Losing isn’t great for morale, so it was nice to see the Houston Rockets go down Interstate 10 and walk away with a win last night. With the San Antonio Spurs coming in off a couple of wins and Houston winning Saturday, that takes some of the pressure off tonight’s game for the Rockets.
Yes, the Spurs were without Keldon Johnson and Doug McDermott, but the Rockets did what’s expected when they play one of the rare teams that (on paper) has less talent overall. Houston only took 23 threes, but that was because they were getting shots in the paint with regularity. At this point, teams know the strategy Houston: if they start hot, wait around and they’ll start missing, or just maul them early and they won’t have enough gas to come back. That, combined with a young and inexperienced team (cause, meet effect?), means that Houston is rarely in the position they were in last night.
I know Spurs fans will not-so-secretly pump their fists and be happy to hand a win to a team they’re chasing in the standings, but I was proud to see Houston win a game where they were playing from ahead. We’ve seen Houston blow leads far too often in the third and fourth quarters, and it’s not like the Spurs just went away in the second half. Twice they cut the lead to three points, but the Rockets remained steady and pulled it out.
If the season featured more wins like Saturday night’s, even if it meant Houston was sitting at 22 wins (and they’ve blown enough games late for that to be somewhat realistic), we would feel a lot better about this team moving foward. We wouldn’t be questioning ownership, the front office, and the coaching staff after every game.
So yes, the Rockets won a tank-off contest. I get it. But you’ll excuse me while I actually enjoy it a little.
Tip-off is at 6pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest