The Daily Blast – March 18, 2013

Neck and Neck – Since Saturday, the Lakers, Jazz and Warriors have won, and the Rockets have lost a game that gave them the chance to catapult into 6th place. That’s bad for the Rockets’ playoff chances any way you slice it. Monday feels a little more like Monday than usual.

How Good? – Hardwood Paroxysm dissects the statistical anomaly that was the Rockets’ win over the Timberwolves on Friday. The team erased a 20-point deficit for the first time ever in the Toyota Center. The gem from this article was the revelation that no one hits more threes and free throws combined than James Harden:

For the second time in three games, James Harden attempted 10+ three pointers and 10+ free throws, something he hadn’t done once in his career prior to this stretch. Is it possible that Harden is the most complete (not the best but the most complete) scorer in the NBA? He’s more consistent from distance than LeBron and he attacks the basket better than Durant. At 23 years old, Kobe Bryant averaged a similar number of points (25.2 as compared to Harden’s 26.2), but he shot 25% from distance. Harden’s ability to get to the rim is highlighted by his 10 FTA per game and the fact that no player averages more FTM+3PM (11.0).

Twitter Beef – From the Chronicle:

Warriors coach Mark Jackson praised the Rockets’ Chandler Parsons, especially citing his versatility on both ends of the floor. He added, however, “He probably should just stay off Twitter.”

After the Rockets’ 140-109 win against the Warriors, Parsons had tweeted one of Jackson’s catch phrases, “Hand down, man down.”

Sunday night’s game led to some wonderfully catty chatter on Twitter (unfortunately, Jackson removed his original tweet from his feed):

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Priceless. Is there a better budding rivalry in the Western Conference than Rockets-Warriors right now? The only one I can think of is Lakers-Clippers, but that one’s mostly contrived by the shared real estate–not from any real hate. I’m hoping for a miracle to bring these teams together in the playoffs.

Got any sweet links or suggestions? Email them to [email protected] or message John Eby on Twitter @EbyNews.

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