I’ll fully admit to not being impressed in the slightest by Saturday’s win against Minnesota. The turnovers were numerous, the rebounding was poor, and the Rockets played an incredibly undisciplined and sloppy version of basketball which was only bailed out by Aaron Brooks bringing his NBA 2K self to life, and the Rockets shooting 55% from long range, something I doubt they will accomplish four more times this season.
Tonight, we saw what happened when the ridiculously hot shooting collapses.
That was what I typed out midway through the third quarter, because tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies from my perspective really had gotten that out of hand. For the first two and a half quarters, the Rockets played sloppy, terrible basketball which struggled against Memphis’s vaunted defense. But Houston began to turn things around offensively later in the third quarter, and then Kevin McHale sent out a Beverley-Garcia-Parsons-Casspi-Asik lineup. That largely bench lineup trounced Memphis’s bench, finally regained the lead, and held on late in the game against Mike Conley and the Grizzlies starters to win the game and go up 10-5.
Misery Loves Company – James Harden is out Monday night with a sore left foot, according to ESPN:
Harden missed Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and will sit out their following game Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies before being re-evaluated.
The soreness in Harden’s left foot has been troubling him to various degrees since the middle of training camp, according to sources.
The good news for Rockets fans is that he’s not in the same boat as Marc Gasol, Andre Iguodala or Derrick Rose, who are all out indefinitely. For fans of excellent basketball, it’s just all bad news.
Sportsmanship - And then there’s this from ESPN Dallas:
A few hours after Dwight Howard selected the Rockets over Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks and other suitors, Morey sent Cuban a text message asking about his willingness to trade Dirk Nowitzki.
There obviously was no way the Mavs would deal Nowitzki, who has a no-trade clause in his contract and has vowed to finish his career in Dallas. This seemed to be a case of Morey rubbing the Rockets’ win in the recruiting battle for Howard in Cuban’s face.
Cuban told the story after Houston lost to Dallas last week, and then twisted the knife. Read More
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol will be out indefinitely with a sprained MCL as the Rockets travel to Memphis. This will provide more opportunity for the Rockets to get a win on the road against a probable playoff team from the West. The Grizzlies will miss his defense, and his 16 points and 7 rebounds a game. This will allow more space for the Rockets offense to take it to the hole and create opportunities for Howard in the post.
James Harden is day to day and is expected to miss his second game in a row with a sore left foot. Supposedly this injury has been bothering Harden for weeks and he has already missed two games due to the injury. His foot may be impacting Harden more than he has let on and many observers suspect this injury has been the cause of Harden’s slow start. He’s sixth in the league in scoring, but hasn’t been the game changer that he was last year. The Rockets are 1 -1 with Harden on the bench this year.
In this week’s episode — live from Toyota Center — MK Bower and I recap the win over Minnesota and delve into the ramifications of Terrence Jones’ surprise production.
Download this episode (right click and save)