Huq’s Pen: What a difference a month makes

On December 28th, the Houston Rockets were 16-12, and sitting in the sixth seed.  They had won five in a row, seven of their last ten, and were knocking on the door just outside the elite 4 (Clippers, Grizzlies, Spurs, Thunder).  Today, they sit at .500, losers of eight of their last ten games, occupying their familiar ninth seed.

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The Daily Blast – January 24, 2013

Guess Who – Royce White might suit up after all. Also, Kevin McHale is not the boss of him.

Stat Check – Worth noting after the Rockets went 11-34 from distance against the Nuggets: Houston is shooting 33.7 percent from 3-point range in January, compared to 35.4 percent on a season as a whole. The 33.7 percent  mark has them tied for 20th in the league in accuracy this month. The problem is, they are also taking a league-leading 30.2 attempts per game this month. In other words, they’re building one of these.

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Late in the second quarter, as the Rockets trailed the Nuggets by 8, James Harden streaked down the court on a fast break, nailing an impossible-looking layup and drawing the foul. Rockets commentator Matt Bullard excitedly declared that James Harden was “like the Millennium Falcon, trying to get in there!” Unlike in the movies, however, Houston’s Millennium Falcon lit on fire and fell out of the sky on the way to a blowout loss to the gelling Denver Nuggets. With 23 turnovers on the night, the Rockets dug themselves a hole too big to blast out of.

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in game coverage

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in game coverage

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The Rockets’ Recent Struggles

On Monday night, the Rockets finally broke out of their losing slump with a six-point win over the lowly Bobcats. Prior to this victory, Houston had lost seven consecutive games and squandered much of the cushion they had built for themselves earlier in the season. What, if anything, was the cause of the Rockets’ recent slump, and are there any implications for the season going-forward?

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