The gist: The Rockets face the Thunder once more on the back end of the home-and-home. Kyle Lowry was a scratch in last game (DNP – Coach’s Decision) and the misdemeanor battery charged by Infini Robinson against him negates every positive thing said about Lowry to start the season.
Key matchup: Goran Dragic vs Russell Westbrook
Both point guards played each other to a stalemate but something that stood out was Dragic’s empty turnover numbers in the stat sheet. On a night Houston was outshot 52% to 46% from the field, the least they could to was to protect the ball and have the opportunity to at least have more possessions come their way. If Dragic can coax Westbrook into chucking, all the better.
X-factor: Jonny Flynn
Granted, most of his 7-4-6 stat line (like Dragic, also 0 turnovers) came during garbage time, but he will be backing up Dragic and has to urgently show a semblance of being an NBA player in the 20-something minutes he will be playing.
Code Red: The Rockets, at 2-5, have gradually fallen all the way to the West’s worst heading into tonight’s game. Houston is evidently not tanking; the current composition simply cannot keep up with the elite squads in the league. Scola and Martin were held to a combined 23 points, a signal that they would be better off exposing guys like Patrick Patterson and Chandler Parsons more.