The Rockets fall to the Grizzlies 96 to 84, only a game after the team felt like they have started to turn the corner. The Rockets were very careless with the ball committing a season-high 23 turnovers.
The Rockets found themselves AGAIN down to a team by 20 points. They would end up cutting it nine points to end the third quarter but could not buy a bucket and would get run out of the gym after making only TWO shots in the final period.
Below are three takeaways from teams loss.
How do you lose a guy that is 6'11 and 270ish pounds??
I guess what has me frazzled is why Dwight Howard not involved in the offense anymore? Howard is massive, one of the most physical players in the NBA, and on Friday night he had five field goal attempts.
In the last four games, he has played (including Friday) Howard has averaged five field goal attempts.
Here is a list of players in the NBA averaging around five field goals a game: Metta World Peace, Boris Diaw, Chris Kaman, Luke Babbitt, and Beno Udrih. I guess Howard is now on this level??
Multiple times Friday night Howard had his man pinned near the basket and the Rockets would end up taking a jumper. It seems like the only offense Howard getting is a dunk off a pick and roll and even that isn't happening much anymore.
Giving the ball to Howard with his back to the basket is a recipe for disaster. However running the offense through Howard, especially when James Harden is slumping can work. Teams will usually double Howard inside, so he could kick to an open shooter. Alos if you give the ball to Howard deep enough he is usually pretty good at either making the shot or getting fouled.
Rockets looked like "Walkers"
That's an ode to "Walking Dead" fans out there, kudos if you understood it.
Friday night was home to a lot of lazy passing, sloppy ball handling and sloooooow play overall.
Guys just seemed to be going through the motions. The one play that stood out above all of the rest on Friday night was during the foruth qurater. Howard was running through the middle of the lane, Jason Terry fired a pass to Howard and nearly popped Howard in the head with the basketball he had no clue where the ball was. *Side note* Maybe it's Howard who isn't looking for offense?
The Rockets took 11 fewer shots than the Grizzlies, they also had 11 fewer assists but had 12 more turnovers.
Those numbers tell you they were slow, took a lot of self-created shots and were either careless with the ball or tried to hard all add up to loss on anynight.
The Harden splits are real!
In a win, Harden puts of 40 points, in a loss Harden puts up 20 points. On Friday night, Harden put up 22 points, the Rockets lost.
Those splits tell you an awful lot. The ONLY way the Rockets will win a game is if James Harden puts up a superhuman night. Seriously he is scoring 20 more points in a win than a loss, that's a massive, massive margin.
The split also tells you that no one else on the team is scoring. Had the Rockets gotten someone else to step and score on some of Harden's off night's they would have won a few of those games and the 40 point average would go down.
A quick look at some top scorers splits just to see how crazy Harden's is.
Anthony Davis in wins 17 ppg, in losses 23.4
LeBron James in wins 26.1 pg, in losses 30.7
Blake Griffin in wins 29.3 ppg, in losses 23.4 *nearest to Harden*
Russell Westbrook in wins 29.0, in losses 26.8
If the Rockets are to win more then 30 games they better figure out a way to win the games when Harden doesn't score 40.