Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Red Nation is in full effect just two games into the season. The Houston Rockets are off to 2-0 start after taking down the Atlanta Hawks 109-102. This was a great test for the young Rockets and they passed.
What more can you say about James Harden that wasn’t already said after game one? Well, he surpassed that tonight with a career high 45 points. The offense is ran through him and he is making his opponents suffer with his old-man game. Harden is doing it all from shooting threes, jumpers and finishing at bucket. He shot an amazing 15-17 from the line as well. So far he is silencing the critics who said he couldn’t be a number one guy. Don’t think so? He’s scored 82 points in his first two games.
Jeremy Lin was three assists away from a triple-double in just his second game as a Rocket. The offense is ran so much more smoothly when he is on the floor with the ball in his or Harden’s hands. He finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
Omer Asik didn’t score any points, but that’s not why the Rockets signed him. They brought him in to rebound and boy did he do that tonight. He finished with a career high 19 rebounds.
One thing that went kind of unnoticed due to what the new guys did was the play of Marcus Morris. He didn’t have a very good game against the Pistons, but he made up for it tonight. In 19 minutes he finished with 17 points on 8-14 shooting and 5 rebounds. By far the best game of his short career so far. In fact, he played better than the starter Patrick Patterson. The only knock I have on him in this game is the 6 threes he took. That’s not his game.
The Rockets out-rebounded the Hawks 58-36 thanks to Omer Asik. The only problem the Rockets had was with the 21 turnovers and the 33 fastbreak points they gave up to the Hawks. Winning the turnover battle is crucial. You can’t give up that many fastbreak points on a nightly basis and expect to win.
This is the first time since 2008 that the Rockets started off the season 2-0. They face the young Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow night. I expect a 3-0 start.