On Twitter, some nights ago, I asked you all, between Kyle Lowry and John Wall, whom you would prefer to have on this team, either for a single season or going long-term.  Surprisingly, the majority preferred Lowry.  A reader, Joe, had some thoughts of his own in the forum:

But, like Favian pointed out, he’s a “late-bloomer.” How many of the Association’s current “superstars” emerged on to the scene in their mid-20′s? Not many. Fans are enamored with young, budding talent. Exactly why the media’s casting a bright light on John Wall, just 21-years-old, and he’s scooping up endorsement deals along the way. If the Rockets were playing for all the marbles tonight, I’d roll with Lowry. But, with time, Wall’s going to be the superior player and to attribute his “hype” to Reebok commercials and consumerism is borderline absurd. Statistically, he’s already nipping at the heels of Lowry, who’s over 5 years his elder. Lowry’s the better shooter, hands down, but he developed that stroke with time. Wall’s already one of the most dynamic open-floor players in the game, and can finish at the rim with the best of ‘em (leads all PGs in And-1s, as well). His 3-pt stroke’s only going to improve, and once it catches up to his attacking abilities, he’ll be an absolute force to be reckoned with. Earlier, I gave credit to K-Low for being the best rebounding PG in the NBA, well Wall checks in at #2 with 5.5 boards/game. He doesn’t play with the grit and determination of a K-Low, but he’s already a comparable talent to Lowry as the youngest starting PG in the NBA.

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Post-game interviews: 1.28.12

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Rapid Reaction: Rockets defeat Knicks 97-84

New York Knicks 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 97 Houston Rockets
Luis Scola, PF 23 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +2Scola scored all of his points in the first half, going 6-8 (0-5 the rest of the way) and looking for his shot early despite three turnovers in the first 7 minutes. Hopefully, tonight’s success will boost his confidence in the next few weeks as the team’s schedule gets tougher.
Samuel Dalembert, C 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +8The Bear(!) continues to maul Rockets’ opponents inside. Tonight, he pulled down 14 boards and blocked 4 shots in 22 minutes.
Kyle Lowry, PG 27 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 PTS | +3Over the last four games, Kyle Lowry has shot 8 for 42 from the floor, a miserable slump that saw Dragic running the offense for good portions of the game tonight. As Lowry increasing looked to pass all night, the rest of the team somehow didn’t seem to ready for the crisp passes he sent their way.
Courtney Lee, SG 30 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +10With the starters struggling, Courtney Lee and the Rockets’ bench stepped up and firmly placed their heels on the Knicks’ throats. Lee’s 9 point 3rd quarter helped build Houston’s 14 point lead heading to the 4th quarter.
Goran Dragic, PG 27 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | +23Dragic again pushed the ball and took any open (or not open) shot available. Hat’s off to Daryl Morey for another very useful pick-up.
Chase Budinger, SF 24 MIN | 7-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | +23Can we ask McHale to bench Budinger every third game for the rest of the season? at this rate, Chase will soon retrieve his starting job from his Syracuse counterpart.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Well, that’s 9 out of the last 10. It’ a good thing the Rockets keep playing all these terrible teams (make no mistake, the Knicks have been a miserable thus far). With Martin hurt and Lowry missing, the bench won this game for Houston scoring 43 points on 22 shots through the first three quarters.
  2. How bad is the Knicks point guard situation? New York played Jeremy Lin for a good chunk of the second half. As much as I love Lin’s story and genuinely wish him success in the league, he’s not a starting (or really even a back-up) point guard for any team hoping to make the playoffs.
  3. Dalembert sitting early for fouls really exposed how much the Rockets depend on the huge Haitian. He only played 8 minutes in the first half, and his absence saw Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire combine for 24 points and the Knicks snag 9 offensive rebounds to the Rockets 2.

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Iman Shumpert

The gist: The Knicks came up short in South Beach, falling 99-89 to the Heat despite Bill Walker’s 21-point performance. Despite playing minus Kevin Martin with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, the Rockets ran away with a 103-76 victory over a hapless Wizards squad that imploded in the second half, thanks to a breakout game from Chase Budinger.

Key matchup: Samuel Dalembert vs Tyson Chandler

These two prized big men hauled over the offseason will strut their defensive wares. It will be a rebounding battle to keep an eye on and both teams will have difficulty operating in the paint with these two giants muscling and boxing out every possible possession.

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Post-game interviews: 1.27.12

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