Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets on 12/31/13

Hoping to close the year out with a win, the Rockets host Sacramento, owners of the second worst record in the Western Conference.  One of the Kings nine victories came against the Rockets two weeks ago.  In Rudy Gay’s first home game for his new team, the Kings beat the Rockets by 15.  With Houston’s lack of consistency it’s become obvious that there aren’t going to be many easy victories this year.

Adding Gay hasn’t added up to more wins yet for the Kings, as they are three and seven in their last ten games (right at their season % of .310).  Hopefully this game, Parsons can hold Gay to his average shooting percentage of .415. Cousins, Thomas and Gay were the leading scorers in that game and are the teams leaders for the year.

How about the year that Isaiah Thomas is having?  He’s hitting 43% from behind the arc and averaging 19+ points a game.  The Kings point guard stands at 5’9”, which is tied with Nate Robinson for the shortest players in the league this year.  Only 24 players in the history of the NBA have stood at that height or below.  Maybe his height is one of the reasons the Kings sit near the bottom of the league in points allowed.  Though in the last game, the Kings held the Rockets to 91 points.

The battle inside with Cousins was a loss for Howard in their first matchup this year.  Cousins had more energy and power in the paint and Howard had only seven field goal attempts.  Howard has been in foul trouble recently and it has really limited his minutes.  Without Asik, the trouble is compounded for the Rockets, so Howard has to watch his fouls, especially when he is setting screens on top.  The refs are calling the moving screen so closely this year and Howard has been getting burned for an inordinate amount of these fouls.

Thank the basketball gods that the Rockets only have three games in the next eleven days.  The three opponents have a combined record of 31 and 59, and all three games are at home.  Maybe Asik and Smith’s injuries can have time to heal a bit.  Reports are that Smith could return Friday against the Knicks, but there is no timetable yet for Asik’s return.  Maybe the nightmare against OKC can recede from memory some with a win.

Watching the Rockets this year is like watching a pendulum.  For a little while it looks really good (leading the Spurs wire to wire), and then a game like the OKC vanquishes all hope.  The Rockets will get on a win streak against marginal teams, then they will get beat handily by the worst the NBA has to offer.  Even when the Rockets win, often they play so horribly in the first three quarters it’s painful to watch.  I will say they do look like they are getting better about possession by possession basketball at the end of close games.  They are able to tighten up the defense another notch, lower the silly turnovers and score in many different ways, even when they’ve been missing shots the whole game.

The Asik predicament is a constant burn.  Wouldn’t it be great if he would speak to the media and let us know what is going on?  Instead we look toward another trade deadline.  If he doesn’t get traded in February, we’ll keep talking about it through the off season.  How would the Rockets differ if Asik was playing?  Would the pendulum center?  Always hoping to achieve that level of dominance, Rockets fans still fantasize about the future.  We’re slightly closer, ever so slightly closer.

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Total comments: 29
  • linonlyfan says 7 months ago

    But then the big issue is McHale was part of the reason Howard signed here? Or at least part of the reason, maybe a non issue if say we can land a coach with serious credentials (Phil Jackson? Or is he over the hill?). I think Howard needs to take the big brother approach now and turn Harden's ear a bit. I dunno, I see situations like this all the time in normal life without the bright lights and its a huge step to be The Man. Despite the fairly interesting roster, its super young and the only oldie Garcia didn't exactly come from a winning environment. That puts the onus 100% on Howard to be the man, and I guess that post press conference is a start. Hope he has learned enough from all the madness from the Orlando please fire SVG, trade me, to leaving LA to be the leader.

    Yeah think Harden is a generational talent who can't be traded. Lets hope he has the maturity to develop.

  • Rahat Huq says 7 months ago

    they'd change coaches before trading harden. he's one of the major problems with this team but also a pretty much irreplaceable offensive talent.

  • Cooper says 7 months ago Couldn't imagine a team offering the right deal for harden. And I think it will take a series loss in the playoffs for Harden to realize hero ball isn't the way to go in most end game situations. There's only so much coaches can say before they get tuned out and Howard is really the only player with the pkayoff credentials to tell harden what's what but he isn't one for confrontations.
  • linonlyfan says 7 months ago

    Yes, Jones does this amazing blitz of the PnR which helps tremendously.

    For the Harden ISO haters, check out this crazy prediction

    Strauss: The Rockets will trade James Harden. He's bad at defense and they care about things others don't seek to quantify. I could see Houston trading Harden for some depth and high draft picks.

    Who knows, maybe Lin's "I do what my coaches tell me and shut up and get better" ends up with him being on the team longer than Harden???

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/5-on-5-140101/nba-predictions-2014

    *I don't agree with this prediction and think the author put it out there to generate buzz.

  • TeamBall says 7 months ago

    TJ was great help to Lin during last a few games. He can switch pretty quickly. Parsons and Garcia might want to do it but I doubt they can move back to their guy as quick as TJ did.

    If even Casspi can do it......

  • Richards says 7 months ago

    Lin actually benefited from a good coaching change on defense regarding PnR.

    Rewind and take note, TJones, Casspi came out to slow down Isaiah for 2 seconds to let Lin catch up. Parsons and Garcia are not doing this poking defense just yet.

    TJ was great help to Lin during last a few games. He can switch pretty quickly. Parsons and Garcia might want to do it but I doubt they can move back to their guy as quick as TJ did.

  • Richards says 7 months ago

    A few thoughts-

    - Why coaches did not address ISO heavy and low percentage chuck in crunch time

    - Why didn't they confront superstars like any others

    - You preach team ball and gave blind eyes to stars when they played selfish

    - This ain't happened once, we have seen it enough

    - Should player be accountable for selfish play? Subsequently, should coaches be accountable for not addressing the issue with superstars?

    - Another is three ball tactic (this is on both Coaches and Morey)

    - Morey just tweeted and McHale preached ball security and not turning the ball over

    - Shooting too much bad three balls give up ball possession

    - Which is better: good long 2 ball vs bad 3 pointer

  • TeamBall says 7 months ago

    I know I'm a LOF, but I actually thought Lin did ok on Isaiah today. I saw lots of good positioning and recovery from screen and rolls. I was coming in with a feeling a quick small guard like Isaiah would run circles around Lin.

    Lin actually benefited from a good coaching change on defense regarding PnR.

    Rewind and take note, TJones, Casspi came out to slow down Isaiah for 2 seconds to let Lin catch up. Parsons and Garcia are not doing this poking defense just yet.

  • BrentYen says 7 months ago

    16 ASTs was also partially because the shots were not going in I think. same game with the same passes can be easily become a 25 Asts game if they made more shots. Although 25 might be still less than ideal, so some changes are still needed.

  • thejohnnygold says 7 months ago

    I agree with some of what has been said...I'd just like to point out that we shot 7-28 from three. Casspi and Harden were 6-12 and the rest of the team shot 1-16. Let that sink in. We basically lost by one possession if you don't count the late game free throws they got. That 1-16 is an outlier as we rarely shoot that poorly. Yes our offense and defense need work from the coaches and players, but we lost this game due to poor shooting from 3 and from the free throw line. Either of those wins us the game. Yes, better plays and better execution will get us better looks and should see an improvement in percentages, but the bottom line for this game is we weren't knocking down the shots we had and they were.

    We had 16 assists for the game as a team. I do agree that this needs to be addressed. Time to watch Hoosiers again.

    I'd like to direct some attention to a positive take away from this game. Terrence Jones! I am really excited about this guy's future. His confidence continues to grow and he looks to be an ideal defender to pair with Howard. 12 pts (6-10 fg), 11 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 4 blk. When Larry Sanders and Serge Ibaka posted numbers like this they were hailed as future stars....who thinks we've got our own version with better handles? I do! B)

    His consistency is improving. His numbers will fluctuate due to his role and the guys around him. It's hard to maintain double-digit rebounds playing next to Dwight, but he is a solid rebounder and seems to enjoy going up to get it in traffic.

  • rm90025 says 7 months ago

    OK so got a breakdown on the Suns

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P06gtSjmFy8&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLpIcK3MilCnZA9oQr9pjR4zFw6X2zjP_2

    I think the big difference at least on offense for the Suns is that Channing Frye the screen setter is a big big threat from 3. This means they have 4 options vs 3 with the Rockets. (big man roll to hoop, big man pop to 3 pt line / midrange, little man drive to hoop, little man takes 3 pt shot). Big men don't like to chase outside so this is something of a structural advantage to the Suns that they are exploiting well. I think not having a clear ISO threat also helps because the ball moves a bit better (small dig).

    With the Rockets everything that happens is going to the hoop generally, especially with Harden shooting 30% in Dec from 3. I think McHale is running into the same issues of playing Lin and Harden together that we saw early last year. Harden also needs to reshape/refine his game to work with Howard. There are a lot of nuances to PnR that take a lot of time to learn - Slip screen, change to post action, slow drive for lob pass etc. I hope coaching staff and players understand where they are in terms of progression and make a good effort to learn to use Howard better. This is a process, so please no overreactions.

    I also saw Howard kick the ball out and aggressively repost only for the guard (i think it was Lin) to give up on a reentry and swing the ball around. I think the Detroit game was good because yeah, we now know that Howard can own his man one on one, but now the team needs to learn how to help him own when the defence is a little better.

    Also do you guys notice that defences key in on the Rockets unwillingness to shoot mid range jumpers? I feel like opposing defenses are now chase the 3 point line and collapse the paint with no real action in between. I think the aggression on close-outs is making the Rockets shoot a little worse from 3 and pump fake a bit mor

    If you throw out November of 2011 when Lin was recovering from surgery and adjusting to Harden, the Harden-Lin backcourt dominated quality teams in a number of contests. That team, which was more limited in talent than this one, beat playoff teams likeNY, LAC, OKC, MEM, DAL, CHI, GS (3x) and others on their way to an unlikely playoff appearance. What happened last year is that McHale(and I believe Sampson)for some reason missed whatwas happening on the court and didn't believe in the results. Probably because Lin, though effective to outsiders, wasn't fitting the role that they had envisioned.In my view, he improved on their vision and showed that if you have 2 penetrating guards who can beat their guy off the dribble and get to the line you are essentially unguardable if you have shooters. That isn't Houston's philosophy, though. I think they'restarting to realize thata Harden-centric team isn't going to get them to a top 4 spot in the West. They're too easily guardable as you point out because teams are attacking the 3 pt. line. We'll see if they refocus more towards Dwight Howard.

  • thenit says 7 months ago I'm not advocating that we will be better without harden to clarify. If we are going to be successful it will depend on hardens development from going from 15th best player to top 5 .
  • thenit says 7 months ago

    One thing I've noticed is that ball movement always seems to improve if Harden sits out. Then when he comes back it will usually stay good for a few games, but isolations will gradually creep back in.
    Maybe what this team needs is a Harden detox every once in a while, just to get that ISO poison out of their system. Hopefully a couple of days off will help with that.
    ST


    Agree with this assessment. We are just play better D and move the ball better without harden. It works better without harden against lesser teams, but I if we are going anywhere we need harden to commit to team ball and D. Even against okc he went and tried to guard KD which I thought wow he is trying oil lead by example but he just played matador D on KD on those possession where KD just blew past him for easy dunks.
  • Sir Thursday says 7 months ago One thing I've noticed is that ball movement always seems to improve if Harden sits out. Then when he comes back it will usually stay good for a few games, but isolations will gradually creep back in.

    Maybe what this team needs is a Harden detox every once in a while, just to get that ISO poison out of their system. Hopefully a couple of days off will help with that.

    ST
  • linonlyfan says 7 months ago

    OK so got a breakdown on the Suns

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P06gtSjmFy8&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLpIcK3MilCnZA9oQr9pjR4zFw6X2zjP_2

    I think the big difference at least on offense for the Suns is that Channing Frye the screen setter is a big big threat from 3. This means they have 4 options vs 3 with the Rockets. (big man roll to hoop, big man pop to 3 pt line / midrange, little man drive to hoop, little man takes 3 pt shot). Big men don't like to chase outside so this is something of a structural advantage to the Suns that they are exploiting well. I think not having a clear ISO threat also helps because the ball moves a bit better (small dig).

    With the Rockets everything that happens is going to the hoop generally, especially with Harden shooting 30% in Dec from 3. I think McHale is running into the same issues of playing Lin and Harden together that we saw early last year. Harden also needs to reshape/refine his game to work with Howard. There are a lot of nuances to PnR that take a lot of time to learn - Slip screen, change to post action, slow drive for lob pass etc. I hope coaching staff and players understand where they are in terms of progression and make a good effort to learn to use Howard better. This is a process, so please no overreactions.

    I also saw Howard kick the ball out and aggressively repost only for the guard (i think it was Lin) to give up on a reentry and swing the ball around. I think the Detroit game was good because yeah, we now know that Howard can own his man one on one, but now the team needs to learn how to help him own when the defence is a little better.

    Also do you guys notice that defences key in on the Rockets unwillingness to shoot mid range jumpers? I feel like opposing defenses are now chase the 3 point line and collapse the paint with no real action in between. I think the aggression on close-outs is making the Rockets shoot a little worse from 3 and pump fake a bit more.

  • rm90025 says 7 months ago



    I am a Lin fan but if the issue in this game was "not going back to what worked", then a large part of the responsibility should be on the PG. Lin was sitting the first half of the 4th quarter so I don't know if AB was also guilty of not going to Howard. Lin came in and contributed a few points right away, but I expect him to be smart enough to be the floor general. He should have the idea that he needed to mix up the attack tactics coming down the floor each time. He should shoulder the responsibility and not cop out by telling himself that the Coach didn't tell me to run it through Howard. At this point what does he have to lose? Is he worried that McHale will bench him in favor of Canaan and AB? He needs to be more demanding of himself, to see improvements in his floor-general skills in each game. Perfecting the entry passes to Howard will extend his career, just passively handing it off to Harden will not. I am really quite disappointed in Lin. I hope he (not "we") - does anybody else ever notice that Harden always says that "we" don't play defense? - learns from this loss and put more pressure on himself to deliver more in 2014.

    Don't know how you can blame Lin when he is just executing what the coach wants. McHale wants the ball in Harden's hands, especially in the 4th quarter because Harden hits his free throws and is a more versatile offensive player. He wants Jeremy to play and score off the wing and to make a play with the shot clock winding down or when he is on the receiving end of a ball rotation, something which he has done exceedingly well this year. The problem is that Harden has not played well from an efficiency standpoint this year. He is not a great decision maker. He is more of a pure #2. The reason they played so well against S.A. is that Lin had the ball in his hands more and Harden was content to play more off the wing and let Howard have his touches.

  • linonlyfan says 7 months ago

    A lot of plays when the transition game is not available, Lin comes down the floor, goes to one wing and initiates a pass to Harden for a high Harden Howard pnr on other side of floor and moves away for 3pt floor spacing, which probably most can agree is possibly the best option in the half court for the Rockets (Howard straight up post up is also up there). I noticed that they have also gone to more pnr set ups vs post as well, which is something forumers have asked for and the stats has suggested works better. Maybe such a simple setup action is too easy to deny and a lot of times this breaks down quite quickly if the lane isn't spaced correctly blocking the drive or the roll. I think Harden himself said that a lot of times when the initial action breaks down the Rockets collectively don't know what to do. Not knowing burns shot clock and when your legs are tired you tend to go to what you "know" which is for Harden the ISO jack game. Maybe I need to watch some Suns games to see if Hornacek is really schooling McHale in terms of coaching.

    Another point, the pace of the game got out of hand sometime in the 1st where shots were going up with way more than 10 on the clock. I think the Rockets just can't do this right now with their freshness issues.

    Lin is doing his job as 3rd/4th option and playing acceptable defense. I think the difference in Harden vs Lin's ability at this point is clearly big enough that it makes more sense to run options 1 and 2 through Harden and Howard.

    The bench is also a little thin. Hardly any production atm and is clearly missing Lin.

  • sli says 7 months ago

    I am a Lin fan but if the issue in this game was "not going back to what worked", then a large part of the responsibility should be on the PG. Lin was sitting the first half of the 4th quarter so I don't know if AB was also guilty of not going to Howard. Lin came in and contributed a few points right away, but I expect him to be smart enough to be the floor general. He should have the idea that he needed to mix up the attack tactics coming down the floor each time. He should shoulder the responsibility and not cop out by telling himself that the Coach didn't tell me to run it through Howard. At this point what does he have to lose? Is he worried that McHale will bench him in favor of Canaan and AB? He needs to be more demanding of himself, to see improvements in his floor-general skills in each game. Perfecting the entry passes to Howard will extend his career, just passively handing it off to Harden will not. I am really quite disappointed in Lin. I hope he (not "we") - does anybody else ever notice that Harden always says that "we" don't play defense? - learns from this loss and put more pressure on himself to deliver more in 2014.

  • SDrake says 7 months ago

    First play of the game = elevator doors to get Harden an open 3. Harden doesn't shoot and everyone stands around not knowing what to do next. Result = isolation.

    Rockets are one of the league leaders in isolations but it's not by design, these isolations are a product of well designed plays being poorly executed.

    I disagree. The ISO's are initiated by Harden. Harden brings the ball across mid-court, then stands 5 feet above the top of the key dribbling the ball for 10 seconds. Then it's either Harden finishing up the play himself or passing it to someone else with 3 or 4 seconds left on the shotclock for a poor shot. Harden is the killer of ball movement. Harden gets into these ruts, especially late in close games, where he's the only player to touch the ball on an offensive possession.

  • linonlyfan says 7 months ago

    I know I'm a LOF, but I actually thought Lin did ok on Isaiah today. I saw lots of good positioning and recovery from screen and rolls. I was coming in with a feeling a quick small guard like Isaiah would run circles around Lin.

  • linonlyfan says 7 months ago

    Boogie Cousins hit Lin with a illegal screen at the 1 min mark that wasn't called. It got Isaiah open for a drive and a rolling Cousins gets the rebound and putback. But that wasn't what killed the game ultimately.

    I think though for sure perimeter defense is the main issue today. Would it be so wrong to say that Lin and Beverley are now our best perimeter defenders? Transition defense was also off from Quarter 1 and a couple of open layups resulted from bad cross matches post a transition runout by Sacramento. Im starting to see why AB is 3rd string despite looking so good sometimes on offense, he is simply too easy to abuse on the defensive end. We need Beverley back!

    Some of the Harden shots looked bad but he was hot (11-20 at one point in the 4th) and a lot of the 3's he took were behind a Howard screen. The offense I can live with but losing McLemore and Thornton multiple times on the weak side was bad. He seems to always get sucked into the strong side play.

    Anyway don't forget this Sacramento team is hot and no one could really stop Rudy Gay when he posted up. The Rockets just look beat up right now.

  • rm90025 says 7 months ago

    I don't know if McHale will last with this team. The offense is underutilizing the skillsets of its players. Phoenix is taking what Harden/Lin did for stretches last year and has improved upon it thus far. They don't have a player as good as Harden but they can beat anyone and will give both Houston and the Clippers a run for their moneyfor the #4 seed.I can't believe Howard is too happy with Harden's isolation play, but his free throw shooting is so suspect that he can't really demand more post-up. The solution is a commitment to more pick and rolls, especially in crunch time. In a game where Dwight Howard had a monster quarter, he should have more shot opportunities. In a game where Jeremy Lin is shooting 70% from the field, and playing good defense, he should see more touches in crunch time. They don't have a plan when the 3 point shot isn't falling. It's more chuck n' duck.

  • 2016Champions says 7 months ago First play of the game = elevator doors to get Harden an open 3. Harden doesn't shoot and everyone stands around not knowing what to do next. Result = isolation.

    Rockets are one of the league leaders in isolations but it's not by design, these isolations are a product of well designed plays being poorly executed.

    With all that being said, it's the defensive end where our biggest problems lie. Dwight called out our perimeter defenders in the post game interview and he wasn't wrong, Harden is our worst defender but Lin and Parsons are pretty disappointing too.

    Houston, we need perimeter defense.
  • SDrake says 7 months ago

    I'm getting so frustrated with watching this team still play the same way after signing Howard. Why sign him, if you are not going to use him. These young players have no basketball IQ if they do not realize they will not win many games if they do not use him. Not sure why the coach who was a previous big man in the league uses him so terribly. This three ball hope shot system just will not get it done. I guess when they are sitting at home when playoff time comes, management will have something to think about. I'm also guess Dwight doesn't want to look like a problem, so he just accepts this crap system and waste his time running up and down the court knowing they are going to lose. This team needs smarter players who actually want to win a championship instead of playing every game for personal stats. So damn frustrating :(

    How safe is McHale's job? The mismanagement of players is the coach's fault. It seems that McHale must be asleep some games as he's slow to react to game situations and seems incapable of fixing the problems. Morey has spent a lot of money on this team to win now. I can't see Morey being patient while this season turns into a 6th, 7th or 8th seed, a sure path for a 1st round exit. Morey wants to win this season and something will need shaken up if this team is to turn around things and get up to the 3rd or 4th seed. McHale is a problem.

  • SDrake says 7 months ago

    Why does Harden always go to ISO heroball at the end of close games? How come everyone except Harden and McHale know that Harden's ISO heroball is the least effective offense the team has? Tonight, the second Harden went to his ISO heroball, I knew the game was over.

    Is Harden incredibly selfish or is McHale incredibly stupid? Ugh!!! Throughout the inconsistencies of this season, it's been obvious the Rockets play their best when they play as a team. Get everyone involved in the offense. It's not all about Harden. Until he can abandon this selfish play, he'll never be one of the elite players in the league.

    Just totally pissed. The Rockets were in a position to have this game won early in the 4th quarter. Harden's ISO can create defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • cteach says 7 months ago I'm getting so frustrated with watching this team still play the same way after signing Howard. Why sign him, if you are not going to use him. These young players have no basketball IQ if they do not realize they will not win many games if they do not use him. Not sure why the coach who was a previous big man in the league uses him so terribly. This three ball hope shot system just will not get it done. I guess when they are sitting at home when playoff time comes, management will have something to think about. I'm also guess Dwight doesn't want to look like a problem, so he just accepts this crap system and waste his time running up and down the court knowing they are going to lose. This team needs smarter players who actually want to win a championship instead of playing every game for personal stats. So damn frustrating :(
  • Red94 says 7 months ago New post: Sacramento Kings 110, Houston Rockets 106 - Just another bad loss
    By: Forrest Walker

    2013 ends tonight, and the Rockets have to be looking forward to it. The last two weeks have seen a slew of grim losses for the Rockets during an unforgiving patch of schedule. The Rockets were put through the wringer, and in the end weren't able to hang on to win it in the last game of the stretch, a high-scoring but low-enjoyment affair between Houston and Sacramento. The Kings have been feisty as of late, and were able to beat the Miami Heat and then nearly upend the stalwart San Antonio Spurs, but the Rockets have managed to lose to the 13th seed Kings twice this season. With that dubious distinction intact, the Rockets head into the new year with a lot of questions and only a few answers.

    The biggest question might be why the Rockets go away from working plans. When Houston began feeding the ball to Dwight Howard in the post, Dwight steamrolled the Kings, especially smaller defender Quincy Acy. The Rockets scored on three possessions straight this way, then later made no effort to go back inside to Dwight. Especially during fourth quarter crunch time, the Rockets could have used some higher percentage looks, and a chance to let the other players stand still for a moment, especially when the Rockets are still clearly feeling the effects of their recent busy slate of games. They had a win in their hands, but let it slip away, and it wasn't the first time.

    The most glaring, depressing statistic came at the free throw line, with the Rockets hitting a dismal 63.6% of their 33 tries. 12 missed free throws is glaring in a 4 point loss, especially when normally-capable Chandler Parsons went 2-6. The Rockets have fallen to a desultory 29th in the league in free throw shooting, and that will absolutely have to change. Most likely, the Rockets will pick that up once their schedule evens out and they haven't played four more games than their opponents in the span of two months. Fatigue aside, the Rockets still need to punish teams for fouls, something which they haven't been sufficiently able to do. Teams like the Kings are fast and loose with physical play anyway, and missing free throws only encourages more hard fouls every trip down the court.

    One bright spot was that for one shining moment, James Harden got angry. After being called for a questionable foul, and incredulous Harden got a tech for being incredulous. For the first time in what seems like decades, Harden's body language changed from sleepy to angry, and his play improved as well. He still let his man blow by him, but at least he waited to give up until after he had failed instead of before. His shots started falling and he started attacking the basket and chasing down rebounds. His double double line included 5-11 from three point range, a season-high 38 points on 26 shots, and 10 rebounds. He also threw in 5 turnovers because it's not a Rockets game without a pile of those. Harden decided to go back to isolation ball late in the game when the Rockets became desperate, and the ensuing turnovers were little surprise.

    Terrence Jones notched a double double as well, grabbing 11 boards and scoring 12 points on 10 shots, a few on impressive putbacks. His 4 blocks were most impressive, with one of them leading to him dunking on a fast break. Jones was one of the few Rockets who looked locked in and active at all times. Jones continues to be a huge revelation for Houston, as he's an excellent fit for a team that needs athleticism and effort in the frontcourt. Without Jones, the Kings would have dominated even more.

    There's little good to take away from a game where the Rockets played decently on offense but couldn't stop the Kings from walking to the rim at the other end. The Rockets are tired, confused, and disjointed, and a lighter January schedule will give them some time to try to come up with solutions. When the Kings are scrapping out wins on your home court, when lower seeded teams consistently push you to the brink, and assumed lottery teams like Phoenix are passing you up in the standings, it's time to take some stock of things. The Rockets are ready to say goodbye to 2013. It's been a long road full of great times, but 2014? 2014 is going to be much better.

  • miketheodio says 7 months ago

    ok that is definitely NOT how you respond after a 30 point blowout from OKC. this team has mental problems. focus and discipline.

  • Cooper says 7 months ago Still incredibly inconsistent.