After looking good in recent games, the Houston Rockets laid an egg against the Westbrook-less Thunder. Can they get back on track tonight against the Spurs?
The Houston Rockets were not sharp, to say the least, against the Thunder on Thursday night. That was the start of three games in four days that continues tonight against the rival San Antonio Spurs.
The Rockets looked like they were getting back on track after the poor start to the season. They had won three in a row against the Nets, Bulls & Pacers before the blowout loss on national television to the Thunder. Let’s hope that was just a minor setback towards turning the season around.
The Spurs are a very capable rival, as per usual. They have two stars that will mid-range you to death if you let them. The newest face to that squad is DeMar DeRozan after his blockbuster trade involving Kawhi Leonard this summer. He hasn’t slowed down from his three straight All-Star appearances and is always a threat to go off.
The Spurs are also a bit different than usual. They lost long-time members Tony Parker to the Hornets and Manu Ginobili, the Rockets killer, to retirement. Their current starting point guard, Dejounte Murray, is also hurt for a while.
What to watch for
The Rockets really haven’t been that bad defensively lately. Despite the blowout loss, the Thunder only scored 98 points, including just 39 in the second half. The offense was the big issue in that game, shooting just 38% from the field and turning it over 16 times.
The Spurs have been uncharacteristically average at defense this season. They are generally a staple for the top ten in the league in defensive rating, but this year they are No. 18. The Rockets must take advantage of that and score.
Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul must be better. They have two straight games of scoring zero points in the first half. In the first game, they improved in the second half and helped the Rockets win, but they were pretty bad in the last game against the Thunder. Let’s hope they have a complete game and look better than they have recently.
Be sure to tune in tonight as the Rockets face the Spurs! They play at 7:30 p.m. CT on AT&T SportsNet or NBAtv for those out of the area!