If you will forgive me, reader, I wrote quite a lot for Five Out, so this may be a recap that mostly talks about the game, rather than general Rockets topics in the context of the game.
he anticipated freakout with Bruno Fernando starting didn’t happen, as Alperen Sengun started and went to town.
This was the Rockets third game in four nights, and they did not stretch their win streak out to three games. They competed, and stayed roughly level in a first half fireworks show with the Denver Nuggets, and then fell apart late in the third quarter.
This collapse partly happened because the referees hung a suspiciously soft fouls on Alperen Sengun, who to that point was going toe-to-toe with MVP Nikola Jokic. It’s a shame, as Jokic and Sengun both seemed into the contest, but as one might expect of a 20 year old big going against a two time MVP, any marginal, and some frankly puzzling, calls went Jokic’s way.
The first half, with Jokic and Sengun trading baskets, trading passes, and generally bossing the game was fantastic. It made for something different, and interesting. The sort of battle that makes, and keeps, NBA fans. Then Sengun was shut down with fouls, unable to guard with any physicality, and Jokic ran away with the game.
Does this mean I think the Rockets were robbed of a victory? No. Emphatically not.
Jamal Murray looked his absolute best tonight, combining his herky-jerky inside attack with sweet shooting from the perimeter. Apparently every formerly seriously injured guard can have a season high night against the Rockets (Klay, too). It must be coincidence, and not the Rockets awful perimeter defense.
The Rockets usually enjoy an advantage, in at least intensity, with their second unit. Tonight, whether due to tiredness, or because Denver is simply, and not surprisingly, better, the game changing nature nature of “The Goon Squad” was a change for the worse tonight.
Whatever is wrong with Tari Eason and attacking at the basket, it’s odd, and becoming alarming. Peso, your mother is upset, and she wants you to dunk the damn ball.
Anyhow, with Murray rounding into to form, and other players getting healthy, Denver looks to be a real contender to come out of the West. The Rockets are now displaying competence, at least on one side of the ball, against good teams for entire halves of basketball now. The Nuggets are better, but more and more the sense with the Rockets is, maybe not THAT much better, despite the game getting away at the end of the third quarter.
Stephen Silas declared early garbage time, perhaps sensing that his team was out of gas, and the garbage time lineup looked pretty rubbishy.
The schedule doesn’t get easier, with the next game on the road against, oh, wait, it’s Denver. In Denver. Again. On the 30th.
Next game, also Denver, also in Denver.
This poll is closed
Great! At least its not a B2B before Utah!
What’s fun about this?
I blame Mark Cuban.