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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31,064

    January 2020 game thread

    We need a place to talk about games in here. We typically get off to a slow start every year, but the activity in here this season has been rough. I'm as much to blame as anyone, and I don't have the time to start a new weekly game thread every week. Let's at least start with a monthly game thread and see how it goes.

    So far, not a bad start to 2020. After a solid 10-4 December that ended in a total dismantling of Denver, I was worried about the Philly game last night. But Harden and Capela were outstanding, and I was impressed with how they kept counterpunching every time Philly made a run.

    Transition defense seemed like it was a problem last night (when is it now with this team?), but they outrebounded Philly and outshot them from the free throw line and 3-point line. I did think it was interesting that they only shot 32 3-pointers, though, but Harden and Westbrook were in attack mode all night long, and there weren't a ton of open looks for the supporting cast.

    Speaking of Westbrook, I'm glad the guy had a couple of big shots in the fourth, because he had a dreadful night. That stretch in the third when he blew that wide open dunk and was forcing everything allowed Philly to climb back into a game that the Rockets could have put away early. But he was pretty good in December and looked great against Denver, so I'm going to let it slide.

    I like the way the schedule works out the rest of the month. Four of their next five games are against non-playoff teams, and the playoff team is OKC. They do still have to face the Lakers, Utah, Dallas and Denver twice, but the Nuggets don't scare me, and only one of those games is the second of a back-to-back. The 2-6 seeds in the West are so tight right now; I'd love to see the Rockets have like a 12-2 or 11-3 month and take that 2 spot heading into February.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    34
    Agree with everything you said. I only get to watch a few rockets games a year (National tv, my cable doesn’t offer NBA Tv) and one live when they come to Milwaukee (remember when that was a gimme not too long ago), so a lot of times I only have highlights and box scores to comment on. These last two games and a few others sprinkled in there, especially the Toronto game, give me hope. Harden seems to really be adjusting to Westbrook and playing more under control. His efficiency has been better, while Westbrook is...well Russ. I cringe every time he shoots as I used to cheer when he took them against us. If he can just play a little more under control and attack like he did last night (or post like he did against Denver), we could be alright.

    I also like seeing coach go deeper into the bench (he played 10 guys last night), but Austin only played 7 minutes. Not sure if that was a match up thing or otherwise. Having Gordon back helps, hopefully he finds his rhythm soon. They give me hope that they have beaten some good teams, but cause me stress with some winnable losses (6 to subpar teams and choking away big leads against the bucks, mavs, and clippers).

    Will be interested to see how they match up with the lakers and jazz. I love how Clint showed up and showed out against Embiid last night and hope he can do that against Davis and gobert when we play those gyys. Not expecting 30 against them, but loved his activity and enthusiasm.

    Haven’t heard much on the trade front, other than the “chatter about trading Westbrook”, which is not going to happen this season unless Morey has his socks blown off. Not really sure what this team needs other than continued health, strong focus, and smart shot selection/clock management. Evan Turner is noted to be a buyout candidate, but I am sure he will be tied to the Lakers like everyone from Darren Collison to Andre Iguodala. Who knows, maybe we’ll get our faried this season too! I hope we can get a versatile big that can guard the Anthony Davis, Porzingis, and Giannis types. Tucker can’t guard the first and second best players on every team. I wish for a Millsap or Horford type, but know neither of them is available.

    Come on Morey, pull a rabbit out of your hat!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    6,726
    Good thoughts, you two.

    What’s up with a back to back (after 4 days off) starting in Atlanta and the next night a nationally televised game in Russ’s return to OKC? I guess he sits in Atlanta since he’s on a no back to back schedule?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    6,726
    Gary Clark got waived.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    34
    Unnecessarily ugly win last night. I checked the box score around halftime and thought this might be hardens 60 point night again, but not so much. Glad McLemore showed up and EG hit thaf big 3. Coach has got to go deeper into that bench, especially on back to back nights. No reason why Clemons or sefalosha shouldn’t have got some burn last night, especially when they were up so big at one point. If D’Antoni isn’t here next season, I hope they get a coach that can protect harden from himself. We all know he’s a “hooper”, but he needs to rest sometimes. I am not sure if this teams leans on him as much as he thinks they do. I am not saying he isn’t a great player and we all know we go as far as he takes us, but the team is much more than him and Russ and until the coach stops treating it like that, I think we continue to struggle in games against inferior teams.

    So trade season is upon us and we know this team is not close to perfect. Does Morey go after love with Capela? Do we want that? Love helps the offense. He’s a decent rebounder, but his defense is lackluster. He might be a nice option in the post in a playoff/need a bucket type of situation. He and Russ played together in college. I love Clint and wouldn’t want to get rid of him, but love is available and Morey likes the big name. Maybe they do the trade and filler and bring back faried or look for a dedmon or buy out option.

    Looking forward to being able to watch the game tonight. I hope Russ doesn’t over sound it thinking he has something to prove...what am I saying, that is exactly what he’ll do. CP will also be out to prove something, but he’s so smart and can take over a game. Hopefully Gordon plays tonight and coach goes a little deeper. We are 10 deep, even if that is only 10-15 mins for some of the deeper bench guys.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    6,726
    I’ve thought of this before now but now I’ll go ahead and say it. I don’t think this is going to work. Harden looks so disinterested at times and just proves to me over and over that he doesn’t really care about winning. Westbrook is what he is at this point.....amazing athlete that doesn’t know his limitations and has a low basketball IQ. The rest of the guys don’t matter enough to matter.


    Watching them at times is just pretty ****ing gross.

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