Rockets News

Rockets Get Revenge the Harden Way

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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The Houston Rockets get revenge versus the team who they’ve been waiting to play since last spring. And while the win was 7 months, 21 days and a couple hours in the making, the outcome was exactly what the Rockets needed an easy blow-out victory over the team that sent them fishing.

THE STARTERS

A+. Harden tied his season high with 44-points tonight and added 3-rebounds, 5-assists and 5-steals in a stellar performance. If there was any concern about his hamstring I think we can assume the beard has no issues playing through pain.. SG. Rockets. JAMES <STRONG>HARDEN</STRONG>

 <strong><br /></strong><p>He did his job, plain and simple. We knew going in without Aldridge in the line-up the key would be not allowing Lillard to have a huge night, who managed to get a couple of head scratching calls from the zebras, but he’s become a star whose earned the ref’s respect.  Holding him to just 18 points while forcing 6 turnovers was critical in this win.  Beverley hit a few early shots to keep Lillard honest on the defensive end. </p>. PG. Rockets. PATRICK <STRONG>BEVERLEY</STRONG>. A

B+.  <strong><br /></strong><p>No one is happier than Ariza with Corey Brewer’s arrival. Finally he’ll get to rest those weary legs that are tired from the extra minutes he’s played due to all the injuries. Being the best two-way player for the Rockets an additional few minutes of rest can make all the difference in games and more importantly will be key to keeping his body rested for the post season. He didn’t have a huge stats night, but did a superb job on the defensive end limiting Batum to just 2-points making him a non-factor in the game. </p>. SF. Rockets. TREVOR <STRONG>ARIZA</STRONG>

Rockets. DONATAS <STRONG>MOTIEJUNAS</STRONG>. C+. <p>It was an up and down game for Motiejunas who seemed to drift in and out of the game. Initially it looked like Demo and Dwight could form a very potent front court tandem, but rumors Josh Smith may be headed to Houston following his release from Detroit may be the reason for his lack of focus. </p>. PF

A-. <p>What stood out more than anything tonight is Howard is excelling in the Rockets scheme of play.  He had a rather pedestrian 16-points and 13 rebound night seemingly getting the double-double without breaking much of a sweat. With Harden taking on the primary leadership role it allows Howard to gear up or down depending on what the team needs. Perhaps Howard has never been suited as being the primary option but fits being the second option better.  With the two All-Stars it offers multiple offensive options for coach Kevin McHale to run or utilize the half court with equal success. </p>. C. Rockets. DWIGHT <STRONG>HOWARD</STRONG>

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THE BENCH

A+.   We knew coming in he was the best thief in the NBA and that he’d  suit an up tempo transition game, but what he brought to the court was an energy we haven’t seen off the Rockets’ bench all season. When he was on the court the Rockets were a +23 and the combination of him in the line-up with Harden was deadly.<p>In 22-minutes he had 12-points, 4-rebounds, 4-assists, and FIVE steals. He changed the game spearheading the Rockets to a lead they never relinquished. More importantly he offers crucial rest for either Ariza or Harden. While he was mocked for being a poor defender and 3-point shooter the 5-steals and 2-4 threes make  you wonder if that had more to do with the team he was playing for in that the talent was well below the depth of the squad he’s joined.</p>. SG/SF. Rockets. COREY <STRONG>BREWER</STRONG>

D-. Had a terrible night, between 3-turnovers, 4-personal fouls and a technical. He’s still rounding back into form following his return from injury and needs to develop chemistry with newly acquired pick-ups Brewer and Shved.. SG. Rockets. KOSTAS <STRONG>PAPANIKOLAOU</STRONG>

C. Became just the third player in NBA history to hit 2,000 three pointers (Ray Allen, Reggie Miller) and has the most 3-pointers of all active players until Ray Allen decides to put down his chipping wedge and return to the NBA. With the pick-up of Corey Brewer it will allow Terry to play fewer minutes and bring energy off the bench while keeping his veteran body rested for when it’s really needed this April.. SG. Rockets. JASON <STRONG>TERRY</STRONG>

 Provided McHale with a few minutes to see what he’s capable of . C. Rockets. ALEXEY <STRONG>SHVED</STRONG>. INC

C.  Provided some relief for Howard and gives McHale the option of using either himself or Black depending on what the opposition demands in match-ups. Was the recipient of an incredible pass from Harden which led to a thunderous dunk.. C. Rockets. JOEY <STRONG>DORSEY</STRONG>

SG. Rockets. NICK <STRONG>JOHNSON</STRONG>. INC. <p>Played garbage minutes and along with Canaan and Black allowed Portland to narrow the 20+ point lead Houston had for the better portion of the game </p>

INC.  Played garbage minutes . PG. Rockets. ISAIAH <STRONG>CANAAN</STRONG>

Rockets. TARIK <STRONG>BLACK</STRONG>. INC.  Played garbage minutes . C

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  • At the end of the day, this win won’t heal the wounds of the bruised ego’s on the Houston Rockets, but it will suffice in that they now own a 1-0 record versus last spring’s nemesis.

    Check back tomorrow for a more detailed post game break down and make sure to interact with us in the comment section with your thoughts.

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