How was your week

Posted: July 13, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After the Houston Rockets sent Chris Paul and some draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook there was one question that popped into my mind and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking or asking it. Did the Rockets get better?

First things first; here’s what the trade looks like. Oklahoma City gets Paul along with a protected 2024 1st round pick, a protected 2026 1st round pick. As well the Thunder have the right to swap draft spots with the Rockets in 2025 and 2021 there is some protection involved in those swaps. Also in 2021 Oklahoma City can swap for Either Houston’s pick or the Miami Heat’s pick which the Rockets currently own through trade.

While a lot of experts seem to think that Westbrook’s game is in decline the Rockets are still getting a player who’s averaged a triple-double in the last three seasons. It seems like a lot of people are pointing out that Westbrook’s scoring average dropped to 22.9 points per game which was his lowest in six seasons, but remember he had Paul George with him in Oklahoma City last season to help with scoring. What for some reason I haven’t heard anyone point out is Westbrook averaged a career high in rebounds per game at 11.1 and what may be even more important now that he’s heading to Houston is he averaged a career high in assists per game at 10.7. Westbrook was the NBA’s leader in assists per game last season and that could bode well now that he’s being paired up with James Harden again.

The one area that has been a problem for Westbrook is shooting the 3-pointer which has become the most important thing a player can do in today’s game. Westbrook shot just 29% from behind the 3-point line last season and has never shot better than 34.3% from behind the 3-point line in his career, but in Houston’s offense they might be able to work around that weakness.

Last season Harden shot 36.8% from behind the 3-point line while Eric Gordon shot 36% and P.J. Tucker shot 37.7% from behind the 3-point line. If Westbrook is o the floor with any combination of these players he wouldn’t be looked at as the guy who would be taking the “3” and this type of combination would give him drive and kick options when the ball is in his hands.

The bigger question may be; how much will Westbrook have the ball in his hands? Harden is very ball dominant when he is on the floor, but Westbrook is also use to having the basketball in his hands all of the time. They still play the game in the NBA with just one basketball on the floor at a time right now; so these two superstars are going to have to figure out how to share that basketball. That may actually be the biggest key to the success of this trade.

The one thing it appears the Rockets are getting in Westbrook is a healthier player than Paul was for them. Westbrook played in 73 games last season while Paul was suited up for 58 games for the Rockets last season. I understand that “load management” is the buzzword this NBA off season, but if you look at their careers Westbrook has been healthier than Paul throughout.

This is going to be an interesting season for the Rockets. I don’t think the trade for Westbrook makes them the best team in the Western Conference, but it’s going to make them one of the more exciting teams to watch.

Now you have to wonder what happens to the 34 year old Paul. It seems clear that the Thunder are in rebuild mode and they have the draft capital to possibly do that quickly, but do they want Paul as the leader of that rebuild?

Paul has three more seasons and quite a bit of money left on his deal. He is also coming off a season where he averaged the lowest points per game of his career at 15.6. Now some of that was because he was on a high powered offensive team that didn’t need him to score, but you do have to wonder if the team he ends up on needs him to score; can he do it?

Now before this deal happened there was a lot of talk that the Rockets where looking for a third team to add into it. It appears as the Miami Heat where that team and you have to wonder if there is still some interest in Paul by Miami. With all of the draft picks Oklahoma City has recently acquired they could sweeten the pot for Miami to take Paul and his large contract.

Of course wither it’s Miami or any other team that acquires Paul they’ll have to take the load management trend to heart. Paul played in just 58 games the last two seasons and hasn’t appeared in all 82 games of a season since the 2014-15 season. It wouldn’t be important for Paul to play in every game for whatever team he ends up on, but I’m sure they’d like to see him play in 70 plus games or so.

Where do you have Paul ending up? Does he stay with Oklahoma City? Will he end up in Miami? Or do you have him going to another team? Please let me know where you’ll think he’ll end up in the comments.

The Los Angeles Angels honored Tyler Skaggs last night and they did something perfect when you’re honoring a pitcher; they threw a no-hitter.

This was the Angels first home game since Skaggs passed away on July 1st. In the pre-game ceremony all the Angels wore Skaggs #45 and his widow Debbie threw out the first pitch.

The Angels then went out and put up 7 runs in the 1st inning on their way to a 13-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Taylor Cole made the start as the “opener” and pitched 2 innings. Cole struck out 2 and threw 22 pitches before giving way to Felix Pena. Pena took the no-hitter the rest of the way pitching the final 7 innings striking out 6. The only Mariners player to reach base was catcher Omar Navaez who Pena walked with one out in the Top of the 5th inning. that was the only blemish on the Angels tribute to Skaggs.

After the final out of the no-hitter the Angels players came out of the dugout to celebrate and the players that where still wearing Skaggs #45 covered the pitching mound with their jerseys as a tribute to Skaggs.

Skaggs actually would’ve turned 28 today July 13th.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIN.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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