It has come to this.
In my recaps I am most interested in which random opposing player will have The Big Night against the Rockets. In this troubled and uncertain world, few things are as reliable as The Rando. We may not know who The Rando will be, but we do know, there will be A Rando.
Tonight it was a Retro Rando, in the form of Boogie Cousins, who has bounced around the NBA this season, a shell of himself, but tonight, a bouncy, effective shell. A shell who scored 31pts on 14 attempts in 24 minutes of action. A reminder that when DeMarcus Cousins was good, he was really good.
Cousins also notched 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block, and he went through Christian Wood, Alperen Sengun and JaeSean Tate like they weren’t there. In terms of a Preferred Rando, I’d rather have Boogie than the irritating Facundo Campazzo, who seemed to have spent his life studying JJ Barrea video before declaring “I can be five times more annoying!”. Congratulations on a dream realized, Facundo. Congratulations.
Anyhow, the Rockets lost to a short handed Nuggets team that was without Nikola Jokic, but it’s difficult to see how much better Jokic could have been, compared to Cousins, honestly. I’d wager there won’t be another game as good for Boogie all season, but the Rockets helped turn back the clock for him. They’re givers.
The Rockets were all givers tonight. The defense was individually sometimes pretty good, particularly from Kevin Porter Jr and Jalen Green, but as always, if a team runs one simple action, let alone two, against the Rockets they tend to get easy baskets.
Jalen Green, on the offensive side, has begun to really look like a 1-2 draft choice. Tonight might not have been his most exciting, or explosive game, but it could well have been his best. His best in a series of solid performances. Tonight Green played 32 minutes, scored 18pts on 7-14 shooting, had 7 assists and 1 turnover, and pulled down 5 rebounds. He looked composed, unhurried, and confident in the attack, and his drives opened space for other Rockets, and he found them with accurate passing.
Christian Wood’s offense looked pretty good, and he made 8-8 free throws. His defensive effort wasn’t good though, given the Rampaging Rando at center. Wood has little hope of containing Cousins in close (no one else could) but his movement and effort are barely there. He may be a player that needs to be on a good team. In my opinion, he’s not a lead, whatever the case. He could be a very good 2nd scorer, though.
Meanwhile the Rockets bravely claimed sole possession of the worst record in the NBA with unfortunate wins for the Pistons and Magic. Remember, the team with the worst record might not pick first, given the equal odds of the bottom three, but it can pick no worse than 5th overall. If your team is rebuilding, it is, unhappily, where you want to be.
In the meantime, Boogie on Rando, Boogie on.
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Rocky Mountain Hiiiiiiiiiiiigh
The dark chasm of an abandoned mine.
A Denver suburb.
Some Jokic about Luka