In a game like this against one of the worst teams in the league, the worst thing you can do is come out slow and complacent. Charlotte is not a team with a big come back in them. By putting up a big 20+ lead early and knocking the belief out of a team used to losing, you ensure you can relax later in the night, perhaps playing the reserves for a stretch.  The mantra of “good teams know what to do in the crunch” isn’t really true, after all – if the level of the two teams is disparate enough, the better team should be pulling away in the first three quarters and not allowing there to even be a crunch time. The goal for the Rockets tonight was not just to win – that was expected – but to win comfortably against a team that is still in the NBA basement and only one year removed from the worst season in NBA history.

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in game coverage

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The grueling January schedule is finally over, and the fact that Houston still remains a playoff team after that is something to celebrate.  However, the February schedule is not particularly easy either.  While Houston will only play 11 games in 28 days as opposed to the ludicrous 17 games in 31 days of January, only four of those games will be against teams currently not in the playoff race.

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in game coverage

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Looking at James Harden’s defense

This is James Harden’s first season playing major minutes as the focal point of an NBA offense. And not just any NBA offense. Backed by Harden’s ability to turn himself into a one man fast break three or four times a quarter, the Rockets play with turbo boosters at all times. Every 48 minutes he participates in 99.42 possessions, per NBA.com/Stats, which, by a wide margin, leads all players averaging at least 20 minutes per game. Speaking of minutes, he’s played 1798 of them, more than anybody in the entire league.

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The Daily Blast – February 1, 2013

Darth Asik – The Rockets posted the home court introduction video to their website. Amid a montage of Greg Smith dunks and James Harden rip-through moves, we are treated to a sudden shot of Omer looking like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because whenever you have a chance to make your board crasher/defensive enforcer look like a stoned Sith warrior, you have to do it. Mr. Alexander, someone in the editing suite deserves a raise.

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The Daily Blast – January 31, 2013

Royce White Will Tie Your Brain Into a Pretzel – Houston’s enigmatic rookie sits down with Chuck Klosterman to discuss the human condition. Important basketball note: White says he’s only shooting about once a week. Here’s where the article starts to get real:

However, there’s a much larger issue at play here, and it’s unrelated to the game of basketball. It has to do with White’s wider view on how mental illness — both his own, and those of others — is destroying the fabric of modern living. He’s obsessed with the idea that no one wants to accept the “reality” of a profound social crisis he sees everywhere, infiltrating every aspect of culture and killing us softly.

After the jump: you want to be in James Harden’s entourage.

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