Houston Rockets Scorched by Hawks Frontcourt – Player Grades

By Andre Cantalogo

The Houston Rockets have been the Jekyll and Hyde opponent this season in the NBA and proved it once again in their loss this evening.

Following 2 exhibitions showcasing the best and worst of the Rockets against the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans no one quite knew what to expect when they hosted the Atlanta Hawks. After head coach J.B. Bickerstaff’s comments regarding players priorities and disrespect for the game tonight’s match was much anticipated game to see how the team would respond.

The Rockets started the game burning hot and by halftime they registered 70% from the three-point line and a NBA season high 71 points. Despite that the Hawks managed to get back in the game in the second half (what’s new?) due to sloppy ugly basketball by the Rockets.

In the end Mike Budenholzer’s hack-a strategy, referees bad calls, Hawks offensive rebounds and Rockets carelessness for the ball were Houston’s demise as an undersized Corey Brewer idly tried to stop Al Horford on the post on the most important possession of the game.

And the Rockets are once again below .500.

119. 125. . 115. 169

Rockets Player Grades

SF. Houston Rockets. TREVOR ARIZA. D. <a href=

Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA. B-. A great performance tainted by his inability to knock down free-throws, <a href=. PF-C

C. Houston Rockets. DWIGHT HOWARD. B+. <a href=

JAMES HARDEN. B+. The Beard assumed the playmaking role early in the game and as the game progressed he went to scoring mode. Nevertheless James Harden must do a better job protecting the ball and watch out for his turnovers as he got dangerously close to 10 turnovers. 26 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists but 7 turnovers for Harden.  . SG. Houston Rockets

PATRICK BEVERLEY. C. Perhaps overshadowed by Lawson’s beautiful performance, <a href=. PG. Houston Rockets

Best Reserve

B+. That was <a href=. PG. Houston Rockets. TY LAWSON

Best Opponent:

A+. It was a toss up between Horford and Millsap really. I chose Millsap as I believe he filled his stat sheet just a notch above Horford. But both of them are such an amazing frontcourt duo that complement each other. What they lack in size they pay off in skill, talent and positioning – big time (though a Millsap flop in the fourth quarter might end up costing him some bucks in the future). Tonight he made power moves, bullied Ariza and Motiejunas below the rim, got tons of offensive rebounds, assisted, blocked…. well, pretty much everything. 22 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks for Millsap. As for Horford – 30 points, 14 rebounds.. PF. Atlanta Hawks. PAUL MILLSAP

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