Amid all of the ugly -- whether it was Trevor Ariza's painfully awkward double-clutch shots, Aaron Brooks' recklessness in the lane, or the clank-a-thon that was our third quarter offense -- there was the putrid officiating. Thirty-four San Antonio free throws compared to the Rockets' fourteen. I get it, we aren't aggressive; we didn't deserve to attempt more than fourteen free throws. But I'll be damned if our tenacity on defense, which was on display in full force, waranted 27 foul calls.
Yes, Ariza brushed Tony Parker on the arm while going for a steal. And yes, Carl Landry jumped higher than DeJuan Blair while going for a rebound, placing his arm on Blair's shoulder as Blair came down with the ball. I mean, I hate going into this. Hate, hate, hate it. But if you're an official, these are calls that do not need to be made. They're aggressive plays, the same aggressive plays that the San Antonio Spurs made on defense. And for every mini-run that the Rockets tried to put together to close the seemingly ever-present six-point deficit, there was a useless whistle to put an end to it.
With that said, bad officiating is one thing. Not scoring for eight minutes is quite another.
Give the Spurs credit, because they played fantastic defense. They begged Ariza to attempt yet another up-and-under, and he did, failing miserably each time. They forced Brooks to pass on each pick and roll, and it worked, as Chuck Hayes dropped an inexplicable 0-8 FG line. Everything the Spurs did on defense worked to perfection because the Rockets were unanable to adjust.
So if Aaron can't get into the lane with ease, what happens? Or what if Luis or Trevor can't score by themselves? What do we do? Um... panic?
It wasn't like the Rockets didn't have chances to score. The Rockets took twenty more shots than the Spurs. They grabbed seventeen offensive rebounds. But they just couldn't get good shots. And the good shots that Houston took didn't fall.
What happened to the constant variability of our offense? Suddenly, Kyle Lowry, Brooks, and Chase Budinger are afterthoughts. We MUST get them going again.
Anyways, Mizzou-Kansas is on. I've got to watch my other team. Perhaps someone else will share their thoughts as well. I'll admit, that was more of a rant than actual analysis.
Boxscore -- Pounding The Rock