Sorry I couldn't make a game preview for the Portland game. That's obviously why we lost. My bad.
Luckily, the Rockets didn't play until today. Three days off is pretty sweet and should give the Rockets a leg up over the Denver Nuggets, who will be coming off a game last night against the Detroit Pistons.
Today's game is like Shrek 4. Shrek 1 was incredible, as was game 1 for the Rockets. Shrek 2 was not as great, but it got the job done. Shrek 3 was awful (granted game 3 wasn't awful). So tonight is Shrek 4. I never saw that movie, so you guys can tell me if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Tip off is at 7pm CST.
Jeremy Lin played one heck of a game against the Hawks. He was not as great against the Blazers, but he was still pretty good. I'll take 13/7/3/3 from him every night.
I've said from the start that I wasn't sold on Lin. Maybe that caused my expectations to go down, but I'm starting to come around. I don't think he's ever going to do what he did in New York over a full season (wow, great prediction AK. Way to go out on a limb), but it looks like he can absolutely be an above average NBA point guard and can be a point guard on a contender. Again, it's been three games so let's not get carried away. But I like what I see.
I wasn't sold on Ty Lawson out of North Carolina either. And he's turned out pretty good. Dude is all kinds of fast, and his jump shot has improved tremendously.
Do you hear that? That's the sound of every NBA pundit erasing their favorite line to write about the Rockets.
For years, every article about the Rockets went something like this: "Morey is great, he works hard, Les is great, lets management do its thing, Adelman/McHale are great coaches, lots of good young players...
"BUT THEY NEED A SUPERSTAR FOR US TO GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THEM AGAIN!"
Granted, they usually said it in a nicer way, but every writer loved to remind us that we didn't have a superstar. Did they have any ideas for improving the team? Nope, just blame Morey. Did they recognize what we were doing without an All-Star player? Nope, just blame Morey. Did they understand that superstars aren't traded like pogs? Nope, just blame Morey.
Well now they can suck on their words, because it's over.
James Harden is a Rocket for five more years after this one. Suck it, writers. SUCK IT!
Oh, and all of you who are suddenly writing things like, "Everyone knew Harden would be a superstar," you can quit pulling that crap out of your ass. NO ONE wrote that he'd be a star (except us, obviously). Every other writer wrote more along the lines of "He's never proven himself as 'The Man.'" To be fair, no one was really discounting him saying he'd be a bust, but no one said he'd be a great player on this team either.
My God I hate ESPN.
This promises to be an exciting matchup between a great wing player and a great wing defender. Also, Iguodala always seems to play us well, usually getting near triple doubles. For that reason, this is even.
Oh, and to keep Rush Hour alive, this is from our very own BD34. I would put it as the picture for this but we can't since it isn't a Getty image. It should be though.
Another intriguing matchup between two players who are struggling.
Gallinari went 3-17 against the Heat. That happens when you have LeBron and Battier in your grill all night.
Parsons has been sluggish out of the gate. That jumper has to fall eventually. But it isn't just him. No Rocket can hit a three pointer right now. It would be great if someone could get us going.
Advantage: Rockets, barely
I love me some Manimal. He's going to be a double-double machine for years to come.
Patterson probably still isn't fully healthy, but the time off has to help him. I expect a good game from him tonight. Faried isn't a great defender, but he can block shots.
If Asik could make a shot around the rim, we'd be talking about how he is a top 5 center in the league.
As it stands, he'd grabbing boards and playing defense at an incredible level, and that's just fine with me. His battles against Koufos and McGee tonight will be fun to watch.
Bench-starting to clear up. We'll see moving forward. Remember, Aldrich and Cook are still learning the system. So is Harden, but it's different because he IS the system.
Prediction: Nuggets pull it out 101-95