Free Terrence Jones – An open letter to Kevin McHale:
I know you’re facing some tough decisions right now. We all know the Asward/Howsik lineup isn’t really working, and the fact that neither Casspi, Garcia nor Parsons can hit a three has made it even harder to know which lineups actually work. That’s why I was so glad to see you play Terrence Jones for 32 minutes on Monday. Sure, it took Garcia getting the flu to make that happen, but I appreciate your boldness nonetheless.
I also know you’re all about playing veterans who you can trust, and Francisco Garcia is the consummate pro and all that. He always knows where to be. But listen, none of that matters with Terrence Jones. Once he figures out where to go, he’s already there. Garcia can’t do that. Casspi can’t do that. Terrence Jones just did; now he’s blocking your shot.
You need a second guy on the floor who is so physically similar to Dwight Howard that opposing offenses second-guess every step toward the paint (seriously, slap some red sleeves on that man and you’ll really mess with some heads). You need a guy who can be lost half the time he is on the court, yet still lock down Rudy Gay, grab 10 boards and block four shots. You need someone who is too worried about keeping his spot in the rotation to be telling his superstar teammates what they need to do differently after every timeout. You need someone who keeps opposing coaches guessing. You need someone who can grow. You need Terrence Jones.
Free Terrence Jones, coach. Let him spread his considerable wingspan and fly.
All That Power – It was not the best week for the Rockets, power rankings-wise. Marc Stein dropped the Rox seven spots, and who can blame him?
The honeymoon tied to the Rockets’ first 3-0 start since 2008-09 ended with the thud of all those missed Dwight free throws against the Lakers. Helping Houston rationalize a tough week is the acknowledgment that a dinged-up Harden (26.5 percent on 3s) hasn’t hit top speed yet.
Houston fared a little better in John Schuhmann’s rankings on NBA.com, dropping six spots.
The Rockets have looked great in games against teams not from Los Angeles, when Dwight Howard hasn’t been shooting free throws, and when their guards and forwards weren’t getting lost defensively. But three games against the Clippers and Lakers exposed some serious flaws. They don’t play either again until January, but the defensive issues will need to be cleaned up in the meantime.
Flopping – James Harden was fined $5,000 for flopping. Per the league’s official release:
The incident occurred with 4:00 remaining in the fourth quarter of Houston’s 107-94 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Toyota Center.
The more I think about what James Harden probably would have done with that $5,000 had he not been fined, the less this bothers me.
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