Houston Rockets blown out in underwhelming MVP matchup

By Michael Knight
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets put up a poor display on national television in a loss to the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. The battle of the MVPs was pretty underwhelming, too.

The Houston Rockets came into tonight hot, but didn’t show it. They just dropped a game to the Bucks and looked pretty bad all-around. Houston got off to a great start in the first quarter, but waivered the rest of the way and lost 108-94.

This was a pretty hyped up game and was on national TV for a reason. The top-two candidates for the Most Valuable Player award were going head-to-head for the second and final time this regular season. Unfortunately, Giannis Antetokounmpo and his squad came out victorious.

Poor shooting

The big reason the Rockets lost was due to the poor shooting all around by the team. They shot just 36.4% from the floor and 30.8% from deep. P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon couldn’t hit a thing from the corners, feeding right into the game plan of the Bucks.

All night, the Bucks refused to let Harden beat them with the 3. They forced him to drive and pass it off. With the Rockets having an off night from downtown, this strategy worked perfectly and resulted in a lot of bad possessions.

Defensively, the Rockets weren’t too bad. They held Milwaukee under their scoring average and played pretty well on that end of the court. Eric Bledsoe torched them, though, knocking down 4 of his 7 shots from deep despite being a 31.8% 3-point shooter.

MVP “Battle”

The hyped up matchup of James Harden vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn’t as great as we all thought it would be. The Beard had 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 7 assists, but shot just 9/26 overall and 1/9 from 3.

Giannis put up 19 points and 14 rebounds, but was defending fairly well by P.J. Tucker and others. Harden even got in on the action by forcing two turnovers when he tried to post him up. Giannis was probably the better of the two tonight, but it certainly wasn’t anything noteworthy, either.

Next. James Harden is chasing history

We’ll see how the voters decide who wins with both of these guys having historic seasons. There isn’t really a wrong answer, but I’d love to see Harden get his second-straight MVP! Let’s focus on winning, first, though.