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@  thenit : (14 January 2016 - 01:34 AM) Well he can't defend well either especially bigger 4s.
@  majik19 : (13 January 2016 - 04:24 PM) TJ's game last night is exactly why he drives us all so crazy on this blog. Short of passing ability, there really isn't a reason he can't do much of what Draymond Green does... he just doesn't do it consistently!
@  clydesmoustache : (13 January 2016 - 04:17 AM) Can someone hit Tjones in the eye before games?
@  Willk : (11 January 2016 - 02:41 AM) the SFs showed up tonight!
@  slick shoes : (10 January 2016 - 05:45 PM) Lionel Hollins is available yet again.....
@  majik19 : (08 January 2016 - 09:15 PM) We clearly "can" play better without Lawson in the lineup. As Rahat has argued many times, we cannot compete with Golden State, San Antonio, OKC, etc. without an integrated, motivated Lawson (and even then we probably can't compete anyway)
@  slick shoes : (08 January 2016 - 03:01 PM) In fact, the Rockets are 5-0 without Lawson in the line-up.
@  slick shoes : (08 January 2016 - 02:58 PM) Fun fact: The two games that Ty Lawson was suspended in December, the Rockets won. Since spraining his ankle, the Rockets are 2-0.
@  DenverRocket : (07 January 2016 - 09:33 PM) I did see the game. He didn't throw the ball, just feigned to do so - i think it was an understandable reaction and he was able to rein himself in just in time ;)
@  slick shoes : (07 January 2016 - 07:40 PM) DenverRocket, did you not see the game? I'm talking about his behavior while security was searching for the culprit.
@  DenverRocket : (07 January 2016 - 07:34 PM) I doubt he made a big issue about, just responded to a reporter/media question and ESPN gets a story. Come on, that knucklehead was totally out of order and deserves the ban - no big surprise that it happened in Utah either!
@  slick shoes : (07 January 2016 - 07:32 PM) They banned the fan for a year. It was really the "attempts" to throw the ball into the stands at him that irked me.
@  thenit : (07 January 2016 - 07:24 PM) Its the diva antics he has been displaying this past summer through now. His head is too big right now. I think they did the reight thing removing the fan and thats should be it
@  slick shoes : (07 January 2016 - 06:11 PM) Is it just me or is how upset Harden is over that laser pointer incident completely blowing it out of proportion.?
@  slick shoes : (06 January 2016 - 08:50 PM) I hope to see much more of Harrell tonight. Def not the starter but he added some fuel off the bench on Monday.
@  thenit : (05 January 2016 - 04:22 AM) thank god TJ is not playing in the 2nd half. Such a difference
@  thenit : (03 January 2016 - 06:57 AM) You cant rule out dmo yet. Still not recovered, he was out tonight due to sore back so the back is still an issue. TJ - I have seen enough 2 playoffs and 3 reg seasons
@  Johnny Rocket : (03 January 2016 - 04:01 AM) It turns out that in the big DMO vs. T Jones debate, there was only one right answer: neither.
@  thenit : (03 January 2016 - 03:29 AM) So once again TJones can't defend a good PF, minus 35 after 3 Qs, and Harden not much better with -31. Two of the worst defenders I've seen in a long time ATM
@  Johnny Rocket : (03 January 2016 - 02:10 AM) Maybe we should trade for Kevin Martin as defensive stopper off the bench (snark alert)


Houston Rockets 107, Minnesota Timberwolves 104: 5-game winning streak!

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:13 AM

    New post: Houston Rockets 107, Minnesota Timberwolves 104: 5-game winning streak!
    By: Paul McGuire

    After 40 games of misery, softness, and all too many frustrating nights, the Houston Rockets have finally made it to 2 games above .500 for the first time this season.




    sarcastic clap


    But this is something to celebrate. And while this game could have been played better, Rockets fans can hope once again that this team is turning things around.


    Tonight was not the defensive effort that we saw against Memphis. The Rockets more outtalented the Timberwolves rather than outplayed them. But after blowing so many games against bad teams like the Nets and Nuggets, sometimes outtalenting is enough. Certain Rockets players are working their way into shape, and the Houston Rockets have a five game winning streak.


    One of Minnesota's major weaknesses is that they are not that much better than the Rockets when it comes to turnovers. Houston has the third most turnovers in the league (Phoenix and Philadelphia are the two worse teams) while Minnesota is eighth. And while the Rockets had a staggering nine turnovers in the first quarter, they finished with just 16 at the end of the game compared to 20 for Minnesota.


    Houston's turnovers mostly came in the first quarter against Memphis as well. I don't think that is a coincidence. The Rockets do move the ball around more early in the game, and we saw more lobs at that point as Harden and Jason Terry ( tonight's starting point guard as Patrick Beverley had a personal family health issue) throw the ball up more to Clint Capela or Dwight Howard. A lot of the time, it works.


    But a lot of the time, Harden on the pick and roll forces that annoying bounce pass between the legs of the opposing defender, who just grabs the ball and races down for the transition basket. The Houston announcers have noticed that too, and questioned why Harden uses it so much.


    In the fourth quarter, you see more Harden iso, which despite its downsides does not result in quite as many turnovers. It did result in offensive stagnation towards the end, but they scored enough and Harden hit some good jumpers in the fourth quarter on his way to 27 points.


    In the second quarter, Houston's bench came alive and kept a high tempo by forcing Minnesota turnovers. Corey Brewer has been respectable over the past few games after struggling earlier this season. In fact, he is shooting 54 percent from the field over January. Ty Lawson had two great defensive plays in the first quarter where he stopped the larger Shabazz Muhammed in the post and forced the turnover. Terrence Jones dropped in 16 and 9, and Marcus Thornton had 9 points despite forcing his shot too much.


    Kevin Martin did score 22 points on 10 shots off the bench for the Wolves. He was his predictably efficient, yet infuriating self who drew some controversial foul calls.  But bench help is more than just scoring (tell that to the Sixth Man of the Year voters). It is about all of those other crucial aspects of basketball, and Martin has never been good at anything but scoring efficiently.


    And while Karl-Anthony Towns is going to be a very scary player someday, Dwight Howard and the Rockets big men were better today. There was a moment in the fourth quarter where Howard was wrapped up by Gorgui Dieng, only for the refs to initially miss it and then give Howard a technical when he complained.


    Howard responded with this monstrosity of a dunk. He scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the night, in addition to Jones's and Capela's contributions. And while Towns had 12 points and 16 rebounds ( including a really smoooth-looking three-pointer in the first), Nikola Pekovic and Dieng were nothing to write home about.


    The Rockets could have done better guarding the perimeter, as Harden had his lapses on defense and the team overall had communication issues. And as noted, they turned the ball over too many times. But the Wolves did not have the talent to capitalize, and the Rockets managed to hold on and secure this game.


    The Rockets have won five games in a row and will be play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. The game is at home, and the Cavaliers will be on the second night of a back to back after playing in San Antonio on Thursday.


    If there is to ever be a game where the Rockets can beat one of the legitimate championship contenders in the NBA, it is Friday. The Rockets have beaten some good teams in this winning streak like the Grizzlies and Pacers. But if they can give the Cavaliers a good thumping, then even the most pessimistic Rockets fan should start getting some hope back.

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    #2 Willk


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      Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:26 AM

      I was worried about this game. 3 games in 4 nights. I think that is why the Rox shot poorly from the 3 point line. Cleveland will be playing their 3rd game in 4 nights. If the Rox win, they could be tied for the 6th seed. I was looking at the schedule in February and their is a lot of Phoenix and Portland. A big run could made prior to March's extremely difficult schedule.
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