Apr 18, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) passes the ball away from Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) in the second quarter in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
An hour prior to tip-off the Houston Rockets learned Stephen Curry would miss game 2 due to his sprained ankle. Despite Curry’s absence the Warriors proved why they are the NBA’s best team taking a 2-0 series lead.
Red Nation fans hopes rose with news of Curry’s absence meaning the goal of splitting the series via a win at Oracle just became an easier task. To that end, in an effort to get the Game 2 player grades up expeditiously this is a joint effort between Andre and myself (Tamberlyn). We invite you join other fans in the comment section for a interactive chat about the game, the grades and your thoughts on your beloved Houston Rockets.
While the result is the same the Houston Rockets played a far different match then the lack luster effort displayed in Game 1. Sure, there were still miscues on defense, especially on the boards early. That said, the fact the Rockets doubled their output from a 15 point first quarter vs 30 points in Game 2. James Harden still doesn’t seem to want to play with Dwight Howard who went without a field goal attempt the entire first quarter. Harden finally connected on a lob pass to him half way through the third quarter.
Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff also finally seemed to understand part of his job requires adjusting from one game to the next as well as within the game itself. Still, his stubborn refusal to tweak his substitutions to incorporate players who could be a factor are infuriating. Um hello J.B. meet K.J. Geesh. There were some strides made in this regard however as Motiejunas was reinserted in the starting line-up. Finally, J.B. was trying to force Kerr to respond instead of reacting to everything the Warriors do. The move should have been accompanied by several other moves, but hey Rome wasn’t built in a day.
As the Warriors attempted to pull away in the second quarter a predominantly bench heavy crew worked to keep the Rockets in the game. Both Houston’s stars had their issues and while James Harden did have solid productivity levels he continues to also be a frustrating player. The inability to find a cohesive working relationship with his co-star is literally pulling the Rockets apart. Harden also had copious turnovers yet again (5) and there were those extended dribbling sets, iso plays and small periods in the game where he either goes into a trance or just checks out. I hate to say it, but there’s a certain
mellow man he’s resembling more and more.
Although it was a much more competitive contest than Game 1 the Rockets seemed to be much more cautious on offense as if they were trying to implement a strategy just recently learned. Understandable given the team has played the majority of the season without emphasis on player and ball movement.The problem was eventually it was going to catch up to them which it did when they inevitably collapsed in the fourth quarter. The Dubs kept the Rockets belted to the back seat, but at least it was a loss which came after putting in a better effort.
Sadly the Warriors will take a 2-0 series lead to Houston with the benefit of resting Curry yet again now that they have a stranglehold on the series needing just 2 more wins.
Rockets Starters Player Grades
Rockets Reserves Player Grades
Rockets Head Coach Grade
Again, please join us at the bottom of this post. We’d love to develop a place for post game chat among Red Nation for everyone to discuss the game, the players and most importantly the future of the Houston Rockets.
Make sure you check out Space City Scoops end of season Rockets Round Table:
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