The Houston Rockets were in action in the opening round of the NBA 2K tournament, and they got back to their winning ways against the Miami Heat.
In case you missed it, the Houston Rockets were back in action over the weekend, which finally gave us what we’ve been missing. Well, not exactly, but they were featured in the NBA’s players-only 2K tournament.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has found innovative ways to re-engage basketball fans, starting with the 2K tournament and following it up with the idea of the H-O-R-S-E competition. Although an NBA 2K tournament isn’t necessarily the same thing as the product we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on the floor, it provided an opportunity to watch NBA players get as close to NBA games as possible.
As we expected, Houston Rockets announcer Matt Thomas wasn’t calling the games, as the players were talking and interacting with each other, which provided interesting and entertaining moments. The Rockets didn’t have any players competing in the tourney and they weren’t really used all that much as the team of choice either.
In fact, the Rockets were selected by a grand total of one player, which was Deandre Ayton during his matchup against Zach LaVine. The Rockets were facing LaVine’s Miami Heat and played a tightly contested battle in the first half, as they led 26-24 at the half. James Harden led the way for the Rockets with 13 points in the first half, as the Heat had no answer for The Beard.
Harden drained countless treys, which helped the Rockets seize the lead in the first half. The score wouldn’t have been that close if it weren’t for Ayton chucking 3-pointers with Russell Westbrook, as Russ went 0-for-4 in the first half from deep, which isn’t exactly the best way to use Russ.
All in all, Russ only had two points in the first half, but got it going in the second half, as he came out with a vengeance and a determination to will the Rockets to victory. The Rockets won 57-41, and helped Ayton advance to the second round.
As Ayton used the Rockets in his match against LaVine, he won’t be able to use them again, so he’ll have to re-create the magic with another team in the future rounds. It’ll be interesting to see if any other players use the Rockets in future games, considering the success Ayton had with the Houston Rockets in the opening round against the Chicago Bulls’ star.