The Rockets came into New Orleans on a five game win streak, the wind to their backs and the eyes of a league on them. After 48 minutes, they left the court on a one game losing streak, looking winded. The Rockets put up their weakest scoring performance of the year as the Hornets showed tenacity and defensive prowess against a normally lethal offense. Unexpected hero Roger Mason Jr went off to bury the Rockets in the fourth quarter while James Harden barely kept his streak of 25-point games alive. [read more…]
According to Basketball Reference, Houston is the fourth youngest team in the league, with an average age of 24.5 years. Even among young teams, however, Houston’s is a special case: the Rockets are the least experienced team in the league, with the average player having just under two seasons of NBA play under his belt. How does Houston compare to other young teams in the league, both in terms of current status and future potential?
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.
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.