Rapid Reaction: Houston Rockets 107 Portland Trailblazers 105 (OT)

Portland Trail Blazers 105 FinalRecap | Box Score 107 Houston Rockets
Luis Scola, PF 32 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +12He finished with 10 rebounds, but was neither looking for nor finding his shot all game. The rebounds are a welcome, and needed, addition to his game, though.
Samuel Dalembert, C 27 MIN | 2-5 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +3Dalembert didn’t put up 21 and 16 tonight, but his 12 rebounds, consistent defense, and clutch overtime post-up bucket delivered exactly what the Rockets had hoped for when the team signed giant Haitian.
Kevin Martin, SG 49 MIN | 8-22 FG | 12-13 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 28 PTS | -1The foul he drew on Batum in overtime said it all. Kevin Martin was aggressive all game, earning in a single game a third the number of free throw attempts he’s managed all year. If he can keep this up, the Rockets back court will indeed be as formidable as we all expected it to be.
Kyle Lowry, PG 49 MIN | 13-26 FG | 4-5 FT | 8 REB | 9 AST | 33 PTS | +11Through the first three quarters, Lowry put up 30 points on 12 for 15 shooting, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds. After the one minute mark of the 4th and through overtime, he went 1 for 11 for 3 points and two assists, further proof that basketball is a team sport, Lowry is a monster, and that he could use a little help now and again.
Chase Budinger, SF 39 MIN | 7-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | 0Budinger only scored 2 points after halftime, but the 16 he scored in the first two quarters sure were nice. If he can learn to be more consistently aggressive, he could be a genuine offensive force. (also, we’ve known this for a while now. come on, Chase. bring it like we know you can.)

Three Things We Saw

  1. Very exciting game. A good win against a formidable opponent, one which red94’s Jacob Mustafa predicted to win the West. The defense still is giving up open look after open look, but this time the Rockets hit more of theirs than LaMarcus Aldridge did of his. Houston continues its home court success.
  2. Is it me or has Kevin Martin increased his defensive intensity/hustle this season? I haven’t yet collected any stats to back this up, but more and more I feel like I notice him chasing down loose balls, jumping into passing lanes for steals, and just generally looking like he’s trying a lot. Maybe I’m wrong, but I hope I’m not. (Somebody look this up on the internet.)
  3. Batum finishes with with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks, on 6-7 from beyond the arc. If I’m not mistaken didn’t the Rockets draft Batum and then trade him for Donte Greene and Joey Dorsey? The team did flip Greene for Meta World Peace based on a single summer league game, but wouldn’t you rather have Batum now than any of those guys, none of whom are currently on the Rockets’ roster? (I guess we kind of “traded” Ron Ron for Ariza who in turn was turned into Coutney Lee. No offense to Lee, but if I were the GM, which I clearly am not, I’d trade Lee for Batum yesterday, even throw in Budinger, too.)

in game coverage
  • rh_rivera

    Second-guessing the Batum trade thing is baloney. Being a fan of one of the few teams that got to follow and actively cheer for Artest AKA World Peace was worth it. It was the right move.

  • Stephen

    No it wasn’t.

    Batum would have apprenticed under Battier and would be our starting SF.

    The traded away their 2009 First also.(I won’t go into who the Rockets would have drafted,but there were some particularly nice players taken in the next few spots.)

    W/Batum on hand the team wouldn’t have had to trade away a First to get Williams.

    To sum up the Rockets had to give up three Firsts for a 1 yr rental of Ron Artest.

    Pretty high price for one First Rd Play-Offs win.

    I understood the reasoning at the time,as the team thought they were one piece away from contending. But at the time I hated the trade and nothing since then has changed my mind.

  • Jeby

    Thought the same thing, until I saw this from Hollinger:

    “The big mystery with Batum is why he’s had so much trouble converting tremendous defensive talent into decent defensive performance. His defensive stats last season were horrible — Synergy rated him the second-worst small forward…”

  • rh_rivera

    agree to disagree. that 7 game series against the lakers was the highlight of the Yao era. wouldn’t have happened w/out Artest and Batum wasting away on the bench. BTW, Hindsight is 20/20. Had Yao not got hurt in game 3 of that series they would have beaten the Lakers. They had no answer for him.

  • wtflife

    Did we trade Batum expecting to actually play Donte Green, or did we know we were getting Ron Ron? I don’t remmeber how it went down, but as mentioned below Ron Ron made it possible for that Lakers series to happen and while it ended tragically we were a legitimate threat till Yao went down.

  • rahathuq

    I think they thought Greene would have more trade value than Batum but not necessarily for Artest.

    While it turned out bad in the long-run, I can’t blame the team for that move. They were in win-now mode with Yao and McGrady and didn’t have time to wait around for a rookie to develop.

  • Zubby

    I wasnt upset about the trading Batum…

    Now the Gay for Battier trade tho i love Shane… was just horrible!

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Houston Rockets vs Portland Trail Blazers – January 14, 2012 7:00PM