The gist: The Rockets suffered a second half meltdown in a 99-91 loss to the Spurs. Houston now plays host to the Suns before embarking on a six-game road swing. Steve Nash had a memorable evening in the Suns’ 120-103 victory over the Hornets. He scored a season-high 30 points and surpassed Kevin Johnson as the franchise’s all-time assists leader.
Key matchup: Samuel Dalembert vs Marcin Gortat
Dalembert did not see action in the closing minutes of the Spurs game. He will be raring to bring down the Suns’ double-double machine, but Gortat will not be boxed out easily. The last time the Polish Hammer had less than 10 rebounds was back in January 8 against the Bucks.
X-factor: Chandler Parsons
Parsons has looked completely out of sync in the past four games. It goes beyond his pedestrian stats. It’s the little things: shot selection, staying in front of his man, making scrappy plays. He looks lost on the basketball court. Against Grant Hill and Jared Dudley, Parsons won’t have any excuses.
Code Red: Nash’s 30-10 night makes him the oldest player to achieve such a feat at 37 (and 11 months). Lowry must not allow another point guard to blitz past him after he was abused by Tony Parker.
A reader, StephenJCyrier, writes:
Say it-”-the CP3 deal would have been an unmitigated disaster for the Rockets.”
On the contrary, with the season having transpired as it has, of one thing I am more sure than ever: had the Gasol trade gone down, the Rockets would now be competing for one of the, if not the top seed in the Western Conference.
Mark Berman of Fox 26 confirmed that while the Rockets have had discussions with the Hornets regarding Kaman, the Sports Illustrated report on the players involved is not accurate.
SI had reported that the Rockets’ offer involved Hasheem Thabeet and Jordan Hill and could also involve Patrick Patterson, Jonny Flynn, and Terrence Williams.
It’s unclear whether Berman means the report was wholly inaccurate, in terms of the players mentioned, or that the specifics were merely a bit off. Is it still structured around ‘the busts’ or is it fundamentally different, involving, say Luis Scola?
A common cliche among announcers today is to give a seriously quick point guard the divine “one man fast break” label. Yes, there are situations where one man does in fact steamroll a defense by going coast to coast—from defensive rebound to dunk—but it’s rare. By mixing crafty flair with not so subtle determination, Goran Dragic has elevated his transition game to the point where adjectives like “elite” shouldn’t be laughed at. [read more...]