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@  jorgeaam : (31 January 2014 - 03:06 AM) Also, Davis is a sophomore! Just showing how much of a beast he is
@  jorgeaam : (31 January 2014 - 03:06 AM) Well, yes, but it's incredible to think Nowitzki was selected and he wasn't, only cat. he's better is points, and not by much (1)
@  rocketrick : (31 January 2014 - 02:53 AM) Anthony Davis could still be on the All-Star team as a replacement for Kobe is yet to be determined
@  jorgeaam : (31 January 2014 - 01:54 AM) Anthony Davis not on the all-star team
@  jorgeaam : (31 January 2014 - 01:54 AM) Wow
@  rocketrick : (30 January 2014 - 11:43 AM) Charlotte's bigs were Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson. McHale literally gutted it out----
@  rocketrick : (30 January 2014 - 11:42 AM) In game 2 vs Charlotte that last season, McHale had a 30 point, 10 rebound game. Charlotte'
@  rocketrick : (30 January 2014 - 11:37 AM) McHale average 10 points, 5 rebounds in his last regular season, 22 minutes per game. He scored 19 points with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in the last game he played vs Charlotte in playoffs
@  RollingWave : (30 January 2014 - 10:28 AM) McHale was bothered by very serious foot and ankle injury nearly all of his late career, he could barely walk by the end
@  RollingWave : (30 January 2014 - 10:25 AM) First time we beat Spurs / Mavs on consecutive nights in 25 years, thats right, 25 fing years
@  Dayak : (30 January 2014 - 05:36 AM) Back to back, Spurs and Mavs! I love it.
@  RudyT1995 : (30 January 2014 - 04:38 AM) Re: Mchahle's limp. It might have something to do with his playing the 87 playoffs on a broken foot.
@  feelingsuper... : (30 January 2014 - 04:29 AM) Last night the Spurs, tonight the Mavs, how sweet it is! Yessss!
@  MrLobble : (30 January 2014 - 04:26 AM) question: why does mchale always walk with a super limp like his left N*t is heavy?
@  Opasido : (30 January 2014 - 04:21 AM) Hey Mark cuban, how do you like dwight howard now
@  Opasido : (30 January 2014 - 04:20 AM) Man everything was going against the rockets at the end.. 2 3pt fouls, backcourt violation, howard goal tend, out of bound turnover with 20 secs left
@  thenit : (30 January 2014 - 04:18 AM) Closer than I wanted but DMo stepped up big
@  jorgeaam : (30 January 2014 - 04:17 AM) FSS favorite kind of game, Dallas losing against us
@  Drew in Abilene : (30 January 2014 - 04:17 AM) Back to back against San Antonio and Dallas, both games without Harden and four other Rockets, yet they somehow pull out two wins... Impressive, even if the ending of tonight's game shaved a few years off the end of my life.
@  miketheodio : (30 January 2014 - 04:15 AM) omg...

Photo

San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets on 1/27/2014


38 replies to this topic

#1 Red94

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    Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:00 PM

    New post: San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets on 1/27/2014
    By: Paul McGuire

    Barring a ludicrous collapse, the San Antonio Spurs are going to win 50 games this year, if not 55.  And yet they could very well send zero players to the All-Star game this year.  Tony Parker is currently the only Spur who seems to be likely to make it, but it seems at times that his candidacy is less about his admittedly stellar play, and more about the idea that San Antonio must have someone at the game.  Contrast that with the Houston Rockets, who will definitely have two players there in Howard and Harden, but after two disappointing defeats against the Memphis Grizzlies, must rebound against a team that is five games ahead in the standings.

    So how are the Spurs doing it?  How do they win, again and again?  At this stage in the careers of Parker, Duncan, and Ginobilli, San Antonio may not have the superstars that their peers in Miami, OKC, and even Indiana possess – but while they do not have their strengths, San Antonio seems to be a team without any real weaknesses.  They are a top 5 offensive and defensive team.  They can shoot.  Tony Parker can break down defenses, Tim Duncan and Boris Diaw are effective post players, and Manu Ginobilli has delayed retirement a tad longer with a bounce back season.  Most important of all, San Antonio is one of the deepest teams in the league.  While injuries and slumping players have forced Kevin McHale to run 8 or 9 man rotations, legendary coach Gregg Popovich can play 9, 10, and sometimes even 11 players a night depending on the matchups, even with a key injury to their starting center in Tiago Splitter.

    Houston has defeated San Antonio in both of their earlier meetings so far, and some people have gone so far as to proclaim that  those contests show that Houston would have a good chance against the Spurs in a playoff series.  Such statements are massive overreactions.  It should be pointed out that Houston outshot the Spurs from long range in both contests, even though the Spurs are one of very best shooting teams in the league and Houston is one of the worst.  And no team in the league has a greater difference between their regular season and playoff play.  It cannot be forgotten how Houston and Dwight Howard’s Lakers fought an intense battle on the final day of the 2012-13 regular season for the privilege of facing the Spurs in the first round – and the Lakers, after winning, used this “advantage” by getting pulverized for four straight games.

    In order to win, Houston must run San Antonio off the three point line, and while San Antonio is famous for their preference to get back in transition over grabbing the offensive rebound, Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones must keep an eye on Duncan, Boris Diaw, and Jeff Ayres’s effort on the boards while also staying out of foul trouble.  San Antonio has bodies to spare.  The Rockets do not.

    Rotation Spotlight:

    Tim Duncan

    Tim Duncan

    It would not be a surprise if Duncan, at the age of 37, did not make the All-NBA team this year, which incidentally was the age at which Hakeem stopped making that prestigious list as well.  After an incredible season last year, Duncan has somewhat regressed.  Part of that is due to Popovich’s program of resting as he now plays less than 30 mpg, but Duncan’s ranged game is not working quite as often as it used to, and while Duncan is a dangerous finisher and offensive rebounder, he still has a career low PER of “merely” 21.5.  Duncan is without a doubt the greatest player of his generation, but it is San Antonio as a whole which should be feared, not him.

    Tip-off is at 7:00 pm CST.  This game is on NBA TV tonight.

     


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    #2 rocketrick

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      Posted 28 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

      The game is NOT on NBA TV if Rockets fans live in the Houston region and do not subscribe to Comcast. Just saying.....
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      #3 John P

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        Posted 28 January 2014 - 02:39 PM



        ...I still fear Tim Duncan on his own...and his team. Just saying...


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        #4 feelingsupersonic

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        Posted 29 January 2014 - 12:05 AM

        So no Harden tonight and some key Spurs are missing as well.

        Also of note, the Rockets have not lost 3 in a row and the Spurs have not lost 2 in a row so something has to give as Harden said earlier today.

        I would like to see the Rockets feed Dwight with Lin as his Robin tonight. Jones and Parsons need to rebound and get out on the wings. My hope is that the Rockets have enough confidence against the Spurs that they execute defensively down the stretch. Beverley needs to pester Parker and foul trouble could break any Rocket momentum.
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        #5 SDrake

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          Posted 29 January 2014 - 02:36 AM



          Terrance Jones has been the MVP of this team so far this season. Howard and Harden get most of the attention, but without Jones, this season would be a lot worse. He's been consistent with his performances every game. He just needs to stay healthy. Another strong game tonight.


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          #6 Steven

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            Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:51 AM

            Jeremy Lin had a nice game tonight since Hardin wasn't able to go. Hopefully it shows teams what he can do when he gets to dominate the ball. Rockets are now 3-0 against the almight Spurs with the last game back in the Toyota Center. When was the last time the Rockets swept the Spurs in the regular season?
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            #7 feelingsupersonic

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            Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:17 AM

            Good win for the Rockets. Dwight steady as rock despite a rough first half offensively and Jones and Lin stepping up in Harden's absence was a good sign. I like the few plays where the Rockets got the momentum/lead with Beverley's steal/shot and Howard's dunk (Lin assisted).

            That Parson's dunk in response to Manu's dunk was a great response.
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            #8 Cooper

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              Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:22 AM

              Certainly a quality win, especially without harden and no one shooting especially well except jones. I remember during the heat spurs game Sunday Jeff van or someone mentioned the spurs hadn't beaten any of the top teams from the west if that is correct not a good sign for them over half way through the season.
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              #9 Red94

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                Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:42 AM

                New post: Houston Rockets 97, San Antonio Spurs 90 - So that's what defense looks like
                By: Forrest Walker

                The Rockets and the Spurs were in a bind. Houston hadn't lost three in a row all season, and San Antonio hadn't lost two in a row before. Either Houston was going to win and ruin things for the Spurs, or San Antonio would give the Rockets their longest losing streak yet. Given that James Harden sat out the game with a bruised thumb, and given how poorly the Rockets lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, things looked bleak for Houston. Something remarkable would have to happen for Houston to pull this off. And then that something happened: the Rockets played defense.

                This was something the Rockets had been leading up to the entire season, and their recent struggles with defensive-minded teams were a dead giveaway that they were about to lay out this development. And then, when they announced that James Harden was out to go along with Ömer Aşık, Greg Smith, Francisco Garcia and Ronnie Brewer, the pieces were all in place. The time to put all their eggs in the defensive basket had come. It turns out that those eggs hatched, or sold, or whatever it is you hope the eggs do in that idiom. Houston won again, and this time they won because they played some D.

                James Harden sitting isn't really a coincidence. He's a flamethrower on offense but takes a more relaxed approach on the other end. Yes, his poor defense was part of the equation, but missing his offense made the team need to play the other end of the floor even more. It's also no coincidence that a Spurs team missing Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili for half the game would do poorly on offense. Comparing injury reports is a fool's errand with these two teams, however, so it's best just to take a solid win for what it was.

                The Rockets were willing to switch on some pick and rolls and not on others, and it was good to see them rotate with more confidence. Shooters still got open and mismatches were still found, but Houston was largely able to avoid punishment on those fronts. Tony Parker got a mismatch with Dwight Howard seemingly forty times during the game, but was unable to capitalize. The Rockets closed out on shooters most of the night, and they were rewarded with a win even though began to cough up the ball with reckless abandon.

                Winning with defense is a step in the right direction, as is Terrence Jones metamorphosing into a quality starting player. He scored 21 points on 9-12 shooting, grabbed 9 rebounds and had only 1 turnover. He also played solid defense and is able to dribble the ball like a guard at times. He also had a team low +/- of -3. The team high +12 goes to Donatas Motiejunas, somehow. D-Mo may have been the worst Rocket to take the floor, and he still went 2-3 on field goals and grabbed 6 boards.

                Dwight Howard was the most notable player, as he began the night being utterly dominated by Tim Duncan on the block and ended up as a force of nature. His 5-15 shooting looks poor, but included a 0-9 start and a 5-6 finish. His 23 point finish included 25 free throws, of which he hit 13. He's staying about 50% on free throws, which is sort of vaguely good enough in smite-a-Dwight situations, and that came up yet again. The originator of hack-a-Shaq tried his hand at the common strategy but found little purchase to climb out of the hole the Spurs were in.

                Nothing went right for the Rockets in the first quarter, but they stayed with it and were eventually able to find what worked. What worked, in the end, was putting their energies into trying to deny the Spurs their preferred shot, working the ball inside and passing around to the open man. They finally faced a team that doesn't openly pummel other teams inside and finally played the way they've talked about playing. Even without James Harden, even against a team like the Spurs, it was enough. Sometimes, you win with defense.


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                #10 feelingsupersonic

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                Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:57 AM

                The originator of hack-a-Shaq is Nelly right?

                I agree, this team showed potential as a defensive team tonight.
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                #11 Buckko

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                  Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:02 AM

                  I hate +/- stats, because even though Jones kept us alive the first half, the rest of the team played like crap, thus giving him a bad score on that stat. Jones was great 1st half, lin and howard finished the game and good job demo for the big play down the stretch.


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                  #12 thenit

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                    Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:04 AM

                    I disagree that DMo was the worst rocket. I think everyone played a solid game. The 3pgs did a good job on containing the shooters and DMos tip on a missed ft was huge when it was a 4 point game which resulted in Lin scoring a bank shot with 1.30 left i believe in the 4th. That sealed the game for us. Great defensive effort and hopefully we can get this going tomorrow with or without harden.
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                    #13 feelingsupersonic

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                    Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:29 AM

                    I still think Howard is crucial even when he struggles making the shot. The thing with post play is that with each post up Howard is breaking down the opposing defense, getting fouls and wearing opposing big men out, in this case that was Duncan. There is no measurement for that but it effects the game and the players on both teams.

                    I am glad to see McHale emphasizing post ups.
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                    #14 rocketrick

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                      Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:31 AM

                      It's great watching D12 battle. There is no doubt in my mind he desperately wants a ring.
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                      #15 Steven

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                        Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:36 AM

                        I hate +/- stats, because even though Jones kept us alive the first half, the rest of the team played like crap, thus giving him a bad score on that stat. Jones was great 1st half, lin and howard finished the game and good job demo for the big play down the stretch.

                        Game to game the +/- stat is a bit volatile but over a course of the season it is a good metric. Especially when compared too the +/- stat when you are on the court vs when you are off.
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                        #16 kevingan

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                          Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:09 AM

                          I know I'm in a minority among Rockets fans, but it seems blindingly obvious to me that the team is better when Lin plays a traditional PG role--I believe they're 5 and 1 with him starting in that role this year, and it would be 6 and 0 if James Anderson hadn't hit an unconscious game winner.  When Lin is PG, the team seems to play with a plan, with purpose.  Other lineups seem to just make it up as they go along--and with so much physical talent, they win more than they lose, but the ceiling isn't that high.  Can't say for sure until all the injured players are back, but that's how it seems to me.

                           

                          Everyone talks about the greatness of the Spurs, and they are: but we have an analogous cast of players, if the coaches would play them Spurs style (setting multiple screens and finding the open man: what a concept!). There are differences in talent levels in the following comparative list, but they're not huge, and the point is to notice the type of player who could fill each position.

                           

                          Lin is like Parker

                          Hardin is like Green/Ginobili

                          Chandler is like Leonard

                          TJones is like Duncan

                          Howard is like Splitter

                           

                          And the Spurs have the much better bench: Bonner and Diaw especially.  I think of Manu as a starter, really, they split the time at SG.

                           

                          But in the comparison, we win at SG, SF, and Center; TJones is catching up fast at PF, and Lin could get closer to Parker if they'd let him play.  And we're younger, of course.  

                           

                          I don't know--I think we could do a lot worse than to stop all the experimentation and the role confusion and just try to be like the Spurs: which we sort of are already, it seems to me!


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                          #17 feelingsupersonic

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                          Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:15 AM

                          Kevingan, we know your a Lin fan, we get it. I like Lin ok but I am a Rockets fan first and foremost and well I think your wrong, we have discussed this before at length here and what can I say, I choose to deal with reality which is Lin leads the second unit.
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                          #18 rocketrick

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                            Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:18 AM

                            I know I'm in a minority among Rockets fans, but it seems blindingly obvious to me that the team is better when Lin plays a traditional PG role--I believe they're 5 and 1 with him starting in that role this year, and it would be 6 and 0 if James Anderson hadn't hit an unconscious game winner.  When Lin is PG, the team seems to play with a plan, with purpose.  Other lineups seem to just make it up as they go along--and with so much physical talent, they win more than they lose, but the ceiling isn't that high.  Can't say for sure until all the injured players are back, but that's how it seems to me.
                             
                            Everyone talks about the greatness of the Spurs, and they are: but we have an analogous cast of players, if the coaches would play them Spurs style (setting multiple screens and finding the open man: what a concept!). There are differences in talent levels in the following comparative list, but they're not huge, and the point is to notice the type of player who could fill each position.
                             
                            Lin is like Parker
                            Hardin is like Green/Ginobili
                            Chandler is like Leonard
                            TJones is like Duncan
                            Howard is like Splitter
                             
                            And the Spurs have the much better bench: Bonner and Diaw especially.  I think of Manu as a starter, really, they split the time at SG.
                             
                            But in the comparison, we win at SG, SF, and Center; TJones is catching up fast at PF, and Lin could get closer to Parker if they'd let him play.  And we're younger, of course.  
                             
                            I don't know--I think we could do a lot worse than to stop all the experimentation and the role confusion and just try to be like the Spurs: which we sort of are already, it seems to me!


                            Nice post, fun to read. However, just wanted to clarify that Lin played the role as SG tonight in place of Harden. Beverley and Brooks pretty much handled PG. Although with this team, SG and PG roles are interchangeable.

                            I think Lin's good game was due to being matched up to smaller guards and not being on the court with a ball dominant player like Harden.

                            It was great to see Lin do so well tonight. It was great to see the Rockets do so well tonight and beat the Spurs for the 3rd time this season!
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                            #19 Buckko

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                              Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:19 AM

                              I just want too see lin work with "Real" big men like asik and smith in the paint in the 2nd unit. Sorry demo doesn't have the size and strength to bang and battle in the paint like those 2 brutes. Get the muscle healthy.


                              Edited by Buckko, 29 January 2014 - 06:20 AM.

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                              #20 Buckko

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                                Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:23 AM

                                This is a game that shows lin's value as harden insurance like asik is howard insurance. 


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