The Daily Blast – March 19, 2013

Broken – Last night, the Heat surpassed the 07-08 Rockets’ 22 game winning streak by defeating the very team that ended Houston’s run. Long live the King.

All That Power – Despite Sunday night’s drubbing at the hands of Golden State, Houston held steady at 10 in Marc Stein’s power rankings. They slipped a spot in John Schumann’s rankings:

The Rockets continue to tread water, and Sunday’s game against the Warriors was a bad time for both Chandler Parsons (2-for-13) and Donatas Motiejunas (2-for-11) to go cold. That one could have put them in sixth place in the West, but now Wednesday’s game against the Jazz could possibly put them in ninth, with tougher opponents (Spurs, Pacers, Grizzlies and Clippers) still to come this month.

Fortunately, as soon as Schumann wrote that, Utah and L.A. went ahead and lost last night.

New Friend – Seerat Sohi at Hardwood Paroxysm digs down into the life and game of Donatas Motiejunas, and uncovers that D-Mo has another nickname, “Doncé.” Also, he’s playing well:

Along with his rapid ascension into becoming a League Pass cult favorite, D-Mo’s work in the confines of the Small Sample Size Theatre has been impressive. With Motiejunas, the Rockets’ starting lineup currently sports an otherworldly 23.8 net efficiency rating in 143 minutes played. That’s second in the NBA among active starting lineups that have played over 100 minutes together. Additionally, he’s also featured in six of the Rockets’ best three-man lineups and the Chandler Parsons/Motiejunas duo’s 18.4 net rating is the best on the team. It’s easy to chalk up the impressive nature of these numbers as a result of playing with the Rockets’ best players, but that can’t explain why he leads the team in the ever unreliable +/- stat, at 12.3. Nor can it explain how the same starting lineup with Patrick Patterson had a -1.1 rating and a 4.6 net rating with Morris.

Free Doncé!

Old Friend – Checking in with Luis Scola, his adjustment to life in Phoenix hasn’t been all kicks and giggles.

Scola is averaging the least playing time (26 minutes, 11 seconds entering Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers) since his rookie season in 2007-08 with Houston, when he seized the starting power-forward job midway through the year and never again came off the bench for the Rockets.

With the Suns struggling to forge an identity under interim coach Lindsey Hunter, Scola’s role often has been reduced as Hunter experiments with different rotations. The 6-foot-9-inch Argentinian admits to feeling discouraged at times.

“It’s hard for me. It’s hard,” Scola said. “It is (frustrating), but I try to use that frustration to work a little harder. Just try to stay ready and in shape.”

To sum up Scola’s career to date: he was brought to Houston to play with Yao, and Yao’s feet fell apart. He went to Phoenix to play with Nash, and Nash went to L.A. (and Gortat got injured). He’s the anti-Derek Fisher–the complimentary player who never ends up in the right situation.

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