The back and forth Rockets host a rematch against the visiting Utah Jazz on Saturday, hoping to not only get payback for one of their worst blowouts on the season, but to climb to .500 yet again. The Rockets have been beaten soundly three games so far, but none so early and unexpectedly as the blowout they suffered in Utah on November 19th.
After being dismantled in a perfect storm against the Thunder, the Rockets will be ready and willing to bounce back against the Jazz, one of their primary competitors for a playoff spot in a brutal Western Conference. The Jazz are almost the flip side of the Rockets coin, and Houston badly needs to find purchase Saturday if they intend to come out of December with a winning record. Unfortunately, that is likely to be a difficult battle against a team who has been a difficult matchup for the last few seasons. [read more…]
The Rockets have plenty of reasons for getting blown out by the Thunder. Unfortunately, none of that changes the fact that they’ve fallen below .500 once more and have a 1-7 record against the west. They managed to come within striking distance a couple times, but the better team won, and it wasn’t close.
The big narrative of the night, James Harden’s revenge against his old team, took a turn that was probably unexpected by most. The pessimists in the Rockets fanbase, however, won’t be surprised to hear that Harden’s ex-teammates were ready for him, blocking a mind-blowing 7 of his shots on the evening. Ibaka and Westbrook began the block party early, and Harden didn’t knock down a field goal until the third quarter. James put together a miserable 3-16 line by the end of the game, but somehow still managed to have more points (17) than shots. He had what will hopefully be his worst line all year. Or at least until the Thunder come into town in December. [read more…]
My apologies for the poor audio at the start – Lowry’s voice was barely audible. His demeanor wasn’t anything too unordinary – he was always prickly with media and especially affected by tough losses. This wasn’t just because it was his former team. [read more…]
Friday night’s game was undoubtedly the best of Chandler Parsons’ young career. The previously unheralded second-round pick of last year’s draft impressed himself on the Knicks’ (and indeed, the league’s) conscience with a phenomenal performance: 31 points on 13-17 shooting, 4 three’s, 5 boards, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Some might consider this a coming-out party, part of a broader second-year improvement and a sign of his future potential. The reality, however, is that Parsons was already a very solid player as a rookie, and has built upon that foundation to become an improved (although not drastically improved) player this season.
According to Basketball-Reference, Parsons’ per 36 minute statistics have shown a slight improvement compared with last season—he’s averaging 3 more points, 1 more rebound, and one more assist every 36 minutes. Despite these seemingly minor upticks, Parsons’ PER has increased by a full three points from 13 last season to an above-average 16, equivalent to the difference between the performances of Jeff Teague and Michael Beasley last season. [read more…]
As Rahat graciously provided a live account of tonight’s game, I do not believe that a general recap will suffice. The Rockets executed, made wide-open 3 pointers, and took advantage of Toronto’s woes on the offensive and especially the defensive end. While the boxscore shows that Toronto’s rebounding and turnover numbers were similar to ours, context, as with any statistic, must be noted. Houston utterly demolished Toronto on the offensive glass and on the passing lanes, which was punctuated by a play late in the 3rd quarter where Parsons swooped into 3 Toronto players and grabbed the ball from them. While that offensive rebound only culminated in a missed Harden 3, it showed the nature of the game as the Rockets completely outhustled and outworked the Raptors up to a 96-69 lead with exactly 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
At that point, Houston decided to take the night off and shoot jumpers. Toronto promptly ended the game on a 10-0 run which ended with a Cook 3, and at that point Toronto was the team hustling while Houston fell back into bad habits of lazy passes and relatively little effort. The fourth quarter was filled with a slight tension for the fan, but Houston finally cut down any hopes of a Toronto rally late in the game with a Lin steal and dunk. [read more…]