Rockets 108, Hornets 100

2009 December 29
by rahat huq

The Rockets won this game in the 4th quarter after nearly surrendering it in the 3rd.

After taking a 61-51 halftime lead, the Rockets were outscored 31 to 13 in the 3rd.

They then came roaring back in the 4th, outscoring the Hornets 33 to 18.

David West led all scorers with a career high 44 points.  Aaron Brooks paced the Rockets with 27.

Random Musings:

I only have a few points to make about this game.

  • David West is the guy after whom Carl Landry needs to pattern his game.  Ironic, because the latter actually has better numbers on the year, but Carl could really explode if he expanded his range out to the 3 point line and incorporated some of the moves in West’s repertoire.
  • Emeka Okafor would look really, really, really good patrolling the paint for a team built upon its defense.
  • There isn’t a guy in the league for whom I feel happier after a big shot late in a close game than Shane Battier.  I thought about this for a moment last night, and I don’t know exactly why this is the case.  Is it just that rare moment when the fusion of intangibles and actual tangibility moves me to emotion?
  • My main point:  6:31 mark in the 1st, Aaron Brooks drives baseline, kicks out to Ariza who pump fakes, and then flies in for the slam.  Late in the 4th, Brooks finds Ariza in the corner once more and Trevor hesitates before blowing past his defender for the game winning dunk.

These two sequences further illustrate and solidify my main assertion.  A slasher drives by using his speed. This is best facilitated by a rotating defense.  Where Trevor struggles is when he actually has to make a move to get around his man.

I don’t quite know why this distinction is so difficult to comprehend.  After the play at the 6:31 mark, Bill remarks “that’s what we need to see more of, that’ll bring that average up,” to which Clyde responds, “don’t settle for the first shot.  Get the shot you want.”

Actually, no.  It’s really the complete opposite.  Trevor needs to be settling for what he is given because that is where he thrives.  It is when he attempts to get a shot through his own volition when he most usually fails.

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  • Chris Paul is a magician.
  • Lars
    -I really like Emeka Okafor, I think he would be a terrific fit here even as an overpaid backup. He completely shut down Landry last night and that is something no one has done this year. A legit shot blocker is something we have been missing on this team since Hakeem left. Wouldn't he bring more value to our team than Cook/Andersen/Dorsey, I would think so.

    -I foolishly commented to myself that Chris Paul was having a quiet night and not much impact on the game. How silly I felt when I looked up and he had posted a triple double. However, I think you have to question how good Paul REALLY is since his team his healthy, they have a decent amount of talent, yet they keep losing. The old saying of "great stats, bad team" comes to mind. What a weird season we are having where I say that blasphemy, while also comment that Zach Randolph is playing like an allstar. While I won't go so far as to say Randolph is better than CP3, I will say hesistations arrise about trying to throwing everything we have at NO lure him away.
  • durvasa
    Great point, Rahat, in that last paragraph. Its something Daryl Morey commented on before the season, I think. Ariza can get by his man, but it starts with him being a threat at the 3-point line and getting his defender off-balance. It also helps to be guarded by Devin "Devin Brown Lost It!" Brown.
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