I was in a bad place after game 3.
I still didn't expect the Rockets to come back and win the series. I still expected the series to go to 4 or 5 games. Westbrook was important, but I looked at number 35 for the Thunder and I saw a guy who can kill you by himself. And the lucky bounces.
Never forget the lucky bounces.
But game 3 was a microcosm of typical Rockets games, especially leading into the playoffs. Poor starts, frustrating offensive movement, and then rallies that weren't sustainable. We all saw the warning signs, but at this point in the season those issues are difficult to address.
Once again, I was proud of the Rockets for showing some fight. Down 26 in the second quarter, with the crowd out of it, the Rockets looked like they had mailed in the rest of the series. And yes, they fought back and held a two-point lead with less than a minute to play (should have been 4 if Harden had hit his free throws a few possessions earlier) but the Rockets can't put themselves in that position to begin with. Did Durant play incredibly well? Sure he did. But that's no excuse for every other Thunder player getting clean looks throughout the game.
Heck, the Rockets would have been sunk if Kevin Martin had hit one of three open looks he got late in the ballgame.
Once again, I'm not expecting the Rockets to come back and win the series or anything like that. But it would be nice to win one. And I'd love to see TNT breaking down a story about a 17-year-old ballboy threatening to kill Patrick Beverley. Because hearing Chuck talk about that would be amazing. "Kenny, that was turrible. It was not spacktackcolor."
I hope Jeremy Lin is okay, but I think he's got to be done for the series. As for everyone's favorite whipping boy (Kevin McHale), I thought the Harden-Delfino-Parsons-Garcia-Asik lineup was inspired and made a lot of sense down the stretch.
Finally, enjoy the remaining games, because that's the last time you'll see this complete version of the Rockets. If there's anything that is inevitable in this life, it's death, taxes, and Daryl Morey trades. So enjoy these young guys tonight and hopefully in game 5.
Tip-off is at 8:30pm CST on TNT.
Update via Woj:
Jeremy Lin is out for Houston in Game 4 against OKC, league sources tell Y! He has a bruised chest. Francisco Garcia will start for Rockets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 29, 2013