Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
The Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Hornets for the second time in the preseason 97-90. Houston is now 4-2 in the preseason and are sending a message to the Western Conference that they may become a wild card to make the playoffs.
Take this for what it’s worth, but Terrence Jones outplayed the number one overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft Anthony Davis. Jones finished with 15 points on 6-13 shooting, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 33 minutes. Davis finished with 13 points on 5-12 shooting, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks in 37 minutes. Both guys had very impressive numbers in tonight’s game, but this is just the beginning for these former college teammates.
Jeremy Lin continues to struggle with his shooting. He shot just 1-8 from the field for two points. That is unacceptable and after spending a week working on his shot, which is his weakness, I expected improvement, not regression. He also finished with 3 rebounds and 5 assists, but also had 6 turnovers, which is also unacceptable. Fans still shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet, but if this continues for the rest of the preseason and going into the regular season, people will start to talk.
Omer Asik has been the MVP for the Rockets so far in the preseason. He went up against Robin Lopez and Anthony Davis at times, finishing with 7 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 33 minutes. It may just be the preseason but the Chicago Bulls might already be regretting letting him go.
Chandler Parsons had a fantastic game shooting the ball. He finished with 18 points on 4-6 from three and 5 rebounds in 32 minutes. Parsons did exactly what he needed to do in the offseason, and that’s work on his outside shooting. He was deadly with his jumper at Florida. I expect the same will happen in Houston.
Kevin Martin struggled a bit from the outset, but picked it up in the second half. You can’t keep a pure scorer down for long. He finished with 15 points on 6-13 from the field and 3-6 from the arc. Martin is really shining in his leadership role. If he keeps this up he will see one more significant contract before he hangs them up.
The backup point guard battle just got even tougher after the game Shaun Livingston had tonight. He looked like he has played with these guys for years. He finished with 7 points on 2-6 shooting, 5 assists, 3 steals and just 1 turnover in 22 minutes. Livingston is a veteran in this league with a lot of skill even after all of his knee issues. The injury plagued part of his career looks to be over and he’s ready to make an impact.
Carlos Delfino showed why the Rockets signed him, scoring 20 points on 4-9 shooting from the arc. He didn’t do much more than that in 30 minutes of play, but he brings a lot of leadership for such a young squad.
Royce White got 7 minutes of playing time but he literally did nothing outside of turning the ball over once. White is definitely not ready for the speed of the NBA and he’s also not familiar with his teammates. White has a lot of work to do to have any impact on the Rockets roster.
Greg Smith showed he might be capable of becoming the backup to Asik. The Rockets wouldn’t need much out of Smith off the bench. He would most likely get 8-12 minutes a night. He finished with 8 points on 4-4 shooting and 2 rebounds in 11 minutes. The Rockets desperately need a backup center. Maybe Smith will get more playing time and lock down that spot.
Notable players who did not see any playing time tonight were Donatas Motiejunas, Toney Douglas, Patrick Patterson, Gary Forbes, Scott Machado and Marcus Morris.