I took notes for this game, and I'll share some of them with you. As this got out of hand my notes probably got worse, sorry.
Both teams come out looking sloppy. Misses from both teams at 2 feet, though the Rockets had two to the Suns' one. A dunk would be indicated for Dalembert, Scola or Gortat 2 feet from the rim. Are we seeing less dunking this year? It seems like we are, though I have no proof. Tired legs?
The persistent sloppiness overcomes McHale and he calls time out with 5:40 in the first after PHX rattles off 8 unanswered and takes a small lead.
Not a lot of fouls being called tonight thus far. These aren't two rugby sides, but they are surely getting pretty handsy with each other.
Chandler Parsons blocks Grant Hill on a baseline move after Hill beats him off the dribble. Parsons is so tall and "long" that even after he's been taken off the dribble he can still make a play. Just another really useful second round pick. I love that the Rockets simply don't concede anything when picking in the 2nd round. They're still going for prospects who can start in the NBA rather than someone who is definitely ready to be the #12 guy.
At this point only Parsons and Kevin Martin are playing any effective offense. Wait! Scola finally scores at 3:20 left in the 1st. Perhaps this will start something?
Sebastien Telfair, still in the NBA. Why? Aren't there players who can you know, play basketball, in the D League?
Suns shooting very poorly, which is a great boon to the Rockets, as they've missed some truly wide open looks. I'd be concerned about "blowing the big lead" if those start falling. With these dimming Suns though, I'm not all that scared. This isn't 3 years ago.
Telfair gets praise from Clyde, and actually makes a shot to confirm The Glide's mistaken impression that he's good. First Michael Beasley, now Sebastian Telfair, which overhyped disappointment will be praised next?
Marcin Gortat is too much for Jordan Hill it appears. Not a shocker, as Gortat is both large and surprisingly fluid. Hey, you know what would be good? Another big powerful center. Do we have one? Why, yes, yes we do. His name is Greg Smith and his 40/min stats are:
21.7pp40/11.4RB40/1.8bp40/2.3ap40 with a .678FG%.
Smith's 6'10" and goes about 250lbs. Bring him up from Rio Grande before someone signs him away. Apparently he's got enormous hands. You know what that means? Big gloves.
JUMP for those other three quarters and commentary so insightful you'll gasp with delight.
Despite Gortat seeming to get whatever he wants versus Jordan Hill, the Rockets have a 14pt lead with 6minutes left in the 2nd. Patterson has looked great, and Hill has been active, if not always effective. All that I'm waiting for is to see Patterson start dunking. He had a play where he settled for a hook rather than dunking Childress along with the ball. Childress weighs about 170 it seems, so throw it down P2, throw it down!
Dragic is playing really really well and has done for weeks. He just made a video game move by passing to Patterson for a sweet swish while at the very top of his shooting motion on a jumper. Think Phoenix misses him? They have Telfair as their backup PG and Nash needs a lot of rest to keep going and keep his back in shape. Will Aaron Brooks return to Phoenix? Or go to New York to complete a team of utter pounders? (Seriously, with Brooks the Knicks could score 100pts on 8 assists total.) I'm curious to see what happens.
Refs calling essentially mysterious fouls, but not a lot of them. There was one call on Jordan Hill that no one saw and quite possibly, no one could have seen.
Rockets up by 19 with 3 left until the half due to Phoenix defense being what you might call "notional".
Lee gets so much elevation on his jumper it's astonishing. It is one of the prettiest shots in the NBA, and right now he's just nailing it. He's got like 30 seconds to set up when he jumps, it's just crazy.
Scola coming back to life with offensive board and putback, then he gets a foul on Gortat off a drive. Luis, we've missed you!
Rockets second unit simply dominates Phoenix in the 2nd. Lead at the half is 20.
Rockets keep the pressure on. No 3Q collapse despite the Suns coming out hot.
Suns can't hit much of anything. This team simply lacks talent beyond Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat, whatever is left of Grant Hill and "their" Morris, Markief.
Why don't the Suns set up something like 10-12 Nash 3pters per game? It's their best play.
Suns bench is just dreadful.
Is there any chance the refs will get a charge call right this season? Any at all?
Courtney Lee gets caught in a two man trap and makes a desperation heave. He thus gives up the break rather than just letting the clock run down and getting a ball reset. Not a OALaby play. But then, seconds later, he stops a break, so I guess its ok. Except for the two turnovers in under a minute. Rockets turning the ball over with 10:40 left is not ok. Wait, PHX decides to turn it over ever more, and more egregiously.
Josh Childress shows a flash of what made people excited about him lo these few years ago. Still a player without a real position, or dominant skill. The Delphic Oracle cursed him in Greece. He just ignored that stuff about a penance pilgrimage to Mt Athos and he's still paying for it. No good ever came from ignoring the Oracle at Delphi.
Chase Budinger has had a good night, and is looking aggressive. He can turn the corner and drive better than you might think, and he can also pass andn rebound, better than you might think. An amazing bargain at under $1 million, the LA Lakers should be trying to pry him from the Rockets.
Rockets perimeter D has been pretty good tonight, PHX overall slop helps it look extremely stout. Suns can't get set and shoot, nor can they drive. I honestly feel bad for Steve Nash. He didn't deserve this roster. Nash is a lover of art, and right now the ideal artist to paint his portrait would be who? I say Francis Bacon, if he was still alive. What do you say?
Michael Redd is on the Suns? I did not know that. Too bad about all the injuries, he was once perhaps the deadliest shooter in the NBA. Even with a real decline he might still be the best shooter on that team.
Rockets reserves dominate this game, not a massive feat given as OAL said "the Sarver Cost Control Brigade" on the Suns bench. This game gave the starters plenty of rest. Lowry 20 minutes, Scola 23 minutes, Martin 17 minutes , Dalembert 15 minutes. The limited minutes should help keep legs a little fresher as the Rockets get a shot at revenge against the Timberwolves on the frozen hardwood of Minneapolis.
Emblematic of the game - Dragic gets swatted by Sideshow Bob, Lee gets the long rebound, takes it unopposed down the lane for a tomahawk slam. (2K12 your rating for CLee is dreadful.)
I like this - Rockets spend an entire half essentially screwing around, beat Phoenix 99-81, and it wasn't even that close.
Rockets bench - 50pts, 23 rbs, 7 ast, 5 blk.
Kevin Martin - 16pts in 17 minutes on 6-9 shooting, despite only going 1-4 on threes and shooting 3 free throws.
Chase Budinger - Double double in 24 minutes with 12pts, 10rbs, 2 ast. Chase was aggressive tonight and it paid off. Some tend to forget he's a good rebounder and presents certain problems for a lot of defenders at 6'7"-6'8" with a good handle, speed and hops.
The Suns - It's sad to see a once proud franchise brought low by penny-pinching and bad decisions. Nash has the thousand yard stare, and I bet Gortat wishes he had considered Houston a bit more intently. Nash is still very good, Gortat is probably the second best center in the Western Conference, and Markief Morris looks like a player. The rest of this team apparently came from the Island of Misfit Toys.
Only 10 Rockets Played - There was plenty of opportunity to play Terrence Williams and Jonny Flynn in the 4th, or the 3rd really. I guess McHale wanted to use his main benchies, but I have to wonder what Twill did to not even get time in a blowout.
Sebastian Telfair NBA Player - He's not. In a game where the Rockets took their foot off the gas sometime early in the 3rd "Bassy" managed to go 2-5 with 1 rb, 1 ast, 1stl, and 4 turnovers in 8 minutes. I really don't care how he looked on the playground when he was 16, this guy is not, and has never been, an NBA PG. Maybe he's a great guy, if so I'm sorry, but of recent overhyped youngsters who haven't done all that much in the NBA, OJ Mayo is about 3x as good as Telfair.
BONUS - In his presser Kevin McHale scoffs at notions players being tired from travel and the game schedule. Nothing new there, but he goes topical for the Houston fanbase by switching his beloved Coal Mining comparison to working on an oil rig. Well played, sir.
See another view on Bright Side Of The Sun.