Yeah, so that happened. To the Houston Rockets’ credit, they were only outscored by two points from the second to the fourth quarter. The only issue with that is that the Milwaukee Bucks came out scorching in the first quarter and unleashed a 41 point barrage upon the Fiserv Forum.
Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez set the tone early as they connected on five of the Bucks’ seven first quarter threes. Giannis Antetokounmpo was simply unfair to guard as he had the rim rattling all night long.
While Jalen Green (22 on 6-19 from the field) did provide some highlights, the staunch defense of Milwaukee held him in check. It’s safe to say Holiday probably felt a way about this.
The Rockets were already tested with their first new starting lineup of the season as Usman Garuba (4 steals!!!) slid into the center slot vacated by the injured Bruno Fernando (sore knee). Also starting for the first time in 2022 was Kenyon Martin Jr. (14 points on 6-11 from the field), who took over for Eric Gordon (back-to-back).
This loss can be attributed to a source we are all too familiar with, poor defense. Although it’s only been a short sample size, the Rockets are tied at the bottom of the league in points allowed at 123.7. That will have to see some improvement if this team hopes to improve upon last years record.
Jabari Smith Jr. didn’t shoot great from the field either (5-15). While the overall shooting wasn’t great for Smith Jr., it’s encouraging to see him and fellow rookie, Tari Eason Jr., shot a combined 6-11 from distance. The third overall pick will also get some slack considering he had to contend with a former MVP in Giannis and has also been asked to fill in at center during the early stages of his career.
Jabari's first double-double.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) October 23, 2022
He is the 16th player 19 or younger in NBA history to have recorded a double-double within his first three career games played. @CreditKarma | #MoneyMoveoftheGame pic.twitter.com/wKkGo2C3zM
There’s no need to panic for the Rockets as this game came against championship contenders and on the second night of a back-to-back. There have been encouraging things to see from our young talent thus far, and once they put it together for a full 48 minutes we’ll start seeing the win column get some love.