I am actually quite stressed out, therefore I'm doing these recaps to vent. It also helps that these are Ws.
Man, 2 best PG in the leagues on back to back nights, that is tough. I cannot blame the NBA schedule this time, since the Nets game was suppose to be soft and cushy until crazy Billy King asked "Hey, is Deron Williams available?". To make thing even more interesting, Goran Dragic quickly followed a Houston Rockets tradition by making his mandatory trip to the inactive lists with flu like symptoms(way to beat a cold, baby Nash). Houston still coming down from the high of seeing the AMAZING Hasheem Thabeet in action with his 2 foul performance. Why Adelman didnt give him more PT, I have no idea.
Even though we are the one that played the back to back, believe me when I say, NOLA players look more lethargic, whether or not it's the infectious attitude of Trevor Ariza, I reserve my judgment.(continue my bash on former Rockets.)
Anyways, CP3 and D-West, Rocket killers this year, but Houston was able to pull it out, coming back from a 15 point deficit to beat the team with 3 former Rockets: Softer than Huggies David Anderson, Trevor "I can defend but I cant create anything but an ugly shot" Ariza, and former 6th man of the year candidate before the SacTown Royalty disaster Carl Landry. All of them wearing possibly the ugliest jerseys I've ever seen, a mess of Green, Yellow and Purple that at time made me thought there were 3 teams on the floor. A surprisingly defensive affair down the stretch for Houston, that's 2 games in a roll where defense were played when it mattered. Indication of a possible shift in the paradigm?
Details after this.
"Watch Ariza's SKY HOOK!" I do believe he proceed to miss that horribly.
Dont get fooled by the score, the Rockets defended horribly in the first half, which is why NOLA ended the half with 55 points on 56% shooting and a 15 point lead. Italian Kobe, better know as Marco Belinelli's stats will best exemplify our bad defense: 14 point on 6 of 8 shooting, perfect on the night from beyond the arc with 2 3pts, 8 of those points coming from the second half.
Speaking of white guys that can score in bunches, Chase Budinger finally came down from whatever he was on, and had a mediocre/ awful night. Only 3 of 8 and only hit one 3 with merely 8 points, and allowed Ariza to score 13 on 6 of 12 shooting. Good thing Martin have been on a small tear the past 3 games, averaging 31 points. It helps that he's been guarded by the likes of the Machine and Willie Greene, not sure why they had Ariza on Budinger rather than Martin. The Rockets rode Martin essentially down to the 4th, by that time he has scored 25 points also had a rare 4 steal game(in a low pace game nonetheless) , but he also was by far the most sloppy player on the court, dished out 6 turnovers. With Chris Paul on the other team, those are basically guaranteed points the other day.
Speaking of Chris Paul, it's the second game in a roll, another elite point guard was limited to play a one dimensional game. CP3 dished out a fantasy friendly 12 assist and 3 steals, but shot 2 of 12, and did not really limit Kyle Lowry in any way. Lowry seems to gear up against the Bees, average 18 points, 4 assist and 44% 3point percentage against them, because the lack of adequate backup PG, Lowry played 43 minute, most of which he spent matched up with CP3, and shot a bunch of of crazy long 3s.
Interesting stat of the night, Scola matches up worse against NOLA than any other team, average a mere 9.7 points against them and is 3 of 12 last night, dominated by D-West and Emeka Okafor, combined with 28 points and 23 rebounds including a stat pad tip in at the end, while Patrick Patterson was thoroughly schooled by the former Rocket Carl Landry on the principles of paint and around the basket play, racking up 5 fouls before sitting out for the night. Is it too late to say I still miss Landry? the Kings had too many player operates in the paint and Landry was force out into a mid-range player, He went back to a paint player with the Bees last night, and posted a beautiful line against us.
Luckily 3 pointers are worth more than 2 pointers(Wha?), and we dominated the perimeter with Lowry, Martin, and Lee hitting lights out from outside. The only guy that really was a threat from deep was Italian Kobe for the Hive, but strangely, he was not on the floor when they needed a 3 point play, CP3, and Wille Green proceed to end the game with some low percentage shots(Green was not on at all, yet he keeps ending up with the ball with like 5 seconds left, did we actually made that happen?)
Special props to Brad Miller(Dont get used to it): 5 points and 6 rebounds in 16 minutes meant very little, the fact that you served a defensive purpose with Chuck Hayes as the paint option filled me with hope that anything IS possible