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Hello, it’s me, the geeky numbers guy. You may remember me from such Houston Rockets blogs as… this one. I’ve been MIA because I quit my job, traveled abroad for three months, was offered a job while I was traveling, and am now in the process of moving to Paris, France. I’ll be more active once I’m settled in Paris, but while I’m waiting for my visa I thought it was time to check in here.

It appears that I’ve missed a very underwhelming season from the Houston Rockets. Clearly this is because last year’s success was solely due to Morey’s team reading my posts and implementing every one of my suggestions. Without my posts this year, the Rockets have dissipated like a fart in a strong wind. Good thing I’m back, now! And I have a few (very long) thoughts about what has transpired thus far.

Sorry everyone, but the Rockets were probably lucky last year

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in essays

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As I think we all know by now, the Houston Rockets’ season hinges on their ability to hustle and communicate on defense.

Well, after not doing that for about a 12 to 15 minute stretch from the second to the third quarter, things changed and the Rockets started to care on the defensive end. The result was that the Utah Jazz went from scoring 37 points in the second quarter to 33 points in the second half.

A lot of that just has to do with the fact that the Jazz as currently constructed, with injuries to Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, and others, just are not a very good team. That they are still the eighth seed in the West is a testament to how bad the bottom of the conference is right now.

There were also some controversial officiating moments at the end, particularly this non-call that may have tied the game. But the reality is that for once, the Rockets played defense, stopped giving up boards, and clawed their way back from a 15-point deficit to win the game.

And a lot of that came from one rotational change.

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in game coverage

Where do the Houston Rockets go from here?

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Who would have ever dreamed that on January 3, 2016, the Rockets of Houston would sit at 16-19?  Had you told me, I’d have assumed that it could only be that James Harden had gone down.  Even an injury to Dwight Howard couldn’t have sunk this roster this fast.  But here they are, in 2016, clinging to the 8th seed, sandwiched in the standings between Utah and Portland, two franchises in flux, with no aspirations above rebuilding their programs. Golden State and San Antonio both, sit predictably at the head of the class, in the air Houston had assumed they’d occupy.  The Thunder and Clippers both are peaking, each having turned it on of late, sort of.  And Memphis is in 6th, not too surprisingly, its time having clearly passed, but still grinding away at .500.  Dallas, somehow, with that roster, cobbled together in the 11th hour, is at 19-15, proof and testament to the importance of coaching in the NBA game.  The dregs are the dregs, but those teams weren’t meant to be good anyway, and are looking ahead to June.

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in essays

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The Houston Rockets are broken. They’ve lost four in a row, and each one looked more pitiful than the last. Whatever scant chemistry they displayed against the Spurs on Christmas appears to be completely gone, and with it any reason to hold out hope for the team. The compact is sealed and whatever monkey’s paw granted two superstars to Houston is now balled up in a malevolent fist. The San Antonio Spurs, professionals they are, granted the Rockets a swift death in the second half. The first game of the new year brought no new beginnings for Houston, just a painful moment of clarity.

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in game coverage

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As the Houston Rockets lose again, we have to understand that everything in this world has its weakness. For Superman, it is Kryptonite. For Samson, it was losing his hair. For Stockton and Malone, it was Jordan and Hakeem.

And for the Houston Rockets, the great, terrifying bane which defeated this team was…the simple backdoor cut. Oh, and general ball movement. When one Golden State Warrior player (Draymond Green) has almost as many assists as the Rockets, you are probably not going to win the game.

Oh, for crying out loud, why am I doing this? Look, it’s New Year’s Eve. Let’s cut to the chase and sum up this game and this season with a few simple images.

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in game coverage

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