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Rockets cremated by Heat, 129-100

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The scoreline flatters the Rockets.

Houston Rockets v Washington Wizards
Is his heart still in it?
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Many looked forward to this game. Few Rockets fans will want to look back.

First Quarter:

That had to be one of the worst efforts I’ve seen from any Rockets team, ever. It looks as though the team hadn’t actually been to bed after its night on South Beach, just rolled up to the arena and started to “play basketball”. Bad defense, lack of effort, bad shooting. Some might blame Eric Gordon, but this was a team effort.

46-14

You read that correctly. There’s no hidden meaning. It is what it appears to be.

Second Quarter:

The beating continues early. Russell Westbrook, bless his heart, is trying to will the Rockets back into this one. That means he’s doing the Bad Westbrook stuff everyone feared. It’s hard to blame him, he was the only one getting back on defense early.

The quarter unfolded, and the Rockets perhaps sweated out some alcohol. At one point they were winning the quarter, had narrowed the lead to around 30. Miami responded, but the Rockets did manage to close the second quarter with a bit of a flurry.

Effort was shown. Basketball was played.

71-46 Heat

Halftime:

It blessedly happened. They stopped playing basketball for a bit.

This is the sort of game that gets coaches fired. Is that what Mike D’Antoni wants? After the off-season that featured his assistants all getting fired, and no contract extension, it is not unthinkable. It is at least possible to imagine he’d like the Rockets to pay him to play golf, and truly find out if there really are better coaching options out there. He’d get hired again when he wanted to be.

The Rockets were shaken up, alright, so far the results of that aren’t looking too pretty. It’s a long season and all, and last year was even worse, to start, but a whole season of this game’s first half might be more than many can bear.

Third Quarter

This game is technically in reach as the third quarter begins. Do they Rockets see it that way? Will the Heat collapse? It seems unlikely and so it proves.

The Rockets bring out the same starting lineup as the first quarter, with Official Villain Eric Gordon in it. To be honest, Gordon has been awful. Maybe unplayably awful, but one guy playing badly can’t produce THIS result. It’s a team effort.

The quarter begins with Miami taking back the Rockets tepid gains from the second quarter. It ultimately finishes much the same way. After being held to 19 through 9 minutes of the quarter, Miami ends up scoring 28.

99-71 Heat

Fourth Quarter

What’s best about this quarter? It’s the last one of the game!

The Rockets defense is horrendous. When EVERY opponent shoots lights out, it’s probably the fault of your defense. Everyone has bad games, this is a bad season, so far.

We’ve seen these same players, minus a couple, play very good defense, last year. Westbrook cannot solely be responsible for this mess, and he certainly looks motivated to fit in. I think he’ll do as he’s asked.

Eric Gordon cannot be solely responsible for this mess, but he’s not helping. There is a time-honored coaching maxim that calls for benching players who are doingbadly, rather than giving them more playing time. Mike D’Antoni is certainly willing to employ that strategy for the most minor mistakes in young players, who might vanish never to be seen again outside The Valley. It doesn’t seem to apply to his veterans, though.

129-100 Heat. The Rockets manage to win only the second quarter of this “contest”.

Conclusion:

My conclusion? That was execrable.

A tip of the cap to a good Miami team, but the Rockets just rolled over and showed their bellies in this one.

Where is Jeff Bzdelik? Will he ride to the rescue, again? Nope. He’s coaching in New Orleans. Because someone else thought he had value to an NBA team.

I’m no business genius, but it is starting to seem like the management shakeup of the entire Rockets coaching staff was, perhaps, ill-conceived. Perhaps it will all sort itself out soon.

The game ended. It will go down as an ugly loss in early November. It’s one “L”. No one was injured. That’s the bright side. That’s all of it.

This team is broken right now, and there’s no Carmelo Anthony to blame this time.

NOTE: The Associated Press informs us that the 46-14 scoreline after the first quarter is the third biggest one quarter lead in NBA history, in the shot clock era. Last week the scoreline in the Rockets-Wizards game was the third highest non-overtime game score. So the Rockets are really enacting some memorable third place finishes.

Poll

I blame:

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Mike D’Antoni
    (157 votes)
  • 4%
    Eric Gordon
    (32 votes)
  • 21%
    Management and Ownership
    (158 votes)
  • 7%
    Two lifelong friends.
    (57 votes)
  • 33%
    All of the above.
    (241 votes)
  • 10%
    None of the above, but add Mark Cuban.
    (76 votes)
721 votes total Vote Now