Huge game tonight guys! The Clippers have won 4 of their last 5 games after a slow start. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have played extremely well this season, and both Howard (knee) and Beverley (hamstring) are doubtful to play. Jones is still out with a nerve damage.
As of now, Howard has missed 5 games, Beverley 8, and Jones has only played 4 games. Yet, the Rockets have played well and they have been winning their games. Black, Motiejunas and Canaan have all stepped up. Motiejunas and Canaan are coming off career nights and Black ranks third in rebounds (4.9) among rookies despite playing only 15.9 minutes.
And don't look now, but the Rockets are the best defensive team in the league. The Rockets haven't been an above-average defensive team since 2008-09.
- First in points allowed (91.5).
- First in DefRtg (points allowed by 100 possessions) (94.5).
- Second in Opp FG% (.417%).
- First in Opp 3PT% (a ridiculous .275%), allowing only 5.7 made threes a game, which is funny, because no one makes more thress than the Rockets.
- Fourth in takeaways (16.9) (Third in steals).
- Also fourth in assists allowed.
Of course the offense hasn't been the same, but on a bright side, the Rockets only turned the ball over 4 (that's FOUR) times last game, which tied a franchise record.