Watch out, the Rockets are streaking! After beating the Celtics on the road 102-98, they are winners of three in a row, and two of the wins have been against some of the top teams in the East (Raptors and Celtics).
The game on Friday night should definitely go down as on of the best wins of the season. The Rockets, for one of the few times all season, played a complete four quarters.
Below are three takeaways from the Rockets road win over the Celtics
Defense and bench scoring is what was the hallmark of Rockets basketball. It made a return against the Celtics Friday night. The defense played pretty well right from tipoff.
"I thought it was really good," J.B. Bickerstaff said of the defense "we did a lot of switching with our small group to keep guys in front of us and keep guys out of the paint, we were active, we were flying around, contesting shots."
Jared Sullinger did some damage in the paint and Isaiah Thomas got his normal layups, but the Rockets closed off the rim to everyone else.
There was a moment in the game were Avery Bradley got free for a three and I saw James Harden fight through a screen to run at him full speed. I was shocked to see it, and so was Bradley as he missed the shot. Harden looked great defensively.
The Rockets offense was able to get into the Celtics' paint with ease! They were able to score 60 of their 102 points in the paint. The bench also showed up. Michael Beasley was the highlight Friday night but everyone else that came off the bench contributed and it allowed Trevor Ariza and Harden not to play a full 48 minutes.
Point guard + Pit Bull = Patrick Beverley
So, what do you get when you cross an average NBA point guard with a pit bull? You get a Patrick Beverley!
Friday night the 6'1 Beverley had 12 rebounds, including four offensive rebounds. Beverley on misses was running at the rim and out-rebounding the Celtics bigs, skying over them and coming down with an extra possession.
"You look at him, his ability to rebound the ball at his size is at an elite level, Daryl (Daryl Morey) likes to say it's at an historic level," Bickerstaff said.
Since March, Beverley is averaging 6.8 rebounds a game, not too shabby for a point guard.
We all know Beverley is going to be aggressive on defense but being able to get rebounds will help keep him on the floor. He played the most minutes on the team last night mainly because the Rockets needed his hustle on the floor.
Michael Beasley just might be the power forward soon
First, there was Terrence Jones, then Donatas Motiejunas, then Montrezl Harrell, then Clint Capela, then Josh Smith and now it's Donatas Motiejunas again.
*Note, I am sure I didn't get the chronology of power forwards used this season right, but you get my point.
Donatas Motiejunas of last season is far and away the Rockets' best option next to Dwight Howard, the problem is he still isn't there yet.
It might be time for the Rockets to try yet another guy next to Howard.
Michael Beasley played great for the Rockets off the bench against the Celtics, he finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds.
"The thought when Micheal (Beasley) came on board was he's a guy who can flat out score the ball, you can just give it to him and get out of the way," Bickerstaff said.
Beasley did just that, he took the ball to the rim and scored, he displayed a nice mid-range game and even mixed it up on the offensive glass. When James Harden has to rest/sit, it usually is a little bit of a roller coaster ride trying to find offense. Friday night it wasn't, Beasley took over when Harden sat.
"That's pretty much my job," Michael Beasley told Root Sports following the game "my jobs pretty much clear cut, help the bigs out, get shots for the second unit and try to control the game as much as possible."
Beasley was great off the bench and seems to be the answer when Harden is sitting.
What about starting off the game? Could Beasley start with the first unit until Motiejunas is fully back to normal?
You want a fast start in the game and having Beasley with the first unit gives the Rockets a little more scoring punch. You can also stagger his minutes so he is still in when Harden is on the bench, but right now Beasley just might be your most ready second big.