Well, what a fun trip to the Golden State Warriors. First LAL on Kiss The Ring night, then a back-to-back to face one of the highest paced teams in the NBA. Two losses by a combined 6pts.
But that's not really challenging enough. Let's do it without our PG who can play D. And let's do it without Yao on the second night. But that's probably not hard enough. Let's also not play our young fresh legs in the form of lottery picks Jordan Hill and Patrick Patterson AT ALL in a fast paced game. Beyond that, let's not use the center we acquired to back up Yao. No, let's run Chuck Hayes instead.
I'm not usually this frustrated, but I'm not the Associated Press either. Give credit to Golden State. Unlike the bombardment from Steve Blake and noted 3pt ace Shannon Brown, the Golden State Warrior guard combo of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are both excellent shooters, among the best in the NBA. They made a good number of open shots, but they made more with hands in their face, and decent D. In the end they scored 71 (71!) points between them with Ellis going off for 46. What, exactly do you do about 18-24 shooting?
So we'll be back at home Saturday against the Denver Nuggets. We need that win. Let's go to bullet points to talk about the rest of this game.
- The Rockets have scored 110 and 128 and lost two games. I'm not sure where the renewed focus on D went, but it's not in evidence. To be fair, Curry and Ellis are a nightmare matchup, particularly without Kyle Lowry.
- This game could have been a win. Martin was no doubt causing Golden State Warrior fans' head to explode. He shot 17 FT. He made 17ft. He scored 28. I'm noticing more of how he draws his fouls, and it's interesting. He generally just blows by the guy guarding him, the guy turns, and Martin turns into him while shooting, drawing a foul, and often, making the shot.
- David Lee looks like a good addition to GSW. They are dangerous at almost every spot
- We've lost two games by 6 points. The national media can safely look away from the Rockets, because we're clearly bad. That's what 238pts on road back-to-backs tells you
- Any doubt in your mind that Kyle Lowry is a crucial piece of the puzzle? Aaron Brooks played 77 minutes in two nights. His shot was short by the 3rd quarter. He's a player, more than most, who relies on energy, freshness and speed. He's not a grinder, and he just looked gassed.
- Luis Scola has been good both nights except for one little stretch in the LA game. Tonight he scored 36 and grabbed a mighty 16 boards. It's a shame it went to waste, because that was a great effort.
- I thought Brooks and Martin might be the highest scoring backcourt in the NBA. Now I'll be surprised if it isn't Curry and Ellis.
- Every Southwest division team not named "Rockets" opened at home tonight. Only Memphis lost. None of them are playing tomorrow night. Thanks for another great year, NBA schedule makers.