No Kawhi Leonard. No Stephen Jackson. No San Antonio player played over 26 minutes tonight.
And this game was over with 10 minutes left to go in the 4th quarter.
If anything could serve as a punctuation to show how far Houston has to go to reach the promised land of contention, tonight was it. San Antonio, to me, isn’t really great because of its players. Oh, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and everyone else are excellent, but it’s the concept of discipline, unity, and a willingness to work together that has made the Spurs the pinnacle of basketball excellence for almost the last decade and a half. Tonight, their ball movement and execution were as good as normal. At the 10 minute mark when they led by 30, San Antonio had 28 assists to 12 turnovers, while Houston had 17 assists to 16 turnovers. On a normal night, that alone would be enough for the Spurs to ensure the victory.
In five years of hardcore following basketball, I don’t think I’ve seen a more bizarre basketball game, whether Rockets or otherwise, in my entire life. Words fail me to describe just what the heck happened here, but I will attempt to do my best.
The first half can basically be summed up by a paragraph I wrote shortly after it ended:
In an earlier recap, I declared a 102-91 defeat against our hated rivals Utah to be a disaster and an embarrassment. Tonight’s game has taught me the valuable lesson of being cautious in using those words – because if the Utah loss was a disaster, tonight’s loss was the equivalent of the 140 car wreck that occurred in Southeast Texas during the recent Thanksgiving.
Even the first half was ridiculous, if for no other reason than that it can be summed up by “Almost every Rocket on the floor sucked, and only the scoring contributions of Mr. Toney Douglas prevented it from becoming a ridiculous blowout.” If you do not understand the peculiarities of this statement, please turn in your Rockets fancard now.
You can see some really cool things in the back of Toyota Center, after the game. That happened today. Above, Kobe chatted with Texans running back Arian Foster (along with James Harden) for a good five minutes.