If you want to sneak up on a better team, don’t throw the basketball at their head first. The Brooklyn Nets learned that the hard way after a sudden and unexpected altercation erupted four minutes into the game. Kevin Garnett took exception to Dwight Howard’s play under the rim and gave Howard a bit of a shove, the beginning of an exchange that included a headbutt from Garnett. Kevin Garnett walked around the court shouting (and being held by various players) before the altercation finally ended. When the dust settled, Garnett was ejected and Howard was given a technical foul. Then the rest of the dust settled, and James Harden was standing atop the rubble of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Rockets might have been vulnerable to a bit of ennui, just complacent enough for a veteran team with a veteran coach to get the better of. We’ll never know if a languid Houston team might have fallen, because Kevin Garnett woke the beard, and sometimes the beard eats you. The Nets were scoring at a mighty clip to begin the game, and actually hung around for a good while. In the second half, however, the Rockets slammed the door shut quickly, calmly, and directly on the head of an already hurting Nets team. The game tightened up significantly in garbage time, which lasted nearly the entire fourth quarter. It was a tremendous blowout, which is the best possible way to curtail minutes for the starters.

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in game coverage


Rockets Roundup: 01/12/15

A quick and digestible look at the most top-of-mind Rockets news of the past few days.

Houston Chronicle. Road has been kind to Rockets so far this season.

“When the Rockets boarded a New York-bound plane on Sunday afternoon, they were relaxed, calm and ready. It’s just another road trip – this one to Brooklyn on Monday night and Orlando on Wednesday. For the Rockets, the road has been a good place, as they have one of the league’s best road records – 13-5 – headed into this trip…”

Hardwood Paroxysm. The Houston Rockets, We Can Dance if We Want To.

“..The problem extends, to a certain degree, to this entire Houston Rockets team. They chase offensive excellence with a plan to exploit marginal efficiencies over and over and over again. The aggregate can be worth the carefully controlled effort, but it makes for a mountain of drab possessions to watch. Dwight Howard contributes on offense in his own way but is an enormous impediment to movement and flow. They have no point guard to speak of, at least not in the traditional primo-passing, floor-conductor sense…”

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in columns

NBA: Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs

If your team runs an offence that features a heavy dose of post play, then one thing you’re going to need in your playbook is something to counter teams who try to front your star big man on the low block. Rockets fans from the days of Yao Ming will remember just how frustrating it was to watch teams unable to get the ball to him in the post because of just this strategy. McHale and the Rockets coaching staff have got the team using a high-low action to beat the fronting defender, but sadly it has not been a complete success so far. In this article, I will breakdown what the action looks like and why it doesn’t always work.

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in essays

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The Red94 Podcast: Episode 67

In today’s episode, Rahat and Forrest Walker took reader questions.

in multimedia

Screenshot 2015-01-11 13.54.59

To begin, it’s interesting to note that despite a disappointing stretch that included an obliteration at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans, the Rockets have licked their wounds and sit again at third in the treacherous Western Conference.  One should expect Houston to maintain this current pace as the recent losses were probably a direct result of the integration of Josh Smith and the accompanying confusion it caused.  The Warriors probably will run away with the conference, much to the delight of the national media.  Glancing lower at the standings, as has been my routine, the Pelicans have managed to stay alive in the race, though no one expects that team to beat out both Phoenix and the Thunder.  With the arms race escalating (Memphis became even more terrifying with its acquisition of Jeff Green), I fully expect Daryl Morey to cash in on what has to be considered the most valuable draft pick remaining on the trade market (in New Orleans’ lottery pick).  But for what?  Surely Phoenix is in buy mode with its addition of Brandon Wright.  And lastly of interest is the Thunder’s stagnation: most felt they would have climbed to sixth by now, and continued to climb; on the contrary, Oklahoma City appears to be in a dogfight with Phoenix.

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in from the editor

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