Kawhi "Hands" Leonard won this game on a pull-up jumper from just inside the three-point line. That's preseason basketball at its best: Intriguing, yet often foolish.
The Rockets fell to the San Antonio Spurs on the road tonight by a deuce, 97-95, but not without leaving behind some exciting basketball from the youngsters. Marcus Morris stole the show in a single quarter before picking up some stupid fouls, dropping 20 points on fourteen shots. If you're looking for the most promising young Rocket, right now, Morris is atop the discussion. His versatility on both ends is hard to ignore.
Having said that, it's the preseason, and when the Spurs had their primary players in the game, they looked a step or two better than Houston's. The problem is still defense, although a development from this afternoon that rhymes with Shalembert should help solve the woes in some form.
Your recap awaits you, after the jump:
Marcus Morris -- We talked about how uncomfortable and confused Marcus Morris looked in Game 1. Um, throw that to the wind. Mr. Morris rose up for 20 points in rather impressive fashion, scoring both inside and outside in a variety of different ways. Confidence? It's there. When he was open, he shot, and when he wasn't open, he passed. Gee, isn't common sense refreshing?
Morris topped his shooting successes by showing off some bouncy athleticism and a quick first step. I'll take the hint: He'll be able to play the three just fine. For that, I'm excited to see him alongside Patterson and Hill/Dalembert. Think of the possibilities: The advantage of going big, yet with players who can keep pace on the perimeter against smaller opponents. Hooray for advantages.
Terrence Williams -- A great game for Terrence Williams, and that's discounting the fact that all three of his made baskets could have won last year's dunk contest. Williams, by my count, forced just one pull-up jumper. Otherwise, he moved the ball cleverly and effectively, driving to the free throw line with ease before swinging a pass out to an open Rocket. He did this like, ten times, and he didn't turn the ball over once.
Williams is clearly starting to "get it." His problem isn't his shot, but rather his shot selection. Once the regular season starts, we'll see if Williams can consistently make smarter decisions like he did tonight.
Kyle Lowry -- Lowry looks to be in excellent game shape and didn't slow down tonight, weaving around and through the Spurs' defense. He was the lone first unit player to look competent defensively and even got involved on the boards at times. If anyone is looking for a drop-off from Lowry this year, well, you can just leave.
1st Team Defense -- Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson and Tim Duncan took the Rockets first team to the cleaners on defense, taking advantage of slow rotations and a general height deficiency. Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger looked particularly behind the times, as each got noticeably beat or caught out of position on multiple possessions. Nice day to sign Samuel Dalembert, eh?
Kevin Martin -- I understand it's the preseason, but Martin is 2-12 in real-time basketball and doesn't look near as comfortable in the offense. Hopefully this is just rust, but we'll have to keep an eye on how a season without Adelman and new rules continue to affect his game. I have a feeling he'll pick it up -- he's proved us wrong many times before.
Chandler Parsons' First Inbounds Pass -- (some laughter, followed by more laughter and then a deep breath and then some more laughter)
Jeff Adrien did what Jeff Adrien does, beasting the Spurs inside and grabbing offensive boards. It was a nice showing from someone who clearly wants to stick with a roster for more than a few weeks. Also, he and Greg Smith should team up on WWE and take over the world.
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It wasn't the best performance from Houston, and it's just preseason, but the Rockets' second unit showed off some real skill tonight. We're not even talking about Courtney Lee and Patrick Patterson. We're talking Morris, Flynn (who had some nice passes), Dragic and even Parsons, who played aggressively despite missing a few close shots.