A quick and digestible look at the most top-of-mind Rockets news of the past few days. Houston Chronicle. Five things we learned from the Rockets’ victory over the Mavericks
.“Rockets 99, Mavericks 94 1. James Harden saw the usual extra defensive attention and was happy to move the ball and set up teammates, finding just enough perimeter shooting for the Rockets to win even with Harden 10 points shy of his league-leading average. Harden can expect more of that treatment, but has seen it often before, making his combination of scoring and playmaking more remarkable. The Rockets, however, might need more high percentage shooting around him to go with the 3-point shooting…”ESPN Dallas. Parsons: Harden is MVP at this point
.“If Chandler Parsons had a midseason MVP vote, it would go to former teammate James Harden. ‘For sure. He’s the best player in basketball right now,’ Parsons said before his Dallas Mavericks faced Harden’s Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. ‘The things he’s doing are incredible. The scouting report is focused in on stopping him and you see he’s still getting 30 a game. It’s impressive.’ “ [read more…]
The Houston Rockets might have been sunk if the cavalry hadn’t arrived. Dwight Howard was still out with a rolled ankle, James Harden took a nasty bump to the knee, and the Dallas Mavericks were nipping at Houston’s heels all night long. The extra ounce that it took for Houston to get over the top on the Mavs came from the bench, and most notably, it came from a couple of unlikely sources. Josh Smith had easily his best game as a Rocket, and the long-missed Terrence Jones came back with a head of steam at the perfect moment.
Jones may have come off the bench, but he played 21 minutes to (temporary) starter Joey Dorsey’s 13. With another fairly reliable big man in the rotation, the load on Dwight Howard is lessened significantly, and with the Celtics next on the docket, Howard doesn’t need to hurry his return to action, especially with reports that his injury may be worse than expected. Whether Jones or current starter Donatas Motiejunas comes off the bench, tonight was a sign that the Rockets will have a deeper rotation in the frontcourt, as either of those players should feast on most bench units. 10 points on 4-8 shooting, 5 rebounds, an assists and 2 blocks is a fantastic line for his first game back, and once he’s shaken some more of the rust off, Jones’ help will be mission critical to this Rockets team. [read more…]
A quick and digestible look at the most top-of-mind Rockets news of the past few days. Houston Chronicle. Lakers can’t handle James Harden as Rockets cruise in L.A
.“As James Harden toyed with his hometown team, setting up teammates for open looks and taking a few for himself, Harden’s greatest challenge seemed to be deciding between all the ways he had to tear through the Lakers’ defense…”NBC Sports
. Did win over Lakers break Rockets out of defensive slump?
“…The obvious answer for why it looked better Sunday is that the Lakers — especially now without Kobe Bryant— are an unfocused disaster on offense. They lack quality shot creators or anyone you have to fear. Of course, the Rockets saw it as something more than that, as a springboard for themselves to get back to their identity. And when you asked any Rockets’ player about the improved defense they used some variant of the word “focus,” adding they had to do it more consistently… [read more…]
We’re in the midst of the most exciting NBA season in years. The TrueHoop Network has it covered.
- Which is less likely: a fifty point explosion or a 20/20 with assists? Aaron McGuire at Gothic Ginobili takes a deep statistical look at the respective likelihoods of Brandon Jennings’ two substantially different career-best games.
- Forum Blue & Gold assesses the Lakers’ trade assets; also, an exploration of real versus perceived value.
- Will Brook Lopez be dealt? Brooklyn’s Finest with a discussion.
- What was the best team of the George Karl era? Roundball Mining Company reflects back, with implications.
- Clipperblog has a post mortem of the Austin Rivers trade.
- Rudy Gobert has been surprisingly effective passing the basketball, per Salt City Hoops.
- Cowbell Kingdom takes aim at the team over the firing of Mike Malone.
- People are starting to rethink whether the Love-Wiggins trade was the right move. Cavs the Blog provided its own regrade of the trade.
- Bucksketball looks in on the Milwaukee Bucks’ shot selection.
- “Toronto’s style and effectiveness have dwindled over the past few weeks as their pace has quickened,” writes Raptors Republic.
- Hoop76 muses that while the Sixers might be better without Tony Wroten, they’ll also be more boring.
- Elfrid Payton is the Magic’s most important player, writes Magic Basketball.
- From Queen City Hoops: what kind of “lady” would the All-Star game be?
- Bourbon Street Shots notes that Eric Gordon has been playing far better than he had been before his labrum tear.
from the editor