Last night’s Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors was heartbreaking but not overwhelmingly so. Houston charged out the gates leading by as much as 16 points midway through the second quarter. To no one’s disbelief, the Houston Rockets did not uphold that great lead very long against the league’s top team. However, to EVERYONE’S disbelief is how they squandered it.
Let’s briefly ignore how the Rockets only scored six points in the last six minutes of the second quarter. Let’s temporarily dismiss the seven turnovers the Rockets committed in that same span. Never mind the match up issues produced with Dwight Howard off the floor with his knee sprain. There was one issue more colossal than those mistakes and mishaps. Let’s see if James Harden can pinpoint their inexcusable blunder.
“We have to have the same mindset we had in Game 1 – limit their runs, limit our turnovers,” Harden said. “I think we did a good job of controlling the ball but they had two runs at the end of the second and end of the fourth – we take that out of the game and we will be all right.”
“There are a couple of errors that we can control and fix for next game and continue to move the basketball. They are a really good defensive team and obviously high powered offensive team so we have to be very efficient at both ends.”
Close, but no cigar James. Yes, there were errors that can easily be repaired which would govern their runs. However, let’s be more specific and take a closer look at the Rockets’ gaffes. These images and game film should ring a bell.
This only shows one side of the story as the Dwight Howard and Josh Smith collision took place on the other half of the court. Although Steph Curry is the most lethal shooter known to man, I’ll attempt to grasp the ideology that validates leaving him on an island during a three-on-four fastbreak.
This is completely unforgivable. Josh Smith is the primary culprit in this situation. Can’t be too sure what was possibly roaming through his mind at this time.
And I’ll allow these to speak for themselves.http://cdn2.streamable.com/video/df8e1480ff4e11e482a36fe4e1f46d96.mp4http://cdn2.streamable.com/video/fa287720ff5011e4aad055dca2ace61b.mp4
Can you locate the reoccurring lapse? Or better yet, can you locate Steph Curry? Houston couldn’t seem to do so Tuesday night. Seeing that Curry averaged 25 points against the Rockets in the regular season and how he was the only challenger forbidding Harden to win MVP, I’d think Houston would pay a little more attention to him. The displays above accounted for 14 of Curry’s 34 points. Hard to believe the MVP would receive that many wide open looks from various spaces on the floor in the Western Conference Finals.
The first bullet point on the scouting report probably read:
- DO NOT LEAVE THE SPLASH BROTHERS OPEN
I’m not saying that this isolated issue is the reason the Rockets lost. But, what I am saying is that this shouldn’t even be an issue. It’s completely intolerable and inexcusable. That’s 14 points that the Warriors didn’t have to earn. Houston had a chance to land the first punch by stealing homecourt advantage. It’s not too late, though. As long as they don’t allow Chef Curry to man the kitchen by his lonesome, the Rockets will be in a much better position to even the series going back to the Toyota Center.
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