Sometimes life intervenes in an interesting way. Something came up towards the end of this game, and I couldn’t get on the recap right away. As Jeremy Brener details here it turns out there were reasons for some mysteries of tonight’s game.
Why didn’t Christian Wood start? Where was he after a terrible eight minutes in the second quarter?
Why didn’t Kevin Porter Jr return? Was it an injury?
The Rockets looked absolutely awful in 2nd quarter, and considerably better in the 2nd half, although the second half was largely garbage time. Why was that?
We’ve gotten our answers, and as Rockets fans, they aren’t the one’s we’d like.
Christian Wood wasn’t in the game to start reportedly because he missed a COVID testing window. Silas in his press conference detailed Wood’s benching for “violating a team rule”, but declined to elaborate, the COVID test information is from other sources. In any event, Wood was benched to start the game. What’s worse, Theis and the Rockets started the game well, with energy, and managed to get an 11 point lead on Denver, which they would relinquish and then some, in the second. The fuse for the devastating dynamite tonight was Christian Wood.
When Wood entered the game, his eight minutes were really the harbinger of disaster, as the Rockets gave up an astounding 47 points to a Denver Nuggets team lead by noted All NBA player Facundo Campazzo. Now, Campazzo is a wonderful passer, and a first class irritant on the court, but possibly not even Mama Campazzo would peg him as the leader and inspiration of a 47pt NBA quarter. Quarter. This is four points below the NBA record 51pt quarter posted by a near-peak Warriors team against, slightly ironically, Denver.
No one watching the game as a Rockets fan could be pleased with that effort, and it turns out the Rockets coaching staff wasn’t pleased either.
John Lucas, famous for tough love that by all accounts actually encompasses both words, (instead of just being an asshole, as is the customary practice of the phrase) turned “the hair dryer” on the Rockets at the half, along with the other coaches. Jeff Hornacek, who has mostly appeared philosophical about this season in his interview snippets appeared angry at the Rockets effort. Stephen Silas and Will Weaver couldn’t have been happy either. So it must have been something special.
The scene was described by Sham Charania as a “heated exchange” between coaches and some players. The result of this was that Christian Wood refused to enter the game in the second half, and Kevin Porter Jr departed the arena.
Both of these events are unfortunate at best, and harbingers of the end of a Rockets career at worst.
Other players refused to comment on the exchange, with JaeSean Tate (paraphrasing) saying that teams and families sometimes have disputes and it’s best to keep those disputes and heated words private.
This dampens what was the kind of scoring night one hopes to see from Jalen Green, who scored 29pts in 28 minutes. His first half was beyond efficient with 22pts on 6 shots. His second didn’t build as much on it, but the attacking, FT shooting, and general effort was encouraging.
As to my own opinions on what should come of these incidents tonight, I’d say much depends on how two young player, Wood, and Porter Jr., handle the aftermath of this situation. Silence and a renewed focus on team, and good effort in game would be sufficient. Contrition would be better. I personally expect the latter from Porter, but the former, at best, from Wood.
I would also expect a penalty of some sort to be exacted by the team, as this sort of behavior can’t be encouraged.
This is also why, despite general scoffing from certain communities, it pays sometimes to have some wise older players on the team. Perhaps Uncle John Wall can help here. Eric Gordon isn’t known as a vocal leader, he’s known to hardly vocalize much of anything, being a quiet type unless perceived fouls are being visited upon him. Maybe the Rockets can get Udonis Haslem on loan?
We at TDS will keep you posted on the news as it develops, along with our read of the events.
This poll is closed
Goodbye Wood & Porter Jr.
Wood auld acquaintance be forgot.
Porter can carry his own suitcase out of town.
Just calm down. Say you’re sorry, and try to act like a grown up.
Least said, soonest mended.
Glad we could make Mark Cuban happy today.