The Rockets season is finally, mercifully over after an 114-81 butt-kicking from the Warriors. The final game was much like the very first game of the season against the Nuggets so long ago. The play was poor, the players weren't engaged, there was little defense and it looked like they were playing together for just the first time.
The Warriors started off the game making back to back threes, J.B. Bickerstaff called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding and that was pretty much all she wrote. The Warriors would go on to blow the doors off the Rockets and after the first quarter it was clear, summer vacations were being planned.
Below are three takeaways from the final Rockets game of the season.
I guess you expected the Rockets had this type of game in them. After falling hard in Game 4, one would probably say this was the most likely outcome.
When looking back, it's even more madding because if they just were able to catch fire, it was all set up for them to make a run back to the Western Conference Finals.
No Stephen Curry (hell, the whole series he played less than 40 minutes), in the next no Blake Griffin and no Chris Paul. If only this Rockets team had played up to last season's potential — as I write that, Jason Terry is yelling "THIS IS NOT THE SAME TEAM" — they would have been on a crash course with the Spurs in the WCF.
"Give J.B. (Bickerstaff) a lot of credit," Jason Terry said of the season the Rockets had, "he did what he could do but we just didn't have the chemistry needed."
The Rockets came out in Game 5, got punched square in the nose early and chose not to respond.
The Rockets defense was so god awful the 76ers might have won. Rotations were slow and bad, leaving shooters open all night long. The Warriors would finish shooting 55 percent from the field and 42 percent from three. The switches the Rockets used were the worst of the series and, a few times, rather than fighting through a screen, they just gave up on the play.
The Warriors defense, combined with the Rockets struggling to get anything going, was a horrible disaster. At one point in the game, the Rockets had three offensive rebounds during the same possession and just took three after three only to get brick after brick.
Wednesday night there was one player on the Rockets who was scoring the ball and for some reason he did not have 50 shots! Why?
In the first half, James Harden had 25 points, the team had 37 total points and the starters outside of Harden had 10 points. Harden did try to get his teammates involved but it was clear early on that they needed him to carry all of them on his back.
"We expect nothing less from him," Patrick Beverley said of James Harden's night. "It's up to everybody else to help him, and we couldn't do that this series."
The offense as a whole was pretty out of whack. Nothing was flowing right and the only shots that went in were ISOs that Harden made himself. While the iso shots are just not good offense, it was the only thing going in the hoop.
Dwight Howard who was 2-10 in the first half, on one particular play ignored Harden only to throw up a running hook (brick).
If you are going to ignore the only guy making shots, it's going to be a loooooong night, and it was.
Jason Terry plan backfires
The guarantee heard round the world, did not end up working out for Red Nation. Veteran point guard Jason Terry, after a practice a few days ago, shared a little bit of bulletin board material.
"That's going to be a long flight for them to come back to Houston," Jason Terry told the Chronicle before what is likely the final game of his career. "It's going to be a nice flight home once we get this win, I'm guaranteeing it."
Turns out the Warriors took a little bit of exception to this notion from Terry.
"A team who's talking trash about guarantee to win on our home court, we made sure we gave them what they wanted: a smack," Marreese Speights.
Terry's guarantee was not the smartest thing to do.
"They obviously saying long flight back to Houston, we weren't really feeling that," Draymond Green said.
It was going to be a tough game already, but he had to go over and kick a hornets nest. No wonder the Warriors came out on fire and blew the Rockets out of the building in the first quarter. I understand what he was trying to do, get his to believe. It was just a bad move.