No deal: Rockets could be on brink of colossal organizational misstep

Shooting is kind of a big deal in basketball. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

Don't think Elias Sports Bureau keeps track of this sort of thing, but Houston has to be the first city weird enough to have two pro sports teams tell their highest-paid stars, under contract for hundreds of millions of dollars, "We know you're not injured, we just don't want you to play for us. You don't even have to show up for games. Don't worry, we'll still pay you."

If media reports are correct, the Houston Rockets are on the verge of trading one of those players, John Wall, to the Philadelphia 76'ers for Ben Simmons, who's threatening to sit out the season unless he's moved to another team.

This would be a trade involving one player whose team refuses to play him for a player who refuses to play for his team.

This would be such a horrible trade for the Rockets it's a miracle it hasn't been made yet. Here's all you need to know about Ben Simmons:

The NBA is a 3-point league and Ben Simmons can't shoot threes. The end.

Not only can't he shoot threes, he won't even attempt them. In his four years as an NBA starter, he's tried only 35 threes and made only five. Five 3-pointers in four years! Steph Curry makes five 3-pointers during the national anthem.

Simmons played 58 games last year, averaging 32 minutes a game. That's fulltime work. He made three of 10 shots from long range. His career 3-point percentage is 14.7 percent.

Simmons' refusal to shoot 3-pointers, and miss the ones he does try on rare occasions, is an occupational hazard the Rockets can't afford this year. Simmons is a 6-ft. 11 point guard, unique in the NBA. Unique isn't always a good thing. Jerry Seinfeld once convinced Babu Bhatt to open a Pakistani restaurant, said it would be unique on the Manhattan's upper west side. Yadda, yadda, Babu wound up getting deported.

This is why owners should hire 10-year-olds as general managers. Kids don't need a stat sheet to know who can play and who can't. A child can watch Ben Simmons play a season, single-handedly stink up a playoff series, mope around the locker room, pass up open shots, have his work ethic questioned, demand to be traded, and know that Simmons isn't what the Houston Rockets need.

He's 25 years old and still isn't sure if he's right-handed or left-handed?

With his team's season on the line in the playoffs, Simmons shot 25 for 73 … from the free throw line! Over a seven-game series, which the 76'ers lost, he took only three shots in the fourth quarter when the chips were down.

Sorry, Houston already has a "Clutch" comedy figure.

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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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