Rockets Continue to Build on their Blowout of Knicks by Routing the Raptors

I thought tonight’s game would be close, because the Raptors have lost a lot of heart breakers recently and they really needed this game. Despite shooting well from the field, they got nearly blown out by the Rockets, who shot even better and played a complete game for a full 48 minutes on both ends of the court. This was a great blow out for the Rockets, because it wasn’t like the Raptors played terribly. They played well on the offensive end and we were still able to almost blow them out. That’s a great sign.

In the past two games, the Rockets are looking like how I expected them to look since the beginning of the season. They’re moving the ball so well and playing very unselfishly. Tonight, we got 6 players in double figures. That’s what I love about this Rockets team. It’s rarely just one player getting it done. It’s often a complete team effort and everyone is getting their touches. Tonight, Harden had 12 assists and Lin added 10. Linharden was back tonight. Lin played one of his best if not his best game as a Rockets. When Lin was out of the game, the Raptors made a run in the second quarter and the fourth quarter. I think tonight Lin played the most minutes of the regular session games that he’s played under Sampson. And I was so happy to see Lin finally hitting outside shots. He went 7 of 9 tonight and was robbed of a point, when he wasn’t given credit for a 3-pointer. He should have ended with 17 points, not 16 points. At least it was a blowout, so that one point didn’t matter. I guess those extra 30 minutes he spent shooting threes after practice payed off. It was also great to see Lin driving to the basket and finishing several times. He also rendered Lowry completely ineffective on the defensive end, including racking up 3 steals. So I think Lin had his best all-around game as a Rockets. Hope he continues to build on this. I think that Knicks game really helped get his confidence back and also was a load lifted for Lin. So I’m hoping to see Lin continue to improve from here.

Asik and Harden were very solid, once again, and Patterson had a great game. I think Harden is really settling into his role with the Rockets. It’s great to see the consistency in his game, as well as that of Asik’s The Rockets can always depend on these two guys to get it done nearly every night.

Now that Asik and Lin got revenge on their former teams, it’s time for Harden to do the same in tomorrow’s game against OKC. That’s gonna be a tough one. I’d be surprised if the Rockets win that game. If they do, than the Rockets are much further along than probably anyone expected at this stage in the season.

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21 thoughts on “Rockets Continue to Build on their Blowout of Knicks by Routing the Raptors

  1. Thank you for your quick analysis, objective and insightful as usual. I like the fact that Lin went 7 of 9 and he hit a 3-pointer as well. Good sign.

    • No problem. This assist by Lin to Asik reminds me of the stuff he did in New York on a pretty regular basis:

      I think his teammates are doing a better job of getting open when Lin drives into the lane. Lin had a lot of drives in the lane and dish outs to wide open teammates. Hope to see more of that in the future as the guys get a better feel for one another’s games.

  2. Here is some pre-game warmup video for the readers of this blog.

    Lin seemed to shoot better.

    I was unable to sneak in my HD video camera, so I did the best I could with a small camera. I was sitting at one end zone behind the basket. Attendance was light, so I was able to move up closer later on in the game and got a better view.

    More to come!

  3. Thank you for the recap!

    And you didn’t mention about the garbage time minutes but I was amused that they were essentially practicing plays, Harden was going left, Parson was posting up, and Lin was driving from every direction. Makes sense I guess since they’d have very little time to review film/practice/discuss today’s game. Sampson himself pretty much said he was gonna wing it; and the sound of their schedule seems like they’re pretty much going from the airport to the arena.

    • You’re welcome. Tonight’s game is going to be a tough and emotional one, coming straight from the funeral. I’m not gonna be hard on them if they have a rough game. If they win, I would be very impressed.

    • Actually, I didn’t notice this before, but I just realized that when you post comments, I have your email address. So I’ll send you an email and you can reach me via email that way.

  4. OK, here are the rest of the video links. I hope you can see that Lin was quick and effective at both ends of the court.

    Slowly but surely, Lin is getting back into NBA shape.
    An 82-game season is not a sprint, but a marathon, folks!

  5. I missed the first quarter of the OKC game. I don’t know about you, but playing the defending Western Conference Champ, in their house, right after a funeral, is no easy task. But Lin played as well as he could under the circumstances, in my opinion.

    Lin was handling the ball more. His defense was good. He seemed to have regained much of his speed: just need a little bit more time to get his shots back. The Rockets failed to capitalize on a few scoring opportunities that would have made the game much closer.

    I slowed the motion down to about 30% of the few plays that stuck to my mind. Rockets’ ball movement was quite fluid in the above video, I think. I also think Kevin Martin flopped when both he and Lin jumped up for rebound, after Patterson missed a point blank dunk! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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