I hope you didn’t spend your Friday night watching the Rockets lose to the Hawks. This loss lays heavy on all participants. The Rockets are third in the league in scoring at almost 106 a game, but tonight they could only muster 80. With Parsons on the bench and Ronnie Brewer starting and getting 0 points in his 25 minutes, the Rockets could not score. Please McHale play anyone but Brewer. You’d think he was in for his defense, but the Hawks got 20 points off the fast break, beating Houston at it’s own game. Houston only got eight fast points.
After starting with an 11 to 0 run, the Rockets were outscored the rest of the way 83 to 69. Howard looked ok (7 for 11 from the field and 11 boards) but the wings could not consistently get him the ball on the box. The last three and a half quarters were really terrible. The worst part of the game was the end, and it was really bad. With 1:32 to go and down by one, the negativity crystallized. Unbelievably, the Rockets still had a chance to win the game. Harden went into iso mode and missed a three pointer. Then Jeremy Lin turned the ball over with a 3 second call trapped in the paint. The next time down the court Harden takes it to the hole and is blocked by Millsap. And then, after a time-out, Brooks throws a horrible pass and turns it over.
The report came out just earlier this week that the Rockets would be honoring Donatas Motiejunas’ request for a trade by attempting to explore options. My hunch is that this was simply a leak to appease the 7-footer and his agent in sort of a “I swear, we’re trying to move you, but we just can’t find any takers!” kind of way. With teams clutching to first round picks these days like rare antiques, the best the Rockets could possibly hope to get for Motiejunas would be a second round pick…and for a player of his abilities, age, and size, that’s just not even close to being worth it; while Motiejunas has struggled to get things together, you couldn’t hope to find a prospect anywhere near as intriguing in the second round.
This will no doubt come as an unpopular, minority opinion, and will certainly evoke a “do you bloggers just complain about everything?” response from some, but I’m not particularly pleased with how Kevin McHale has handled the Motiejunas situation. I understand completely why things have been handled as they have, but I’m not happy. Michael Pina wrote recently of the eye-opening effect Omri Casspi has had on the team’s offense/defense when on the floor and to wit, that impact cannot be understated. Casspi has been a revelation.
Every Friday, I rank every active Rocket (who sees the floor) based on his performance from the previous week. If you missed the most recent installment, here you go.
12) Isaiah Canaan (Last week: 10)
The rookie logged a little over 90 seconds of action this week. Aaaaand just about nothing transpired.
11) Donatas Motiejunas (Last week: 9)
That D-Mo D-League stint I pined for in this space finally happened. Now there’s a very legitimate chance he’s traded sooner than later. What value does Motiejunas have on the market? He’s young, cheap, and offensively skilled. This deserves a deeper look. [read more…]