The Houston Rockets are now 2-2 in the preseason after taking a beating from the Dallas Mavericks Monday night. The Rockets were up 58-57 at the end of the first half but got exposed in the second half by the Mavericks, getting blown out 123-104. Defense will be the focal point at practice for Houston.
Royce White made his much anticipated debut in the fourth preseason game for the Rockets. White missing the entire training camp in the Valley and the first three games of the preseason showed in his play. His lack of experience with his teammates and not being in game shape were more than obvious. In 22 minutes he finished with 7 points on 3-7 shooting and three rebounds. He could not keep up with his opponent on the defensive end. He also tried some acrobatic passes that he was so use to making in college. They got picked off. White needs to learn that in the NBA everyone is bigger, faster, stronger and better. Not everything he accomplished at Iowa State will work here. He needs to make some adjustments, but let’s not be too hard on the kid after his first game. I expect him to come out more comfortable Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. White has been throught a lot in the short time he’s been a professional. Playing basketball is the easy part.
Who remembers the Kevin Martin from a couple of years ago? Well, he’s back. He lit up the Mavericks in 25 minutes while outplaying O.J Mayo. He finished with 23 points on 8-15 from the field, 3-6 from downtown and 4-5 from the line. He also racked up 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Martin isn’t just showing he’s back. He’s showing that he’s taking his game to the next level, maybe all the way to the 2013 All-Star game in Houston.
The Rebounding machine was back at it again. Omer Asik continues to impress everyone with his play. Coach Kevin McHale told Asik he earned the day off tonight, but Asik refused and wanted to play anyway. He finished with 4 points and 11 rebounds.
Patrick Patterson has really taken on a leadership role with this team. He’s also added more toughness to his game. The old Patterson always put up tear drops and floaters in the lane. The new Patterson tries to throw it down on everyone. He finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds in 25 minutes.
One thing I noticed is there might be a backup point guard battle going on with the Rockets between Toney Douglas and Scott Machado. Machado got the better of Douglas tonight with 6 points and 7 assists in 26 minutes. Both players have played very well in the preseason so far. I expect Douglas to take the position but Machado will not go down without a fight.
Jeremy Lin, Terrence Jones and Marcus Morris did not play due to injuries.
|HOUSTON ROCKETS (2-2)|
|J. Brockman||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Johnson||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|T. Jones||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Lin||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|S. Livingston||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|M. Morris||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|G. Smith||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|41.2%||41.7%||66.7%||TEAM REBS: 9||TOTAL TO: 18|