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Spurs defeat Rockets 123-105

Harden Sits, Rockets Lose

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
That’s right. He played. Happy now?
Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

A game that the Rockets didn’t care about (Harden, House and Gordon out).

A game the Spurs had to have, for any hope of a play-in game, and a continuation of their playoff streak.

A scenario the NBA wants; teams fighting for the play in spot.

The result seemed predictable, with those conditions in mind. But this is the NBA, and...

It was.

It was mostly painful to watch, (and even worse to hear). The Rockets essentially didn’t do anything right. The didn’t take care of the ball, they didn’t play good defense, they didn’t make open shots, they didn’t play with intensity, they didn’t rebound, they didn’t communicate on defense. No, not even Russell Westbrook could inject energy.

The Rockets mostly stood around a lot.

To increase the pain, the Rockets broadcast wasn’t available. It was a whole game of the Spurs lazy, limp, and dull announcing team. Which was worse, that or the game? Land and Elliott were so indifferently prepared that when they saw a Rockets deep bench player it was clear they were reading straight from a media guide. Like this: say player name, pause, say name of school, pause, say something of his basketball experience, one stat, maybe (maybe), and...out.

Usually a prepared team will have an anecdote about a player. For instance, “You know Chris Clemons, a tiny player from tiny Campbell, is the second all-time NCAA scorer?” (They seemed dig up some of this material at half-time, to be fair. When it was clear the Rockets truly didn’t give a crap and would play a lot of Clemons minutes.)

Add all that to some truly bizarre reffing (drama must exist and for it to exist, Spurs should get a lot of calls) where Rockets were called for fouls when just standing around, not even trying to play defense. Of course its bad to just stand around, but to give up free throws for standing around? That’s worse. The Rockets were fully prepared to lose this all by themselves, thank you very much.

Anyhow, you know how the Restart Bubble hasn’t felt like NBA Summer League? It did today.

Great news! The Rockets play again tomorrow. Fortunately, all this is fairly meaningless to the Rockets and their playoff positioning. Maybe they play OKC, maybe they don’t. It’s hard to control that sort of thing when other teams are doing their best to avoid a match up, anyway.

Rejoice, though, Demarre Carroll played, and he, of course, looked like a combination of peak Michael Jordan and peak Grant Hill, with a little Kawhi Leonard in the mix. So the Rockets are definitely winning it all now. Carroll looked fine, and could be useful.

All this goes to show, this is James Harden’s team. Without question. Without Harden to bend defenses out of shape, it’s a much different game.

If you like watching Rockets role players miss open shots, this was your perfect game.


Do we ever have to talk about this game again?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    No. The Rockets were indifferent, and so am I.
    (84 votes)
  • 7%
    Yes, vital information on the bench.
    (12 votes)
  • 25%
    We won’t, but the Spurs will. They’ll brag about it.
    (44 votes)
  • 17%
    Dallas has taken the Spurs spot for "We’re in the playoffs, and it won’t matter."
    (30 votes)
170 votes total Vote Now