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  1. #1
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    Round 1: Rockets vs. Thunder

    So, I realize the last couple of weeks have been someone slow since the Rockets have basically had the third seed on lockdown for the better part of a month, but it's playoff time, fellas! I've said all season long that a first-round matchup against OKC is a best-case scenario, and I absolutely believe it. They can hurt Houston on the glass and Westbrook is tough to guard, but I just don't see a way they can keep up with the Rockets offensively.

    I'd love to see Houston take this series in 4 or 5. The first two at home will be key. If they can take both of those, I think this series goes a a maximum of five games. But if they lose one of those, OKC will make a series out of this, and the Rockets had better be careful.

    The fact that Anderson is back, healthy and has been hitting shots over the last week or so is certainly promising. The Troy Williams acquisition has also been sneaky good. But to win in the playoffs, this team just needs to hit shot, period, regardless of who is on the floor. Hopefully Harden brings his A-game and the supporting guys can hit their open looks.


  2. #2
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    I really hope Lou Williams shoots himself outta this terrible slump he is in.

    Big THX to MJ's Bulls and pheagles10 on the sig help!
    Dear T-Mac,
    I miss you.
    Love,
    The Rim

  3. #3
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    Weird first half, but I thought the Rockets finished it strong. The fact that they're shooting 3-16 from the 3-point line and Harden doesn't have a single point from the free throw line, but they're still up by 5 points is actually kind of impressive. They may not dominate on the glass in the second half like they did in the first, but those other two trends can't possibly continue in the second half either.


  4. #4
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    Wow... That was an unbelievable second half. Harden and Beverley were amazing, and the Rockets did an unbelievable job on the boards and in the paint. But they have to recognize that it's only one win, and the Thunder are going to be pissed going into Game 2 after getting shot in the mouth like they did tonight.

    Also, while the team was great in the paint, and Houston got great production from Harden, Beverley, Nene and Capela, they were equally awful from beyond the arc and got really limited production from Ryno, Ariza, Williams and Gordon. Those guys need to pick it up and find their shots if the Rockets want to make a long run this postseason.

    Hell of a start, though. If the last few weeks may have left kind of a sour taste in our mouths as fans, this game certainly gave us a few reasons to be optimistic.


  5. #5
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    Awesome win. Wish I coulda watch...Damn work!

    Big THX to MJ's Bulls and pheagles10 on the sig help!
    Dear T-Mac,
    I miss you.
    Love,
    The Rim

  6. #6
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    What I liked the most is that they just didn't keep jacking up 3s when they weren't falling. They took what the defense gave them and took the ball to the hoop and then dished out for the open 3 if the lane closed. Harden was awesome. They tried rotating their bigs on him and he just drove right past them. He only had 2 TOs and was clearly the best player on the court. Also, what can we say about Beverly that hasn't already been said. I love that he is on our side. He may be the villain to 29 other teams, but in Houston he is beloved and appreciated for his tough, gritty style. This team desperately needs a player like PBev who refuses to back down no matter what. It gives them a toughness they might otherwise lack without him. He was also awesome last night.

  7. #7
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    Do you know those Clyde Drexler keys to the game on home games on Root that are always the same and the Rockets never seem to do well? I think I can actually quote him: "Guys, they have to come out with some energy, how do they do that? Well, they gotta crash the boards, dominate the paint and play transition defense. If they do all that, they can win this game tonigh". Seriously, it's always the same thing. But the Rockets actually did all those things extremely well Sunday night. And they did against a big Thunder team that led the league in points in the paint, rebounding and finished 3rd in fastbreak points. They outrebounded the Thunder 56-41 (!), outscored them in the paint 62-38, and if you can't stop them in transition, don't turn the ball over. The Rockets finished with 11, Harden had only 2.

    Ryan Anderson was 1-6 from the field and 0-4 from the 3-point line, but he wsa a +27 in his 38 minutes to lead the team along with Capela. Why? That was one of the best defensive performances I've seen from him in a Rockets jersey. He dominated the defensive glass and his only field goal came from a putback. He does need to make his threes, but it's that type of effort that I really want to see out of him.

    And that's not a lot more than can be said about Harden, Beverley, Capela and Nene. And Beverley got all the credit for shutting down Westbrook, but how about Gordon's defense on him? I've been saying Gordon is a very underrated defender for a long time, and the Rockets sure need a second good defensive stopper for Westbrook.

    Now, about Game 2, I think the Thunder will have to adjust and they will try not to switch Harden's defender on every P'n'R. That will lead to a lot more open shots, especially for Anderson, and the Rockets obviously need to be hitting those shots, because Harden will have a much tougher time scoring the ball if he has Roberson in from of him instead of a big. Kanter and Adams trying to defend James was laughable.
    Rockets | Texans | Astros



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDUTEXANS View Post
    Now, about Game 2, I think the Thunder will have to adjust and they will try not to switch Harden's defender on every P'n'R. That will lead to a lot more open shots, especially for Anderson, and the Rockets obviously need to be hitting those shots, because Harden will have a much tougher time scoring the ball if he has Roberson in from of him instead of a big. Kanter and Adams trying to defend James was laughable.
    That's what I'll be watching all game. Are they going to keep switching on Harden, or are they going to live with more open 3-pointers? I have a feeling they'll try to do a little of both. But if they do, I think the Rockets are going to have a much better night from the 3-point line. I look for Anderson, Ariza, Gordon and/or Lou Will to have a big night tonight.


  9. #9
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    Unbelievable win tonight. They were absolutely abysmal in the first quarter, but they kept fighting back from OKC's double digit leads. And while I thought they played some really awful defense for most of the game, they absolutely played lockdown D on Westbrook in the 4th when it mattered and hit some insanely clutch shots. Ryno may still be ice cold, but Gordon and Lou Will absolutely earned their role on this team tonight. That Rockets back court combined for an insane 93 points tonight!

    I'm so proud of how this team played. But you don't win anything for holding home court. They need to go win a game or two in OKC now.
    Last edited by mightybosstone; 04-19-2017 at 10:52 PM.


  10. #10
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    Man, Westbrook is such stat padder. I honestly would not want him on my/this team.

    Big THX to MJ's Bulls and pheagles10 on the sig help!
    Dear T-Mac,
    I miss you.
    Love,
    The Rim

  11. #11
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    Fantastic game tonight, but this one really stung. Harden outplayed Westbrook down the stretch again. But he couldn't make the big one when it mattered. Lou Will played amazing again. Gordon was OK, and Anderson easily had his best game of the series (although he was still pretty "meh"). But everyone else is on my **** list. Beverley flat out sucked. Capela and Nene completely disappeared.

    And don't get me started on Ariza. I posted this in the NBA forum, but the guy has scored 15 ****ing points in 112 minutes in this series and has yet to make a 3-pointer. Anyone remember a year ago when I said the Rockets desperately need to upgrade at SF after Ariza completely no-showed against Golden State. I'm still saying it a year later. The guy runs and hides in big moments when he's needed, and there's no excuse for it.

    But I'm proud of the way they came back in this one. OKC could have blown the Rockets out, but Houston kept fighting and kept coming back. They still have yet to play a great game offensively, but they're up 2-1 with their lone loss coming on the road by 2 points. If they win on Sunday, I feel confident this series is in the bag. But if they lose, this thing could go 7. And the thought of that scares the crap out of me...


  12. #12
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    Maybyner Rodney ****ing Hilário, also known as Nenę. You guys have no idea how happy I was after the game yesterday. 28 and 10 on 12-12 from the field and a couple of clutch plays down the stretch to go along with some very solid defense. All that in 25 minutes. It doesn't get much better than this. Very, very happy for him.

    But man, that was a very weird finish to the game. What the hell was that? Really poor execution by both teams. Harden struggled all game but that late turnover with 20 secs left was crazy. Luckly, that Grant foul on Nenę was worse, and there was some guy named Westbrook throwing bricks out there, so that was helpful. I wonder what goes on during Thunder timeouts in those situations. I imagine Billy Donovan saying something like, "so, guys, give the ball to Russ and worry about rebounding the ball". I mean, not even a simple play, a simple pick or maybe a little pick'n'roll to see if the Rockets switch. Nothing. Just Westbrook dribbling the ball a couple times and puling up from downtown with one of the best perimeter defenders in the league right at his face.

    And I don't care how good defensively Roberson is, he's too big on an offensive liability to be playing almost 40 minutes a game. The Rockets are playing 5 on 4 on defense all game. Their floor spacing is non-existent. Harden is always free to help. And if he can't get there in time, he can help the helper, because no one is concerned about Roberson. And I don't care how bad defensively Kanter is, he need to be playing more than 8 minutes a game. He's their second best offensive player. Think about that for a moment. If you're punishing Kanter for being an one-way player useless on the other end, why are you now doing the same with Roberson, especially during those stretches where they can't score the ball?

    Anyway, game 5 in Houston, I hope they wrap up the series and start preparing for Round 2. That Spurs-Grizzlies series look like it could go to 7 games. $1 beer and soda night tomorrow, so maybe people get in earlier and help the Rockets start the game hot. I hope the bench can keep up, but it would be good to see the starter pick up their game. Anderson has obviously struggled and Capela has been a no-show. At least Ariza has been reading some MBT PSD posts, and he broke out of his slump. But his defense has been questionable during the whole series.
    Rockets | Texans | Astros



  13. #13
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    Nené was amazing in game 4. Wondering what he decides for next year.

    And about the SF position, Ariza has one more year on his deal. Wondering if Dekker will be his replacement in the long term or if they'd be able to look elsewhere. Not sure if Dekker is starter material on a contender, and I love the guy.

  14. #14
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    I think the best scenario is Nene re-signs on a 1 or 2-year deal, and Harrell adds that 3-point shot to his arsenal.

    On the 3 spot, I like Dekker, he would obviously need to be a more consistent outside shooter to play SF for the Rockets. I'd like to see the Rockets look for a big name at the position, and it could be via trade next year. They have some quality assets in Ariza and Williams' expiring deals, Dekker, Harrell and a couple of overseas prospects and draft picks.
    Rockets | Texans | Astros



  15. #15
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    "Think about that for a moment. If you're punishing Kanter for being an one-way player useless on the other end, why are you now doing the same with Roberson, especially during those stretches where they can't score the ball?"

    To quote the great Gregg Popovich...because "Harden is ridiculous".

    I agree with you, but anytime I can input that quote I have to do it.

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