Every-Thing Sorts

GM O'Brien is growing on me

Photo via: Screenshot/@MarkBermanFox26

When news came of the Jadeveon Clowney trade to the Seahawks, I said it was another bad move. He gave away a freak of an edge rusher for some loose cigarettes and off brand soda. Trading yet another failure of a third round pick in offensive lineman Martinas Rankins to the Chiefs for running back Carlos Hyde was blah. Sure, you get something for a guy you were going to cut, but you got another guy who's been seen as a failure. He adds a big body to the backfield and depth in lieu of losing Lamar Miller for the season. Just when Texans fans were losing their minds on social media, Bill O'Brien said hold my beer. He acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills from the Dolphins in exchange for Julien Davenport, Johnson Bademosi, two first round picks and a second rounder.

Going for it

THIS is the type of move a team makes when it's going for it! You have a franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson. He needs to be protected. When they failed to draft Andre Dillard and let the Eagles swoop in front of them, they went to plan B. Turns out plan B wasn't so hot because the two tackles they drafted, are now their starting guards. Go figure. Plan C seems to be the right move as Tunsil is under contract for two more years before he's eligible for an extension.

Chess move

Because Tunsil is under contract for two more years on his rookie deal, it allows you time before you have to pay him top five left tackle money. Tunsil is set top make $2.149 million and $10.35 million this and next season. He's widely considered a top 10 player at left tackle. You have to pay to play. Getting a guy this young of his caliber was going to cost you. The Texans have plenty of cap space to resign him and Watson when the time comes. This'll give your franchise quarterback a chance to truly realize his potential by him not having to run for his life. Much easier to play quarterback alive rather than dead. Stills adds a more reliable target opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Should Will Fuller or Keke Coutee get hurt (it's inevitable), Stills is a vet who can be relied upon.

No more excuses

I believe this is where the excuses run out for O'Brien. He's got a left tackle to protect Watson. Stills adds depth to an unreliable receiver corp. Hyde gives them a big back as Duke Johnson isn't a banger and Miller is out. Sure they could use some help at defensive back, and they lost Clowney off the edge, but this will help bolster the offense. If the defense can be slightly above average, this offense should put up points. Colts, Jags, and Titans are all ripe for the picking. This team is now squarely taking aim at the top contenders in the AFC.

Ultimately I think these moves will work out. In totality, O'Brien managed to move Clowney, a motherload of picks, and some scrubs for Tunsil, Stills, a third rounder, and a couple scrubs. In order to get to where you want to go, you've got to be willing to take some chances and gamble. This is a huge gamble. It's as if he pushed all his chips in the middle of the table and said f--k it! Gambles like these can pay off huge because you're getting a proven commodity at your greatest position of need. Yes, it hurt to lose what they lost. But what good trade doesn't hurt a little? Some of us could learn something here. Risks are risks because of the potential backlash. They become rewards if they pay off. Weigh your risk versus rewards and make a move. Can't live life hoping and wishing. Fans clamored for offensive line help. They trashed the Clowney deal. Now what? Let it play out. I for one think I'm going to enjoy the way this works out. Either the Texans will ascend into a real contender, or they flame out and O'Brien is fired. I think it'll workout for the better. This fan base could sure use it.

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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