Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers game preview

Mostly I'm just thinking, "I hope there's waffles in the locker room after the game." - Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets take on the Clippers tonight in Houston after dropping a heartbreaker to the Lakers.

We should definitely be panicking, right?

The Rockets were playing their fifth game in seven nights, so they should have had enough rest, right?

It shouldn't matter that the Rockets turned in a terrible game and the Lakers shot lights out in the first half, right?

Who cares that even wide open players shoot 50% from three but even when the Lakers were covered they couldn't miss?

There's no reason to consider that it was the Rockets' sixth game with Dwight Howard, right? I mean, if they can't use him immediately they might as well trade him, right?

We should gloss over the fact that Chandler Parsons is in a crazy funk that no one can explain, right?

If it wasn't the Lakers, we would be just as upset, right?

Wrong.

Come on guys. Step off the ledge. I know that the Texans have pushed a lot of Houston fans to the great abyss known as sports talk radio, but we're a little more reasonable here.

Ready to exhale? Here are some reasons to relax:

We are six games into the season. Six. If the Rockets were 0-6 we might be pushing the panic button. Six games.

The Rockets were on their fifth game in seven nights. That's crazy! Maybe tired legs have something to do with the Rockets being unable to hit their threes against the Blazers and Lakers. Almost like a cause and effect thing there.

Tonight the Rockets are playing their sixth game in nine nights. Still crazy. If the Rockets lose this game too, the sky would still not be falling.

You can't expect this team to know what to do with Dwight Howard. That takes time. Familiarity and wrinkles in the offense will happen. We're already seeing that with the brush screen that Patrick Beverley keeps setting for Dwight on the block. And there's no way the Rockets will be this bad at throwing lobs for 82 games. And the Asik-Howard combo will get figured out. Again, just give it time.

Chandler Parsons is going through something. He's terrified of shooting threes. Everything is a pump fake from out there. And when he does shoot he looks tentative. That's correctable by reps. And Parsons went through a slump last year and dug his way out and had an incredible second half of the season.

Teams will start to shoot normal percentages from three. I promise. The Lakers had some open looks, just like every team generates a few times per game. The difference was that the Blazers and Lakers hit everything, even when the Rockets played good rotational defense. The Rockets' perimeter defense will never be fantastic, but it isn't so bad that it's the worst of all time.

Omri Casspi, Francisco Garcia, and Beverley won't turn in a triple dud like they did against the Lakers very often. Garcia especially has been lights-out so far and Casspi has shot well too. Plus, Bev has an injury. So while I'm not a doctor (yet), I'm pretty sure that it takes awhile to heal from a torn muscle. More than the three days or however long Bev took to return.

It sucks that the loss was against the Lakers. It sucks that the Rockets had this game in hand. But give the Lakers credit. They won this game the same way the Rockets did from 2010-2012: without real star power and through doing all the little things. Remember those Rockets wins against the Thunder and Spurs in the dark years? Where we knew the Rockets had spunk but weren't really very good? Well that's what the Lakers did to the Rockets. It happens. Some nights the Rockets will bring their C or D game and their opponents will have their A game. That's why no team goes 82-0.

Example:

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Houston Rockets - March 13 2012 (via flarepso)

NBA CIRCLE - LA Lakers Vs Houston Rockets Highlights March 20, 2012 (via MrImperium69)

Public Service Announcement: People of Youtube, please stop posting 800 videos of Jeremy Lin highlights for every game. I get that you like him. That's awesome! But I don't need to search for "Rockets Thunder 2012 highlights" and get a thousand "JEREMY LIN 12PTS 3AST PRESEASON VS. THUNDER!!!" videos left and right before I actually get to the right video. So can we tone it down just a bit? Okay? Much appreciated.

Tip-off is at 7pm CST.

The Rockets played the Clippers recently so I'm not doing matchups. You know who holds the key to the Clippers' car. The All-New Kia Optima, brought to you by the most ridiculous commercials ever. And the insurance for that car is brought to you by State Farm and Cliff Paul.

Clippers vs Rockets coverage

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