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Houston Rockets @ OKlahoma City Thunder, Game 1: First Half Observations

  • I don’t even know whether to be disappointed or relieved right now.  When the Rockets tied it after that 13-2 run, I got greedy thinking we had it.  But OKC just blew this thing open, relatively speaking.
  • At the start, it was looking like this would be a 40 point blowout.  The good guys somehow managed to weather the initial storm.
  • Patrick Beverley at one point was a +11 and has pretty much been the main factor keeping the Rockets in the game.  With his 8 points, he already has 2 steals and 2 rebounds.  I’m thinking right now that Beverley needs to get 35+ minutes a game in this series.  He has so far saved/created at least 5 or 6 possessions with his activity.
  • Westbrook was 3-9 after the 1st quarter; Kevin Durant was 1-3.  Westbrook did tons of damage in transition, but in the halfcourt, he’s so far taken some absolutely atrocious shots.  The Rockets’ strategy needs to be luring Westbrook into as many shots as possible.
  • The game turned, in my opinion, when Omer Asik sat leaving Greg Smith as the sole big.  Smith, a -27 right now, has been a total nonfactor so far and completely lost Ibaka on ensuing possessions.  The dilemma for Kevin McHale right now is that Omer Asik simply does not have the stamina to play huge minutes.  But without him, the Rockets are atrocious inside.
  • Greg Smith has been so bad that I might even consider starting Terrence Jones in the second half just to give someone else a shot.  If Parsons didn’t have 3 fouls, I’d go smallball the whole way.
  • Jeremy Lin has been atrocious so far with 3 turnovers already.  All 3 of them were some extremely poor decisions.

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