The Lager Line

The Lager Line

Ben DuBose, longtime Rockets media member, writer, and podcast host, discusses the 2022-23 Houston Rockets season with Paulo Alves and special guests. Basketball topics include the growth of top prospects Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr.; potential trade and free agency targets in 2023; weekly game recaps; and much more.


September 21, 2023 102 mins
Thursday’s episode features long-form analysis by Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves of the continued Kevin Porter Jr. fallout and what Houston’s future looks like without him. Discussion topics include plausible trade options; how losing Porter affects other players on the current team; and what the failed Porter experiment ultimately says (and doesn’t say) about the Rockets’ front office and ownership.
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Jeff Pearlman, bestselling author of the book (Showtime) on which HBO’s Winning Time television show is based, joins our Ben DuBose to discuss how storylines related to the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers shaped the modern NBA. Topics include Houston’s role as a foil to the Lakers; highlights and key moments from the show; and why it still has relevance to fans outside of Los Angeles.

Friday’s show also offers insight on the latest reports...
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Monday’s abbreviated episode features reaction from Ben DuBose to the news of Kevin Porter Jr.’s arrest in New York for an alleged domestic assault and strangulation, including why his time with the Rockets is likely over and what it means for the franchise moving forward.
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Wednesday’s episode features insight on Houston’s future draft outlook relative to other teams, and why it could be better than a recent Bleacher Report article believes. Other topics include key takeaways from Dillon Brooks’ performance on Canada’s 2023 FIBA World Cup team, as well as the implications of Oklahoma City waiving Usman Garuba and TyTy Washington Jr. and what it says about Rockets general manager Rafael Stone.
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In Friday’s show, Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves react to Houston’s newly released 2023-24 schedule and whispers of a potential Joel Embiid deal down the line.

If Embiid asks out of tumultuous situation in Philadelphia, as many around the NBA eventually expect him to do, should Rockets general manager Rafael Stone pursue the 29-year-old reigning MVP?

Our latest episode explores the pros and cons, including why a trade may be more feasibl...
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Monday’s mini-episode breaks down the turmoil involving James Harden and Daryl Morey and how the Rockets are connected, both from the duo’s many previous years in Houston as well as Harden’s reunion flirtation prior to 2023 free agency. Our Ben DuBose explains how we got here, what it says about the Rockets, and why the door for a Harden return is likely shut for good.
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In Tuesday’s episode, Rockets podcasters Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves react to the latest news and rumors surrounding the team.

With third-year guard Jalen Green off to a strong start with the U.S. Select Team, what does that mean for his potential performance in the NBA’s upcoming 2023-24 season?

Furthermore, with Green as a leading storyline, which Houston players have the most to gain (or lose) once training camp officially opens i...
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Sunday’s episode breaks down all the key Rockets takeaways from a 5-1 stint at the NBA’s 2023 summer league, including impressive showings by Jabari Smith Jr., Cam Whitmore, and Ben Sullivan. The episode closes out with a look at a pivotal offseason for third-year guard Jalen Green, who is joining the U.S. Select Team to participate in training camp for the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
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Rookie point guard Amen Thompson was extremely impressive in his Houston debut, and second-year Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. scored 29 second-half points and drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a feel-good victory to open 2023 summer league play.

That’s the good news from Friday night, which also included a strong two-way performance by Tari Eason. The bad was that Thompson sprained his ankle late in the game and will not off...
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In a whirlwind start to the NBA’s 2023 free agency window, the Houston Rockets landed two of their three preferred targets in Toronto guard Fred VanVleet and Memphis wing Dillon Brooks. They missed out, however, on Milwaukee big man Brook Lopez.

The Rockets also had a string of other deals as they reshuffled their roster for new head coach Ime Udoka, sending out players such as KJ Martin, Usman Garuba, TyTy Washington, and Josh Chri...
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In their final preview episode, Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves offer one last look at Houston’s goals entering 2023 NBA free agency, which starts at 5:00 p.m. Central on Friday.

The Rockets should have a league-leading figure of approximately $60 million in available financial space beneath the salary cap. Is Houston’s apparent pivot from a James Harden-led offseason the correct choice? And if any pursuit of a top target such as Fred V...
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In a weekend episode, Rockets podcasters Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves offer their initial reactions to Houston landing Amen Thompson (No. 4 pick, Overtime Elite) and Cam Whitmore (No. 20, Villanova) in the first round of the 2023 NBA draft.

After unexpectedly securing two of the draft’s most desirable prospects, Houston is receiving high grades from NBA analysts. As such, the podcast explores what each player can potentially bring to ...
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Cooper Klein, NBA draft analyst for Upside Swings and The Chop Shop, joins Paulo and Ben for a detailed scouting discussion of Houston’s options at No. 4 and No. 20 overall in the 2023 first round. Topics include the merits of trading up or down; a detailed profile of potential No. 4 frontrunner Amen Thompson; comparing the pros and cons of Thompson, Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller, and Cam Whitmore; and possibilities and considera...
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Michael A. Scotto, national NBA writer for HoopsHype, joined our podcast to discuss the latest offseason rumors surrounding the Houston Rockets and their 2023 draft and free agency plans.

Is general manager Rafael Stone increasingly set on selecting Amen Thompson at No. 4 overall? In a conversation with Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves, Scotto offers fresh insight on that and other draft considerations, including trade possibilities to mo...
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With the NBA Finals over and the Denver Nuggets crowned as champions, the league’s rumor mill regarding player transactions should escalate quickly as the 2023 offseason begins. That’s especially the case in Houston, where the Rockets have more than $60 million in expected salary cap flexibility along with two first-round draft picks.

So, as general manager Rafael Stone approaches 2023 free agency, what veterans should he consider b...
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Monday’s episode of The Lager Line, sponsored by Clutch City Lager of Karbach Brewing, explores the key takeaways from recent interviews involving general manager Rafael Stone, head coach Ime Udoka, and other members of the Houston Rockets.

During the show, hosts Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves explain why Stone’s remarks regarding Udoka’s role in personnel decisions should be taken as a promising sign, along with the importance of Houst...
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Rockets fan and NBA draft analyst Nathan Fogg joins Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves on Friday’s The Lager Line to scout Houston’s potential first-round options at No. 4 and No. 20 overall.

With a particular emphasis on the twin brothers of Amen and Ausar Thompson, the roundtable discussion compares and contrasts Houston’s most likely possibilities with its high lottery pick.

Other topics of debate include whether it makes to pursue both J...
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Bryan Kalbrosky, national NBA staff writer at USA TODAY’s For The Win, joins Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves on a new podcast to break down the rapidly evolving 2023 offseason for the Rockets.

The discussion spotlights Houston’s options at the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 draft, where a top prospect like Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller, or Amen Thompson could be selected. Cam Whitmore, Ausar Thompson, and Jarace Walker might force thei...
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Tuesday’s episode, sponsored by Clutch City Lager of Karbach Brewing, features live, real-time reaction from Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves to the 2023 NBA draft lottery.

With Houston landing the No. 4 overall pick and its prayers for Victor (Wembanyama) going unanswered, what prospects could the Rockets be choosing between when the draft takes place on June 22? Tuesday’s show offers preliminary insight and pick-by-pick reaction.

The sh...
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With the NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on the way, what does that mean for the Houston Rockets, who have approximately $60 million in salary cap space this offseason?

David Weiner, salary cap expert and renowned Rockets blogger, offers his insight on this special CBA-themed episode. In a conversation with Ben DuBose and Paulo Alves, Weiner makes his case for why the new CBA should benefit a franchise like Houston, ...
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