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@  majik19 : (18 January 2016 - 03:06 AM) whelp, we just let the worst team in the league hit 75% from the field in the 1st quarter.
@  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


Houston Rockets 112, Los Angeles Lakers 95: A little bit of everything

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#1 Red94


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    Posted 18 January 2016 - 05:26 AM

    New post: Houston Rockets 112, Los Angeles Lakers 95: A little bit of everything
    By: Forrest Walker

    The Houston Rockets can play good basketball at times. The Houston Rockets also play very bad basketball a lot of other times. In tonight's win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Rockets showed us a bit of both. They pulled away to a 20+ point lead in the third quarter, making it easy to forget how they ended up just three points ahead of the Lakers at halftime. In a bizarre game, the Rockets gave us reminders of what they are, why they're frustrating, and how much fun they can be.


    This is the story of the Houston Rockets this season, and if we're being honest, the last three seasons. They can be at once an offensive juggernaut and also completely inept with the ball. They can lock down a team one minute and simply stand and watch layup after layup mere moments later. They're a swirling cauldron of parts and talent that can't quite seem to simmer into a stew correctly. It was the best of basketball, it was the worst of basketball.


    The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, are just awful. This team is actually quite likely to hold onto their draft pick this year, because it's top-three protected. They're fighting with the Philadelphia 76ers to see which team can notch more bumbles per possession. This is a team which ranks 29th in offensive efficiency and 30th in defensive efficiency. The Rockets were up 60-57 at halftime. This is not good.


    The Lakers, in the first half, were able to do whatever they wanted. The Rockets were missing some open looks, and the Lakers were hitting some tough shots on top of this, and the spiral of shame and recrimination which surrounds Houston losses was threatening to boil over. The Rockets seem to be able to handle only so much frustration before the whole thing comes apart and they embarrass themselves on national TV.


    Fortunately for them, the Rockets put it together in the second half. Whatever head coach J.B. Bickerstaff did in the Locker Room at halftime worked, leading to the Rockets dominating the third quarter 34-18. Suddenly the good Rockets were back, Harden was hitting three pointers, and Dwight Howard was joking with Lakers fans who still hate him. This was last year's feel-good team, risen from the ashes of this year's "we have to talk" team.


    The secret, of course, is that these are the same team. This is the secret that's hard to accept and confusing to internalize. The same things that makes the Rockets powerful at times, their freewheeling, fast moving style, their devotion to finding any way to score, their collection of overlooked players, all of these are double-edged swords. James Harden is the salvation of the Houston Rockets and also their damnation. Their players are all better than they should be by some metrics and huge disappointments by other ones. The Rockets leave their fans confused, with no idea what to do with the team or how to measure what they are.


    The Lakers fans in attendance had no such conflict. They simply cheered any time the Lakers did anything remotely good and booed whenever their enemy, Dwight Howard, had the ball. It's amazing to watch such a relationship with a team, much less a team so nightmarishly bad. There is a charming simplicity of this relationship: Los Angeles loves their Lakers, and they hold out hope while they find joy in watching Kobe Bryant play out his final months.


    There is no such clarity with the Rockets. James Harden scores 31 points on 17 shots tonight, but took 10 shots to get 11 points in the previous game. Harden can destroy three on one fast breaks by himself and he can crater the team's defense. It's not just disappointing, it's not just frustrating. It's confusing. It hurts to watch the Rockets, whether they're giving it their all or phoning it in, because we think we know what their potential, but we don't think they're going to ever live up to it.


    The Los Angeles Lakers are perfect targets for the Rockets. They're terrible, and the Rockets have some reasons to really care about those games. Dwight Howard still have some points to prove about that city, and NBA players still seem to see the Lakers are an important team in general. Maybe this is why the Rockets got invigorated enough to put them away in the third, giving the starters the fourth quarter off, letting Montrezl Harrell and the bench style all over the Lakers. Maybe that's why we saw the good Rockets show up eventually.


    It still doesn't change the fact that the bad Rockets showed up, too. Even worse, it doesn't change the fact that the "good Rockets" and the "bad Rockets" are the same team.

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    #2 Willk


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      Posted 18 January 2016 - 06:55 AM

      How did tjones have a negative -12?
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      #3 clydesmoustache


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        Posted 18 January 2016 - 07:51 AM

        How did tjones have a negative -12?

        I was thinking the same! Tied with 2nd worst +/- including the Lakers.
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