwight Howard is bad but they do not realize that he is hungry to get last year behind him. Mark my words- ROCKETS WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS.

    • huh says:

      The fact that you used yall negates your credibility.

      I don’t know who will be better, but it will be great watching both teams duke it out. At the end of the day, it’s silly to make such bold predictions where both teams have big positives from the off-season, but also huge question marks. Personally, I find the Warriors more entertaining and “cohesive” (as was said). The Rockets got some serious talent too, but I can’t help but hope Dwight gets what he deserves after being some a drama queen the past few years.

    • edwin says:

      I dont know about wcf cause they dont any have team chemistry. But theyll rank 3-6 in the west and probably 2nd round exit

    • squeezer says:

      Playing the warriors. …

    • Bruce says:

      LoL at Western Conference finals. You forget they still have to get past the Clippers, Spurs, and Thunder.

  31. matt says:

    trade asik for gay

    • j-ups says:

      And tell me why Toronto would take another center? They already have Valanciunas. And they have trust in him.

  32. Dolemite says:

    Why on earth are people still talking about Dwight Howard like he’s an actual game changer? Last year he played with Kobe f-ing Bryant and the team was garbage. Now he’s with James Harden – a good player but not even comparable to Bryant – and everyone’s acting like Houston is going to be unstoppable. Give me a break. Harden’s a chucker, Lin is a good backup point guard, and Howard is the most overrated player in the game. Houston headed for a 5-8 finish and first round exit. Does anybody who is not being paid to create hype for the league (or Houston fans) really think a combination of Harden/Howard/Lin is even comparable to Duncan/Parker or Durant/Westbrook?

    • JJ B says:

      James Harden is slightly worse than Kobe, but Harden doesn’t have ego issues nor is he a ball-hog. Harden is not a chucker-he had a 44% fg percentage and his true shooting percentage is among the top in the game. Brandon Jennings and monta ellis are considered chuckers since they both are 40% shooters. Dwight Howard is not overrated, he played having just come back from a serious injury last season. Eric Gordon, josh smith, and Andrew Bynum are way more overrated than him. Rockets will be 1-4 in the west.

    • dommy lee says:

      well put my friend

    • Htown bigsteve says:

      You gotta be kidding me! You know damn well that Howard has been a defensive beast for years. And he can get on a roll and dominate offensively too. My Rockets were that close to knocking off the Thunder last year. All we were missing is a scoring low post pressence. Don’t get it twisted, Dwight didn’t want or need to be in L.A. Whining Kobe (diva) is not the easiest player to play with. Lots of ex-Lakers have said this. As far as Harden, you got him f-d up! He is the best two in the game #unstoppable! Our season will be very special. We also have Chandler Parsons that has madd game.. Just watch and see…

      • Bruce says:

        I don’t call going to Game 6, “close”. What’s close is that the Rockets were almost swept in Game 4 where they only beat the Thunder by 2. If Westbrook had been there, guaranteed sweep. Expect for the Thunder to sweep the Rockets in 2014 when the Thunder take the 1-2 seed and Rockets at the 7-8 seed. Westbrook is gonna torch them.

  33. Minty says:

    While it is true that the Rockets don’t a true PF to compliment the rest of the starters, I do think Motiejunas shouldn’t be completely overlooked. He did have a slow start to the season with very limited minutes. But in the games where he did get minutes and was a starter, he had more than reasonable numbers for a rookie. I think people should give him a chance, And that the PF position isn’t as weak as everyone is making it out to be.

  34. aaaaaa says:

    Everywhere Howard goes there’s some sort of chemistry issue. I feel like it can be worked out, but not this season, causing the Rockets to be worse than they could be. Also, they gave up most of their bench to get Howard. They don’t have any proven players coming off the bench. They’ll do the same as they did last season, maybe a little better. The Warriors on the other hand have lost Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, but added Toney Douglas and Marreese Speights, which (if Toney Douglas is at his best) isn’t a terrible downgrade, especially when you add Andre Iguodola into the mix. In my opinion, the Warriors are a top five team, while they Rockets will fall somewhere between 6-8.

  35. John Yohannan says:

    Warriors. Rockets have Dwight Howard, but with his season with the lakers… I doubt Howard is good while curry, iguadala, Barnes, lee, and bogut make a good team

    • JpAqua says:

      Dumb Stephen Curry is still injury proned and u forgot about Klay Thompson he’s way better than Barnes

  36. dommy lee says:

    where do they find these writers from? some are so certain with dwight in the lineup things are going to be oh so heavenly. seems they forgot about the HELL he brought L.A last year. I dont see him bringing much to the team with his risk of his weak back poor mentality and his travesty of a shooting percentage especially from the line.

    • Game Time says:

      You can’t solely blame Dwight for the Lakers problems last year. Besides it wouldn’t had been that ugly if fans and the Lakers *cough* MWP *cough* didn’t hype themselves up. Even if Dwight plays at the level he did last year he would make Houston a team that could make WCF. Not a fan of him or HOU, but looking at the team they have Howard fits in the lineup much better than he did in L.A.

    • JJ B says:

      I guess Lakers fans are still bitter a month and half after Howard left

  37. Sleepy Fraud says:

    Talent and skill will always win out. The Warriors are one of the most skilled teams the league. The Rockets are Ok, but D Howard is a headcase and will lead them nowhere!

    • JpAqua says:

      Are u kidding me you must not know basketball just cuz D Howard had one bad year doesn’t mean anything him and James Harden will do great and don’t forget what position is Iggy going to be in are they going to make Barnes back up he did great last

  38. Moo32 says:

    Definitely, Golden State will be better. They added one of the most versatile players in the league by getting Iggy, while already having a well-balanced roster. Iguodala should fit right in the Warriors’ play style and not disrupt their already existing chemistry. The Rockets, on the other hand, have an unhappy player in Asik and have to adjust to playing with Dwight. And as for Hanson Guan’s comment, I consider Stephen Curry to be a superstar.

  39. Juggernaut584 says:

    The Warriors have a better roster from top to bottom, but two of the most important players in their starting 5 (Curry & Bogut), are injury-prone. Curry is their best player/team leader; while Bogut is their best post defender. So, unless they can operate at 85-100% health for 72-82 games, I’m going to say that Houston will be the better team. However, Houston could be a question mark as far as style of play is concerned. They don’t have a “true NBA starter” caliber PF to play down low with Howard, nor a starting caliber stretch 4 to allow Howard to patrol the paint independently. So I’m not sure that they play Parsons at the 4 and go small, or if they go with a twin towers lineup with Asik and D12. Either way, I’m gonna trust Mchale and company to figure it out more than I trust Curry & Bogut to stay healthy for the full 82 game slate.

  40. darko says:

    Did really none of you pundits mention David Lee here? A low post offensive dervish if ever there was one. Speights backing him up, is nice too. Draymond Green can play PF too, and is a real defender there, though undersized. There are no real holes in Golden State’s lineup, except at point, where TD should be able to run a running 2nd unit (if you leave Lee and/or Iggy in the mix for stability); and, as was mentioned, there is a measure of fragility in the core group.
    By comparison, Houston is a collection of personalities; the team players among them will have little effect on the overall balance,and they’ll tend to live or die by Harden’s- or whoever stands up- hand;they won’t get as many victories by commitee, with Delfino gone and no seasoned pro to replace him.

    • james says:

      Darko milicic, is that you?

    • Angelo says:

      You can’t mention David Lee based on his recent track record: 30 years old, torn hip-flexor last post-season, and a liability on defense.

      At 6’9, he’s also a bit undersized at the power forward position in comparison to the rest of the power forwards in the league. Most of the other 6’9 power forwards are blessed athletically, a train which Lee is noticeably beginning to lose.

      A low post dervish at best, but his flaws seem to neutralize his offensive contributions. His low post success can be credited to his great feel for the game and clever footwork, as well as other things that basically make up his high basketball IQ.

      There IS a hole in Golden State’s lineup, and that’s the measure of fragility in the core group. Having Douglas running a 2nd unit is not so much a problem, rather more like a factor of uncertainty. Fragility has been GSW’s problem for years.

      I agree with you about Houston though: I don’t see them winning many victories by committee, but when you have the arguably the best center and best shooting guard in the game today, I doubt they will need to. Chandler Parsons is also a star on the rise, and you definitely can’t leave him out of this. The only problem with Houston is their depth: I like Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik off the bench behind Beverly and Howard, respectively, but we have yet to see what kind of contributions that the rest of the bench makes for the Rockets.

    • Hank says:

      Delfino gone with no one to replace him? You must not have watched Francisco Garcia play in the playoffs last year.