The Situation – In the words of Inigo Montoya, “Lemme explain. No, there is too much. Lemme sum up.”
Only 8 Rockets practiced today. Harden (ankle), Parsons & Lin (back), Asik (thigh) and Jones (flu) all missed. #GetWellSoon
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 16, 2013
The team was also without Coach Kevin McHale, who the Houston Chronicle reports is due back on Wednesday after time off due to the death of his mother.
All That Power – The Rockets fell to 8th in Marc Stein’s Power Rankings after this week’s losses to Portland and Sacramento. Stein writes:
Houston has held it together pretty well through the Omer Asik saga, sporting a mark of 11-6 since Asik’s demotion from the starting lineup. You get the sense, though, that the other Rockets are more than ready for this thing to be over with Thursday as we’ve all been promised it will be.
The Rockets got the same no. 8 ranking from John Schuhmann at NBA.com:
On Thursday, the Rockets outscored the Blazers 66-36 in the paint … and lost. On Friday, they got outscored 66-40 in the paint by the Warriors … and won. Paint points may be overrated, but rim protection is still important, so it will be fascinating to see what Daryl Morey gets for Omer Asik this week. A first-round draft pick would be nice, but a perimeter defender would make an impact right now.
As of Monday night, the Rockets are seventh in the Hollinger Power Rankings, so they miss the Power Ranking trifecta by just one spot.
Fake It Til You Make It – Bill Simmons goes crazy with the trade machine, offering up a straight Paul Millsap for Omer Asik swap.
As Marc Stein explained on Sunday, the Rockets probably aren’t looking for a starting power forward as much as they were a month ago. Still, Millsap for Asik could be considered a godfather offer for Houston.
Ready – If you (like me) enjoy listening to David Thorpe evaluate players, and if you (like me) enjoy hearing people say nice things about Terrence Jones, then you (like me) will enjoy this TrueHoop TV video.
Not Ready – So the Rockets give up 22.5 points per 100 possessions more than usual when defending after-time-out plays, compared to how they defend typical half-court sets. There’s undoubtedly some small-sample-size noise going on, but that’s still the worst in the league, and it’s a horrible sign of how they perform in close games.
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