Houston Rockets @ Philadelphia 76ers on 11/13/13

One of the early surprises of the NBA season is the four and four Sixers.  Much of their success is due to their new 6’ 6” 185 lb. rookie point guard, Michael Carter-Willliams.  The 11th pick out of Syracuse went to a team whose expectations are not very high this year, thus assuring him of some steady playing time.

While everyone had been picking Victor Oladipo as the projected Rookie of the Year, Carter-Williams early performances have many taking a closer look at the youngster. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see him bring it against the Rockets, but he missed practice on Tuesday due to a sore foot and is currently listed as day to day.  He’s currently scoring five more points a game than Oladipo.

After eight games he leads all rookies in scoring at 17.4 per game. He’s also leading in minutes at 36.6 a game and is third in three point shooting percentage.  Marc Stein points out that only two rookies have 130 points and 50 assists in their first seven game as a pro.  The other is Oscar Robertson.

The Rockets eked out a tough victory at home against a marginal Raptors team on Monday, but took two overtimes to secure the win.  Terrence Jones made the most of Garcia’s flu and had a whopper of a game, ten boards (the Rockets now lead the league in boards per game) 32 minutes and he played big in both overtimes.

Jeremy Lin had his breakout game of the year.  With Harden struggling from the three point range, Lin continuously took it to the hole and shot 50% from behind the arc, definitely sparking that Linsanity flint.  Harden is playing through a lot of early season injuries (both feet, wrist and back) and it’s just a matter of time before he returns to shooting at a higher percentage.

I agree with Paul McGuire that the three point percentages are one of the main issues for the Rockets.  It’s impossible to get a gauge on the other questions the team has when the outside shots won’t fall.  Harden is jacking 7.6 a game and is only hitting at a rate of .276.  Beverley and Parsons are shooting it worse than that.  Lin is the best at .455.  Early hopes were that Casspi and Garcia could supplement the three point attack, but now they are our second and third best options.

The Rockets need to hit from the outside, watch their turnovers and continue to develop the team chemistry that will eventually lead to improvement.  The Rockets aren’t at a level yet to consistently beat the top tier of the NBA, but they still have that potential.  At five and three, that still projects to 50+ wins this season, and this team will get better as the season goes along.

The Sixers are currently 16th in the ESPN power rankings and have lost four of their last five.  This game is a much needed win for the Rockets against a team that looks less than average.  Still learning, gelling and beating these marginal teams gives them some room for error against the best in the league.  I predict a win on the road.

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Total comments: 18
  • 2016Champions says 5 months ago

    My biggest concern is bench scoring. We played great in the preseason because our bench blew the others out of the water. Somehow Bev is not scoring, Casspi has gone relatively cold and Garcia couldn't be colder. The fact that they sat Omer for 90% of last night didn't make sense either. I was convinced that our bench would be capable of putting the hurt on most teams for stretches. I guess not.

    I hope you're not judging our bench scoring off last night's game. Not many teams have a Jeremy Lin caliber pg and an Omer Asik caliber center leading their second unit, but last night Lin had to play with the 1st unit because Harden was injured. I'm pretty sure our bench scoring is perfectly fine when everyone is healthy, and it will only get better.

  • RocketMan says 5 months ago

    My biggest concern is bench scoring. We played great in the preseason because our bench blew the others out of the water. Somehow Bev is not scoring, Casspi has gone relatively cold and Garcia couldn't be colder. The fact that they sat Omer for 90% of last night didn't make sense either. I was convinced that our bench would be capable of putting the hurt on most teams for stretches. I guess not.

  • Richards says 5 months ago

    I didn't get to see the game...and I'm somewhat glad. :) Lots of good to take away from this one...and more of the bad. The good news is there is no need to panic. Threes will start to fall for guys not named Lin and the turnovers will diminish. Those two things combined will start to produce some double digit wins for us.

    Before the season started, a lot of us wondered which direction Parsons' numbers would go with the addition of Dwight. I think we have our answer. He is exceeding last year's numbers while shanking his 3's...once those start dropping he will definitely be in all-star conversations. :o (thankfully most of the really good SF's reside in the East--he really only has to compete against Batum and Iguodala)

    I predicted Parsons number will go down slightly due to more shots for Howard. I was wrong though. He improved vastly in attacking the rim. Although 3pters not falling, his release stay the same (flat). I hope he change his arc a bit higher.

  • linonlyfan says 5 months ago

    Garcia's release looks slightly different to what I remember seeing in last seasons playoffs. Hopefully coaching staff is on it. Also feels like last year a lot of 3's that he took were fairly surprising to me and the opposition. This year no one seems surprised if any Rocket attempts a 3 anymore.

  • RollingWave says 5 months ago

    I can't say much about a game where the Sixers made so many circus shots . its hard to win when opposing teams do that.

  • tombrokeoff says 5 months ago

    u know i was pretty pumped up before the texans season. not overly because ive had my reservations about kubiak and the current regime since 2009, but i was legitimately excited. well we saw how that turned out. that said i was 5 times as excited for this rockets season. i hope they start playing better real soon. outside of the dream years, its been nothing but letdowns in htown. sorry but i dont care about the dynamo or the comets when they were here.

    i apologize for getting off topic, but these rockets have done nothing to get me pumped this reg season. they looked great in the preseason IMO.

  • thejohnnygold says 5 months ago

    I didn't get to see the game...and I'm somewhat glad. :) Lots of good to take away from this one...and more of the bad. The good news is there is no need to panic. Threes will start to fall for guys not named Lin and the turnovers will diminish. Those two things combined will start to produce some double digit wins for us.

    Before the season started, a lot of us wondered which direction Parsons' numbers would go with the addition of Dwight. I think we have our answer. He is exceeding last year's numbers while shanking his 3's...once those start dropping he will definitely be in all-star conversations. :o (thankfully most of the really good SF's reside in the East--he really only has to compete against Batum and Iguodala)

  • Buckko says 5 months ago

    He was fowled on that shot and he's just in a slump like the rest of team, well except Lin obviously.

  • MrLobble says 5 months ago

    Garcia has been driving me nuts this year... Last year, he was one of my favorite players.

    As of late, he has been letting questionable threes fly!!! For instance, what the heck was that shot near the end of overtime? Down 3 with 14 seconds to go; just launch a contested airball? I would understand that shot if there was 5 seconds to go, but...

  • Red94 says 5 months ago New post: Philadelphia 76ers 123, Houston Rockets 117: Sixers win the Moreybowl, bowl many over with moneyball tactics
    By: Forrest Walker

    Jeremy Lin has improved his shot. His stroke looks smooth, his threes are on target, and he's punishing teams for leaving him open. The Sixers became the latest victim of Lin this season, scorched by his 9 three pointers on 15 tries and 12 assists. Or rather, they would have been if they had lost. Instead, the Sixers held on to force overtime on an amazing shot from James Anderson then ground the Rockets down in the extra five minutes. It wasn't the clang-fest of previous overtime game, which also happened to be the previous game. It was a contest of the NBA form of moneyball, with offenses comprised of three pointers, layups and free throws. Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey faced off against his protege Sam Hinkie in the Moreybowl, and the Sixers took the inaugural crown.

    The Rockets weren't the most important part of that game, which is an odd thing to say on a site that covers the Rockets. The Sixers weren't the most important aspect, either. It was something larger, and which has suffused Philadelphia's season so far. The real star is the new trend in offense that Morey and Hinkie have not only embraced but downright proselytized. With an assault borne of threes and slashes, both teams racked up the points for five periods. The Rockets led by ten near the end of the game, but were unable to hold back the floodgates, just as the Sixers had been unable to hold back Lin and the Rockets. In the end, James Anderson's game-tying three was more spectacular than Jeremy Lin's last-ditch three in overtime. The Rockets lost, but something else won. The offense in the league is changing, and Houston is riding that wave.

    So how, exactly, did a team as understaffed as the 76ers manage to pull off this win? Even without James Harden, the Rockets are a formidable foe, and the Sixers were built to fail. They were too big to fail, as the saying goes, and were simply able to corral 15 offensive rebounds, two more than Houston logged. They shot fearlessly, and were left open too many times on the perimeter. Even when contested, the Sixers were undeterred, and James Anderson had easily the best night of his career. In some brutal revenge against the team that cut him, Anderson notched a mind-blowing 36 points on 16 shots, including 6-8 shooting from downtown. This isn't who Anderson is every day, but with the size and offense of the Sixers, it's who he was tpday.

    Jeremy Lin was also that guy. Lin's been on fire from deep all season, shooting 45% from behind the arc going into this game. He only added to that number tonight, knocking gown 9 of his 15 tries, and at one point had hit 7 of 9. Lin clearly paid attention to what people said about him, because in improving his shooting, he's shored up one of his biggest weaknesses. With his added versatility on offense, he's able to either draw additional defenders and find the open man or capitalize on teams leaving him open on the perimeter. He may have had 8 turnovers to go with his 34 points and 12 assists, but that's simply the price for membership on the Houston Rockets Turnover Squad. He also somehow had a -11, second only to Garcia's -16 on the team.

    Dwight Howard had 23 points on 20 shots and 15 rebounds. With the twin towers at least temporarily dismantled, Howard had more to do and a more critical role, and it worked well. This finally looked like the beginnings of the offense everyone dreamed of, though Garcia's 04 three point shooting didn't help matters. Parsons still can't find his shot, but managed 22 points on 9-19 shooting as well as 6 rebounds and 7 assists. (He also paid 5 turnovers membership fees to the Turnover Squad. They have to get to 19 somehow.)

    Patrick Beverley looked better but still only shot 1-5 from downtown. He hit his other 3 field goals, though. His 6 offensive boards (9 total rebounds) and 5 assists helped matters, and he looks solid next to Lin. Casspi was back and forth, also unable to hit threes (2-6) but able to sink other shots, mostly at the rim (7-13 overall). The less said about Ömer Aşık and the 4 minutes he played, the better. Perhaps head coach Kevin McHale was saving him for the Knicks game tomorrow.

    The Rockets needed an easy blowout to rest starters for a nationally televised game against the New York Knicks the following day. Instead they got the second hotly-contested overtime game in a row. The Sixers have been shocking the world with their ability to pull out wins against good teams, but Houston should be used to it by now. After all, they used Morey's assistant to install an offensive system Morey helped popularize. There had to be a winner to the Moreybowl. Today, it was the Sixers. Tomorrow will be different.

  • 2016Champions says 5 months ago

    I want Jones to start EVERY game since he's the only person besides Lin who can hit a three. I saw several times Parsons passed up an open 3 because he was scared he was going to miss it. Houston has been marketing him as a member of their "big 3." I don't know if that added pressure is playing any part, but he's clearly not himself in terms of confidence.

    Have you noticed he's always fading back on his shots? It seems to have gotten worse this season, I really hope he fixes that.

  • thenit says 5 months ago

    I want Jones to start EVERY game since he's the only person besides Lin who can hit a three. I saw several times Parsons passed up an open 3 because he was scared he was going to miss it. Houston has been marketing him as a member of their "big 3." I don't know if that added pressure is playing any part, but he's clearly not himself in terms of confidence.


    Funny thing is he still fills up the stat lines lately. His 3p shooting has been poor though
  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago

    I want Jones to start EVERY game since he's the only person besides Lin who can hit a three. I saw several times Parsons passed up an open 3 because he was scared he was going to miss it. Houston has been marketing him as a member of their "big 3." I don't know if that added pressure is playing any part, but he's clearly not himself in terms of confidence.

  • tombrokeoff says 5 months ago

    well when we miss home court in the first round (assuming they finally get it together) by 1 or 2 games, thats not gonna be so easy to shrug off at that point.

    maybe next time mchale will foul up 3 at end of game.

    also next time, maybe mchale will draw up some game ending plays for the hot hand (Lin tonight).

  • timetodienow1234567 says 5 months ago

    Lin got hot, but Anderson got hot. He was channeling his inner Ray Allen. Anderson looks like a whole different player. Is he finally healthy now?

  • PKM says 5 months ago

    My personal recap?

    *shrugs*

    Stuff happens. It just seem to be happening to us this entire season, as teams make silly shots one after another.

  • tombrokeoff says 5 months ago

    well MCW not playing so there goes the reason i was excited to see philly.

  • tombrokeoff says 5 months ago

    been working late a lot lately. missed basically the entire first half on monday. hope i can make it home for tip off. philly seems fun to watch.