Houston Rockets 120, Minnesota Timberwolves 114 3OT

I was ready to head to bed last night before Corey Brewer nailed a ’3′ from halfcourt to force overtime.

Aaron Brooks scored a career high 43 points while Chuck Hayes grabbed a career high 17 boards to lead the Houston Rockets.  Al Jefferson led the Minnesota Timerwolves with 26 points and 26 boards.

This one started out weird as the Rockets’ starters actually played well, the team leading 30-13 after the first.  However, Ryan Gomes went nuts in the 2nd quarter bringing the Wolves close when the Rockets’ subs entered.

Following the trajectory of Brewer’s 4th quarter heave was not a good feeling.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I was more disappointed by having to lose sleep than by the prospect of a loss.  This one took 3 overtimes to complete.

Random Musings:

  • Prior to tip-off, we are told that Joey Dorsey has been activated.  Bill and Clyde discuss his potential role on the team as an inside presence and shot-blocker.  Fair enough.  The greater significance is that, to date, Dorsey is the only blemish on Daryl Morey’s record.  And yes, times are good when you’re being expected to hit on 2nd round picks.
  • Weird comment by Clyde in the 1st: “Trevor Ariza is leading the Rockets in minutes per game and he never complains, he just gets it done on a nightly basis.”  Someone else said something like this too, if I recall correctly.  Huh?  Why would he complain?  He’s 24 years old, has never played big minutes, and allegedly signed here to play big minutes.  It’s not like he’s logging 47mpg.  Now from a coaching perspective, sure, Rick probably doesn’t want his guys to wear down, but as far as Trevor, I seriously doubt he’s upset about playing 38 minutes a night..
  • 3:31 left in the 2nd, Ariza drives baseline left, is cut off, picks up his dribble, turns back around right and jacks up one of the uglier shots I have seen all year, somehow making it.  Clyde remarks, of course, “That was just a great individual move…Trevor can get his shot off against anyone.”
  • Late in the 1st, I was very excited to see that Oliver Miller had made his triumphant return to the league as he was always a personal favorite for immature reasons.  To my disappointment, the player was an imposter, Australian center Nathan Jawai.
  • Depressing moment in the 3rd when the Rockets’ broadcast pans to an interview with Steve Francis.  At only 32, I thought he looked closer to 45.  Steve had his many warts and probably wasn’t even very good at all.  But he played as hard as and cared about this team as much as any player in Houston Rockets history.  The night this man was actually booed by a large portion of the crowd in his first game against the team [while with Orlando] stands as one of the few times I was embarrassed to be a Rockets fan.
  • Trevor gambled for a steal off the inbounds on a critical possession, almost coming up with it.  Is this really a smart play?  What are the odds of coming up with it?  Less than 50 percent?  That means you’re giving the defense a greater than 50% chance to take a completely uncontested shot against a scrambling 4 man defense.  On the other hand, is it really beneficial to rein in player instinct?  What if a player only gambles in such a situation when he himself feels there’s a significantly greater than 50% chance of getting the steal?  Then again, a player’s own perception of the probability of completing a task usually isn’t in line with the actual odds.  The bottom line is that I would much rather stay at home on such a critical possession.  I take a 99% chance of making the offense work over a 50% chance at a steal.
  • I was going to note that Carl Landry struggled yet again, but I see here that he somehow ended up with 16 points on 6-13 shooting.  He had some critical boards late in the game that really saved the team.  Times are good when Carl Landry scoring 16 points is remembered as ‘struggling.’
  • Brooks went nuts in this one en route to his career high, scoring 11 points in a row at one point very late.  It’s become painfully clear by now that the Rockets go where Aaron Brooks’ right arm leads them.  In wins thus far this year, Brooks is shooting 48% from deep.  In losses, he’s shooting 33%.
  • Chuck Hayes had 10 points, 17 boards, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks.  One of my favorite sights this year has been that of Chuck Hayes fouling out.  If memory serves, it happened one other time.  Other guys complain, contest the call, perhaps offer some obscenities;  Hayes looks like a guy who just let his whole family down.  Have I mentioned how much I love Chuck Hayes?
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