The Houston Rockets, statistically speaking, have the youngest team in the league. We saw a not-so-good pre-season, so it was hard to predict what to expect from their first official game of the season.
The Rockets traveled to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves in their first game of the 2021-2022 season and fell by 18 points in a game that Rockets fans hope isn't a direct determination of the rest of the season.
The first half was full of turnovers and nothing was falling in the paint. Jalen Green tried to get things going but his beautiful high arcing jumpers weren't falling.
Eric Gordon had some strong minutes off the bench as he had 8 points in his first 8 minutes of play.
The Rockets' shots from the field weren't falling, and their missions to the rim were cut short when met with Karl-Anthony Towns, ending the first half trailing 45 to 72.
At the half, it was hard to miss the fact that Armoni Brooks and Kenyon Martin Jr. hadn't seen the court and Alperen Sengun managed zero points in only 8 minutes. Eric Gordon was the Rockets' leading scorer at the half with 13 points, and Daniel Theis trailed with only 9.
The beginning of the 3rd quarter, much like the first half, was full of missed shots from the field, and Silas still chose to keep Daniel Theis in over Sengun. Jalen Green finally started to produce when he nailed a 3-pointer from downtown followed by a beautifully executed floater for 2.
Silas finally decided to put Sengun and David Nwaba in at the end of the 3rd. The team was still making poor decisions as far as moving the ball and their movement without it but we also started to see more chemistry at this point in the game than we had seen the whole duration of the game.
It's apparent that Sengun and Wood have more chemistry than Wood and Theis, and it was on display beautifully last night. Wood and Sengun were finally able to start making things happen for the Rockets in their attempt to shorten the lead the Timberwolves had built throughout the game.
In garbage time, Martin had an amazing dunk. Armoni Brook followed it up with an even stronger dunk to get the score within 12 points. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to carry the team and the Rockets fell short; the final score was 124-106.
Although it wasn't a game any Rockets fan enjoyed watching, it was noteworthy that the guys never quit on the game. At one point, down 30, I thought for sure they were gonna give up. Much to my surprise, I was proved wrong. The young guys give it their all every play and they never gave up, and they never let any of their teammates give up either, the energy was there whether they were down by 30, or down by 12 and if we find a thousand things wrong with this game, at least that's one good thing we saw from this young core.
The Rockets are a very young team and being young means you're inexperienced which is the core struggle for the Rockets right now. As this core gains experience, they'll build chemistry, cut down the turnovers, and will stop blowing assignments. Houston Chronicles J. Feigen said it best, “The Rockets' are playing kids in a man’s league, they’ll grow up” it's just a matter of time.