Unhappy Beard?

Let's examine why James Harden may not be happy with the Rockets

There's a new sheriff in town. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the President of Basketball Operations of the Philadelphia 76ers, Daryl Morey, announced that they will pursue James Harden in the trade market. Although there is excitement around Stephen Silas as the Houston Rockets' next head coach, Harden voted for John Lucas and Tyrone Lue to get the job. There are certain reports that Harden could be unhappy with the decision and getting neither coach that he asked for.

Hopefully, Harden is supportive of Rafael Stone and Tilman Fertitta's decision on hiring Silas as the new head coach. If Harden is not, the trade speculations could become true, but would he go to the 76ers? In a brighter conclusion, the Rockets' organization is intelligent enough to not trade Harden for Ben Simmons.

The Rockets' front office is very aware of Harden's talent and the effect it can have on their backcourt. Having Russell Westbrook and Simmons in the same backcourt could hurt the Rockets' shooting efforts throughout the season. Hopefully, the Rockets' front office, Silas, and Harden can make it work.

For eight years, Harden was able to get his way when it came to coaches and players with the Rockets. Morey took good care of Harden because of his stardom and iconic ways on the court. Harden was able to convince Morey to trade Chris Paul for Westbrook, including becoming an advocate for Mike D'Antoni to stay with the Rockets.

But will Stone and Fertitta cater to Harden after not choosing the coach he likes? Honestly, yes because according to one source, Fertitta wanted Jeff Van Gandy to take the head coaching mantle, but Westbrook and Harden disagreed with that decision. And now as of Wednesday evening, the Rockets are finalizing a deal with Lucas to become an assistant coach underneath Silas. Even though the Rockets passed on Lucas to become the next head coach, they still may have wanted to satisfy Harden by making Lucas an assistant coach. Silas is known to get along with superstar players like Luka Doncic, Steph Curry, and Kemba Walker, which he built great relationships with.

Hopefully, Harden and Silas are on the same page this upcoming season, as both are geniuses on the offensive side of the court. In theory, Harden and Silas can become useful to each other throughout the season and moving forward.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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