I went back and watched all eleven of Russell Westbrook’s fourth quarter shot attempts from Sunday afternoon. Overall, he went 5/11 in that deciding quarter. He took a pair of atrocious leaning three-pointers in hopes of getting fouled, late in the quarter, but the game was already out of hand at that point, so I won’t hold those shots against him.

Here, he walks into a long ‘3’, tying the game. You live with that. Westbrook isn’t a particularly great three-point shooter, and after he gets Anderson to switch onto him, that’s your best bet.

Down just one, he looks to post up Beverley, missing the turnaround.

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in musings

As I wrote yesterday, it might be time for Mike D’Antoni to shake up the starting lineup with how terrible the Rockets have looked to start each half.  One possibility would be to slide Trevor Ariza to the ‘4’, and bring in either Lou Williams or Eric Gordon as a replacement for Ryan Anderson. The other option would be to start Game 4’s hero, Nene, in place of Clint Capela, the latter of whom was a -25 in the box score yesterday afternoon, and overall, has not had a good series, aside from a few moments here and there.

Capela overall has struggled with the Thunder’s length and physicality.  Here, Adams contests Harden, but look how fast Westbrook and Roberson converge, causing Capela to fumble the pass out of bounds.

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in musings

  • I’ve been wanting to write such a headline for a while, but it can really only be done in the 3-1 context.  2-0 is too close for comfort, and 3-0 is basically over (i.e. ‘Houston Rockets end series with Game 3 win’).  But 3-1 win?  That’s when you’ve grabbed the series by the throat and are virtually in the driver’s seat.  You have three more chances to bring it home.
  • This felt like it was basically as bad of a game as the Rockets could have played, and they still won.  James Harden had his worst game of the series, Ryan Anderson was again nonexistent, and Clint Capela was a team worst -25, unable seemingly to do anything right on either end of the court.  But Nene came up huge, earning every dollar of the minimum-wage contract he signed, scoring 28 points on 12-12 shooting, providing the muscle the Rockets had none of with the starting lineup (more on that).  Future Hall of Famers Eric Gordon and Lou Williams put in 18 apiece off the bench, fueling Houston after sluggish starts.

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in game coverage

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