Recap: Houston Rockets 120, Chicago Bulls 97

The Rockets continue to blast opponents, beating the Bulls and the NBA’s 4th best defense in a blowout that featured a 35 point lead in the third quarter. Nate Robinson may have been able to unload 27 points in 27 minutes, but it was too little, too late. The Rockets did to the Bulls the same thing they’d done to the Grizzlies.

Everyone looked great, and except for a nasty stretch in the third when the lead shrank to 17, the team continued its remarkable progression. Houston needed a blowout win to be able to sit their starters and rest up for their game against the Timberwolves tomorrow in Minnesota. Harden continued to slice apart the paint and draw fouls at a breakneck pace. Lin kept improving, and in fact looks ever closer to the player he was last February.

In brief, every Rockets starter except Morris scored at least 20. Asik had 18 rebounds and 3 blocks. The team shot 56%, and kept the Bulls to a respectable but not great 44.6%. Not only is their running doing the trick to stymie tough defenses, but their own defense seems to be improving as well. Apart from Robinson, only Marco Bellinelli and Luol Deng cracked double digits for the Bulls, a scenario that won’t see them win many games.

The Rockets rammed the ball down the throat of the offense, leading to a flurry of layups and dunks, including a beautiful no-look pass from Lin to Douglas. They also kept their turnovers down again (10), and managed a respectable 8 steals. At times it looked closer to, 80; the Rockets nearly shut down the Bulls in the middle of the game.

46 points. 15-25 shooting. 6 rebounds. 17 assists. The backcourt duo of Lin and Harden, “Beardsanity,” is starting to look like the hurricane of effectiveness and efficiency Houston fans and Daryl Morey hoped for. Only two weeks after a myriad of questions about their ability to play together, Beardsanity is setting up shop.

The Rockets have now won 6 of their last 7 games, and won the last 4 by a margin of over 20 points per game. This team is dangerously close to looking like a legitimately good team, and won’t be able to fly under the radar much longer. They can’t keep destroying every opponent, but perhaps they can keep learning and improving. Then we’ll see what happens in April.

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  • kjunfood says 1 YEAR ago Ah so Morris does shoot the 3 better than 2Pat. Paradigm shift once again in my head haha. As far as the advanced defensive stats though, I wonder how much of that is affected by Morris having played secondary units for most of this season (as opposed to 2Pat starting). Also, I remember reading on here that part of 2Pat's defensive skill set, which seems rare, esp. for younger players, is something about his adeptness at defensive rotations, etc.?, which would not be caught by the advanced stats I presume.
  • bob schmidt says 1 YEAR ago According to http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/HOU/2013.html , Morris shoots the 3 at .398 while PP shoots it at .333 . In the area of advanced stats, Morris rates a couple of points better at defense than PP.
  • kjunfood says 1 YEAR ago Wow I hadn't realized 2Pat was shooting it at THAT high of a clip. But wasn't it mainly the corner 3? I actually don't know the answer to this, but is Morris a bit more "varied" in where he can go/expected to go to shoot that 3?
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago But wasn't Patterson shooting the 3 at a 40% clip? Why would Morris be pulling the man further out? You all know I'm as big a Morris fan as there is out there, but not sure if I can attribute this surge to that swap.
  • kjunfood says 1 YEAR ago Longtime lurker, first time poster.

    While I do agree that Morris probably stretches the floor a bit better than 2Pat, and is better offensively, aren't the Rockets the last team to need to worry about offensive production? Esp. at the expense of any defense?
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Rahat Huq, on 26 December 2012 - 19:37 PM said:


    But Patterson was spacing the floor as well.
    but morris shoots a better 3 ball which pulls the D man just a little futher out.
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago But Patterson was spacing the floor as well.
  • rockets best fan says 1 YEAR ago

    Bigtkirk, on 26 December 2012 - 17:58 PM said:


    It's also interesting that the Rockets' surge has coincided with Patterson's injury. Morris hasn't been a world beater as a replacement, but his advanced stats are far superior to Patterson's and he is within 60 minutes of so of Patterson in terms of total playing time. My sense is that this episode may usher Patterson to his proper role as an NBA player, which is as a backup big.
    I agree. this may be the beginning of the end for patterson. while morris is not as good defensively he is better offensively which is spreading the floor better which in turn is creating better shots.
  • Bigtkirk says 1 YEAR ago It's also interesting that the Rockets' surge has coincided with Patterson's injury. Morris hasn't been a world beater as a replacement, but his advanced stats are far superior to Patterson's and he is within 60 minutes of so of Patterson in terms of total playing time. My sense is that this episode may usher Patterson to his proper role as an NBA player, which is as a backup big.
  • Sir Thursday says 1 YEAR ago Since I'm in San Francisco for the Christmas period, I was able to have the novel experience of watching this game at a reasonable time of day for once. Makes a nice change to not be falling asleep at the end of the game! I thought the Bulls looked incredibly sluggish tonight - it feels as though it shouldn't be possible to run a fast break off a made basket against any half awake NBA team, yet the Rockets seemed to be able to do It almost at will. There were some gorgeous scores in delayed transition out of situations like that in the second half.

    It occurs to me that this is the most dominant stretch of basketball I've seen the Rockets play since I've been following them seriously (2-3 years). I can't recall the team stringing together a series of wins with this margin of victory, anyway. It is worth noting though that there are asterisks to be put against each of our wins in this streak though: New York had no Melo, Philly had no Holiday, Memphis were in the second night of a back-to-back and the Bulls had obviously had too much Christmas lunch (incidentally, I hate that the NBA schedules the marquee matchups for Christmas Day, as the standard of play is generally lower and it makes it less likely that we'll see the high quality game you'd get at any other time of the year. This year there were some close ones though, so maybe I'm just being a bit Bah Humbug). I might start to get excited if we can beat Minnesota in similar fashion tomorrow.

    ST
  • carlosrod says 1 YEAR ago Come on Red94 is better than this. Just read the opening paragraph and tell me this is Truehoop quality:
    "The Rockets continue to blast opponents, beating Bulls and the NBA’s 4th best offense in a blowout that featured a 35 point lead in the third quarter. Nate Robinson may have been able to unload 27 points in 27 minutes, but it was too little, too late. The Rockets done to the Bulls the same thing they’d done to the Grizzlies."

    For one, the Bulls are awful offensively, I believe you're referring to the defense. And "The Rockets done to the Bulls the same thing they'd done to the Grizzlies." I'm not any grammar nazi, but this stuff is pretty bad. In general, it's just not good writing.
  • Red94 says 1 YEAR ago New post: Recap: Houston Rockets 120, Chicago Bulls 97