For Xiane’s recap of Houston’s very bad, no-good loss to the Orlando Magic, he aptly titled it “Rockets Fail To Launch vs. Magic.”
I almost took this preview as an opportunity to compare this Houston Rockets team to the cast of the formulaic rom-com, “Failure to Launch,” but then someone would have had to be Terry Bradshaw. And no one deserves that.
The Rockets were terrible against the Magic. Among other things (you really should read Xiane’s recap if you didn’t watch the game), the Rockets looked sloppy and nervous. That’s to be expected for the first game under a new coaching regime. Some of these players have never played on an NBA team with a winning record (as in, 1-0), and playing their first game on the road certainly didn’t help matters. Orlando came with a higher intensity and concentration level, and that basically was the difference.
You would expect the Rockets to find their way. It probably won’t happen soon, as tonight they take on the San Antonio Spurs for the third time in seven games (including preseason). After that, they’ll get to head home for a 7-game homestand that begins with the Golden State Warriors, ends with the defending champion Denver Nuggets, and only includes one game (Charlotte) that Houston might be favored to win. If the Orlando game was an indication, Houston could easily come out of that homestand 1-8. Just...something to consider.
For their part, the Spurs hung tight with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night and held the lead for much of the game. Late in the game, Dallas ran the Luka iso-ball to great success, while the Spurs were sloppy and didn’t really use their possessions wisely. San Antonio will be pissed about how that one ended. Also, Victor Wembanyama was limited due to foul trouble, so you know the refs won’t call anything on him tonight. Orlando’s strategy of packing the paint and daring the Rockets to shoot is going to be one we see a ton until the young Rockets start making teams pay for it.
How to Watch
Space City Home Network
Tari Eason-OUT (leg)
Jock Landale-OUT (concussion)
Looking ahead because we can
Sunday against Golden State in the home opener