After a lackluster performance against the Spurs, the Houston Rockets got back on track in South Beach against the Miami Heat on Friday.
The Houston Rockets went into Friday’s matchup looking to improve in every aspect, especially on defense, after giving up 128 points to the Spurs. There were also individual players who needed better outings. Overall, the defense still struggled for most of the game, consistently getting beat down the court and in the paint. It’s safe to say team defense is still a work in progress, as Houston gave up 133 points.
The offense was humming all night. Pushing the pace all game long and getting to the basket on multiple occasions. James Harden continued to torch everyone this preseason, finishing with 44 points on 12-of-26 shooting. Clint Capela was very aggressive throughout. Russell Westbrook struggled last game vs the Spurs but looked more aggressive and under control during the game before going out with a hand injury in the second half.
For the Miami Heat, Kendrick Nunn had the best game of his young career, pouring in 40 points on 15-27 shooting.
Here is a breakdown of how every Rocket performed on Friday:
Next: The Starters
Next: The Bench
There were many positives on the offensive end, but again the defense struggled to get stops. Harden and Gordon continued to play at a high level and Westbrook looked more like Westbrook. Going into next week’s season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Rockets have a few issues to iron out, but the good thing is they have several days to work through them.
Next up for the Rockets, a date with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in Houston for the season-opener on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.