What a game.  What a team.

As a colleague put it afterwards, “the Rockets sure are playing well, aren’t they?…and they’re the youngest freaking team in the league!”  The Lakers jumped on Houston early, but the Rockets buried them with 3’s and darts to the hoop.  It was too much of the usual from the good guys.  The scary part is that you know they’ll get better.  As always, some rookie will step up from the shadows or some trade at the deadline will pay dividends.  It always happens.  This team needs to just avoid injury.

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The Houston Rockets hosted a frustrated, injured Lakers team hungry for a win and ready to do whatever it took to get one. In the first quarter, the Lakers showed determination and hustle, pulling ahead with an early double digit lead. But by the start of the fourth quarter, the Rockets had stormed back to take the lead behind aggressive play and aggressive performances from James Harden and Jeremy Lin. The Lakers fell to 15-19 and the Rockets picked up their 5th win in a row, bringing them to 21-14 on the year.

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in game coverage

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Royce White interview with Slate.com

Houston Rockets forward Royce White was a guest on Slate’s Hang up and Listen podcast.  The full transcript of that interview can be found here, at the bottom of the page.

in musings

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On the NBA: A few odds and ends


So this was interesting.  Fights are common in the Association as is the “‘x’ was waiting for the ‘y’ team bus after the game” narrative. But when was the last time an altercation involved two players of this magnitude?  You have your usual fight archetypes in ‘over-anxious scrub vs. star’, ‘borderline star’ vs. ‘borderline star’, and ‘Kevin Garnett vs. random European/point guard’, among others, but this…?  Carmelo Anthony is a full blooded American and full-grown, but more importantly, these are two potential Hall of Famers (in Garnett’s case, a lock), who have been around for ages…I had always envisioned the league as some sort of fraternity where anyone with x number of All-Star appearances was cool with anyone else of similar ilk.  Second point: Has waiting for the other team’s bus ever done anything?  With the knowledge that swarms of security personnel would be present, this sort of stunt has about the same ‘punch factor’ as just going home and writing the opposing party a very, very angry e-mail.

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in columns


Carlos Delfino is a perfect fit

Roughly 99% of all the NBA’s players depend on beneficial situations to maximize their success. Unless we’re talking about LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, or a healthy Dwight Howard, players need the “right” environment to hit their ceiling and reach their ultimate potential. That means either a beneficial scheme, set of teammates, or supportive locker room. Or a combination of all three.

The Houston Rockets are one of the smartest teams in the league because they recognize the importance of taking players that are relevant to their basketball philosophy, and putting them in situations to flourish. Carlos Delfino is a perfect example. [read more…]

in essays

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