Rockets News

Houston Rockets spank Yao Ming’s Sharks in preseason opener

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Mar 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and forward Clint Capela (15) talk during a break in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Houston Rockets won 118-104. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) and forward Clint Capela (15) talk during a break in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The Houston Rockets won 118-104. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Rockets took to the Toyota Center court in their first preseason game with a new look line-up.

It’s seems like an eternity since the playoffs ended for the Houston Rockets, but fans got a look at Mike D’Antoni’s new system in their preseason opener.  While the Shanghai Sharks aren’t an NBA caliber team the game still offered hints at what to expect in 2016-17.

Certainly the Houston Rockets will look to push the ball in transition and utilize their depth. Though many questioned whether the newly assembled team would be able to defend there were signs that Jeff Bzdelik has instilled some defensive principles. Of course this is just preseason, but the fact James Harden was active defensively and new recruits Anderson, Gordon and Nene all seemed to be attempting to talk on the defensive end is an encouraging sign.

Starting Line-Ups:

Houston Rockets:

Point Guard: James Harden

Shooting Guard: Patrick Beverley

Small Forward: Trevor Ariza

Power Forward: Ryan Anderson

Center: Clint Capela

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Shanghai Sharks:

Point Guard: Liu Xiaoyu

Shooting Guard: Jimmer Fredette

Small Forward: Guerschon Yabusele

Power Forward: Zhai Yi

Center: Zhang Zhaoxu

First Quarter Standouts:

  • Rockets 34 Sharks 21
  • FG Percent: Rockets 50%, Sharks 35%
  • Assists: 10 to 5 in favor of Rockets
  • Rebounds: 14 to 11 in favor of Rockets
  • Nene scored 10 points, had 2 assists and 1 rebound.
  • Patrick Beverley shuffled time in the starting line-up as the SG  and PG with the bench unit to produce 3 assists, 5 rebounds, a steal and 2 points

Second Quarter:

  • Rockets took a 72-45 lead into the lockers.
  • Houston shot 60% with the bench specifically on fire
  • The Rockets dished dimes all over the court doubling the output of the Sharks 22-11.
  • Harden quietly scored 16 points with 6 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal in just under 18 minutes of play and notably was a plus 16.
  • Biggest highlight of the half and arguably the game was K.J. McDaniels aerial show:

Uçalım kardeşim @KJMcDaniels pic.twitter.com/07nhwmJjT5

— Furkan Aslan (@BeardSanityy) October 3, 2016

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Top Performers:

James Harden: For anyone questioning ‘The Beard’ moving to the point guard Harden showcased an ease at running the point dishing some pretty dimes. Harden accumulated a quiet 16 points to pair with his 10 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and a block.  Also of note Harden finished the game with a plus 21 and showed he’s

K.J. McDaniels: Hard to ignore the aerial show McDaniels put on display. More importantly it’s the energy K.J. brings to the court and his effort on defense. If the development coaches can help McDaniels gain some consistency in his shooting from the field he has the potential to become a true x-factor.

Ryan Anderson: Took a while for Anderson to find his range, but you can see how he’ll open the court for Harden and Ariza specifically. Anderson finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and2 assists.

Jimmer Fredette: Though he toiled in the Association on several different teams Jimmer takes his talents to the Far East to share with Shark’s fans. He came close to a triple double including a long range bomb from beyond half court to end the third quarter.  Fredette finished with 33 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.

Guerschon Yabusele: The Celtics pick impressed with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds.

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Next: Rockets Yearbook - photos and expectations

Next up for the Rockets they’ll host Derrick Rose’s “super team” New York Knicks on Tuesday evening.

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