With the general reaction to the disappointing defeat on Thursday, one must always put things in perspective and remind himself that it was one game. One game with disappointing effort and a huge amount of problems, but one game nevertheless. Houston will attempt to regroup from the loss against one Los Angeles team by facing the other, stronger team – one which has already inflicted an even more devastating defeat against the Rockets, but has had problems themselves during the early regular season.
The season has only just begun. We’ve been waiting for it so long, we’ve had our fingers quivering over the trigger for so many months which feel like decades now that we’re treating the inch it’s moved along like it’s a year. Like it’s worth all the symposiums we’re so eager to perform on who’s good, who’s bad, what the game has come to, how it will all end up.
Me, you, all of us: please, kindly, hold that phone. Most of the serious title contenders are flopping about, matriculating into their strongest sets while the stakes are low. Most of the best players are wise to take their injury seats in this stretch of relative trivium, too. The games count now, yes, but not as much as finding the right form will count come February, March, April.
That said? Let’s dive in and pound the gavel on what we’ve seen. It’s just more fun this way.
Every Friday all season long I’ll be ranking every active player on the Houston Rockets based on his performance from the previous week. If you missed the first installment, here you go.
13) Donatas Motiejunas: When Dwight Howard signed with Houston, I imagined Donatas Motiejunas doing cartwheels in his living room. Playing beside a dominant defensive/rebounding center would take so much pressure off the second year forward in both those areas, allowing him to bloom as a scoring forward. This has not happened.
Along with Terrence Jones, the Rockets picked up Motiejunas’ third year option on October 30, but after struggling to make defensive rotations over and over again in the preseason, he’s hardly played in games that matter. Nine minutes. One point.
12) Terrence Jones: I don’t have much to say about Jones that wasn’t just said about Motiejunas, but at least the former Kentucky Wildcat is wandering on the court in non-garbage time minutes. Unfortunately, he’s yet make a positive play when he’s out there. He isn’t strong enough to guard anyone large the post (Derrick Favors was not gentle), and plays pick-and-roll defense like a cat trying to escape a car wash. But he’s athletic and young, so there’s plenty of time. [read more…]