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Friday, July 07, 2006

Mike James Coming Home?

The Chronicle reports that the Rockets are close to signing Mike James to a contract after trading him to Toronto a season ago:

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4030064.html

I'm not quite sure where I stand on this move, but I think I'm in favor of it. I remember being pretty bent that the Rockets traded James last year; I really liked his defense and hustle. On the other hand, I was excited that we'd allegedly be getting a "pass first" PG in Rafer Alston in return. Alston hasn't been everything I hoped for, but I have some doubts that Mike James, fresh off a season in which he averaged 20.3 PPG while shooting an impressive 46.9% from the field and 44.2% from beyond the arc, is the pure floor general the Rockets need now. It's awfully tough to go from The Man to third banana. Ask Gary Payton or Karl Malone how that worked out in L.A.

With T-Mac and Yao, you really just want someone who can distribute and play defense. That's why Battier was such a great pick-up; he's not a guy that's going to demand the ball in order to be effective. The Rockets' PG does not have to be a scorer; he simply has to take care of the ball and make sure the Dynamic Duo get their touches. In that respect, James did average 5.8 APG (albeit against 2.61 TO per game) last season; that's a promising statistic, especially on a bad Toronto team.

When called upon, the Rockets' PG should be able to hit the open jumper; opposing teams will obviously key on Yao and McGrady, thus making it imperative that the surrounding cast keep them honest. In that respect, you have to like what Mike James could bring to the table. Assuming James realizes that his scoring will be secondary (or even tertiary) to the success of the Rockets, his addition should be another nice move this offseason as the Rockets attempt to return to respectability.

3 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

Count me in the negative camp. Mike James is not going to be happy playing the role in which I think he's best suited to help the Rockets, and that's as a Microwave-like scorer off of the bench. Even if he is willing to play that role, I don't think that it is worthy of a 5 year, $30 million deal. Unfortunately, the guy I liked as a backup PG (Speedy Claxton) is off the market, so I can't offer up much of an alternative.

Fri Jul 07, 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Bert said...

He's no Ben Wallace...

Fri Jul 07, 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Ted Bosquez said...

Should have tried to get TJ Ford before he was exiled to Toronto...

Fri Jul 07, 01:55:00 PM  

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