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Minnesota Timberwolves 112, Houston Rockets 110: Is it Lebron? Is it Durant? No, it’s…Corey Brewer?!

The Rockets have very little to show from tonight’s performance. They played lackadaisically for much of the game, the starters didn’t get any rest and they didn’t even get a win to show for it as the Timberwolves pulled out the victory on the back of Gorgui Dieng’s late game-winner. With the playoffs coming up, you want to keep your starters fresh, but tonight’s game was a masterclass in not doing that as McHale elected to play Harden 46 minutes and Parsons 43. This is the sort of game that the Rockets should not be having at this stage of the season. Either your team should be ironing out the last kinks before the playoffs come around or wrapping your stars in cotton wool. Houston did neither. I can only hope they don’t come to regret it.

For the second game in a row, an opposing shooting guard found themselves white-hot against the Rockets. Last time it was Randy Foye with 30 points, but Corey Brewer came out and absolutely crushed that mark tonight with 51 (I repeat, 51!). He jetted out of the gate with 20 points in the first 14 minutes and then just kept on going. Off-balance circus shot? No problem. Half court buzzer beater? Naturally. His game is fuelled by steals and run-outs, and a sloppy and sluggish Houston team proved to be a perfect hunting ground for him (he had 6 steals to go with that points haul). Everyone took turns guarding him, and nobody stood up to the challenge.

The first half started out very poorly. Transition defence was non-existent and Brewer was happy to set a fast-breaking example for the rest of the Timberwolves to follow. In the first quarter alone the Rockets gave up 15 fast break points (a tally which rose to an unspeakable 39 over the course of the game). And even when the Rockets did manage to get into a half-court setting they were not much better. Terrence Jones was the perpetrator of possibly the worst defensive breakdown of the year as he allowed Ricky Rubio to come off a pick and have an unchallenged drive from the three point line to the rim. Words cannot describe how ugly it looked – it felt like I was watching the Knicks out there!

This was a game that on paper the Rockets should have cruised through. Minnesota’s bench play this season has been poor, and they were missing three starters in Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin. But the Rockets’ swiss-cheese impression on the defensive end forced them to work much harder than they needed or wanted to at this point. They were fortunate to be able to claw their way back into the game in the second quarter on the back of some hot three point shooting (8-14 in the first half), without which they would have been embarrassed. They lived at the line for the majority of the second half as the whistles started blowing, but they were never going to pull away while they were making the likes of Brewer, Cunningham and Dieng look like offensive geniuses.

Harden, Parsons and Lin all had scary moments where they came up limping. Harden collided with Brewer while scrambling for a loose ball and grimaced in pain as he hopped it off. Parsons attempted a spectacular dunk over Turiaf and landed heavily on his tailbone to obvious discomfort. Lin rolled his ankle late on as he rushed to foul Ricky Rubio. The most lasting image in my mind from this game will certainly be both Harden and Lin lying on the floor after the game had finished, looking both exhausted and possibly hurt. Injuries are random, but one of the things research has shown is that they are more likely to happen when players are tired. At the end of a long season, to play Harden and Parsons for so many minutes was a reckless gamble from McHale.

Then there were the players who missed out. No Jordan Hamilton (who was not listed as injured). Isaiah Canaan played just 4 minutes, with McHale preferring to go to an unusual lineup with Harden running the point guard rather than play the rookie (there were 20 minutes of the game where the Rockets had no true point guard on the floor). Shuffling everyone up a position and giving Garcia and Casspi big minutes actually worked pretty well (Casspi was +15 and Garcia +9 on the night), but the extra workload on Harden had a particularly detrimental effect on his defence. There were multiple fourth quarter possessions in which he completely ignored his man, often standing still near the paint as his assignment cut to the opposite side of the court. But what can you expect when you force him into extra ball-handling duties and give him a grand total of two minutes of rest all game?

As an observer and a fan I am not quick to criticise, but tonight was baffling. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

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Total comments: 40
  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    When I said "tip-top condition" I meant as far as being in shape. I have no doubt all of their ankles are swollen from the little rolls and what-not that occur all too frequently when playing basketball as well as bumps, bruises, and everything else.

    Ultimately, I don't disagree with what anyone is saying as far as why to rest them. I just wouldn't do it myself beyond giving them a few extra minutes rest or in blowouts. The idea of shutting them down doesn't appeal to me.

    The problem with this worry is it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as evidenced by Rocket911's post above:

    "So, as I speak on health and no one seems to get the point. It was only a matter of time. Not only is D12 and Pat Beverley out, so is...

    Chandler Parsons out tonight with sore hip, sore wrist. Francisco Garcia out with sore back. #Rockets

    Any questions? Do we still want to argue that health is not the most important issue we have here? Who's next? Harden? Lin? And yet some people are soooooo concerned about the 4th seed!"

    Rest them and they don't get hurt = I told you so.

    Rest them and they still get hurt = I told you so

    Don't rest them and they get hurt = I told you so

    Don't rest them and they don't get hurt = we got lucky

    Whatever. I understand that the less time spent on the court = less time likely to get injured. It's the same as the statistic that says most car accidents happen within 5 miles of your home....because we drive there most often. So to avoid accidents we shouldn't drive near our homes....got it. Obviously I'm being silly, but this is what we're talking about. I understand that fatigue plays a part as well. It doesn't really matter. It's out of our hands.

    Outside of telling my guys not to do anything stupid like diving for loose balls, flying into the stands, etc. I would want them to play normal heading into the playoffs. Injuries like these (not the chronic type) simply cannot be controlled for.

    This is probably why Parsons is "injured" right now. He is resting his chronic back issue.

    Howard was resting for a lot of his "injury"

    The fact that Harden isn't resting means he most likely is in pretty good condition (health-wise) heading into the playoffs.

    I think there is little to worry about for a team as young as ours. In a few years, I will look at it differently (which is more in line with what Popovich does), but right now I think we're fine.

  • SadLakerFan says 6 months ago The home court advantage in the NBA has always baffled me. It's not like baseball, where fields differ and certain parks have been tailored to the strengths of the home team. It's not like football, where open stadiums during the winter creates huge differences. And yet statistically, home court is more important in the NBA. Wasn't there one year in which the home team won 3 out of 4 games in the playoffs? That's crazy.

    I don't understand it, but given the first round history of the Rockets, a 4th seed would seem to be a good idea. I would say go all out to win against the Spurs - that would lock it up right? Then, we could rest everyone against NO.
  • PhillyCheese says 6 months ago

    Popovich would agree with many of you.

  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago In regards to all technology and world class recovery systems, yes you can recover. The point is, does the sacrifice equal the reward. Say Parsons hurt his back knowing he had back spasm issues, or Beverley aggregating his meniscus tear on that last play vs. the Pelicans. Let's say (knock on wood) Either one of these injuries affect them with the playoffs starting next week, are you going to rely on world class recovery systems to fully heal you next week?

    Yes there are gambles you take, but you also have to be concerned about "is it worth the sacrifice?" I don't but that's my opinion.
  • Sir Thursday says 6 months ago

    @JG: They may have world class recovery techniques, but I don't think it's disputable that the season takes its toll on the players' health. The number of games they have to play does not allow for adequate recovery time, especially those back-to-backs, and it all piles up over the course of the season. It seems highly unlikely to me that they are all in 'tip-top shape' right now - I would imagine that most of them are carrying little niggles and minor play-through-able injuries.

    All the research I've read suggests that injuries are far more likely to happen when players are pushed past their limits. Now, I've no idea exactly where that limit is (and it probably differs for each player), but from what I saw in this game it definitely felt like that - Harden was clearly completely devoid of the energy he needed to defend properly, and Parsons was walking around pretty gingerly (to the extent that he missed the next game).

    Certainly players get injured off the court and doing mundane activities and there's no point in wrapping the players in cotton wool. But at the same time the activity they are most likely to injure themselves at is Basketball, specifically Basketball when they are very tired. Given that health of the players is one of the biggest swing factors in overall team performance, it seems to me that the coaching staff should be doing everything in their power to minimise the risks of injury while they are on the court (and in practice). You manage what you can control and just trust to hope for what you can't.

    ST

  • thejohnnygold says 6 months ago

    For every lebron who never gets hurt, there's a Brandon Roy, tmac, amare, steph curry etc that have had serious injury issues of course there isn't a magic injury free minuets number but there's little reason to run Harden and other starters into the ground during meaningless games. If not I guess that Greg popovich guy is a huge idiot and spoelstra should be fired for not making wade play more.

    These guys were all pre-disposed to the injuries that ended/hampered/whatever their careers (not sure why curry is in there--weak ankles?). The concern here is a torn ACL, MCL, severe ankle sprain, or broken bone. Chronic knee, foot, or back injuries are a different thing altogether and can only be avoided by not playing.

    I can appreciate wanting our guys to be healthy, let some nagging injuries heal, and re-fuel the tank. I just don't agree with it very much as they have access to world class recovery systems and techniques. They are in tip-top shape. The playoffs are set up such that they will always have recovery time between games. Trying to avoid injuries playing basketball is like trying to avoid dying while living life. You can't do both if you really want to be a part of it.

    The bottom line is guys get injured off the court too. Was it Sammy Sosa that hurt himself sneezing? Guys falling down stairs. Dumb stuff happens. There is no value in letting fear dictate choices. You know what else causes injuries? Coming back from time off and going full throttle before your body has had time to adjust back to where it was. Somehow, this gets overlooked all the time.

    As for the 4th/5th seed, I am not concerned at all. If this team wants to see itself as a true contender and rising power in the West then it should have no problem handling Portland in 6--even as the 5th seed. If home court is necessary to get the series win then I guess we aren't as good as we think. Just my opinion--I know the history/stats bear out the importance of home court advantage. I'm just not concerned in this case.

    As for "getting the point"....I find that stance a bit condescending. Just because someone disagrees with you does not mean they are incapable of understanding your perspective. We all get it. You're concerned about injuries occurring. What did we miss?

  • Cooper says 6 months ago For every lebron who never gets hurt, there's a Brandon Roy, tmac, amare, steph curry etc that have had serious injury issues of course there isn't a magic injury free minuets number but there's little reason to run Harden and other starters into the ground during meaningless games. If not I guess that Greg popovich guy is a huge idiot and spoelstra should be fired for not making wade play more.
  • thenit says 6 months ago @wilk

    There is no magic nr. You can average a lot of minutes throughout the season but there is a wear and tear when you play back to back games or 4 in 5 days and you have your star player play that many minutes there is a risk factor that goes up. They are great athletes but with fatigue comes injuries because you are tired. When you are tired you are more accident prone. If you can limit minutes for your star players it can pay dividends in the playoffs. These past 2 nights he had 7 min of rest in 3rd and 4th game in 5 nights. There are lot of injuries or nagging injuries that you can incur by accident in a play. It's just sensible, as rockets fan we have our fair share of injuries and there is no guarantee that they will get injured if they play that much but the likelihood is way higher. Especially when you can see in the game that harden is gassed, he doesn't play defence at all because he carries a huge load offensively. The games right now isn't that important if you look at the big picture.
  • SadLakerFan says 6 months ago

    What is the magic minute limit to guarantee no injuries?

    That's a good point. There is no number of minutes that can guarantee no injuries. The only reason to rest players is to allow lingering injuries to heal and to make sure players have something in the tank for a deep playoff run.

    That said, I would not be surprised if some Rockets fans want to put Harden and Howard in a steel box until the first round. Houston has had a terrible history of injuries right before and in the early rounds of the playoffs. The tragedy of all of those Great Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady seasons is that we never got to see them healthy together in the playoffs. Lebron is a terrible example - the guy is a physical specimen and both Harden and Howard have injury histories.

    Of course, Rocket fans also know that it's better not to finish in the 5th seed. People who don't know what I mean should check out recent Rockets history.

    Conclusion - don't play Harden and Howard when you can avoid it, but do it if it's to secure the 4th seed.
  • Willk says 6 months ago

    Harden and parsons played limited minutes on those two games because it was blowouts. I can accept that they play a lot against playoffs team that we may face to get the momentum. Clips had playoffs team when cp3 and Blake played those minutes. Other than that they play less than 40a game whether it's close or not. Lebron played 40 because it was for the number 1 seed in the east against a rival. KD played against clips not a non playoff team where we are stuck in limbo.

    I rather play 4 away games then having a run down harden or injured one. Maybe that's just me.

    What is the magic minute limit to guarantee no injuries?
  • Willk says 6 months ago

    So, as I speak on health and no one seems to get the point. It was only a matter of time. Not only is D12 and Pat Beverley out, so is...

    AdamWexlerCSN@awexler 19m

    Chandler Parsons out tonight with sore hip, sore wrist. Francisco Garcia out with sore back. #Rockets


    Any questions? Do we still want to argue that health is not the most important issue we have here? Who's next? Harden? Lin? And yet some people are soooooo concerned about the 4th seed!

    I'm glad you and nit get the point. Playing big minutes does not = getting injured. Lebron just put in another 37 minutes tonight. He is not very important to their championship hopes is he? Ok so they are going for the 1 seed so then you play all of your players heavy minutes right? LBJ is guaranteed to get hurt now because he has played minutes right? The point you do not get is playing big does not equal injury. Who has played the most minutes this year? KD. He has been injured a lot right? If you have to choose between health or a seed you choose health, but that is not the choice here.
  • Steven says 6 months ago

    So, as I speak on health and no one seems to get the point. It was only a matter of time. Not only is D12 and Pat Beverley out, so is...

    AdamWexlerCSN@awexler 19m

    Chandler Parsons out tonight with sore hip, sore wrist. Francisco Garcia out with sore back. #Rockets


    Any questions? Do we still want to argue that health is not the most important issue we have here? Who's next? Harden? Lin? And yet some people are soooooo concerned about the 4th seed!

    It's not the playoffs yet, so Lin will play tonight.
  • Cooper says 6 months ago

    Luckily almost all of the pellies starters are out.

  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago

    Good part is at least bev and Howard will play tonight

    Knew they would. There was no way McHale could just throw D12, Pat Beverley in against a Spurs team on Monday. This is their warmup game for that specific game and for the playoffs.

  • thenit says 6 months ago Good part is at least bev and Howard will play tonight
  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago

    Harden and parsons played limited minutes on those two games because it was blowouts. I can accept that they play a lot against playoffs team that we may face to get the momentum. Clips had playoffs team when cp3 and Blake played those minutes. Other than that they play less than 40a game whether it's close or not. Lebron played 40 because it was for the number 1 seed in the east against a rival. KD played against clips not a non playoff team where we are stuck in limbo.

    I rather play 4 away games then having a run down harden or injured one. Maybe that's just me.

    thenit you and I get the point, I dont know why others don't.

  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago

    So, as I speak on health and no one seems to get the point. It was only a matter of time. Not only is D12 and Pat Beverley out, so is...

    Chandler Parsons out tonight with sore hip, sore wrist. Francisco Garcia out with sore back. #Rockets

    Any questions? Do we still want to argue that health is not the most important issue we have here? Who's next? Harden? Lin? And yet some people are soooooo concerned about the 4th seed!

  • thenit says 6 months ago

    Lebron's last two games 41 mins & 34 mins. KD's last game 41 minutes. CP3 & Blake Griffin's last game 39 mins each. All of these players are crucial to their teams and each of their teams have clinched playoff births. Is it bad coaching by spoelstra, brooks, & doc to let these players play this many minutes? Players want to play. Harden & parsons played limited minutes vs the Lakers & Nuggets. I am ok with them playing big minutes vs the timberwolves in a close game. This Houston team needs the 4 seed. They are too young still to go on the road for the 1st series. Most Blazers players will be playing in their first playoff series. The crowd can intimidate the young blazers in at least the 1st game like the crowd intimidated most of the rockets in game 1 last year. McHale has handled the rotation fine this year.


    Harden and parsons played limited minutes on those two games because it was blowouts. I can accept that they play a lot against playoffs team that we may face to get the momentum. Clips had playoffs team when cp3 and Blake played those minutes. Other than that they play less than 40a game whether it's close or not. Lebron played 40 because it was for the number 1 seed in the east against a rival. KD played against clips not a non playoff team where we are stuck in limbo.

    I rather play 4 away games then having a run down harden or injured one. Maybe that's just me.
  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago

    Are we really turning this into a Lin vs. Harden vs. whoever argument Willk? It's so stupid to go tit for tat with who screws up what on the defensive side of the ball. The main issue is that its a whole defensive effort. Not just one player, it involves multiple players that don't hold themselves accountable. That's the point. s that everyone likes to point fingers

    Last 10 games: Opponents are averaging 45.2%FG, 37% 3pt, 113ppg.

    One player is not responsible for this. Doesn't matter how much we want to point out one player whether it be Harden not covering his man or Lin not covering his man or Parsons, its a whole team effort. Keep giving up points like this and we'll get swept by Portland. Everyone's just falling asleep or just too concerned about scoring trying to make their stats look good. Whole damn team needs to wake up!

  • Willk says 6 months ago

    I know fans want to put it on the coach but I'm pretty sure Harden and Parsons have made it clear they want to play. I believe it's common knowledge many players in the NBA dictate when they rest and Harden definitely deserves to be in that class. I know fans are mostly commenting on the present in these post game pieces but what Harden is doing is growing as a player. He will learn lessons from this season and post season on his own terms and of course that frustrates fans. It will be okay guys.


    I agree with Bigtkirk. Asik should know he is the one center and pace his fouls accordingly, he is also learning still.


    FSS - did you see the Lowe podcast is back?
  • Willk says 6 months ago

    Hummel and Brewer are both listed as small forwards. Minnesota didn't play anyone listed as a 2, so one of them is going to play the role of (and be primarily guarded by) a 2 guard. That's Brewer. I agree it's not all on Harden, but this is hardly an isolated incident. If you watch Harden closely on any given night, as soon as there's some inward ball movement on the opposite side, he completely turns his back to his man, his stance and body language change from defensive to rebounding/offensive (before a shot even goes up), and he looks for the cherry pick. We love it when it turns into fast break points, but it's just not worth it.

    The same could be said for the other back court mate. Go back to the Nets game and see how many times Livingston back-doored the starting PG. We love it when the PG leaves his man to attempt a steal but when he does not get it, well it is not good
  • Willk says 6 months ago

    @FSS

    Its only one game and it had barely any value, however even if the players want to play then its too much ego. They are not looking down the road and McHale as the coach has to be able to reign that in. Harden deserves to decide what he wants to do to an extent, but if its detrimental to our future playoff run which is a week away, its not that hard to say look we need you then not now. Last game against Denver, Harden bumped his knee into Brooks, what if it was a real injury and not just a bump? Imagine he got a contuision and he was out for the 1st round or the first couple of games. If you want to be a contender you have to manage minutes especially when the games are basically meaningless. He doesn't have to sit, but play him 46 minutes is just dumb. There is no other young player that plays these minutes heading into the playoffs. With Bev and Howard not 100% we can't afford to lose Harden. We can lose any other player on the roster but not him. Harden been to the finals so he doesn't need those extra 15 min the last few games. We would gain a lot more by giving those minutes to Canaan so he at least get as much time as possible in case Bev injury hampers him to the extent that he can't help the team, that may be the case or play Lin through his mistakes so at least he has some comfort level of not being benched as soon as he turns it over. Its looking at the big picture that McHale fails. Even he should recognize that finishing 4th or 5th won't get him canned. If he can't control the rotation now by telling Harden that we need him or fail to make him understand, then he already lost Harden's ear.

    We could have lost by 50 or win by 50 doesn't matter, we should be able to limit the minutes on the starters. For me its that harden is our only SG, and best player. We can't replace him. We lost anyone else we kind of have players to plug in for PG, C, SF and PF. But not SG that's why its bothers me that McHale can't even recognize that or if he does recognize that but can't get his will through, either way its a failure to me.


    Lebron's last two games 41 mins & 34 mins. KD's last game 41 minutes. CP3 & Blake Griffin's last game 39 mins each. All of these players are crucial to their teams and each of their teams have clinched playoff births. Is it bad coaching by spoelstra, brooks, & doc to let these players play this many minutes? Players want to play. Harden & parsons played limited minutes vs the Lakers & Nuggets. I am ok with them playing big minutes vs the timberwolves in a close game. This Houston team needs the 4 seed. They are too young still to go on the road for the 1st series. Most Blazers players will be playing in their first playoff series. The crowd can intimidate the young blazers in at least the 1st game like the crowd intimidated most of the rockets in game 1 last year. McHale has handled the rotation fine this year.
  • thenit says 6 months ago

    @FSS

    Its only one game and it had barely any value, however even if the players want to play then its too much ego. They are not looking down the road and McHale as the coach has to be able to reign that in. Harden deserves to decide what he wants to do to an extent, but if its detrimental to our future playoff run which is a week away, its not that hard to say look we need you then not now. Last game against Denver, Harden bumped his knee into Brooks, what if it was a real injury and not just a bump? Imagine he got a contuision and he was out for the 1st round or the first couple of games. If you want to be a contender you have to manage minutes especially when the games are basically meaningless. He doesn't have to sit, but play him 46 minutes is just dumb. There is no other young player that plays these minutes heading into the playoffs. With Bev and Howard not 100% we can't afford to lose Harden. We can lose any other player on the roster but not him. Harden been to the finals so he doesn't need those extra 15 min the last few games. We would gain a lot more by giving those minutes to Canaan so he at least get as much time as possible in case Bev injury hampers him to the extent that he can't help the team, that may be the case or play Lin through his mistakes so at least he has some comfort level of not being benched as soon as he turns it over. Its looking at the big picture that McHale fails. Even he should recognize that finishing 4th or 5th won't get him canned. If he can't control the rotation now by telling Harden that we need him or fail to make him understand, then he already lost Harden's ear.

    We could have lost by 50 or win by 50 doesn't matter, we should be able to limit the minutes on the starters. For me its that harden is our only SG, and best player. We can't replace him. We lost anyone else we kind of have players to plug in for PG, C, SF and PF. But not SG that's why its bothers me that McHale can't even recognize that or if he does recognize that but can't get his will through, either way its a failure to me.

  • QNoir says 6 months ago

    If you watched the game, Harden was on Brewer probably about 25% of the time... If that. Everyone we threw at him couldn't stay in front of him. Parsons and Garcia consistently got blown by. It was a horrible defensive effort by the whole team. You can't solely blame Harden for their SF scoring 51 points. Plus the man played 46 mins while also running the offense through him for the majority of those minutes. We need better defense from every one of our players, not just Harden.

    Hummel and Brewer are both listed as small forwards. Minnesota didn't play anyone listed as a 2, so one of them is going to play the role of (and be primarily guarded by) a 2 guard. That's Brewer. I agree it's not all on Harden, but this is hardly an isolated incident. If you watch Harden closely on any given night, as soon as there's some inward ball movement on the opposite side, he completely turns his back to his man, his stance and body language change from defensive to rebounding/offensive (before a shot even goes up), and he looks for the cherry pick. We love it when it turns into fast break points, but it's just not worth it.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 6 months ago I am interested in what you all think a coach actually does and is responsible for. Once we know where everyone is coming from we can have a more intelligent debate.

    This is what I think a head coach should be in charge of.

    1) Creating and installing an offensive and defensive system and having the players buy into it.

    2) Player Development. As a HC he will delegate this to an assistant coach and is ultimately responsible for creating the plan at the beginning of the year( such as re-working a faulty shooting motion, working on dribbling, etc....) and periodically checking on the progress.

    3) Creating a rotation based on the players given to him by the GM. He is responsible for deciding which lineups work well and which players will work and be efficient at different roles. For a young team sometimes you have to balance trying to win with trying to improve.

    4) Managing the players. This includes physically, spiritually, and emotionally. All players have egos. It is up to the coach to create a culture where the good of the team needs to come first. Also, the coach is in charge of giving his players enough rest to keep them fresh for the playoffs.

    5) Working in tandem with the FO in order to acquire not just talent, but the right talent. The players need to compliment each other to create synergy.

    This is just a list of what I think are a few of the major things a coach is responsible for.
  • txtdo1411 says 6 months ago

    My man Harden had an awesome stat line, but why is it that EVERY second-tier shooting guard or player he's matched against has his career night against him? It's so hard to watch. I swear if I see another 3-pointer made because he's lollying under the rim trying to grab one of TJ's rebounds ...

    If you watched the game, Harden was on Brewer probably about 25% of the time... If that. Everyone we threw at him couldn't stay in front of him. Parsons and Garcia consistently got blown by. It was a horrible defensive effort by the whole team. You can't solely blame Harden for their SF scoring 51 points. Plus the man played 46 mins while also running the offense through him for the majority of those minutes. We need better defense from every one of our players, not just Harden.

  • Steven says 6 months ago It's still one meaningless regular season game. Once everyone is healthy, this game will mean nothing. McHale was experimenting last night, to see how the team would respond with Harden at the 1. It's what you do in a 82 game schedule when your playoff seeding is all but locked up. Defense is about effort, and right now the Rockets are trying to get healthy, not win every single meaningless game.
  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago Supersonic: I can understand learning, and the development process. But do you agree that there's also a fine line at the end of the regular season, gearing up for the playoffs, between learning and also taking care of yourself to ensure that you are 100% to look forward to the immediate future as well which is the playoffs?

    I think resting right now takes priority to having homecourt. That's just my opinion. If I'm McHale, I'm thinking that whole learning process is overrated with Harden especially. He's been to the finals, Parsons was in the playoffs last year. What is the "learning process" playing against non-playoff teams at the end of the season? I rather have my best players health. That to me supersedes anything.
  • QNoir says 6 months ago

    My man Harden had an awesome stat line, but why is it that EVERY second-tier shooting guard or player he's matched against has his career night against him? It's so hard to watch. I swear if I see another 3-pointer made because he's lollying under the rim trying to grab one of TJ's rebounds ...

  • feelingsupersonic says 6 months ago I know fans want to put it on the coach but I'm pretty sure Harden and Parsons have made it clear they want to play. I believe it's common knowledge many players in the NBA dictate when they rest and Harden definitely deserves to be in that class. I know fans are mostly commenting on the present in these post game pieces but what Harden is doing is growing as a player. He will learn lessons from this season and post season on his own terms and of course that frustrates fans. It will be okay guys.


    I agree with Bigtkirk. Asik should know he is the one center and pace his fouls accordingly, he is also learning still.
  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago Thenit is right about wearing down players. It's just embarrassing to watch the lack of focus on one end of the floor. There is no pride in giving up 51 to Brewer. It's not even him being hot from 3, or hitting midrange jumpers like crazy. It's how he got to the paint anytime he wanted, no hard fouls given, no toughness, just go ahead and score. That mentality itself will kill you in the playoffs.

    McHale is so concerned about the 4th playoff seed and gaining home court, he's on the verge of getting someone hurt by playing Harden and Parsons so many minutes. If he plays Harden and Parsons another 40+ min. And they get hurt, it's all on him. I just hope that doesn't happen but he's headed that way.
  • thenit says 6 months ago

    Since Bev and Howard went down, we are ranked 27th in D. I think someone posted this before. McHale has done a decent job this year, but he isinsistent on wearing down Harden and Parsons. Since we clinched the playoff, he is still riding them like secretariat. I can't phantom how a NBA coach can't figure this out when you have clinched the playoffs that you can't even change the rotation enough to get their numbers under 35 a game. That's not even hard too do. He has secured a playoffs and his job is not on the line during the regular season so it would be prudent to save your players for the playoffs because that will determine if this year is a success or not. I didn't watch the game but the past few games Harden's D has slipped, and I think he is just worn down a bit that he starting to play like last year. He puts so much energy on offense that he can't even a pylon right now. Lin is still inconsistent. Its not even game to game now, its Q by Q. Like the previous game he went hot 18 in 2nd and nothing in 3rd and 1st. His averages for the past 5 games are actually pretty good, but its baffles me that he is even inconsistent within the game. He either is hot or cold.

    The game doesn't mean much but its embarrassing to have Brewer score 51 on you. No pride and bad coaching decisions.

  • Rockets911 says 6 months ago

    Asik's limited minutes from foul trouble and lack of production from the true PG's were the difference in this one. Totally agree that McHale should be moderating playing time at this stage of the regular season.


    We don't D up anyone, we constantly get out hustled, lack of commitment , it's not just the previous 3 games, it's the last 10. It's not "lack of production by the PG's". It's the lack of consistency on the defensive side of the ball . When was the last time, post-D12, post-Beverley injury that we saw anyone else held defensively accountability? Anyone?

    What is the average number of points we gave up per game the last 10 games? I don't have that stat but can someone post please.

    51 to Corey Brewer? Who was suppose to guard him? Why did he have 14 shots 4 ft. from the rim? Who did he out hustle to get to the rim so much?
  • Bigtkirk says 6 months ago

    The point is that if Asik plays more and/or the PG's produce more, the Rockets probably win despite Brewer's effort.

  • timetodienow1234567 says 6 months ago When they give up 51 points to a marginal wing, you blame the PGs?
  • Bigtkirk says 6 months ago

    Asik's limited minutes from foul trouble and lack of production from the true PG's were the difference in this one. Totally agree that McHale should be moderating playing time at this stage of the regular season.

  • Sir Thursday says 6 months ago

    Its Corey Brewer, Ronnie could never score 51

    Well that's embarrassing! :wacko:

    What can I say, the game annoyed me so much I couldn't think straight when writing the title (now fixed on the main page).

    ST

  • Cooper says 6 months ago

    Kind of an embarrassing loss but also a basically meaningless game might have made sense to sit Harden and or Parsons. There Dwight less defense has been worrisome past several games.

  • ale11 says 6 months ago

    Multiple mediocre players having career nights against the Rockets lately....it's becoming a disturbing trend.....

  • kidnextdoor says 6 months ago

    Its Corey Brewer, Ronnie could never score 51

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