For those of you on team tank, it was a good night. To anyone looking for halfway decent Houston Rockets basketball, it was something else indeed. The Rockets fell behind big early and were basically never in the game, as they suffered a 133-96 beatdown at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Not much to say about this one other than Houston was completely outclassed by a .500 basketball team, shooting just 33.7 percent from the field, 27 percent from deep and committing 17 total turnovers, while allowing the Thunder to shoot 48.3 percent overall from the field for the night.
The Rockets were led by Jabari Smith Jr., who finished with 15 points, 9 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Despite the criticism Smith has been taking of late, he’s averaged a cool 15 and 10 over his last three contests. I do think Smith will be okay and any concerns about the 19-year-old are overblown. Get him a real offense, a real coach or a real point guard and I think things look different. If he gets all three? I think you start seeing more and more of the guy we were happy to draft at three.
Houston also got 14 from Jalen Green, but he was just 3-for-10 from the field and played just 16 minutes on the night (post-game reports now say he suffered a groin injury and will get an MRI). In fact, the Rockets mostly cleared their bench, with the exception of Daishen Nix, so minutes were down across the board in the blowout.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 29 points in just three quarters of action. He sat out the entire fourth quarter with OKC comfortably ahead.
After the game, head coach Stephen Silas alluded to some possible changes coming up after the All-Star break. Not sure what’s taken him so long to get this point, but it’s just more evidence of his incompetency in coaching a rebuilding squad. He said:
“I’m going to take some time over the break and not think about it for a little while. But then I am going to take a good amount of the break and really kind of figure out what the next 20, however many games looks like. And maybe there’ll be some some different things, different rotations, different schemes at times.”
The Rockets are now off until after the break and will return on February 24 against the Golden State Warriors.