[Note by Xiane, 01/30/12 9:56 PM CST ] Frequent contributor to The Dreamshake .Bonzo kindly provided this recap of a game that was far from pleasant for Rockets fans. Show him your love.
This was one of those games where you can tell exactly what happened just by googling the box score. Minnesota came out, one night after losing in Los Angeles to the struggling Lakers, and handed Houston its behind wrapped in 34 points from Michael Beasley.
Beasley got to the rim at will, and nobody from the Rockets had anything to say about it. In addition to going 10-14 from the field, he ended up at the free throw line 12 times, draining all 12 attempts. Something you might not know if you didn't watch the game is that the Rockets actually had the lead at the end of halftime. Surprising, I know.
The first half consisted of a fast pace game in which the Rockets were just plain outscoring the Timberwolves, but the Rockets decided to punish the empty stadium they were playing to by letting the Timberwolves score a franchise high 42(!) points in the third quarter.
To put that in context, the Orlando Magic scored 42 through 3 quarters today (although the Magic's offensive struggles are a completely different topic). Kevin Love, who scored 39 on us last time, had a quiet 29 points and 7 rebounds, mainly due to the fact that every time Beasley touched the ball our deficit would get worse. Kevin Martin, returning from a 2 game injury rest, poured in 29 while somehow missing 4 freethrows.
More random analysis on the game after the jump.
The main statistic that you can look for this game would be the field goal percentage. The Timberwolves shot a season high 58%, while the Rockets were held to 47%. The 120 points tonight combined with the aforementioned field goal percentage are both season highs given up by the Rockets defense this season. Other than Martin, who put in 29 points on only 15 shots in a vintage Speed Racer game, Jordan Hill seemed to be the only other Rocket worth mentioning. Jordan Hill put in 8 points and 5 rebounds in the first half, but failed to even show up on court in the second half. Did he get injured? Did McHale play Patterson and Scola more out of necessity? We'll know soon enough, I'm sure. The Rockets bench in total put up a decent outing of 45 points, but could not defend the combination of Rubio, Beasley, and Love.
Luis Scola's play has taken a dip this year, we can all agree. Although he still shows us games where can put in 18 and 5, tonight was a prime example of why so many Rockets fans are losing faith in the once fan-favorite. Scola is looking slower than others on the court, and has turned into an absolute black hole when passed the ball. 8 points, 3 turnovers, and 1 rebound isn't going to cut it. Patterson outplayed him, although not by much, in about the same amount of time played (Patterson put in 8 points and 5 rebounds).
Defense, while present in the past couple of games, did not make the trip to Houston for the Rockets tonight. The Timberwolves did not shoot a high percentage by taking Monta Ellis-esque long 2-pointers in Courtney Lee's face. No, the Timberwolves walked right past our perimeter defenders, and right by, or in some case into, our post defenders. Dalembert, while making a few mistakes tonight, did his best to control the weakside, but even his blocks fell into the hands of an open Minnesota player. It was just that kind of night.
Oh yeah, Rick Adelman got a technical foul tonight. Rick Adelman! Coach Sleepy has apparently woken up a little in Minnesota, and while this is a team that the Rockets should have handled with somewhat of ease, it is also a team that is stacked with talent and they've got the Coach that can get the most out of that talent. Ricky Rubio? Yeah he's kind of good. He's definetly got the rookie of the year vote in my head, and his ceiling is one that I can't even imagine. If he can learn to shoot, which is probably the easiest part of a players game to develop, he can become the player that Steve Nash is today. Hopefully with a ring. On the Rockets. (kidding, sort of).
Kevin Love just might be the best power forward in the league, and also one of the youngest! On a night where he ends up playing second fiddle, he still pours 29 and pulls down 7 rebounds. Minnesota should have locked him up for 5 full years, not just 3 with an option. But who knows, David Kahn has proven over and over that he is an elite GM and he knows exactly what he's doing (Okay, okay, not Elite or "knows what he's doing" but he's got his team in a good position. What? STOP LAUGHING) Good luck to them going forward, we will actually see them twice more in February.
I know this isn't the lengthiest recap, but there wasn't much to tell in this game other than the fact that the Rockets were absolutely outplayed in every way (well, save the SG position). The only thing I have left to add is that Clyde Drexler needs to go. His analysis is worse that any others in the NBA, and his joke's have gone from "haha it's funny because he's kind of stupid" to "I wonder what the T'Wolves announcers are like". I hope you enjoyed the recap, it's my first time ever writing a recap for a game (hopefully next time I can do a win!).