The Houston Rockets, much like every team in the league, has this game circled on their calendars.
Whether it be in October or May, everyone wants a shot at the Golden State Warriors. Not only do they hold the target of defending NBA champs, but that target is doubled in size by the historically, stupid good start the Warriors are off too in 2015.
Golden State is 29-2. 29 and freaking 2. It still hasn’t sunk in with me just how good this team has been. For the first time since it happened, the ’96 Chicago Bulls season record 72 wins could be in jeopardy.
So, while you have historical greatness on one side of this matchup, on the other side you have historical confusion. The Rockets, who can’t figure out who they are, will be tasked with upending the Warriors for just their third loss of the season.
This could be made a lot easier without Steph Curry, who sat in Wednesday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Last night just goes to show how vulnerable the Warriors are without the MVP, but Steph may just have an early return to avoid back-to-back losses.
It’s wishful thinking, because the Rockets have done nothing to convince me they’ll be the ones to hand the Warriors their first back-to-back loss of the season. Then again, I said the same thing about the San Antonio Spurs…
Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web
So how exactly are the Rockets going to upset the Warriors? I’ll leave that to the newest member of the Space City Scoop team – Ben Casey. I agree on many of his points, but relying on the Rockets do follow through on anything is wishful thinking. Ben is very persuasive though with his arguments, so I won’t be the one to spoil them with my incoherent ramblings.
"The way the Rockets will probably (definitely) approach the game is with their twin towers lineup, with and getting the starting nod. The best chance a team has of beating Golden State is to go big and out-muscle them. Going big is nothing new to the Rockets; the twin towers lineup is the their winningest group so far this year at 11-4. It’ll put the Warriors at an advantage in some ways, but I’d be surprised if the rebound totals don’t favor the Rockets. Dwight Howard Clint Capela"
This title may be a bit misleading, but the point in this article comes across very clear by the end: Houston needs to want the big picture more. I’m not a fan of criticizing intangible things: character, desire, work ethic, etc. I’m a firm believer that unless you’re in the locker room or around the team 24/7, you have no idea what’s actually going on in an organization. But Calvin Watkins does, so take a read:
"The Rockets have shown flashes of winning basketball. This team has quality wins over the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers (twice) and Oklahoma City Thunder. Yet, they blew a 19-point lead in losing to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night and faltered down the stretch in a road loss to the Orlando Magic last week. There was another bad loss at New Orleans, the day after Christmas, prompting Bickerstaff to say the team disrespected the game."
First, it was J.B. Bickerstaff sounding off about “disrespecting” the game – now we have veteran Jason Terry sounding off about the situation. I am pro-player in most situations, including when they actually say something interesting in a media situation. Terry is merely echoing how most of us feel about the team this season – loads of potential but nothing to show for it. I love it when he talks, and you should too.
"Speaking of that, Jason Terry is the latest Rocket to voice his concern to the media in regard to the way the team is playing.Terry told the Houston Chronicle’s Jenny Dial Creech that he’s surprised by the team’s up-and-down level of play this season."
For those of you who think Dwight is the problem in Houston right now, allow me to show you this nice video of him balling while being guarded by Al Horford and Paul Millsap:
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 30, 2015
I can’t tell a lie – I’m actually excited to watch this game. The Warriors are appointment viewing – on TV and especially in person. Whether Houston wins or loses, as a basketball fan this game will deliver for sure.