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Rockets now have plays, defense, Beverley

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They're gonna need all three to get past the Warriors. Some love for J.B. Bickerstaff, the Rockets' key assistant, in today's Rocket Fuel.

The man behind the McHale
The man behind the McHale
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockets have plays now | Red94

Rob Dover tackles a new phenomenon in the film room: the Rockets, running plays? Looks like it. Great, informative piece.

The key to Rockets' improved defense: J.B. Bickerstaff | Minneapolis Star Tribune

Jon Krawczynski lays out what a lot of us already knew: the Rockets' biggest improvement has been because of the work of Bickerstaff. He's not going to be in Houston for long, so let's enjoy him while we can (maybe McHale can groom him as successor?).

Rockets' Beverley itching to tackle Warriors' Curry | Houston Chronicle

This is the matchup to watch on Wednesday. Curry is the most dangerous scorer in the league (yes, more dangerous than KD, in my opinion). More importantly, when he has a bad game the Warriors are vulnerable. "I better make sure I get my rest the night before," he told Jenny Dial Creech.

Kostas Papanikolaou out couple weeks with knee injury | ProBasketballTalk

Big Papa won't be back that soon. Hopefully this is one of those injuries that actually take the amount of time people think it will. Not, you know, like every other goddamn Rockets injury this year.

Nick Johnson’s confidence grows with boost in minutes | Ultimate Rockets

I bet it does. Johnson has performed admirably after being thrust into the rotation. The Rockets are undefeated in games where he plays more than 10 minutes.

Amid Calls for NBA Realignment, Daryl Morey Offers a Different Perspective | Bleacher Report

Feigen at B/R reports that Daryl Morey doesn't give two Fs about conference realignment, because he has one concern: winning a championship.

Rockets No. 7 in NBA.com Power Rankings | NBA.com

I love John Schuhmann the writer and the analyst, and looking at the six teams above the Rockets -- the Warriors, Spurs, Blazers, Grizzlies, Clippers and Mavericks -- it's easy to say he made the right call. Except we have the same record as the Grizzlies and just beat them, a better record than the Mavs and just beat them, and a better record than the Clippers. Schumann got this one wrong, methinks. ESPN has the Rockets at no. 4 and SB Nation has them at no. 2 - glad somebody's thinking straight around here.

James Harden: Spotlight on the Rockets guard | Denver Post

Some out of town love for The Beard this weekend. The Denver Post's Chris Dempsey named Harden his Player of the Week. The NBA should too, IMO.