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Los Angeles Lakers 99, Houston Rockets 98: ‘Blake Mamba’ with the dagger

  • I learned afterward that ‘Blake Mamba’ is actually a thing.  
  • I didn’t feel too bad about the way it went down because the Rockets deserved to lose this game anyway.  A win wouldn’t have done anything to hide the clear problems that plague this Rockets team.
  • We’ve all probably seen enough to conclude that this ‘Twin Towers’ thing just isn’t going to work.  Not much more that needs to be said there.  But just when you felt safe in concluding that an Asik trade needed to be made, you saw Dwight Howard go to the bench with four fouls with Omer coming in, late in the game, and the team losing close to nothing defensively.  That’s replacement productivity would be a really tough luxury to lose especially when, as we saw last year with Asik off the floor, the alternatives can have disastrous consequences.  At the same time, if you’re not having to fight back from a double digit deficit (inherited due to the offensive ineptitude of the Twin Towers lineup) every night in the second half, you can afford to give up something for those minutes without Dwight as you’re not fighting for your life on every possession.  It remains to be the case that this Omer Asik decision will shape the Dwight Howard-James Harden era.
  • Why is Chandler Parsons pump faking on seemingly every possession?  This almost has the feel of the eagerness a young child exhibits upon learning something new.  Please shoot the ball.  And fix that arc.  To his credit–and to my surprise–Chandler had a nice night going 6-11 overall including some highlight reel slams.
  • To noone’s surprise, the TNT halftime show provided little in the way of insight with Shaq and Barkley curiously honing in on Dwight’s offensive inabilities in a segment typically reserved for keying in on a team’s biggest weakness during a half.  Shaq choosing to use his allotted forty-five seconds to take jabs at Howard: color me surprised.  Howard finished that first half with ten boards (finishing the night with 14) and shut down both the paint and Pau Gasol.  His free throw woes were also a large contributing factor to the loss.  But look.  Dwight Howard is what he is.  Yes, we all wish he could hit free throws and destroy smaller guys in the post.  But that’s not the expectation.  All we ask is that he play ‘D’, control the boards, and stay committed as the roll man in pick&roll situations and so far, he’s done those things.  Belaboring the point as to why he can’t do more is trite and unoriginal.  We all wish we looked like Brad Pitt too but you are what you are and providing within your capabilities is the bar for expectations.

 

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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.

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