Rapid Reaction: Houston Rockets 105, San Antonio Spurs 85

Houston Rockets105Final

Recap | Box Score

85San Antonio Spurs
Kyle Lowry 5-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 9 REB | 8 AST | 16 PTS | +26

Lowry followed up his sparkling performance against Orlando with another near triple-double. Is he the dark horse candidate for a trip to the All-Star game?

Kevin Martin 10-17 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 25 PTS | +19

After a total dud against the Magic, Martin bounced back to true form, gunning from the opening tip.

Luis Scola 9-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +28

Scola was near perfect tonight, making things look too easy against his former club. Did he add a left hand over the summer?

Three Things We Saw

  1. Chandler Parsons took what was Marcus Morris’ spot in the rotation in the opener. The former is a Budinger clone but with height. That should be a very interesting battle as the season progresses and into the future.
  2. How many point guards in the league can you honestly say are without a doubt better than the 25-year-old Lowry? He rebounds, he defends, and he doesn’t turn the ball over. We knew he was good, but it’s shocking to see how greatly he’s improved since his first year with the team.
  3. This was an exciting win, but there was a negative: it came solely on the backs of the veterans in Scola, Martin, Lowry. Hill, Williams, Morris and company were all nowhere to be found. I hate to be the ‘debbie downer’ after a big game, but I need to see something for the future. I already know how far that aforementioned veteran trio can take a team.

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Talk of the Moment: Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs

  Thursday, 7:00PM CST @ Toyota Center

  Game thread for in-game discussion.

 

I will be live-blogging this game from Toyota Center.

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Trading Kevin Martin Never Made More Sense

A single game has been played for one of the league’s most subjective teams, and already the Houston Rockets have a giant question mark surrounding their most prolific source of production. What do we have with Kevin Martin right now? A shooter in a typical shooter’s funk? An overreaction to a microscopic sample size? An underrated ego throwing a classic passive aggressive temper tantrum?

On Monday night against Orlando, how do you explain a shooter who defines the word consistency scoring 4 points on 1-10 shooting (0-6 from deep), with 1 assist, 2 free-throw attempts, and 0 rebounds…in 33 minutes?! How do you explain one of the most authoritatively hostile offensive players in the league playing hot potato almost every time the ball swings his way on the perimeter. There were no cuts to the basket. There was no initiative. There was no imprint. Read More »

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Houston Rockets vs San Antonio Spurs – Dec. 29, 2011 7:00PM

The gist: All aboard the back-to-back-to-back bandwagon! The Rockets play their first home game against the team that wants nothing to do with three games in three nights. The Spurs will be coming off a home game against the revamped Clippers the night before.

Key matchup: Jordan Hill vs DeJuan Blair

In their first of two preseason meetings, Hill went off for 17 points, which would have been the buzz around of the league if he didn’t happen to be playing on the same day as Jimmer Fredette, Iman Shumpert, and Ricky Rubio. Blair is expected to deliver with Antonio McDyess on the way out, Tiago Splitter not yet ready for extended minutes, and Tim Duncan constantly benched for a longer shelf life.

X-factor: Chase Budinger

This athletic swingman can turn the tide and clear the lane with his slashing attack. He can keep Richard Jefferson and Kawhi Leonard on their toes and have them guessing which way he’ll go next.

Code Red: The Rockets thrive on high-octane offense instigated by Kyle Lowry. Can he run the Spurs out of the Toyota Center with his coast-to-coast game?

::follow the discussion in the Ninetyfourums::

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On the NBA: Running Past Platitudes

I sincerely don’t think I’ve ever heard a preseason press conference in which an NBA head coach doesn’t mention that his team’s “going to run this year”; no matter how patently false this may be, no matter how little you believe Doug Collins or Nate McMillan or Larry Brown, we all ooh and aah in false anticipation, hoping that this will be the one year when every team just decides to fling the playbook to the wind (oh, and Mr. Collins’ would take one hell of a heave) and start flying. That this never comes to pass is immaterial because we’ll all nod, smile and hope the next year in the exact same manner, even if there’s a new guy on the sidelines lying to us about how fast his team will be. But why the hell don’t they just run? Obviously, personnel reasons to be the most prominent explanation for most coach’s preternatural inclination to slow that ball down and reconsider this whole “speed” business, but what if a team seems almost intrinsically built to give chase to the fast break, begging the viewer to ponder the dominance of every easy open-court bucket, only calmed by the completely nonsensical reluctance that this team shows to running? That team was the Miami Heat, that frustrating coach was Eric Spoelstra, and that era is over. Read More »

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