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Houston Rockets Recap: Rockets Out Pace Indy

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Houston Rockets Recap:

Following an embarrassing loss to Golden State it was time for the Rockets to come out with a solid effort against a strong defensive Pacer squad.

98. 100. . 110. 169

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I said in the pregame countdown I was counting on the fact James Harden would come out with a great effort in this game since he had one of his poorest performances last time out.

I expected him to register another 30-point effort, but 45-points was even more than I was anticipating. The other key I highlighted was for the Rockets to experience solid efforts from both Harden and Dwight Howard in the same game since we aren’t getting that occurring consistently. On this day it did and the Rockets reaped the benefit.

THE STARTERS

Rockets. JAMES <STRONG>HARDEN</STRONG>. A+. <p><a href=. SG

B-. Better effort than his last outing. Got off to a quick start offensively, but picked up early fouls which limited him from ever fully breaking out on either end.. PG. Rockets. PATRICK <STRONG>BEVERLEY</STRONG>

SF. Rockets. TREVOR <STRONG>ARIZA</STRONG>. B. Uncharacteristically McHale actually got an opportunity to rest him a bit. Mind you he took a shot below the belt (no pun intended) late in the game, but there was still no reason to have him remain on the court. He continues to be the main cog in the Rockets defense.  When I see signs that H2R (Harden/Howard/Rockets) can both have good offensive games it also gives me hope the Rockets will find a rhythm in the second half of the season which would likely allow Ariza more opportunity on the perimeter. Also the more the team gels defensively the less he has to shoulder.

DONATAS <STRONG>MOTIEJUNAS</STRONG>. B. Came close to getting a double-double, but had his issues with foul trouble. Overall, I’m seeing steady growth from the big Lithuanian. What I like the most is his demeanor because he maintains a work ethic, but doesn’t allow no calls or bias to the opposition to bother him. He’s maturing in front of us and the more I see of him the more I think he’ll have a very long career.  . PF. Rockets

A. <p>Last game he was about the only Rocket who had a good offensive game so I was delighted to see both Howard and Harden functioning on the same night. He had a pep in his step early that remained throughout the game and he even enjoyed drawing fouls on the Pacers tasked to move him out from under the basket. After one such whistle he turned and flexed to his bench with a big smile which actually reminded me of how happy he is Josh Smith is now with the team as it appeared to be directly right at Smith.</p>. C. Rockets. DWIGHT <STRONG>HOWARD</STRONG>

Jan 17, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) brings the ball up the court during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

THE BENCH

B+. <p>At one point in the game he made a bucket that Jason Terry told him a trip prior he could hit telling him “shoot it” and then said “see I told you”. It pointed out for me yet again how well liked Brewer is on the squad and how easily he has transitioned into the team.  </p>. SG/SF. Rockets. COREY <STRONG>BREWER</STRONG>

PF. Rockets. JOSH <STRONG>SMITH</STRONG>. C. <div class=

Smith continues to perplex me as he rotates between stand out performances and duds and moments in games where he does something incredible followed by something on the other end of the spectrum. When he and his reserve mates should have been just playing lock down defense they allowed the Pacers to make a run which required the return of Harden and Howard to cement the win. Obviously it’s not all on Smith, but given his veteran skills you would think he would take ownership of that responsibility. It seems to just be part of his character, where he is dialed in 90% of the time, but even on a team he loves he’ll still drift in a game that he feels has already been won, lost or doesn’t matter. He is the ultimate enigma 

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C

Smith continues to perplex me as he rotates between stand out performances and duds and moments in games where he does something incredible followed by something on the other end of the spectrum. When he and his reserve mates should have been just playing lock down defense they allowed the Pacers to make a run which required the return of Harden and Howard to cement the win. Obviously it’s not all on Smith, but given his veteran skills you would think he would take ownership of that responsibility. It seems to just be part of his character, where he is dialed in 90% of the time, but even on a team he loves he’ll still drift in a game that he feels has already been won, lost or doesn’t matter. He is the ultimate enigma 

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