Houston Rockets Game 31 of 2015-16 featured the first meeting with division rival San Antonio Spurs
Continuing SCS series of all 82 games from last season next up is the Houston Rockets Game 31 of 2015-16 versus the San Antonio Spurs.
Dec 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) fight for position in the second half of a NBA basketball game on Christmas at Toyota Center. Rockets won 88 to 84. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Rockets added draft picks and signed free agents to improve upon an especially mediocre 41-41 campaign. Big man Dwight Howard left for Atlanta while free agents Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Nene Hilario and Pablo Prigioni joined Houston in free agency.
Hopes are these additions and the growth of existing assets will translate into a season similar to 2014-15. While fans wait for opening night on October 26th versus the Lakers hopefully this series will appease your cravings.
To that end, this series showcases the Rockets 82 games noting the pregame analysis, post game grades, and relevant video. Furthermore, SCS will highlight significant changes made by their opponents this summer. So, here it is – – enjoy all 82 posts as SCS takes you back over the 2015-16 season.
Game 31 – Spurs
From the pregame analysis article:
When the holiday teams were selected it was likely expected the Rockets and Pelicans would be performing at a higher level than their current status. And it wouldn’t have taken much for the schedule makers to assume the Spurs would be performing well given they haven’t had a losing season in over 2 decades! In fact in the past 27 seasons (since the 1989-1990 season) San Antonio has just one losing season to their credit (1996-97 when they were 20-62).
Coming into tonight’s all Texas match the Rockets remain at .500 where they have hovered for the past 3 weeks and the Spurs remain the second best team in the Association with a record of 25-5 behind only the Warriors. Notably the Spurs boast the Leagues best defense and have begun to get their offense on track.
It will take a major effort from the Rockets to upset the Spurs who are possibly the most balanced team in the Association. With that, let’s compare the teams and tonight’s match-up:
Post Game Analysis:
With the Spurs having lost just 5 games out of 30 this win was by far the biggest win for the Rockets on the season. In Andre Cantalogo’s post game report he mirrored these sentiments:
Santa Claus presented us with a very pleasant game at Toyota Center on Christmas Day between one of the league’s best teams: the San Antonio Spurs and your Houston Rockets.
Overall the game was played at a high pace with a lot of runs and drives to the basket, but with both teams unable to mount any big leads until halftime.
It’s worth noting that even though it was a somewhat humble final score the game was very enjoyable also thanks to the low number of fouls and free-throw attempts by both teams – at least until Gregg Popovich started employing the “hack-a” strategy midway through the 4th quarter.
In the end the Rockets ended up winning the battle of wits and defenses against the Spurs and grabbed their most significant victory this season.
Although a low scoring game there were stellar performances from both sides with the teams 2 young stars wining the day. Houston Rockets Game 31 may not have been Harden’s best performance, but it may have been his most important.
NBA.com provides full box score which can be viewed via this link.
Rockets Games vs Spurs in 2016-17
- November 9th in San Antonio at AT&T Center
- November 12th at home
- December 20th at home
- March 6th in San Antonio at AT&T Center
Draft Picks and Free Agents
With Tim Duncan retiring the Spurs enter the 2016-17 season for the first time in 20 years without him. It’s bound to be weird initially not seeing the Big Fundamental on the floor. To offset the loss San Antonio inked Pau Gasol to fill Duncan’s rather large shoes. Fortunately Manu Ginobili returns for another season, so the core remains basically intact.
Round 1: Dejounte Murray (29)
Round 2: None
Incoming Free Agents/trade:
- Bryn Forbes : given a guaranteed contract beyond Summer League
- Pau Gasol 2-years $30M
- Olivier Hanlan (trade exchange from Jazz for Diaw)
- Dewayne Dedmon on 2-year $6M deal, exits Orlando
- David Lee on 2-year $3.2M deal exits Dallas
Exiting Free Agents/traded:
- David West veteran minimum contract of 1 year at $1.3M to Warriors
- Boris Diaw (traded to Jazz)
- Boban Marjanovic 3-years $21M offer sheet (Spurs will not match)
- Tim Duncan Exorcised Option – Since then has retired
- Manu Ginobili 1 year, $14M
- Ryan Arcidiacono, No terms provided
- Davis Bertans No terms provided
- Kevin Martin
- Matt Bonner
- Andre Miller
More Free Agent News
Due to the large Houston Rockets fan base, SCS is always looking to add new talent to our writing team. To that end, we’re looking for individuals with a specialized focus. Specifically, the first area is perfect for someone who constantly surfs for breaking news on injuries, trades, insider info. Consequently this individual would select top news items providing timely quick hits to keep SCS readers in the loop.
The other writer would possess an especially strong social media background and would like to interact with Clutch City Fans. Therefore this person will promote SCS team content on facebook and twitter. As a result the successful candidate will make sure to promote the best content coming from H-Town fans. In conclusion, if you’re a budding writer who possesses these qualities vist the SCS link, and fill out an application