Recap: San Antonio Spurs 114, Houston Rockets 92.

No Kawhi Leonard.  No Stephen Jackson.  No San Antonio player played over 26 minutes tonight.

And this game was over with 10 minutes left to go in the 4th quarter.

If anything could serve as a punctuation to show how far Houston has to go to reach the promised land of contention, tonight was it.  San Antonio, to me, isn’t really great because of its players.  Oh, Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and everyone else are excellent, but it’s the concept of discipline, unity, and a willingness to work together that has made the Spurs the pinnacle of basketball excellence for almost the last decade and a half.  Tonight, their ball movement and execution were as good as normal.  At the 10 minute mark when they led by 30, San Antonio had 28 assists to 12 turnovers, while Houston had 17 assists to 16 turnovers.  On a normal night, that alone would be enough for the Spurs to ensure the victory.

But that wasn’t all there was to it.  The Spurs got to the paint when they wanted (more on that later), rebounded, hit their open jumpers, and largely did whatever they felt like to this young, inexperienced squad.  Mr. Duncan forced Asik into easily his worst game of the season, as he began with a stretch of powerful rebounds that almost seemed to intimidate our center throughout the game.   Harden had a spectacular night with 29 points on 16 shots as his mid-range jumper returned and he drove to the line throughout the first half, but it was clear almost from the opening tipoff that he would be playing virtually alone against one of the best players in the league.  And if a 22 year old Lebron James, five years ago, couldn’t win a game in the NBA Finals against this seemingly timeless behemoth of basketball skill and dominance, I doubt James Harden could either.

Otherwise, as a whole, there’s just not much that can be said about tonight’s game.  The Spurs executed and made jumpers.  The Rockets were sloppy, disorganized, turned the ball over as they have done all season long, failed to take the ball inside, and thus got completely blown out.  Was this embarrassing?  Perhaps.  But more than anything, teams need moments like this, especially after a crazy game like against the Lakers, to calm them down and see where they need to improve.

  • The time has come, the blogger said, to talk of many things.

Of shots – and fouls – and clutch buckets –

And whether Jeremy Lin will get around to hitting a jumper sometime.

For tonight’s record, the answer is “no.”  Lin did not hit anything outside the paint tonight, which continues a fairly disturbing trend of ineffectiveness on offense without the ball, especially since Harden is just that much better at it.  While role forests at this point have been used to describe the relationship between Lin and Harden, Lin will need to adjust and adapt in that field if he is to justify the large contract that Morey gave him this summer.

  • Over the last 8 games, Marcus Morris’s field goal percentage has been a horrifying 27%, and he finally hit his first field goal this month.  I know that many are perfectly willing to shunt Morris aside for younger and more fascinating player in Jones and Motiejunas, but I think a moment needs to be taken to emphasize that this is not a good thing for Houston’s playoff hopes in the slightest.  During the timeframe of Delfino’s injury, Morris had quickly established himself as the primary scorer for Houston’s incredibly thin bench, and had also served to stretch the floor out when playing alongside the starters so that Lin, Harden, and Parsons could drive in and dish and finish as they pleased.  The rookies may be more interesting, but there is a lot to worry about whether they will be ready on both ends on the floor if they receive rotation minutes.  It should be noted that Terrence Jones took and made a 3 during garbage time, but I cannot stress how unconfident I am in that shot thanks to his peculiar release.  While Kevin Martin in his time may have shown that one does not always need to possess an orthodox form in order to shoot, he is the exception to the rule, and it should be noted that Jones’s release is rather slow unlike Martin.  Regardless, all Houston fans should definitely hope that Morris returns to being the good scorer he was, purely for the betterment of this team.
  • Daequan Cook did get injured with…something tonight ( I didn’t hear the details because I would rather not listen to San Antonio’s dreadful announcers).  However, a moment should be taken, regardless of how severe his injury is, to observe that Cook is really, really bad at this basketball thing, as he certainly likes to chuck.  Perhaps that may be the norm in garbage time, but I had hoped Cook could serve as a stop up 3 point shooter alongside Harden when we acquired him.  I doubt that is likely to happen any time soon.

View this discussion from the forum.

This entry was posted in game coverage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Login to leave a comment.
Total comments: 9
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago Lowry = No Harden
  • amacbrooks12 says 1 YEAR ago It's really a shame that it didn't work out with Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic. If we had kept either one we would be several games above .500 and we wouldn't have to worry about our PG not producing points. Both Lowry and Dragic would've played well with Harden because they don't need the ball in their hands 24/7 to score unlike Lin. Both Lowry and Dragic are also excellent three point shooters (something Lin is not and it's hurting us), and both have been putting up great numbers in points, rebounds, and assists this year. We were all right when we assumed that losing Lowry and Dragic was going to bring struggles to this team. Even Aaron Brooks would've been producing better numbers than Lin currently is, and he is actually doing quite well in SAC with all the problems and guards they have. I just hope either Lin is in a temporary slump or we find a better PG at the deadline/ FA.
  • SamC says 1 YEAR ago

    Alituro, on 08 December 2012 - 14:32 PM said:


    I think it would be wise to try and make him 6th man and start Douglas to play with Harden and the starters. While Lin has got something to prove in his pursuit of stardom, Toney knows he needs to defer to Harden and play like a true point, and I'd much rather have Douglas spotting up in the corner when the defense collapses around Harden than Lin, and he's not even that good in that situation, but Lin's shooting is deplorable.


    I wouldn't mind seeing Lin come in with the second unit but I have to disagree with you when you say Douglas knows how to defer to Harden. Douglas is a shooter. He'll jack up shots when he's hot and when he's cold and he does it when Harden is in. Douglas was so unpopular in NY because he'd jack up shots even when he was cold and continue to do it until D'Antoni would bench him. I don't have any statistics but I'm sure Douglas makes more attempts per minute than Lin. What's annoying for me as a Lin fan is the fact he's constantly standing on the 3 pt line and jacking up 3's when that's not his shot. He should drive to the basket or at least pump fake and take 2 steps closer to the basket and shoot.
  • Rahat Huq says 1 YEAR ago

    Bigtkirk, on 08 December 2012 - 16:18 PM said:


    One thing I neglected to mention is that I hope Sampson and McHale noticed how Pop uses his bench. Regardless of how much promise the Rockets have shown during the first 18 games of the season, the reality is that this is a development season for a young team. The only way to develop is to play. Playing the young bench players will result in growing pains, but it is in the best long-range interests of the team at this point.

    Very important point and something I've written about a lot. But it won't happen, simply for the same reason managers don't follow the same intersets as stockholders in any industry. Incentives aren't aligned. McHale has to think about his job and career - he's not thinking about the future of the Rockets. Popavich basically IS the Spurs, so his interests are the same as the Spurs.
  • Bigtkirk says 1 YEAR ago One thing I neglected to mention is that I hope Sampson and McHale noticed how Pop uses his bench. Regardless of how much promise the Rockets have shown during the first 18 games of the season, the reality is that this is a development season for a young team. The only way to develop is to play. Playing the young bench players will result in growing pains, but it is in the best long-range interests of the team at this point.
  • Stephen says 1 YEAR ago Three thoughts from the wreckage.

    While it was garbage time,Jones started playing w/more assurance as the 4Q went on.
    He took the ball up the court,looked to be involved in what little offense there was outside of Cook's chucking. A far cry from the scared player who was giving away the ball as if it was a boiling hot potato.
    He had a couple of nice passes,one off drive to open Douglas for a three,another out of lane to teammate who swung the ball to a more open 3pt shooter.
    Took it to the rim a few times-even if one was w/just a few seconds left-a breach of NBA etiquette :)

    Marcus Morris cannot create his own shot against any but the most hapless NBA defender.

    Worst of all was the abandonment of any motion in the Rockets offense. It returned to "get the ball on perimeter,try and get past your man,then drive into heart of the defense and hope a miracle happens".
    This is the worst possible offense for Lin as he is not a spot-up shooter and is being denied the screens to get him past his man and into open court space.
    It's the dribble-drive college offense where the other players are relegated to spot-up shooters...and the results say the Rockets are poor spot-up shooters.
    Instead of sticking Lin,Parsons,Morris and Delfino in the 3pt corner and hope their defender gets ADD and leaves them,I'd like to see a return of last season's weave. The offense where the bigs would set screens above the FT line,the wings would weave along the 3pt line and rub off the screens,opening up shooters and lane avenues-the offense that was so successful last yr.
    The one the Rockets have abandoned w/Harden on board,but that plays to the strengths of Harden,Lin and Parsons.
  • Bigtkirk says 1 YEAR ago This was Asik's first really off game of the season, and his lack of interior defense was a big factor in the Spurs getting the easy baskets they needed to open a big lead. Given his emergence last season, it's hard to remember that Lin remains a relatively iuexperienced PG by NBA standards and that he is going to endure growing pains just like all PG's do. The best thing about games such as this is that it's only one and it's time to forget it and play another.
  • Jeby says 1 YEAR ago The mental image I had going into this game was of Jack Sparrow hopelessly swinging his sword into the mouth of the Kraken.
    Kudos to James Harden for being the sword. Bigger props to the San Antonio Krakens.
  • Alituro says 1 YEAR ago Yes, this and the OKC games let us know just how far away we are from contention. The more I watch Lin, the more my suspicions about how he was brought here are verified. This had to be a directive from Les to do nothing but once again boost his teams popularity internationally, rather than a result of the complex metrics Morey employs when recruiting. How much longer does it go on? 3 years? There were good reasons why we cut him to begin with. I think it would be wise to try and make him 6th man and start Douglas to play with Harden and the starters. While Lin has got something to prove in his pursuit of stardom, Toney knows he needs to defer to Harden and play like a true point, and I'd much rather have Douglas spotting up in the corner when the defense collapses around Harden than Lin, and he's not even that good in that situation, but Lin's shooting is deplorable. Patterson needs to work on his rebounding in a BAD way, he is an excellent defender and a smart offensive player, but once a shot is jacked up, on either end of the floor, he ceases to exist. I think the biggest hole on our roster right now is at the PG position, which is a shame knowing what we had there last season. If we can fix that problem, it will go a long way to winning more games, shooting % will go up and turnovers down.