James Harden is "The Man." Harden was a revelation in his Rockets team and season debut, leading Houston to a gritty 4th quarter comeback win against the Pistons in Detroit, 105-96, scoring 37 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, & 1 block. In his amazing first performance as a Houston Rocket, Harden emphatically showed that he has the leadership ability, strong will to win, and the clutch talent to be "The Man" in Houston. Harden stood out in all aspects of the game: scoring, assisting, & even defense. The Rockets won the first quarter 27-22, but lost the second & third quarters 28-36 and 17-23, respectively. The Rockets were down nine points, 72-81, going into the fourth quarter, but Harden powered the Rockets past the Pistons 33-15 in the fourth quarter for a 105-96 season opener win on the road in Detroit.
Jeremy Lin (12 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals) and Omer Asik (12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal) were both solid, but, hopefully, they can take their games to a whole 'nother level like Harden did. Chandler Parsons was solid too, scoring 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Power forwards Patrick Patterson and Terrence Jones did not play in the Rockets season opener, fortunately Carlos Delfino and Greg Smith stepped up as big time role players for the Rockets. Greg Smith scored 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals; making three momentum changing slam dunks in the fourth quarter to give the Rockets their first lead in the 4th quarter 89-87 with his second dunk of the 4th quarter and extending the Rockets lead to 91-87 with his third dunk of the 4th quarter with six minutes left in regulation. Unfortunately, Smith had to leave the game and go to the locker room because of an injury. He did not return to the game. Delfino scored 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 steal; hitting three clutch 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, his third 3-pointer in the quarter put the Rockets up 97-89. Thanks to clutch shooting and shutdown defense by the Rockets in the 4th quarter, Houston outscored the Pistons by 18 points in the 4th quarter and held Detroit to only 15 points in the 4th quarter. The Rockets, who were down by nine points going into the 4th quarter, ended up winning by nine points, 105-96. All things considered, I was pleased, overall, with the Rockets season debut performance. I think they'll only mesh together as a team better with more playing time together. The Rockets had 20 turnovers against the Pistons. I'm not too worried about turnovers right now because it's the first game of the season, and I expect them to improve in this area too.
♥ Go Rockets!!! :) ♥