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Clippers push past Rockets 122-119

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Disappointing in the short term.

Houston Rockets v LA Clippers
Make your layups. Stop shooting so many 3s. Please?
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

This is going to be a short recap, too annoyed to write a long ostensibly coherent one. Resorting to Bullet Points - The Lazy Man’s Friend(tm).

  • This looked like a loss from the start, but the Rockets battled back against a deep and healthy Clippers team, despite missing Danuel House and Eric Gordon. Add either one and it’s probably a Rockets win. Even so, this could, and likely should, have been a Rockets win.
  • The fourth quarter was something of a travesty. If you wanted to describe a situation where the referees were worried about a free throw disparity and did their best to make it up in a quarter, in the opening seconds of a quarter, it might well look like this fourth quarter. The Clippers nearly got into the bonus with eleven minutes remaining. Have four non-intentional fouls been called on one team in 19 seconds before in NBA history?
  • Think that’s salty Rockets fan hyperbole?
  • I submit to you that it is possible that effectively being in the bonus for 11 out of 12 minutes of a quarter might have an impact on defense.
  • There’s a good Russell Westbrook in there somewhere. We’ve seen him. A player who drives against double teams, with tons of space and finishes through contact. Who makes free throws. Who doesn’t pass out of a drive at the very last second to players moving to rebound. Who makes layups. Who doesn’t miss free throws.
  • Westbrook was 1-7 from three, 3-7 FTs. This isn’t going to get it done. I’ve taken a wait and see attitude, but if stars win games, then they can lose them, too. Tonight’s loss rests on Westbrook, as his regular shooting despite two missed layups, was 8-15, and should have been 11-15. The Rockets must have a better version of Westbrook to legitimately contend.
  • The Rockets supporting cast stepped up late. If Ben McLemore was playing Gerald Green’s minutes, instead of Eric Gordon and Danuel House’s, he could be devastating.
  • People who don’t understand the interaction of usage rate and free throw rate should never complain about raw free throw numbers on national television.
  • People unwilling to look honestly at their own video evidence shouldn’t use it to illustrate complaints.
  • This loss hurt, as it should have been a win, but if the LA Clippers need magic shooting Lou Williams (26pts in the second half) and other oddities to win by three? That shouldn’t worry the Rockets overly.
  • I really wish the Rockets had somehow signed JaMychal Green, as he seems to be doing his best to smash into and injure Rockets whenever possible. As a Rocket this would possibly happen less often. Unless he’s just super clumsy or something, then he might injure his teammates, too. But he hasn’t injured any Clippers yet, to my knowledge, so I’ll stick with my first theory.
  • Have they ever packed less interest and personality into two superstars? I mean, yes, Tim Duncan was quiet, but Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker weren’t. To be fair, I don’t think Paul George goes home and stares at the wall while waiting for his BIOS updates to download.
  • It’s good to see teams deploying their best defenses against the Rockets now. The Rockets can prepare for them later. If this isn’t the best defense Denver and LAC can contrive, then I’m deeply concerned.
  • What other team in the NBA has a special defense concocted just for it?
  • What other team gets such histrionics from defenders?
  • That’s all I’ve got.
  • Wait, no. Russ, please, I want you to succeed. You need to be better than this. Not even much better. Just better.

Poll

Panic Color Alert Warning Status DefCon Level?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Bluegreen. Calm. Mindful. Lots of whale sounds.
    (42 votes)
  • 32%
    Purplelypink. Concerned at cupcake level, with some sparkles.
    (60 votes)
  • 18%
    redDREADred It’s everything I feared! Head for the hills. Oh, no. There are no hills.
    (33 votes)
  • 26%
    Purewhitebrightness is Luka at the heart of a supernova of basketball greatness. Yes, he’ll burn out soon, but it’s so cool.
    (48 votes)
183 votes total Vote Now