Halloween is over. Now it is time for the Rockets to shuck their TimberNetErs costumes and return to being the Houston Rockets, you know, a professional basketball team that wins at least more than half of their games. Leave the 'Rhinestone Spangle Sexy Loser Look Rockets Costume" in the bin marked "Biohazard" behind Toyota Center. A HazMat team will be by shortly to see that everything is properly incinerated.
Because of the fun of Halloween you guys were deprived of your game recap of Game 3 - Home Opener against the Denver Nuggets. And here we are, Halloween night, with a sinking, queasy feeling that isn't entirely from candy and/or booze.
We're now a perfect 3-3 in losing on the season, and I have to say, I'm getting a bit concerned.
First game, LA, Home opener, ring ceremony - 2pt loss with a chance to win or tie at the buzzer? I can live with it, but we had a lead almost through 3 and the game was there for the taking. Two unlikely Lakers go nuts and bury the Rockets. That might be ominous.
Second Game - Back to Back at Golden State. Another close loss, Rockets get into a horse race with a running team. 4pt loss, after game was mostly tied. Monta Ellis channels Playoff Michael Jordan.
Third Game - Home Opener vs Denver. This game looked ok, but the Rockets again faded down the stretch. I don't know what the point of a 12 man bench is if you won't use it. Maybe Bill Simmons is right. That would be annoying.
Because I love you I have watched this game despite knowing how it would come out.
Here is your micro recap.
- Rockets lose their 5th winnable game in a row including preseason. Culprits include: 3rd quarter collapse, defensive lapses, cold shooting, lack of a crunch time plan (note plan - not necessarily player though that would be ok too), too much Ground Chuck, no Hill or Patterson.
- Can't hit anything from 3pt range. No, really, nothing.
- Rockets again let another unlikely player become a "Star for A Night". In order we have - Lil' Stevie Blake 'n' Shannon (is a girl's name) Brown, Monta Ellis (he became Jordan for A Night), and now Al Harrington, a player for whom I've never quite understood the high level of attraction (joining a category which includes Caron Butler, Richard Jefferson, and Al Jefferson, Luol Deng, Rudy Gay).
- Another great Luis Scola outing is wasted. Houston got a great platoon out of Scola and Carl Landry, who brought very different styles of play and created matchup nightmares. There are two guys like that rotting on the bench in Hill and Patterson. I'm not sure how they'd make things worse in a few minutes a game. Obviously Patterson can't contribute if he's not active, but that begs another question.
- Kyle Lowry looked off, and his shooting reflected that. Get well, Kyle, immediately.
- Yao Ming is not in sync. I'm not sure how easy it will be for him to get in sync given the limitations on his games and minutes.
- Denver isn't terribly impressive, but they do what they do tolerably well. If Denver has a fire sale I'd like Nene most of all.
- Erick Dampier is not a savior (he's yet to save anything, except hopefully his money, that I'm aware of). That said, he's going to be useful once he gets accustomed to the system. For a center, the system isn't that hard.
- The best consolation is that 79 games or 96% of the season remains to be played.