While losses are never a good thing, I was not that particularly frustrated with the previous losses to the Hornets and the Celtics.  The Hornets defeat from my perspective was the result of a night where the Rockets could not make a jumper and the referees briefly allowed the return of Rileyball in the lane, while a large part of the Celtics defeat could be attributed to a night at the foul line which according to the Rockets broadcast tonight, was the second worst shooting percentage at the line in the history of the team.  While it was on the second night of a back to back, I did have confidence that Houston could defeat a Philadelphia team which barely had a .400 record and had lost five straight.

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in game coverage

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The brutal January schedule continues for the Rockets tonight as they visit the City of Brotherly Love in the second half of yet another back-to-back. The Rockets hope to snap a two game losing skid; however, the 76ers also have a much worse five game losing streak they hope ends tonight.

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in game coverage

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Most basketball junkies, especially ones who follow the Houston Rockets, know of the importance of the free throw shot.  Moneyball or Moreyball eschews the mid-range long 2 pointer in favor of free throws and 3 pointers.  The latter gives the most reward when a shot is successfully made, and the former is the easiest shot in basketball, as most basketball players can shoot the ball at percentages which normally outclass the points earned per possession during a game.  There are exceptions to the rule, which is why the Hack-a-Shaq can be a viable tactic at times, but teams avoid giving up fouls for this very reason.  The Houston defense in particular emphasizes avoiding fouling and at times seems to prefer giving up layups to fouling, especially since the former means that they can still push the ball at their high pace.

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in game coverage

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in game coverage

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On prudence and excesses

Talk to people in Dallas and the object of their ire is the same man that brought back basketball to their town.  When two summers ago, Mark Cuban let Tyson Chandler walk to New York, he broke up a squad that had won the crown just a year before and would have challenged for it again in successive seasons.  But his reasons were not of the penny-pinching ilk that has led so many other owners to part ways with top tier talent.  While he knew he was crippling his team in the now, he thought even the chance at assembling a potential dynasty in the future was too good to forego.

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in essays

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