First off, Welcome NBA Basketball! It’s good to see you back.
Second, tentatively, Welcome Back Rockets As A Plausible NBA Team, rather than whatever the hell the last three seasons were. Tilman’s Del Boca Vista Los Cohetes Phase 2 has broken ground, and new luxury units near the pool with balconies and views are still available!
If you want a quick summary it’s this: The Rockets looked like a talented team that hasn’t played together before, with a new coach. The coach seems promising, as does the team. They played hard, but made a lot of correctable mistakes. The Rockets didn’t shoot it well from outside, and missed a ton of close in shots. Their constant pressure on the basket, however, lead to 39 free throws, and it honestly could have been more, if people weren’t just allowed to hit Jalen Green in the head as he drives past them, for example.
The game itself was disjointed, as 18 Rockets players got at least 4 minutes of game action, so it’s hard to render a coherent narrative of a game plan, or lineups. It’s also harder to assess starting or second string units as Dillon Brooks managed to get himself ejected for what seemed like a friendly-flagrant-one-level-nut-shot on Daniel Theis in under five minutes of game time. What can we say about The Vestryman? He’s intense! He recorded an assist in his limited, but intense, time.
What we can say is this. The Rockets played the Pacers roughly even in the first quarter, took a lead in the second, and despite some Pacer runs, didn’t relinquish that lead. In the end the Rockets deep bench proved considerably better than that of Indiana, and we ended up with a more lopsided margin than you might have expected even as late as the end of the second quarter.
We can also say that that while the young players made some young player mistakes, they also showed a lot of promise.
A Quick, but Not Exhaustive List of Things I Noticed:
Fred Van Vleet - A very smart player, and organizer. Good when he has time to shoot, not as good shooting from outside the 3pt line this game.
Jalen Green - Didn’t shoot well from 3pt range, or the FT line, but did shoot pretty well otherwise. Tried to stay active on defense.
Dylan Brooks - Ejected For Nutshot In Under Five Minutes
Jabari Smith - Nice Overall Game, shooting, rebounding, defending. Jabari looks stronger, and more decisive. He definitely looks better if you run a play for him. Who knew?
Alperen Sengun - Seemingly drifted into 15pts/5rbs/4ast/2blk in 24 minutes. Offense with him and Van Vleet could really be special with Sengun feeding shooters from the top of the key. Made a 3pt shot. Looks stronger, faster, than last season.
Tari Eason - Still simply of force for good (for the Rockets). Makes stuff happen. Great shooting and finishing at the rim, rebounding, defending.
Amen Thompson - Moves at a different speed than the rest of humanity. Looked like a rookie, but still made good stuff happen. Not only did his miss his long range shots, he missed layups, too. This is not a long term concern.
Cam(!) Whitmore - A scorer. Big. Fast. A good shooter. He’s going to play sooner rather than later, especially with a dearth of long range shooting on the Rockets. Outdid Mathurin on the Pacers with 15pts/0Ast vs Mathurin 14pts/1Ast.
JaeSean Tate - Would be a Very Good Player if he could only shoot. Still a good player. Rockets need a better initiator than Holiday, and it might be Tate.
Jock Landale - shaved the his skullet. I’m not going to say more.
How Many Wins for The Rockets?
This poll is closed
More Than Dallas