The Houston Rockets defeat the Goldent State Warriors. It's starting to sound like a broken record. Going back to last season, the Rockets are 5-1 against the Mark Jackson coached Warriors. I'm not saying the Rockets have the Warriors' number, but as the victories agains them start to stack up, it could be looking that way.
Here's three quick thoughts on the game:
- Patrick Beverley for NBA All-Defensive First Team: Beverley is making a name for himself on the national stage. Beverley — who I nicknamed 'The Mitten' last season, as a nod to Gary Payton's moniker 'The Glove' — put on another defensive show against one of the league's top point guards. Following Thursday's night game where he held Damian Lillard to eight points, he limited Stephen Curry to 20 points. Take into account that Curry scored nearly half of them from the free throw line. Beverley shadowed Curry and harrassed him into a 5 of 12 shooting night including 1 of 5 from behind the arc. Might be too early in the season but these past two nationally televised games might put Beverley in the discussion for the NBA All-Defensive Team.
- Rockets need size: The Rockets two back-up centers, Greg Smith and Omer Asik, are sidelined with injuries and it's clear Houston missed them in this game. When Howard picked up his fifth foul at the 9:55 mark, Kelvin Sampson had no other choice but to take the big man out. This allowed Marcus Speights and the rest of the Warriors to feast on easy layups with no rim protector in the lane for Houston. Reports indicate that Smith could be back by Sunday's game against the Kings and he's return will be a welcome sight for coaches and teammates. Whatever happens with Asik — for the record I hope he stays — it's clear the Rockets are going to need big bodies besides Smith to back-up Howard. Donatas Motiejunas, for all the praise he received his first year, seems to have regressed a bit. If he can find his game again, that could aid the Rockets. Of course, some more playing time couldn't hurt
- Fourt quarter slow starts: For the second night in a row the Rockets started the fourth quarter as if it was a preseason game. There was a lack of energy and it showed as the Warriors used the Rockets sluggish play to crawl back into the game. Houston didn't registered it's first points of the quarter until the 9:07 mark when Chandler Parsons threw up a shot to beat the 24-second shot clock. Luckily, Houston was able to weather the storm, but better teams — like the Portland Trail Blazers — will make the Rockets pay.