Was this a fun game to watch? My verdict rules that it was not fun. In fact, it got off to just about as miserable of a start as I’ve seen recently.
The Houston Rockets laid a dud from the onset as they quickly fell into a hole that they couldn’t climb out of. The New Orleans Pelicans got up as much as 31 points in this game and the result was never in doubt from that point. Houston only managed to close the gap to eight points in the final minute due to the Pelicans letting their foot off the gas pedal against the Rockets’ bench crew.
Did I mention that Stephen Silas got chased before the end of the first quarter? It appears that some frustration caught up as he was assessed his second technical mere seconds before the buzzer.
My pregame predictions for Jabari Smith Jr. proved to be half-true. While he did post a 14 point and 13 rebound game, his shot wasn’t connecting as I had hoped against a weakened Pelicans’ front. I appreciate him staying aggressive on the boards and staying competitive on the defensive end for what it’s worth.
The rest of the team didn’t do much to stop the onslaught that resulted in a 75 point first half for New Orleans. While their offense cooled down in the second half, the Pelicans certainly outclassed the Rockets throughout this game, even while missing their top two scorers, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
CJ McCollum burdened the scoring load with 28 points and Jonas Valanciunas repeatedly bullied his way to 17 rebounds. Couple those efforts with New Orleans’ immense wingspans and it’s no surprise that Houston struggled to get easy shots.
The Jabari-Alperen Sengun-Eric Gordon-Jalen Green-Kevin Porter Jr. starting lineup combined to go 22-for-59 (37%) from the field on the night. The team’s total shooting effort was boosted by Kenyon Martin Jr.’s 7-for-7 evening, but even then the effort from the bench turned out to be ultimately futile. With John Lucas at the helm, the reserves were able to trim the lead down, but it was a case of too little, too late.
Coming into this game I thought this would be a golden opportunity for Houston to end their four (now five) game losing streak, albeit against a good team, but this went sideways in a blur.
It’s apparent that something needs to change. Whether it’s lineup changes, figuring out who should initiate the offense, trades, coaching changes etc., something is going to have to give, especially in light of recent happenings.
The vibes are not immaculate at this time and it has become abundantly clear that time may be ticking.
Perhaps some home cookin’ is in store as the Rockets take on the Utah Jazz tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. We shall see...
Am I being too pessimistic?
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