As I was in Houston over the weekend, this week’s iteration of The Week Ahead is brought to you on a Monday morning, with the marquee-matchup of the stint already having been played. I’m probably in too foul of a mood to put this together had the Rockets lost last night to Cleveland, but they didn’t, and thus, we’re here. After a murderer’s row last week, the Rockets face some lesser competition in the form of the Lakers and Pelicans, before closing out the week against a sneaky Denver team that could steal a win if Houston isn’t focused. The Lakers are the worst team in the conference, having gone 1-9 in their last ten games (doesn’t it feel like ages ago when L.A. stole the season opener from Houston on national television and people were talking about the postseason as a goal for that team?), and the Pelicans haven’t exactly set the world on fire since their blockbuster trade at the deadline. But beware Nikola Jokic.
from the editor
Click to enlarge.
A rough week for the good guys, as they went 1-2, finally salvaging things last night with the win over the Bulls. While they shot their worst mark of the week last night against Chicago, 42%, they jacked up eight more 3’s than they did in any other game in the week, hitting 15 total. They also had 54 total rebounds.
On the year, Houston is sitting at second still in offensive rating (112.1), fourteenth in defense (105.6), and third in net rating (+6.4). They are playing at the fourth fastest pace (101.93). These are still the same rankings as last week.
I should add, the Rockets were robbed of one against San Antonio, but I’ve let that go.
from the editor
While possibly colored by recency bias, a majority of respondents replied to my very-scientific Twitter poll last night that from among the candidates, they least hoped to see the Utah Jazz as the Houston Rockets’ first round opponent come April. Last night, with starters George Hill and Derrick Favors both sidelined, Utah disposed of the Rockets–themselves without Ryan Anderson–yet again, racing out to an early first quarter lead which proved to be the difference. Houston battled back in the second half, outscoring the Jazz in the third quarter, and matching them in the fourth, but it was not enough.