Let me tell you a story and see if you have heard it before. The Rockets were down not only double digits but found themselves down by 20 plus points at times during the game.
The Rockets struggled to shoot or play defense in the first half only to come back in the second half and make it a game before ultimately falling.
Below are three takeaways from an all too familiar game.
Defense is/was always awful
In the second half, like other games when the Rockets focused more, the defense picked up.
In the first half, however, it was an all-too-familiar scene, they were awful. The Rockets could not stop anyone, allowing man after man to get to the rim with ease even with Dwight Howard protecting the paint. The Pistons slid through the Rockets defense like a hot knife through cold butter.
In the first half, the Rockets lost guys in transition. They failed to step up and challenge shooters when they came in for mid-range jumpers. The also did not close out on three-point shooters. It was a really poor performance.
The Pistons were on fire, but the defense was
Thornton is the Rockets' best bench player
I really like the way Marcus Thornton plays within this offense. I have mentioned this before when he was starting, he really understands what he needs to do playing off of James Harden.
Thornton has a super quick release and can move the ball well. He poured in another 15+-point night coming off of the bench. Thornton again was a big reason the Rockets got back into the game. It seems he has surpassed Corey Brewer as the top option off of the bench.
Why did Ty Lawson get pulled from the game?
The Rockets made their biggest run of the game with Lawson on the court. Then you put him on the bench, why?
Going back over the tape he didn't look awful, he was partly the reason they got back into the game.
Lawson looked more engaged than he has been in the past few games. He was hot shooting the ball. In the second half, Lawson was 3-5 scoring 9 points, plus 5 total assists.
Defensively Lawson wasn't bad either. He didn't lose his man, he would sag a little bit to help double guys, he played well. In the nine minutes in the second half Lawson played he had a 141 offensive rating to go with an 84 defensive rating (that's legit). I don't understand it if you do understand why, please share.