Rockets News

Houston Rockets Take Down the Bucks-Player Grades

Jan 22, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Josh Smith (5) drives to the basket past Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker (12) during the first half at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 22, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Josh Smith (5) drives to the basket past Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker (12) during the first half at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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After an embarrassing loss where the Houston Rockets got dismantled by the Pistons, the home team ended their two game losing skid Friday with a defeat of the Milwaukee Bucks. A mid-ankle sprain kept Dwight Howard out of his second straight game. Which forced J.B. Bickerstaff to make some questionable changes to the roster.

The most intriguing news of the night was the return of Josh Smith eight months after his exit.  Just hours after the Rockets reacquired him in a surprise trade with the Los Angeles Clippers he made his return to the Toyota Center hardwood. Overall, great game for the Rockets, and hopefully this momentum will carry over to Sunday’s game versus the Dallas Mavericks.

89. . 102. 169. 98

C. Houston Rockets. CLINT CAPELA. B+. If I could vote on the NBA’s most improved player, my vote would go to Clint Capela! With Howard out, his presence was surprising not missed due to the play of Capela. The second year forward from Switzerland contributed this game like he was Superman himself. He was active on both ends of the floor, and did a great job helping Terrence Jones defend the paint. Overall good game. 6 points, 2 blocks, 9 rebounds.

Houston Rockets. TREVOR ARIZA. B. After one of his worst nights of the season, Ariza had a pretty good performance. At first it seemed that Ariza was ready to have one of his rare MVP caliber games. He led the Rockets to an early 31-28 lead after he scored nine points in the first quarter, while shooting 60 percent from the field. However, in the second, Ariza cooled off tremendously. Thankfully when the Rockets needed him in the third, it became the most effective quarter of the season for Ariza. His defense though solid could have been much better. Overall, good night for Ariza. 19  points, 5 rebounds, 1 block.. SF

C-. Terrence Jones, Marcus Thornton, and even Josh Smith would have been a better start than Corey Brewer. I forgot Brewer even played until it was time for me to complete his player grade. 4 points, 5 rebounds.. SG. Houston Rockets. COREY BREWER

A+. Another day, another night in the kitchen for Chef Harden. James Harden erupted in the first half for 21 points on 66 percent shooting from the field. While his effort does not show in the box score, Harden was more engaged on the defensive end on the floor. He did cool off a little in the second half however Harden was still the best player on the court. Another MVP performance for the bearded one. 30 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals.. SG. Houston Rockets. JAMES HARDEN

D. Despite playing well against the Piston, Bickerstaff felt the need to start Jason Terry over Ty Lawson tonight. By far the dumbest move of the night! 6 points.. G. Houston Rockets. JASON TERRY

Best Reserve

A. Most would disagree and say Josh Smith should have got the honor as the Rockets’ best reserve, but Terrence Jones’ contribution cannot be over looked. Like Clyde Drexler said in tonight’s broadcast “Basketball Jones is back!” He hustled for every loose ball, and had one of his best defensive games of the season. Great game T-Jones! 14 points, 4 blocks, 8 rebounds.. PF. Houston Rockets. TERRENCE JONES

Best Opponent:

C. Milwaukee Bucks. GREG MONROE. A. He is one of the best offensive big men in the league, and tonight he showed why. Greg Monroe was the only player the Rockets could not stop. Dominating game for Monroe. 21 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists.

Next: Rockets reacquire Smith in trade

Next: Rockets say they will not trade Lawson

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Make sure you catch up on our entire Team Preview Series, our Houston Rockets Player Profile Series as well as our SCS Round Table Sessions to help you get through the early season. Start your morning with SCS Rocket Science Daily and visit us throughout the day to keep abreast of all your Houston Rockets news and updates.

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