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Houston Rockets 99, Golden State Warriors 96

The Rockets won, improving their playoff odds to higher than the 2.3% it stood at this afternoon.  We’ll need to keep an eye on the development with Phoenix and Utah, but for tonight, in my eyes, the big story was the benching of Kyle Lowry. The team’s former MVP did not see a single minute in the second half.  We asked McHale about this and, as you just heard, he responded, he was “just trying to win a game.”  We did not get a chance to talk to Kyle.

Also interesting were McHale’s comments on Marcus Morris.  They provide a little bit of insight into why Morris may not have gotten much time this season. If you joined me on Twitter, I raved about Morris’ offensive arsenal after the forward scored six points in the second quarter including a beautiful turnaround from the corner.  I asked McHale about Morris’ stint tonight, expecting a positive response, but instead, he pointed out the mental errors the rookie forward made on the defensive end.

I see offense.  But McHale, needing to win, can’t afford defensive miscues. Mental lapses might be the one thing coaches tolerate least.  That’s why guys like Shane Battier and Patrick Patterson (this year) are still held in such high esteem despite their apparent offensive inabilities.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Lowry.  Tonight, combined with the shouting match during the Denver game, combined with the Dragic free agency situation makes me think it’s a safe bet Kyle will be dealt in the offseason.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of Red94.net.

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