The Rockets lose a third straight game, this time to I-45 north rivals the Mavericks, 110 to 98. The Rockets were blown away early in the game down 23 at the half. They fought hard in the second half to try and make a comeback outscoring the Mavs in the third and fourth quarters, but 23-point lead at the half was too much to overcome.
This game stings oh so much more because the Mavs essentially handed the Rockets a win with Chandler Parsons, Wesley Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki all not playing on Saturday night.
Below are three takeaways from the loss.
Defense *clap, clap, clap*, Defense *clap, clap, clap*
There sure wasn't much played, the Mavs got everything thing they wanted. Layups? Check. Threes? Check. Mid-range? Check. Behind-the-back, 360, windmill dunks? No, but hell it could have happened as bad the first half went.
Terrence Jones played a pretty good game offensively, but time after time got caught sleeping on defense allowing Charlie Villanueva to hit three after three in the first half.
The second half the Rockets played a little more aggressive and feisty on defense. Still when the Rockets pulled close, Raymond Felton would take a tough shot and make it.
The defense was better in the second half, but Mavs also had a 20-point lead, so was it better defense or a careless Mavs because they were up so much?
The Small Ball Era did not last very long
A night after Terrence Jones put in 23 points off the bench against the Nuggets. He got the start against the Mavs and followed with another 23 point performance. Jones, back-to-back nights was one of the lone bright spots.
Jones did most of his damage in the paint getting lay-up after lay-up. Note: I'm still concerned Jones lays the ball in rather than dunk.
Jones postgame agreed he has been more aggressive offensively since coming back from injury.
On defense, he left a lot to be desired but, he did provide a few moments while in the paint, blocking/changing shots.
The Rockets used the small ball lineup up pretty well for a few games but, looks like Jones has reclaimed his starting job.
Please stop blaming Kevin McHale
This is more of a general takeaway from the fans during Saturday's loss. Yes, I completely understand that this loss hurts, and the losing streak is painful but please stop with the fire Kevin McHale tweets.
- Seriously, what coach is going to come in mid-season and turn this season around?
- Kevin McHale isn't the one missing shot after shot or playing bad defense.
- THIS IS THE SAME TEAM AS LAST SEASON pretty much.
Kevin McHale can only do so much, he has tried lineup after lineup, he's tried scheme after scheme. It's execution, not McHale.
McHale wants the team to run, get out on the fast break and slam down dunk after dunk. He want's them to be able to rotate on defense and not lose guys.
I agree there are some tweaks to be made, but a laying all of this at the feet of McHale just isn't fair.