By: mitchell felker
Weekly Rank - Marc Stein's newest edition of ESPN's Power Rankings is out, with the Rockets dropping one spot to number nine.
Maybe this will be the week that the Rockets dodge an injury curveball after Chandler Parsons was unexpectedly forced to miss three games with a sore knee last week. Another problem in Houston: At a mere 13-11 against the rest of the West, they're living off an 11-2 record against the East.
The injury to point guard Eric Bledsoe slowed the Suns down enough to drop back below the Rockets, but the Clippers and Raptors,who are still white-hot since the Rudy Gay trade, jumped them since last week. CP3's injury should make that spot a tenuous one though.
The record against the West is worrisome, but with tilts against OKC and Portland coming up, the Rockets will have a chance to test their meddle against the elite of the conference.
...But teach a man to fish - Jonathan Feigen of the UltimateRockets has a piece discussing the Rockets continued struggles with feeding the big man in the post.
They bounced back on Saturday against the Wizards to at least get Howard touches inside, but the issues demonstrated the ongoing difficulties teams have getting the ball inside with so few post players in the league.
“Feeding the post started being a lost art when the centers started shooting 3s,” McHale said. “You can trace it back to that"..."Playing with good post feeders is much easier. You position. They adjust the ball to you. They change your angles. Right now, we’re struggling with that mightily and I know it’s frustrating to Big Fella."
Dwight has denied getting frustrated over the lost art of the entry pass so far, but anyone who has tuned into a Rockets' game this season has seen Howard's body language after another failed attempt tell otherwise. Chandler Parsons seems like he has some chemistry with D-12 when it comes to the two-man game. And (somewhat) surprisingly Terrence Jones has shown a propensity to snatch a defensive rebound, ignore James Harden and the other guards and streak down court only to find Howard for the easy bucket. Jeremy Lin has no problem finding his big men after making chaos in the paint, but even he hasn't shown any consistency getting Howard easy catches on the block.
The Rockets didn't seem like they had any trouble getting Dwight the ball last night against the Celtics, but Boston isn't exactly stout in the middle either. And seeing as none of the Rockets' players have ever really played with a big man of Howard's stature, common sense would say that this problem will dissipate the more the guys play together. But until then, someone get the big fella a catcher's mitt.
Twitter me this, Batman - As I noted in last Thursday's Rockets Daily, James Harden had the best three-game scoring run of his career. Well, it turns out that it wasn't just a personal best for the Beard himself, but the best stretch for any Rocket since THE Rocket.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 9, 2014
Lastly, while in Reno for the D-League Showcase, Marc Stein spotted a couple little kids rocking jerseys of a certain ex-player for the Reno Bighorns. While he was unable to get a picture at the time, he promised he'd try and get a shot of them for his twitter followers. Well, someone out there had his back.
— NBA D-League (@nbadleague) January 9, 2014
Game recognize game.