For about 90% of this game, I could have pulled up my recent recap of our loss against the 76ers, changed a few names and statistics, posted it, and I doubt anyone would have noticed that something was amiss.  The Rockets started off well and grabbed the lead, but a 5 minute stretch in the first quarter occurred where they utterly failed to even get up any shots and finished the quarter with 9 turnovers, which was made all the worse by the fact that Carlos Delfino seemingly decided to borrow a page from the Trevor Ariza school of driving to the rim ie. Lose the ball while doing so every single time.  Combine that with the fact that Houston is one of the worst teams in the league at transition defense, and the result was a 19-0 Dallas run which would keep them ahead for the rest of the game.

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in game coverage

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Houston Rockets @ Dallas Mavericks on 1/16/13

The Mavericks and Rockets meet for the second time this year and their first time in Dallas. Interestingly, in the last month or so the teams have had followed pretty much the exact opposite trajectories of each other. The Rockets went on a hot streak from mid-December until early January (going 12-3) before cooling off and losing 4 straight, while the Mavericks had an absolutely miserable stretch during which they went 2-13 before recently recovering with a three game win streak.

The Rockets will have the schedule against them in this game, arriving in Dallas late on Tuesday after their match-up with the Clippers.  A glance at their record in back-to-backs makes for grim reading – scoring is way down at only 96.4 PPG (down on their overall average of 105.4) and their record is only 4-7. The main cause of that discrepancy seems to be shooting – field goal percentage drops from 45% to 41%, a significant decline. They will face a Mavs team with a day’s rest who are in the middle of a four game homestand, so if they are going to get anything out of the game the Rockets are going to have to fight through tired legs and find a way to disrupt the Maverick’s rhythm. [read more…]






in game coverage

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The Daily Blast – January 16, 2013

All-Star Buzz – James Harden gets love from ESPN’s 5-on-5.

Back to the Future IIESPN Insider (paid subscription) hops in the DeLorean to see who will be starting in the 2015 All-Star game. No word on hoverboards, but check out this nugget from Brad Doolittle about James Harden:

Harden’s 2015 forecast of 14.1 WARP is the fourth-best of all players behind James, Paul and Durant. He hasn’t emerged merely as a present-day All-Star but as a future MVP candidate. Harden’s 2015 forecast of 14.1 WARP is the fourth-best of all players behind James, Paul and Durant. He hasn’t emerged merely as a present-day All-Star but as a future MVP candidate. With Bryant forecasted to slip out of the top 50 in WARP by 2015, Harden’s closest challenger as the best 2-guard in the West is probably Golden State’s Klay Thompson.

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in columns

The Los Angeles Clippers, hot off a big win over the Grizzlies, landed in Houston and showed why they’re a team predicted to go to the Western Conference Finals. Even without Chauncey Billups and star point guard Chris Paul, even on the second night of a back to back, even on the road, the Clippers and their brutal bench depth proved too much for the Rockets to overcome. The Clippers had a blazing hot 32-18 third quarter led by Jamal Crawford and his season-high 30 points and the Rockets just couldn’t catch up.

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in game coverage

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Rockets talk on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560

I was a guest today on Yahoo Sports Radio 1560 with John Wessling and Adam Clanton.  We talked Harden, Lin, and Royce White.

Link to podcast.






in musings

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