Houston Rockets Game 43 of 2015-16 found H-Town playing the Los Angeles Clippers.
Continuing SCS series of all 82 games from last season next up is the Houston Rockets Game 43 of 2015-16 versus the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jan 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) is defended by Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) during an NBA basketball game at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Rockers 140-132 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-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 43 – Los Angeles Clippers
Martin Luther King Jr Day has become synonymous with the NBA, so it was an honor the Rockets were one of the many teams competing on MLK day. The pregame outlined the raging rivalry between the Clippers and Rockets.
As long as their is a National Basketball Association there will be a rivalry between the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers. That fact was already evident prior to last seasons semi final Western Conference battle, but became cemented after it.
It may seem as if the teams are headed in different directions given the Clippers recent 10 game win streak of which Blake Griffin has missed 9 games while the Rockets have continued their yo-yo behavior. However the Rockets have won 6 of their past 7 games and have at times more closely resembled last year’s squad.
They still have work to do on the defensive end of the court and their front court needs to get healthy, but there is room for optimism
Post Game Analysis:
Andre Cantalogo served up the post game analysis and player grades from the contest that went into overtime prior to the Clippers succeeding.
Wrapping up Houston Rockets back-to-back mini road trip in Los Angeles, J.B. Bickerstaff’s squad faced the much more challenging LAs Clippers on Martin Luther King Jr. day.
As per usual the game was filled with the type of tension that surrounds both teams since their Western Conference Semifinals encounter. The Rockets had Patrick Beverley return (though he didn’t last the entire game) whereas the Clippers were reinforced by DeAndre Jordan back from a bout of pneumonia, but Blake Griffin was out once again.
The game started with the Clippers routing the Rockets from the three-point line. J.J. Redick got off to a sizzling start knocking down all four of his first quarter 3 point shots.
Eventually the Rockets shaved a 14 point deficit and mounted a dangerous comeback in a thrilling fourth quarter. The game ended up going to overtime after two huge 3-point shots by Marcus Thornton and that was when Chris Paul and Redick once again took over the match and grabbed the hard fought home win.
Not surprising these two teams tend to save their best efforts for one another with Dwight Howard posting 36 points, 26 rebounds and 4 assists, and J.J. Redick having posting a career-high 40 points with 9/12 from beyond the arc.
ESPN’s box score can be reviewed via this link.
Rockets Games vs Clippers in 2016-17
- December 30th at home
- March 1st in Los Angeles at Staples Center
- April 10th, in Los Angeles at Staples Center
Draft Picks and Free Agents
Despite a strong showing in 2015-16 the Clippers once again bowed out of the post season prematurely due to injuries to key players. Doc Rivers hasn’t made major moves in the off season electing to bring back the free agents from the existing roster.
It sure feels like this coming season has to be the ‘make or break’ season for the core players. Blake Griffin will enter free agency this summer and most assuredly not reaching the Western Conference Finals will dictate change.
Round 1: Brice Johnson (25),
Round 2: David Michineau (39), Diamond Stone (40)
Incoming Free Agents/trade:
- Marreese Speights to the Clippers on a 2-year vets minimum deal
- Raymond Felton leaves Dallas
- Devyn Marble and a 2020 second round (trade for Wilcox)
- Brandon Bass to a 1-year minimum deal leaves Lakers
Exiting Free Agents/traded:
- Cole Aldrich 3-years, $22M from T-Wolves
- Jeff Green1-year $15M from Orlando
- Pablo Prigioni leaves for Houston
- C.J. Wilcox and cash in trade fro Marble
- Jamal Crawford 3-years, $42M
- Austin Rivers 3-years $35M
- Wesley Johnson 3-years $18M
- Luc Richard Mbah a Moute 2-year, $4.5M deal.
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.