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  #1  
Old 10-04-05, 12:16 PM
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Rafer Alston traded to Houston

Raptors Acquire Mike James In Exchange for Alston

(October 5, 2005) -- The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have acquired guard Mike James from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Rafer Alston.

James, 6-foot-2, 188 pounds, owns NBA career averages of 9.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 23.8 minutes in 248 games, splitting time with Miami, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee and Houston. During the 2004-05 campaign, he averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 25.1 minutes in 74 contests with Milwaukee and Houston. He appeared in seven playoff games with the Rockets, averaging 11.6 points, 2.3 assists and 24.4 minutes.

James was acquired by Houston on February 24, 2005 with forward/centre Zendon Hamilton for guard Reece Gaines and two second-round draft picks. While with Houston, he netted career bests of 28 points, including eight triples, February 8 versus Boston. With the Bucks, James registered a career-high 11 assists November 23, 2004 at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Not drafted by an NBA franchise, James spent one season in Austria (1998-99) and two seasons in France (1999-2001) before playing for the Rockford Lightning (CBA) during the 2001-02 campaign. He was signed by Miami on December 18, 2001 and played 92 games for the Heat over the course of the next two seasons, averaging 7.0 points and 2.8 assists. He split time with Boston and Detroit during the 2003-04 campaign.

James, a native of Amityville, New York, attended Duquesne (pronounced DU-CANE) University (Pittsburgh) where he played 111 games for the Dukes, averaging 12.7 points and 2.8 assists.

Alston played 80 games for Toronto during the 2004-05 season, averaging 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.48 steals. He signed as a free agent July 14, 2004. Alston also played for the Raptors in 2002-03, averaging 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 20.9 minutes in 47 games.

http://www.nba.com/raptors/news/PR_j...or_alston.html
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  #2  
Old 10-04-05, 12:17 PM
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Wow. Good move for Houston. Alston's not great, but with Sura out he's 10x better than anything they had. He does have a long contract though. A lot of money to shell out, but they desparately needed a PG.

Last edited by coyotes_geek; 10-04-05 at 12:19 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-05, 12:20 PM
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damn....nice pick up. I was thinking that was their weakest link this year....
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Old 10-04-05, 12:21 PM
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I wonder how long it takes for Alston to start having issues with JVG. Talk about bringing in a cancer.

Last edited by Sdayi1; 10-04-05 at 12:25 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-05, 12:21 PM
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I wonder how he'll play along side with McGrady? Alston seems like a shoot first type of point guard.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-05, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdayi1
I wonder how long it takes for Alston to start having issues with JVG. Talk about bringing in a cancer.
Can someone bring me up to date? Since when is Alston a cancer?
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  #7  
Old 10-04-05, 12:25 PM
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They have a good starting PG now, so McGrady doesn't have to bring the ball up all the time. But they did lose their punch off the bench in Mike James to get Alston.

AG should have some insights about Alston....
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  #8  
Old 10-04-05, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGVSpursFan#1
I wonder how he'll play along side with McGrady? Alston seems like a shoot first type of point guard.
Alston played 80 games for Toronto during the 2004-05 season, averaging 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.48 steals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admiralsnackbar
Can someone bring me up to date? Since when is Alston a cancer?
I remember there being some locker room drama last year involving Alston, I dont have specifics though...
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  #9  
Old 10-04-05, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admiralsnackbar
Can someone bring me up to date? Since when is Alston a cancer?
Wasn't he the one who demanded an apology from Mitchell after being benched?

How many clashes did they have last season?

Sorry....don't bring up the "it's Toronto" excuse.....I won't buy it!
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  #10  
Old 10-04-05, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Since when is Alston a cancer?
some of it is on the coach but . . .

last year he threatened to retire, stormed out of practice causing suspension, left the arena after being pulled in the first half, demanded a public apology for being benched in a game, and his act caused Eric Williams to publicly ask to be traded, even to the point where Williams said he'd rather play with the Hornets.
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  #11  
Old 10-04-05, 12:30 PM
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If memory serves Alston almost got in a fight with the head coach and threatened to quit on the team. He is a bit of a risk in that sense, but it's hard to tell if it was just him, or the losing.
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  #12  
Old 10-04-05, 12:38 PM
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Does this trade make the Rockets more a challenge/treat for the Spurs?
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  #13  
Old 10-04-05, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
If memory serves Alston almost got in a fight with the head coach and threatened to quit on the team. He is a bit of a risk in that sense, but it's hard to tell if it was just him, or the losing.
Some media outlets around here reported that he and Sam Mitchell got into a fistfight, Alston was benched for a few games in favour of Milt Palacio, then came out stating that unless he got a public apology he would retire. One the flip side, he's a very good passer, and definitely not a shoot-first type of PG. Should fit in nicely.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-05, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
If memory serves Alston almost got in a fight with the head coach and threatened to quit on the team. He is a bit of a risk in that sense, but it's hard to tell if it was just him, or the losing.
Alston was for the most part maligned in the media. Several players had problems with Mitchell's tactics. He's an iron-fist. He's had rumors of PHYSICAL altercations with more players than Alston. Also, Alston is the equivalent of NVE. Very emotional and sometimes let's that go to his head. He'll play hard for you and he wants to win.
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  #15  
Old 10-04-05, 12:50 PM
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Alston played for Stan Van Gundy. He probably gave JVG his recommendation. This is kind of strange after JVG said they would not take on anymore knuckleheads, so maybe he really trusts Stan's judgement?
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  #16  
Old 10-04-05, 12:57 PM
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Overall this should be a very nice pickup for Houston. He's a great passer/good handles, and playing on a team with better finishers I wouldn't be surprised to see a jump in his apg.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-05, 12:58 PM
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Alston's more than servicable... He's probably a little more trigger happy than you'd like in a PG but he's got good handles and can hit the 3 ball. Overall, it's a good pick up.

I would say that the risk he presents is minor more than anything. It's almost understandable that someone would get frustrated playing for a struggling organization. If anything I would see him putting up some unwarranted shots here and there that would get pretty frustrating for JVG.

Anyone know anything about his d?
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  #18  
Old 10-04-05, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Real
Alston was for the most part maligned in the media. Several players had problems with Mitchell's tactics. He's an iron-fist. He's had rumors of PHYSICAL altercations with more players than Alston. Also, Alston is the equivalent of NVE. Very emotional and sometimes let's that go to his head. He'll play hard for you and he wants to win.
I kind of figured it would be something like that. I had never heard about anything negative from him prior to that, and I'm sure being on a crappy team played a part. I wouldn't expect him to cause problems in Houston.
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  #19  
Old 10-04-05, 01:47 PM
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i say it's a bad trade, alston is shoot-first. they need a point guard that can shoot, BUT is a pass-first point guard. they need yao and tmac to tbe the offense and have a complimentary point guard.
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  #20  
Old 10-04-05, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmiltsx
i say it's a bad trade, alston is shoot-first. they need a point guard that can shoot, BUT is a pass-first point guard. they need yao and tmac to tbe the offense and have a complimentary point guard.
How would you know he's "shoot-first"?

He was ranked 3rd on the team in shots per game once Prince Vince left. He was also the team's leader in assists and 11th in the league. Once Vince left, I'd imagine he was encouraged to be more aggressive offensively. IN TORONTO, someone needs to score. He did just fine in Miami. If you think Alston is a shoot-first, then how do you describe Parker who takes 2 more shots per game with the league's best player and the league's most creative player on offense WITHOUT averagin' as many assists?
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  #21  
Old 10-04-05, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo_radley
Does this trade make the Rockets more a challenge/treat for the Spurs?
I think it certainly helps this lineup:



If Van Gundy can get them playing hard defense for 48 minutes and Yao, Stromile Swift and T-Mac shine as expected - this group will win 55-60 games for the first time since Hakeem Olajuwon ruled Houston.

Their roster is not perfect - but it's as formidable as any other in the Western Conference - with the exception of San Antonio.
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  #22  
Old 10-04-05, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB
I think it certainly helps this lineup:



If Van Gundy can get them playing hard defense for 48 minutes and Yao, Stromile Swift and T-Mac shine as expected - this group will win 55-60 games for the first time since Hakeem Olajuwon ruled Houston.

Their roster is not perfect - but it's as formidable as any other in the Western Conference - with the exception of San Antonio.
Agreed. This is SA's biggest challenge.
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  #23  
Old 10-04-05, 02:21 PM
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I still expect the Suns and Spurs to meet in the WCF. Im not sold on Houston being Finals contenders....yet

Second Round...yes

The biggest challenge to the Spurs is themselves...if their playing Spurs ball with the talent they have...no one can take them out in a 7 game series IMO
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  #24  
Old 10-04-05, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
I still expect the Suns and Spurs to meet in the WCF. Im not sold on Houston being Finals contenders....yet

Second Round...yes

The biggest challenge to the Spurs is themselves...if their playing Spurs ball with the talent they have...no one can take them out in a 7 game series IMO
Suns won't get past te Rocks if they meet. I think you shouldn't be sold on the Suns since they had a full overhaul in personnel AND philosophy.
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  #25  
Old 10-04-05, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Real
Suns won't get past te Rocks if they meet. I think you shouldn't be sold on the Suns since they had a full overhaul in personnel AND philosophy.
Why you say that? Houston will have more trouble guarding Nash, Amare, Marion than the suns will with T-mac and Yao. suns simply have more options and should be better defensively this year..

someone also explain to me how alston is an upgrade from james?
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  #26  
Old 10-04-05, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
I still expect the Suns and Spurs to meet in the WCF. Im not sold on Houston being Finals contenders....yet

Second Round...yes

The biggest challenge to the Spurs is themselves...if their playing Spurs ball with the talent they have...no one can take them out in a 7 game series IMO
No one said anything about being 'Finals contenders' - there is only one real Finals contender in the Western Conference: the Spurs.

I agree with your take on the Spurs chances however.

Last year I felt the only team that could beat them was Detroit - and although the came very close, they themselves fell in 7 games as well.

As for Phoenix, I think they took some steps back from what they were last year - although they did add some inside muscle - they also reduced their quality of talent IMO.They're trying to play better defensively - without changing their style of play, and I'm not sure they have the personel to do that.

Houston took a step forward with the addition of Swift who gives them some inside depth and quality talent. If he can average 11-13 PPG and 7-9 RPG, this team will scare people. I'm no fan of Anderson - but if he's healthy, he will help.

Houston is a player or so away from being able to really challenge the whole thing - but I do feel they're closer than Phoenix.
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  #27  
Old 10-04-05, 03:07 PM
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looking at the rockets roster i see no depth..their starting five might be one of the best in the league but outside of that i see nobody coming off the bench strong for them 'cept maybe howard and sura if hthey both ever get healthy..
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  #28  
Old 10-04-05, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPURSMANIA300
Why you say that? Houston will have more trouble guarding Nash, Amare, Marion than the suns will with T-mac and Yao. suns simply have more options and should be better defensively this year..

someone also explain to me how alston is an upgrade from james?
Alston takes care of the ball better than James. He's also a better defender. James has more of a scorin' mentality than Alston. That's what the Rockets needed. Since he's been in the league he's run the PG spot well. No knock on James since I think he's a good player also.

As for the Suns, they've yet to prove they can be a better defensive team than Houston. Any team coached by JVG WILL defend. Houston has been one of the better teams in the league at that for the past few years. Even when they couldn't score. Now the Suns offense is still potent but a lil' of the edge is off in the absence of their two best 3 pt shooters durin' the season. Plus, JJ was a very efficient scorer. Houston's bench is also deeper this season. Houston murdered the SUns in the latter part of the season when your team is supposed to be fully adapted last season also didn't they?

It's not unfathomable to think that the Suns will have problems against the Rockets next season.

Quote:
Originally Posted by downtowntb
looking at the rockets roster i see no depth..their starting five might be one of the best in the league but outside of that i see nobody coming off the bench strong for them 'cept maybe howard and sura if hthey both ever get healthy..
Derrick Anderson is no All-Star but he isn't a slouch. Jon Barry will return. Juwon Howard. Mutombo and Wesley. Look harder if you can't see that they DO HAVE DEPTH.
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  #29  
Old 10-04-05, 03:25 PM
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Their starting 5 is now younger, with Alston taking over from Sura, Swift taking over from Howard and DA taking over from Wesley. All their veterans (experienced but slower) are now on the bench, where they can play all out without worrying about losing steam. That addresses their primary weakness from last season, which was perimeter quickness.

And as the Chronicle article I posted elsewhere indicates, TMac is in the best physical shape of his career.

If they can get the starters to mesh, this is now a very dangerous team.
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Old 10-04-05, 03:52 PM
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Gotta believe that his attitude will be a whole lot better playing in htown with Mcgrady and Yao, then the frozen north with a franchise that is a disaster....this is a nice pickup for the rockettes.....
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  #31  
Old 10-04-05, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
As for the Suns, they've yet to prove they can be a better defensive team than Houston. Any team coached by JVG WILL defend. Houston has been one of the better teams in the league at that for the past few years. Even when they couldn't score. Now the Suns offense is still potent but a lil' of the edge is off in the absence of their two best 3 pt shooters durin' the season. Plus, JJ was a very efficient scorer. Houston's bench is also deeper this season. Houston murdered the SUns in the latter part of the season when your team is supposed to be fully adapted last season also didn't they?

It's not unfathomable to think that the Suns will have problems against the Rockets next season.
And houston have yet to prove they can go deep into the playoffs either. Yes JJ was very effective for Phoenix but they replaced him well by adding some very good shooters and good role players for their bench. They will also have jim jackson for the whole series too. People forget without johnson they knocked off the mavs in 6 games who were one of the hottest teams heading into the playoffs last year.

Rockets did beat the suns in the later part of the year but the suns also beat them too. Suns may have some problems with houston in the season but in a 7 game series you have to back the suns. I think getting to the conference finals was a big thing for their future experience.

Quote:
Alston takes care of the ball better than James. He's also a better defender. James has more of a scorin' mentality than Alston. That's what the Rockets needed. Since he's been in the league he's run the PG spot well. No knock on James since I think he's a good player also.
Alston is not a better defender and alston is known as a cancer. Mike James is not and James has championship experience and thats something you can't teach. Where has Alston led anyone? the point guard spot is such an important position and i would rather have a guy who knows what it takes to win at that spot

put it this way

James is a good guy in the locker room. Alston is a cancer.

James has a nice contract. Alston's is long and cumbersome.

James is a great defender. Alston is a good defender.

Last edited by SPURSMANIA300; 10-04-05 at 03:58 PM.
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  #32  
Old 10-04-05, 04:00 PM
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You can't go wrong with Skip to My Lou. This is a solid pickup for the Rockets.
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  #33  
Old 10-04-05, 04:46 PM
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Damn,I thought Mike James was going to be the Rockets PG of the future.Oh well if Alston doesn't cause any problems Houston might even be more dangerous than expected.
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  #34  
Old 10-04-05, 05:04 PM
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I really dont think this is that great a move overall. James was a solid player and Alston is not really an upgrade IMO...take that with his past issues and this is a risk IMO.
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  #35  
Old 10-04-05, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPURSMANIA300
And houston have yet to prove they can go deep into the playoffs either. Yes JJ was very effective for Phoenix but they replaced him well by adding some very good shooters and good role players for their bench. They will also have jim jackson for the whole series too. People forget without johnson they knocked off the mavs in 6 games who were one of the hottest teams heading into the playoffs last year.

Rockets did beat the suns in the later part of the year but the suns also beat them too. Suns may have some problems with houston in the season but in a 7 game series you have to back the suns. I think getting to the conference finals was a big thing for their future experience.



Alston is not a better defender and alston is known as a cancer. Mike James is not and James has championship experience and thats something you can't teach. Where has Alston led anyone? the point guard spot is such an important position and i would rather have a guy who knows what it takes to win at that spot

put it this way

James is a good guy in the locker room. Alston is a cancer.

James has a nice contract. Alston's is long and cumbersome.

James is a great defender. Alston is a good defender.
James IS NOT a GREAT defender. He was on a great defendin' team (Pistons). BOTH YEARS.

James had a nice contract but was a streaky shooter and IS NOT better at takin' care of the ball nor did he have more assists than Alston. I like James. I think he is a solid player overall but the deal makes sense for both parties. Houston needs a steady guy who can get the ball to TMac and Yao and Toronto needs more scorin'.

Furthermore, was Alston really all that much of a "cancer". I suppose you were in the lockerroom. i tend to fall somewhere in the middle on this. MORE than one player chafed under the harsh tactics of Sam Mitchell. He has CONFRONTED many more players than ALston. Fault Alston for not handlin' it maturely but don't overlook that fact.

As for the Suns/Rockets comparison, you'll hear more from me on that when I get time. Suns had problems with the Rocks last season. Why should you expect any different next season?
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  #36  
Old 10-04-05, 05:08 PM
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I think it's a solid move, in that it strengthens the starting backcourt (since Sura may be done). Mike James wasn't planning on staying anyway, I believe he was going to opt out at the end of his contract for more money. Houston may very well be in the WCF next year.
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  #37  
Old 10-04-05, 05:18 PM
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bottom line. you put rafer on a good team, it makes him that much better. Same thing for James ( he didn't look so hot up in Milwaulkee before he was traded last year). He is a better player all around than james is. end of discussion.
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  #38  
Old 10-04-05, 05:19 PM
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I think Alston will play well, back under a Gundy.
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  #39  
Old 10-04-05, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
As for the Suns/Rockets comparison, you'll hear more from me on that when I get time. Suns had problems with the Rocks last season. Why should you expect any different next season?
it was 2-2..same as spurs match-up with houston..doesn't mean they can beat the spurs in a 7 game series either
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  #40  
Old 10-04-05, 05:58 PM
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That's a good trade for Houston. Mike James was solid, but nothing special.

Alston has the talent to be an above average starter at PG.

The only question is will Alston behave? I think it won't be a big problem for them, since they'll be winning a lot of games.

The Rockets will now have a very athletic starting 5 that should be able to play dominating defense. I think they're a legit threat to the Spurs.
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  #41  
Old 10-04-05, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Real
How would you know he's "shoot-first"?

He was ranked 3rd on the team in shots per game once Prince Vince left. He was also the team's leader in assists and 11th in the league. Once Vince left, I'd imagine he was encouraged to be more aggressive offensively. IN TORONTO, someone needs to score. He did just fine in Miami. If you think Alston is a shoot-first, then how do you describe Parker who takes 2 more shots per game with the league's best player and the league's most creative player on offense WITHOUT averagin' as many assists?
even espn.com, from it's headline, were basically saying that alston is a negative type of player
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  #42  
Old 10-04-05, 08:26 PM
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Alston´s a true point guard with a good three point shot with a spring in his step and he´s just lucked into a great situation.

This is a good move for the Rockets. They are more dangerous now than they were yesterday.
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  #43  
Old 10-04-05, 08:29 PM
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I just don't think someone from the AND1 team and that frame of basketball mind can be good for a team that just needs a serviceable PG that will set up plays and just manage the team. As has been stated by many posters already, he tends to have issues with authority. Think about it, he is at his best one on one, freestyling, doing his own thing, just like the AND1 tour. If he can't do that, which is going to be true for any NBA team, then he gets down. Sure he seemingly had good numbers the last two years, but in Miami he shot 37%, which means he took alot of shots to get the 10pts he averaged. Then last year, he averaged 14pts a game, but still only shot 41%, and he was on a horrible team which tends to increase your pts a game.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:37 PM
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JVG usually did pretty well with Spree, I think he can get Rafer to buy into the system.
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  #45  
Old 10-04-05, 09:38 PM
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wait, u guys are making this to be completely one sided???

alston >>> mikejames????

so why the heck did the raptors trade for???

explain? por favor
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  #46  
Old 10-04-05, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesR
He has 6.4 APG. Yes, he's doing his own thing. BTW-Tony shoots more and he has the best player in the league and the best international player on his team. Yeah, he shoots a higher percentage but that happens when you are faster than everyone else.

Again, he had a spat with a coach that has a history of pissing players off and even getting PHYSICAL with them. Just cause the media painted Rafer to be a bad guy doens't mean he was--If SVG liked him, im sure his bro will.
At the same time, TP gets more shots because he is faster than everyone else and gets to the bucket. I've never really watched Alston for an extended period of time, but from what i've seen, obviously he is dribbling most of the time, then shoots an ill-advised shot. Pretty much like AI, who also has a horrible shooting %, but does more on the court.

Agree to disagree I guess. But people are making it seem like SVG had this long standing relationship with Alston. He was there for only a year. Then Miami let him go. He signed with Toronto, 6yrs for 26million which is pretty steep for a player of his caliber. Apparently Miami thought so too. Plus, you can't forget that the year he was with Miami, there was no Shaq, and the offense was more freewheeling. Who knows how he would have done just basically handing the ball to Wade and Shaq. And now he will have to hand it either Tmac or Yao. And they can barely get anybody to give the ball to Yao as it is. Hey, if he does well, I eat crow. So what. It's just my opinion. Either way, they won't beat the Spurs.
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  #47  
Old 10-04-05, 10:00 PM
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I like the D of Mike James. I think it's a mistake on Rockets part.
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  #48  
Old 10-04-05, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spursfan9
so why the heck did the raptors trade for???

explain? por favor
James' contract is shorter and (I think) expires sooner than Skip's, which is a 5-year deal. The Raps may want to invest more time into their other PG prospects (Calderon, possibly Ukic if he comes over).
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  #49  
Old 10-04-05, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spursfan9
wait, u guys are making this to be completely one sided???

alston >>> mikejames????

so why the heck did the raptors trade for???

explain? por favor
First off, excellent move by Houston. They are getting serious about winning!

To answer spursfan9's question, the Raptors aren't going ANYWHERE this year in terms of winning so why continue to pay a malcontent like Alston big money when they don't expect to win. They are continuing their rebuilding theme and flexible contracts are always the first step in doing that to build around your main pieces. I doubt James' contract is longer then a year or two years.

Now, I don't think Alston is a bad guy or anything but he is a big competitor and was frustrated with all the losing in Toronto. His actions and attitude weren't professional or the best course of action, but in the end, it helped him get to a team that has winning now as more of a priority. So I can't knock the guy. Again, a good upgrade considering Sura may never play basketball again.
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  #50  
Old 10-04-05, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPURSMANIA300
Why you say that? Houston will have more trouble guarding Nash, Amare, Marion than the suns will with T-mac and Yao. suns simply have more options and should be better defensively this year..

someone also explain to me how alston is an upgrade from james?
After watching the Spurs dismantle the Suns in last years WCF, you should recognize it is defense that wins championships. In defense, the Rockets were and still are, far ahead of the Suns.

As for why Alston is an upgrade over James, it is because he fits the Rockets most glaring need of a true point guard, yet can still score when needed. AND because he plays better defense and much more under control, essential elements of playing for JVG.
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