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The Lager Line

  • How landing the No. 3 draft pick changes Houston’s offseason

    13 MAY 2024 · Monday’s episode features immediate reaction to the Rockets unexpectedly securing the No. 3 overall pick (via Brooklyn) in the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery. Topics include plausible candidates (Alex Sarr, Donovan Clingan, Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham) to draft if Houston keeps its high first-round pick, as well as potential trade options to consider (Brandon Ingram, Mikal Bridges, Lauri Markkanen) if general manager Rafael Stone looks to trade the pick for more veteran, win-now help.
    1h 6m 46s
  • NBA playoffs storylines to watch for the Rockets

    3 MAY 2024 · Though their 41-41 record was much improved from last season, Houston didn’t quite qualify for the 2024 NBA playoffs. Yet, among the teams competing, there are quite a few storylines that could become very relevant to the future of the Rockets. On Friday’s show, our Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves dive into a wide range of Rockets-centric angles from the postseason. Topics include player and team comparisons; the encouraging implications of expensive teams going out early; and plausible trade options with those underachieving teams, such as a deal for Clippers star Paul George.  The show wraps up with a preliminary look involving Houston’s pending free agents and players with 2024 team options. Those include Jock Landale, Aaron Holiday, Jae’Sean Tate, Jeff Green, Reggie Bullock Jr., and more.
    1h 7m 38s
  • Rockets launch 2024 offseason with Rafael Stone extension

    19 APR 2024 · The Rockets (41-41) finished 2023-24 at .500, and their 19-win jump from last season was the largest of any NBA team and the second-biggest annual increase in franchise history. Houston is just the fifth team in the last 30 years to follow up a 60-loss season with a non-losing campaign. Given those clear signs of progress, owner Tilman Fertitta recently rewarded GM Rafael Stone and assistant GM Eli Witus With that in mind, Friday’s episode explains many of the factors pushing Fertitta in that direction. Other topics include offseason tidbits gleaned from Stone’s, as well as a preliminary look at storylines from the 2024 playoffs that could impact Houston.
    1h 22m 21s
  • As season winds down, Rockets have key milestones in sight

    11 APR 2024 · In a loaded Western Conference, the goal of advancing to the 2024 postseason proved to be too ambitious for the young and improving Houston Rockets (39-40). Yet, with three games left to play, a more attainable goal of a .500 or better season is still on the table — and for head coach Ime Udoka. With that in mind, Wednesday’s podcast explores the significance of Houston potentially recording a non-losing season for the first time in four years. Our Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves also break down recent improvements by Dillon Brooks and Jabari Smith Jr. while analyzing how it could translate alongside Alperen Sengun ( during the upcoming 2024-25 campaign.
    1h 6m 51s
  • As play-in hopes fade, why Rockets’ future remains bright

    3 APR 2024 · Despite a 13-3 record from March onward, a 2024 Western Conference postseason berth is becoming for the Rockets (38-37). Thursday’s home game versus the Warriors (41-34), whose recent five-game winning streak has created separation in that race for the West’s final play-in tournament spot, could be Houston’s last hope of making a late charge. Yet, even if the Rockets don’t advance, there’s still a strong case to be made that it was a successful season in Houston. With that in mind, topics on Wednesday’s podcast include the importance of finishing the year at .500 or better; more reasons to be encouraged by Jalen Green; questions regarding the future outlooks for Dillon Brooks and Amen Thompson; and why Houston could climb up the West standings more quickly than some expect, starting this fall.
    58m 27s
  • Jalen Green’s star rises as Rockets win nine straight

    27 MAR 2024 · The streak continues! The Rockets (36-35) are back above .500 for the first time since early January, and they’ve won nine straight games for the first time in over five years. Their 11-1 record in March leads the NBA, and they’re only a game back of Golden State (37-34) in the Western Conference play-in tournament race. The Warriors play at Houston next Thursday, April 4.  So, how did the Rockets dramatically turn this season around? Our Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves break it all down in Wednesday’s podcast, including what Ime Udoka and Jalen Green are doing right and keys to success during a challenging schedule over the next week.
    1h 17m 2s
  • Rockets, Jalen Green suddenly can’t stop winning

    19 MAR 2024 · The Rockets (32-35) are 7-1 in March with a five-game winning streak, and Jalen Green is the With those recent wins, Houston’s hopes of a play-in tournament push in the West are suddenly very much alive. Where did things turn, and what does it mean in the big picture? Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves break it all down in Tuesday’s episode, which also features insight on Amen Thompson’s promotion to the starting lineup and areas for further growth within the team.
    1h 11m 23s
  • Rockets relieved as Alperen Sengun avoids major injury

    12 MAR 2024 · Alperen Sengun’s 2023-24 season could be over after a leg injury, but it looks like there on his future. Monday’s abbreviated show explores the long-term significance of that news, as well as short-term lineup changes due to Sengun’s absence and whether the Rockets can sustain their encouraging play of late (
    35m 53s
  • VanVleet vs. Harden, Tari Eason update, Houston’s new math strategy

    5 MAR 2024 · Tuesday’s episode breaks down the good and bad of Houston’s 2-4 stretch out of the All-Star break, which culminated with during Saturday’s win in Phoenix. In particular, Paulo and Ben explore Ime Udoka’s new emphasis on 3-point volume and the unfortunate news of Tari Eason (left tibia surgery) In addition, with the star-studded Los Angeles Clippers headed to Houston for Wednesday’s nationally televised game, this episode revisits the 2023 offseason and whether Fred VanVleet over James Harden remains the correct choice for the Rockets.
    55m 52s
  • Ime Udoka stays the course with Rockets, Jalen Green

    22 FEB 2024 · After hinting at a potential change to Houston’s starting lineup, head coach Ime Udoka announced at Wednesday’s practice for the time being. What does that say about the future of Jalen Green, who has been Houston’s most inconsistent starter? Thursday’s show explores that angle and more, including what the return of Fred VanVleet and Cam Whitmore can do as Houston enters a tough scheduling stretch out of the All-Star break.
    52m 15s

Ben DuBose, longtime Rockets media member, writer, and podcast host, discusses the 2023-24 Rockets season with Paulo Alves and special guests. Basketball topics include the growth of Houston’s top prospects,...

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Ben DuBose, longtime Rockets media member, writer, and podcast host, discusses the 2023-24 Rockets season with Paulo Alves and special guests. Basketball topics include the growth of Houston’s top prospects, such as Jalen Green, Amen Thompson, and Jabari Smith Jr.; potential transactions in 2024 and beyond; weekly game recaps; and much more.
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