Game 81 Recap: Rockets make comeback in penultimate game, 117-107

Just a quick recap this morning, and I'm mostly going to talk about two players. Sorry about that, but I've been pretty swamped recently. More to come later.

When the Rockets signed Trevor, my belief was that most of his value lay in his ability as a complimentary player. He is, if you will pardon the somewhat inappropriate comparison between two very different levels of players, a poor-man's Lebron, McGrady, or Pippen: someone who can contribute everywhere. All those players had a developed (caveats aside) inside-out game, all could defend spectacularly well, all could rebound, and all could pass. Trevor Ariza is able to do all those things. He's not the best rebounder, his ability to convert opportunities at the rim or behind the arc is highly dependent on the types of shots he's getting, and his passing decisions are often pretty questionable, but he's an all-world defender (he didn't put on the best show against Evans, but whatever).

I think we've all witnessed Trevor make plenty of mistakes this season, but we've also seen him drastically improve his playmaking. I've seen him make passes into the lane over the past two months that would have been automatic turnovers in November. His decision-making, while still not the best, is not nearly as questionable as it was five months ago.

These sorts of performances (not necessarily these numbers), where Trevor gives the Rockets a highly efficient shooting game, grabs plenty of rebounds, and makes key passes and steals, are exactly why Morey made the Artest-Ariza "trade."

The real star of the game, of course, was Kevin Martin. A month ago, Carl Landry came into the Toyota Center and broke our hearts, and Kevin returned the favor in Sacramento. Kevin bounced back from what was honestly a pretty terrible game against Phoenix on Sunday, scoring 39 points and going 16-16 at the line. Speed's three-point shot continues to be, for lack of a better word, "off." Opponents are doing na pretty good job of driving him off of the arc, but fortunately he's still attacking the rim and scoring well from midrange.

There's really very little else to say about Kevin's efforts last night. He's a transcendent scorer, and it should be clear by now that the Rockets have found the primary wing scorer they've needed since Tracy's decline in (roughly) 2007.

If you're in Houston Wednesday, remember to check out our final ticket deal of the season, and stay tuned over the next few weeks.

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