Three takeaways from Houston Rockets triumph over Lakers

Jan 17, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) blocks a shot by Los Angeles Lakers forward Ryan Kelly (4) during the NBA basketball game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 17, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) blocks a shot by Los Angeles Lakers forward Ryan Kelly (4) during the NBA basketball game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Rockets easily routed the Los Angeles Lakers last night (Sunday the 17th) in a match that resembled more of a shoot around workout than a professional league game.

Both teams were in attack mode throughout most of the game, something that had already hurt the Rockets in past games against Brooklyn and the Nuggets.

Fortunately that wasn’t an issue last night.

As the game progressed the differences between two teams specifically the Lakers poor offense became evident. The Rockets had no trouble beating LA the same way the Cleveland Cavaliers had previously done to them, clearly showcasing the difference in levels between the three teams.

With that in mind let’s jump into the 3 takeaways from  the Houston Rockets first battle at Staples Center of their back to back set:

Terrence Jones inconsistency prevents him from becoming a reliable option

Whenever there’s news the Houston Rockets are on the market looking for a trade, more often than not Terrence Jones names emerges as the player Daryl Morey is shopping around to work out said trade…

…and every time that happens we are unsure as to whether that’s a good idea or not.

Terrence Jones inability to put together a sequence of strong performances is what makes us wonder if it’s even worth keeping him around after four years.

Forget the fact he is a restricted free agent or his recurrent injury worries: the main issue is his oscillation.

While this might be comparatively irrelevant when analyzing rookies or sophomores like Clint Capela or Montrezl Harrell as they are bound to have vacilations and off games, having a 4th year player that operates the same way is troubling.

Looking at Jones game logs this problem becomes evident as his stat numbers are all over the place.

In order to showcase this pattern, take a look at TJ’s stats from his last 9 games:

  • @LAL: 22 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds
  • vs Cleveland: 22 minutes, 3 points, 4 rebounds
  • vs Minnesota: 34 minutes, 16 points, 9 rebounds
  • @Memphis: 30  minutes, 20 points, 4 rebounds
  • vs Indiana: 19 minutes, 4 points, 3 rebounds
  • vs Utah: 32 minutes, 14 points, 8 rebounds
  • @Utah: 15 minutes, 2 points, 1 rebound
  • @San Antonio: 27 minutes, 8 points, 2 rebounds
  • vs GSW: 15 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds

And that’s just a sample. I encourage readers to examine TJ’s full season complete stat sheets and ask themselves: Is it worthy to have a player occasionally exploding  for 20+ points or a consistent shooter who can put out solid performances every game?

That’s not rhetorical though, it’s really a tough arduous choice to make that is sure to trouble Daryl Morey right up until the trade deadline.

Draft Regrets: Part 1

I seriously can’t understand the Los Angeles Lakers organization. They don’t seem to have a legitimate thought out plan for the franchise future.

It just looks as they are winging it: either desperately hoping for a silly star free agent to sign for them or strucking gold on the Draft.

Leaving that aside, the manner Byron Scott structure their team is as if they are on a win now -however they can- stance.

If that’s the case why in the world have they drafted D’Angelo Russell?! It simply doesn’t make absolutely any sense having him play backup for Lou Williams.

Russell is clearly a player in desperate need of playing time to develop himself – in a position they already have another player who also needs exactly the same thing: Jordan Clarkson.

This makes me seriously wonder if they don’t regret passing out Jahlil Okafor, a prominent scorer who could’ve offer the Lakers exactly what they think they need: offensive contribution.

Draft Regrets: Part 2

Take a look at the following play

That’s Lou Williams easily taking advantage of Jason Terry’s inattentive defense. And if you think that’s simply a mental lapse, then see the next one, with the same characters involved:

What both of them have in common aside from the fact that was 4 points for Williams is Jason Terry’s unbelievably bad defense.

I don’t want to take anything away from Terry’s career, leadership or etc., but it’s just tough to see the Rockets having to rely on the veteran for the backup point guard position. And if you think that was just incidental due to Patrick Beverley’s injury, think again: Terry is playing solid minutes throughout the whole season: 17.1 minutes per game.

Now you could argue that are other older players playing just as much as Terry. It’s true, but the majority of them are playing in positions that rely more on strength rather than speed and that’s the key issue.  Terry needs to be on this team, he provides Championship experience and veteran leadership.

Nevertheless, once again we are bound to ask ourselves about Houston’s 2015 draft picks. In this case their first round selection: It’s perhaps unfair questioning the player Sam Dekker as he’s barely played due to injury and can still develop into an useful rotation option in the future.

Rockets selection is what puzzles me. Despite the fact Daryl Morey surprised everyone making the move for Ty Lawson in the offseason, we are caught in a situation where the team lacks a trust worthy point guard.

It’s at least… curious that with Jerian Grant and Tyus Jones still on the board, the Rockets drafted Sam Dekker.

This selection might just be part of the eternal debate between drafting by necessity or talent but so far the Rockets failed to tick both boxes with their draft pick. I for one feel that was an inexcusable mistake by the team’s organization.

Here’s to hoping Sam Dekker shuts me up.

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