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Houston Rockets Win in Overtime of Turnover Infested Game

By Tamberlyn Richardson
5 of 5

Oct 13, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns center Henry Sims (15) and Houston Rockets guard K.J. McDaniels (32) dive for the loose basketball in the first half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

3 Things We Saw:

Teams Combine for 49 Turnovers!

Last season the Houston Rockets were 29th in the NBA turning the ball over 16.7 times per game. A key improvement McHale wants this season is to lower that rate though he wants to increase pace. The team has done a relatively good job for stretches in games like the third quarter when they made a single turnover after committing 16 in the first half.

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The bizarre twist on tonight’s sloppiness was the points achieved off those turnovers. Phoenix scored 22 points on the 24 Houston turnovers, however the Rockets were more successful at converting the Suns turnovers scoring 42 points off Phoenix’ 26 turnovers. As concerning as the 22 turnovers are when you consider McHale wants to increase pace from last season it has the potential for disaster.

Sonny Weems Back in the NBA:

There may not be very many fans in Clutch City excited regarding Sonny Weems return to the Association. For those North of the border there are fond memories of a young player who never quit on either end and showed flashes of potential. He played two seasons for the Raptors between 2009 and 2011.

Off the court his calling card was his friendship with DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson who were affectionately referred to as the Young Gunz for their aerial attacks. On the court it was his energy, motor and how he filled up various stats while never excelling in any given area.

During the two seasons with the Raptors he averaged 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals and shot close to 48% from the field. Watching the YouTube video below it perhaps best demonstrates why young talent is never enough to guarantee victories, as these three plus Chris Bosh never got to the post season. Moreover it showcases why Bosh had to leave Toronto to learn how to be a leader from Dwyane Wade and okay that guy LeBron.

The past four seasons he played overseas in Europe averaging 13.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, just shy of a steal a game, shot 45.1% from the field and improved his 3-point percentage from 25% while in the NBA to 36.8% overseas.  Watching his energy and basketball I.Q as he dissected the defense versus the Rockets it recalled the time he wore the Raptor jersey.

By night’s end his numbers were reflective of the same player Toronto fans will remember: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, shooting 5 of 8 from the field and posted the best plus/minus (-1) of the starters while playing the most minutes of that group (31). Brandon Knight who played six minutes less was a minus -16. Yep, same old Sonny.

Youngsters Demonstrate Glimpses …. But Vipers Are Calling:

There are positives to be pulled from the youngsters again (well maybe not Sam Dekker, at least last night) ranging from Montrezl Harrell‘s no quit hustle to Denzel Livingstons instant offense.  Joshua Smith continues to show an adeptness around the basket and nose for rebounds. Yet none of the younger guys look ready for anything other than a D-League assignment.

For someone like K.J. McDaniels, that’s probably a good thing. Though he had a rough few minutes late in the fourth quarter they came on the court with the aforementioned youth brigade. Should McDaniels get minutes (let’s start the Free K.J. chants now) he’ll have better teammates surrounding him to ensure he has the best opportunity to succeed. Despite those brief three minutes when he couldn’t get the ball through the net, he was the player who ignited the youngsters from the tip in overtime which ultimately spurred them on to the victory.

Best of his time on the court is he generally doesn’t try to do too much (except when he’s partnered with 4 players with no NBA experience). His rim protection, altering of shots and eye for defense alone should garner him at least a few minutes each night. Time will tell what McHale will do, but it’s hard to not pull for the kid who looks eager to learn and even more eager to please.

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Next Up:

The Rockets next game is on the road Thursday at 10:00 PM Eastern in Oakland featuring a rematch with the team who ended their season: The Golden State Warriors.   Though this will be a highly anticipated game and the Rockets will want to win, a betting person might lean toward McHale, James Harden and company holding something back for later this month. Unlike the Rockets fifth preseason game the October 30th match will be held in Houston. More vital is the game will count as it is the second regular season game for both squads.

Then again, if the Rockets were looking for inspiration the radio interview of Andrew Bogut detailing he had his championship ring fitted for his third finger in honor of the Clipper and Rockets whining just might do the trick.

"I've got my ring fitted for my middle finger"- Bogut on KNBR talking about the Clippers/Rockets hating

— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) October 9, 2015

Make sure to check our our Player Profiles and Round Table Sessions as we gear up for the regular season.

Next: Who wins all the hardware?

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