The Houston Rockets are a good basketball team. They have a real shot at winning it all in the next handful of years, and might make some noise in the playoffs if they can find some chemistry. The Dallas Mavericks are on the wrong side of their superstar’s career, with Dirk Nowitzki hoping to get one last shot before he retires. The Rockets are more talented, younger, faster, and better constructed. But they never had a chance when the Mavs came to Houston.

For the second time in two meetings, the Dallas Mavericks came from behind to swat aside the Houston Rockets and punish them for their poor team defense. When Dirk is locked in, he’s as unstoppable as a shooter can be. Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is as crafty as they come, putting his players in the best position to use their skills. All the talent and analytics in the world don’t matter when the other coach has your number. And make no mistake, the Mavs have Houston’s number.

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in game coverage

Dallas Mavericks @ Houston Rockets on 12/23/13

The Rockets are about to begin one of the more difficult sections of this year’s schedule. Over the next week they will play 5 games, including match-ups against every opponent in the Southwest Division. With injuries piling up, this gruelling stretch could not have come at a more inconvenient time. Not only is the scheduling brutal, but the games are slightly more important too since divisional record may end up breaking some ties at the top of the West when all is said and done.

Form:

Houston: WLWLW

The loss against Indiana was a disheartening reminder that the team has a long way to go. But the team should take heart from how well they played against Detroit despite their depleted numbers – the strength in depth that Morey has carefully cultivated over the past few seasons is now on full display. There were a lot of tired-looking faces at the end of the Detroit game though, and it may be difficult to keep that level of intensity going for the full 48 minutes tonight.

Dallas: LWWLL

Like the Rockets, the Mavs came away from Phoenix empty-handed, and like the Rockets they were taken to overtime by Toronto. Wins against Milwaukee and Memphis are nice but nothing to write home about.

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in game coverage

I didn’t feel the need to touch this but enough of you have asked me my thoughts that I figured I’d chime in.  First, the source:

According to a league source, the Rockets had preliminary talks with the Nets last week about Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. Talks never gained any steam, but the source said the Rockets were doing their due diligence and Williams’ name came up. The Nets balked because one of the main reasons Pierce and Garnett agreed to a trade to Brooklyn was to play with Williams, according to the source. Williams, who signed a five-year, $98 million extension in 2012, was playing well upon returning from an ankle injury, and the Nets were looking better.

Multiple other sources have since come out and confirmed the report, including former Times insider, Howard Beck.

My initial reaction is to think there’s no way Daryl Morey would want any part of the injury-prone Williams.  He’s owed $21 million in 2016 and has an early termination option worth $22 million in 2017.  And he hasn’t even been that good, sporting a PER of 17.1 on the year.  By comparison, that’s a tad lower than Jeremy Lin.  On the flip side, when healthy, there’s no denying that Williams is one of the most talented point men in the league.  He can also shoot (39% on 3’s), nullifying the co-existence problems that would occur in an oft-discussed Rondo scenario.  Harden, Williams, and Dwight Howard would be the most formidable ‘Big 3’ in the league.

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in musings

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