Houston Rockets Game 63 of 2015-16 featured the Toronto Raptors
Continuing SCS series of all 82 games from last season next up is the Houston Rockets Game 63 of 2015-16 versus the Toronto Raptors.
Mar 6, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Recording artist Drake reacts to a play during the fourth quarter of the Toronto Raptors 113-107 loss to Houston Rockets at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-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 63 – Raptors
Toronto and Cleveland have separated themselves from the rest of the East with Toronto arguably the more consistent of the two. Their accomplishment is all the more impressive when you consider the adversity they’ve faced. To start the season the Raptors had a road heavy schedule that featured only 6 home games prior to December 3rd.
They also had multiple injuries to maneuver such as starting center Jonas Valanciunas who broke his hand and missed 17 games. Even more impressive is the fact their key free agent signing (DeMarre Carroll) has missed 37 games, and told reporters he was only healthy for 4 or 5 games of the 23 he did play in. DMC has been working his way back from a knee procedure and plantar fasciitis and is expected to return to action some time this month.
Considering Carroll was brought in to improve the Raptors defense and add 3 point scoring the Raptors record is all the more impressive. When he does return expect to see Toronto’s defense climb back into the top ten. To wit, since the All-Star break the Raptors have been sizzling on offense, but their defense has taken a dip. Coach Duane Casey will be attempting to utilize this 7-game home stand to refocus their efforts and build better defensive habits.
Part of their defensive regression can be attributed to the fact Casey has basically only had 9 players to utilize all year though rookie Norman Powell has been used sparingly. For the most part the two rookies (Powell and Delon Wright) two Brazilians (Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo) and Anthony Bennett have seen little to no action. Bennett in fact was waived last week when the Raptors signed Jason Thompson who was released by Golden State to make room for Anderson Varejao. So when you consider the Raptors have won 41 games relying primarily on their All-Star backcourt and 3 new players (Luis Scola, Cory Joseph and Bismack Biyombo) it truly puts Toronto’s success in perspective.
The full pregame analysis Houston Rockets Game 63 can be viewed here
Post Game Analysis:
So I’ve been waiting to see this game all season. I’ve grown accustomed to several things this year covering both the Raptors and Rockets. For example, the Rockets tend to save their better efforts for the elite teams. And it’s been commonplace for Harden to post great scoring efforts and equally used to him dribbling the ball for large portions of the shot clock . Not to mention Harden seemingly play defense as it suits him.
Above all I’m used to the referees treating visiting teams like they are all Golden State Warriors. Even the Knicks, Nets and Sixers have received a favorable whistle. That’s not to say the Rockets didn’t earn their whistles. That said the refs kept the Rockets in this one early until they got rolling in the second half. By then the Raptors had taken their foot ever so slightly off the gas pedal. It doesn’t happen often to the Raptors as their record indicates. As much as there was some excellent performances by the Rockets tonight knowing the Raptors this felt more like Toronto gave the game away than the Rockets won it.
Bottom line it was a horribly officiated game. To reiterate I felt the whistle kept Houston in it when Toronto could’ve been buried early. Hey, I’ll take the win for the Rockets …they need it . And I’ll lick my wounds over the Raptors not countering their angst of the whistle by buckling down. Trust me it will serve to make the Raptors refocus and play better defense. At the end of the night the Rockets hung around to capture a much needed win and ultimately they earned it.
The full post game analysis Houston Rockets Game 63 can be viewed here.
Houston Rockets Game 63 NBA.com box score.
Rockets Games vs Raptors in 2016-17
- November 23rd at home
- January 8th in Toronto at Air Canada Centre
Draft Picks and Free Agents
While many pundits predicted the Raptors would be in the playoff mix few saw them growing and moving up to the second seed in the Eastern Conference last season. With the veritable monkey off their back via their wins to advance out of the first round GM Masai Ujiri elected to stick with the core and improve internally.
More from Space City Scoop
- Rockets: Time to return the slander towards Rachel Nichols
- What the Rockets must do with the second overall pick
- Houston Rockets: The case for, and against, trading Christian Wood
- NBA Rumors: Why the Houston Rockets shouldn’t trade up to no. 1 in NBA Draft
- 3 players that would be a perfect fit for the Houston Rockets at 23 or 24
Round 1: Jakob Poeltl (9)
Round 2: Pascal Siakam (27)
Incoming Free Agents/trade:
- Jared Sullinger exits Celtics on 1-year, $6M deal
- Fred VanVleet was a stand-out in Summer League, Toronto ink him to $50k deal with potential of a longer term deal. VanVleet will arrive in training camp with the potential to make the team or the Raptors 905 D-League squad.
Exiting Free Agents/traded:
- Bismack Biyombo 4-years, $72M to Magic
- James Johnson to 1-year, $4M deal to Heat
- Luis Scola leaves for the Nets
- DeMar DeRozan 5-years, $139M
- Jason Thompson
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