The Rockets got Boban’d tonight, y’all.
Houston took a rough loss tonight at home to the Detroit Pistons, 114-109. With the win, Detroit keeps their faint playoff hopes alive, while the Rockets remain in third place in the West, with no chance to move up or down in the standings.
The loss for Houston doesn’t matter, but it still doesn’t sting any less. What sucks about this loss is that the Rockets were in the driver’s seat for most of this game. The Rockets gave up the lead late in the fourth and were never able to reclaim it. You could blame this loss in several spots. The Rockets didn’t necessarily played bad, but they didn’t play good enough. One of the main differences in the game was paint presence.
The Rockets sat Clint Capela to rest. Yes, you read that right. The Rockets rested somebody. Nene got the start, but only played thirteen minutes. He failed to record a minute in the second half. Ryan Anderson also didn’t play in the first half, but he did play a little bit, something he has not done in the last six games. Anderson looked sharp when he played, scoring nine points on 3-6 shooting.
With the Rockets’ three primary big men all playing very little, the green light was given for the Pistons’ two big men, Andre Drummond and the Man, the Myth, the Legend Boban Marjanovic. Drummond was in foul trouble most of the game and only played 20 minutes, which gave Marjanovic more playing time and a mismatch on Montrezl Harrell, where he has a six-inch advantage. Marjanovic had a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds and lead the team to victory.
The Pistons’ supporting cast also came through. Former Rocket Ish Smith had 20 points and rookie Henry Ellenson had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Rockets tried to combat those numbers with James Harden’s 33 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds, and Lou Williams’s 15 points, which brought him to 10,000 career points.
The Rockets clearly did not care about this game as much as the Pistons did, where even though both teams benched players, Detroit was playing for pride and a potential playoff berth. Houston’s just trying to roll things out with these last few games and get into playoff shape. Guys like Harden, Patrick Beverley and Trevor Ariza displayed that tonight, but getting guys like Lou Williams, Ryan Anderson, and even Eric Gordon back into a good rhythm is what these last couple of games are about. And tonight’s game was a move into the right direction.
The next chance to get into playoff shape comes against Sacramento on Sunday. Tipoff is at 5 PM CT.