We are now down to seven games remaining in the 22-23 NBA regular season and it seems the Rockets are longing for the end of the misery. Fairly soon our attention will turn, fully, neurotically, to the NBA draft lottery (Tuesday, May 16th). Right now there’s not a lot to discuss. It’s obvious nothing will, or at this point, even can change much in the next seven games.
It’s odd, in a way, as of yesterday’s game, about 10% of the NBA season remained. That 10% seems very significant when a season is beginning. It’s a time to figure out what might happen, who might have improved, where a team could be headed. We weight the first ten 10% very heavily. At the end of the season, this 10% doesn’t mean much at all. I wish it might, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest we’ll see a break through, or a change that will carry over.
For teams in the playoff, or playoff seeding hunt, these last few games are an important stretch. For the Rockets, it’s something to just finish up because that’s the job, bro.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, a top team in what is a reversal of a two decade trend of Western Conference dominance in terms of contending teams, dispatched the Rockets in fairly perfunctory fashion.
The Cavs dominated the Rockets early, and when the Rockets tried to come back in the 3rd quarter, and deny the Cavs their rest, clamped them down in the 4th, holding Houston to only 11 points.
Cleveland appears one player away from being a real contender for the Easter crown, as Isaac Okoro and Caris Levert combining for 14pts, 2 rebs, 2ast, 1stl is 40 minutes (against the Rockets) probably isn’t enough to see this team over the top in a loaded East.
For the Rockets, we saw a good night from Jalen Green, as he went for 30 efficient points on 17 shots, and added 4 assists to 1 turnover.
The Rockets continue to distribute the ball in an egalitarian, anarchist collective, manner. You never know what you might get. It was a good night for Sengun (14pts 6-12, 8rbs, 4ast) and the hyper efficient KJ Martin (6-8, 4rbs 2ast). One thing about Martin though, in getting him to play where the team wants him to be on defense, (in theory at least), we have not see any of one of the traits that makes him special - shot blocking, on literally anyone, from a 6’5” wing. There has to be a way to get Martin into a help role on defense, but that, I suspect will be the job of the next coaching staff, who will hopefully employ a more modern design to the defense.
Meanwhile the Rockets have made the short hop from Cleveland to New York City, where they will play the Knicks in Madison Square Garden tonight. Like the Cavs, the Knicks need this win. The Rockets don’t.
At least the Rockets didn’t give up 151 in 4 quarters, right! Right?
(My apologies for this being a bit delayed, slight stomach bug thing.)
This poll is closed