≡ Menu

San Antonio Spurs 130, Houston Rockets 99: Reality

The Houston Rockets are nowhere near the San Antonio Spurs. Whatever sorcery caused the Rockets to prevail on Christmas has worn off and the Spurs have simply dominated the last two times these teams have met. The Spurs are simply in a different league from the Houston Rockets, and the Spurs aren’t even title favorites. The Rockets had found some semblance of flow lately, but when the rent is due, being in a better mental place doesn’t pay the bills. The Spurs were frustrated and grumpy, the Rockets were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the Rockets got their requisite national TV shaming.

The only thing to take away from this game is that it reminded the Rockets of what we already knew: the Rockets aren’t a contender. Not even close. They probably wouldn’t be one in most years, and in this year, there are two separate tiers above contender. The Spurs are a supercontender and the Golden State Warriors are some kind of hypercontender. These two teams have pulled tight the curve everyone has been graded on, and the Rockets are falling off that chart.

How did the game go? Well it ended after 48 minutes and nobody got hurt. As for the bad news…

The Rockets were down by double digits while shooting 57% from the field. Then they fell to 38% on the night. They hit 8-30 three pointers, and Jason Terry’s 3-7, which was garbage time fodder, was second to Ariza’s 2-4. They missed 17 of their 52 free throws. Josh Smith took more shots than James Harden. The Spurs hit over half of their threes, and Danny Green finally found his shooting stroke.

One game doesn’t mean much in the regular season. A pattern of games, a months-long arc of futility, however, can find more points to help trace that arc. The return of Josh Smith had brought happy feelings and heads in the clouds. We all knew that the Rockets had to lose in spectacular fashion sooner or later, and here it is. The Rockets have a tremendous path ahead of them, and evenings like this serve as a reminder to them how much ground they have to make up.

There aren’t any pleasant takeaways from this game, so the Rockets will simply have to create better tidings for the next game. Thankfully for them, the next game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team which in any reasonable year would be a title contender. This year, however, 28 teams are in a struggle against each other and their inner demons to see who can come up with the bronze. The Rockets have fallen from the throne they thought they belonged on, but the good news is that there are a pile of other pretenders they can fall upon.

Doses of reality always taste bad, but you have to swallow them if you want to get better.

View this discussion from the forum.

in game coverage
Follow Red94 for all new post updates
Read previous post:
Houston Rockets 112, New Orleans Pelicans 111: Chaos Reigns