Recap: Houston Rockets 131, New York Knicks 103
Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:46 AM
Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:58 PM
Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:02 PM
Although the Rockets clearly played their best game so far this season, I'm not sold on the Knicks. Their good start has been fueled by outside shooting that they will not likely be able to maintain over the course of the season. Moreover, as you point out, the defensive holes in their lineup are considerable, particularly when Chandler is not on the court. Finally, consistent with your theme regarding evaluating players too much based on scoring, Anthony's non-scoring stat line was pedestrian (34 M, 4 R, 2 A, 7 TO).
I agree that the high outside shooting percentages are probably unsustainable (though they do generate a lot of open looks that mean their numbers should still be quite high), but I'm still puzzling about how they were able to hold opponents to such low numbers defensively in the first 10 games of the season. I know they key off of Chandler defensively and he had a terrible game (Rahat analysed it correctly in the podcast - it seemed as though all it took was for Asik to come out and set a pick on the perimeter to drag Chandler out of there and leave the middle completely free), but still that can't explain everything. I wrote in the recap that the wings looked old and slow...perhaps that was exacerabated by how well Parsons was playing? Normally I assume they would put Brewer on Harden and try to hide a wing defender (Kidd?) on Parsons, but he didn't let that happen.
I think this is a case where the hot shooting from the Rockets made Knicks look worse than they actually were. Certainly there were a lot of easy inside buckets, but that's not the full story. Remember how there was that quarter against New Orleans where everything suddenly clicked and the Rockets put up over 30 points to blow the game open? A key contributor to that was the Douglas hit a few threes. We saw that again tonight - Douglas and Cook hit some outside shots (and of course Parsons was hitting from everywhere), which massively inflated the Rockets' offensive numbers. The fact that they've been missing all their shots up to this point has actually been making Houston look worse than they should do - I would expect our offensive numbers to end up somewhere between the slow-ish start to the season's offense and the electric performance from last night once they return to their mean outputs.
Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:58 PM
What is so encouraging about this game is that it isn't like everything went wrong for the Knicks--they hit 43 percent from three, Carmelo hit some insane shots, and the Rockets still toasted them.
Let me put it another way, even if the Rockets shot 20% percent from three in this game (5-25), they still would have won by one point.*
*Yes, I understand that those shots don't exisit in a vacuum and that hitting them opens up opportunities inside and eliminates chances for long-rebounds and fast-break points, yada yada. Just hush and let me have fun with my numbers, ok?
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