Rockets Go Up to Toronto, Leave Shooting Ability in Houston…
Sunday’s game was an early start, 11:30 am in Houston, and it looked like the Rockets were still asleep when it started. Actually, check that, it looked like they were asleep for the entire 1st half and they were still dozing in the 2nd half.
Chuck Hayes was the pace-setter for the day. Aaron Brooks made 2 great passes to him on consecutive plays and Hayes blew both of the layups. Luis Scola was the only starter who was awake in the quarter; he was 3/3 while the rest of the guys were 2/12. He made sure not to outshine his teammates on the defensive end though as Andrea Bargnani was killing him with pump fakes and drives at will. It was a terrible period for Houston.
32 – 17 Toronto after 1.
In the 2nd frame Pops Mensah-Bonsu, my boy, came in for Toronto and did his best to make an impact against the team that waived him on November 11th. He blocked Trevor Ariza, out-worked 3 Rockets on the offensive baords to draw a foul on Ariza and then blocked Sideshow Dave Andersen. After the 2nd block he had a glare for the Rockets’ bench and, you know what, he deserved to give them that look.
As I watched Chris Bosh score 16 in the 1st half I was thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 6’10” defender to send in to contest this guy’s jump shots?” Well, Houston used to have that guy and Rick Adelman refused to give him a chance to show what he can do. Instead he decided to give plenty of minutes to Sideshow Dave who is not scoring and is not even close to capable of playing defense in the NBA. If you’re going to have a guy out there who can’t score, he might as well be a shot blocker and rebounder and Pops could have been that. But back to the game.
Brooks hit 2 free throws to get the lead to single digits at 42 – 33 but Chase Budinger blew 2 fast break layups in a row so the Rockets could get no closer. Oddly, they would repeatedly get the lead to 9 but never closer. And it wouldn’t have been anywhere near that had it not been for Carl Landry’s 2nd half.
55 – 42 Toronto after 2.
The Rockets couldn’t get much worse from how they played in the 1st 2 periods. 1/11 from the 3, outrebounded 27 – 16 and punished for 32 points in the paint for the Raptors. These stats got better in the 3rd, but not much better.
Scola had a great offensive rebound and put back to get the bulge back down to 9 but, once again, that was as close as it would get. Jarret Jack knocked down a 3 on the other end and Aaron Brooks responded by tackling himself on his way to the rim and falling out of bounds. Houston couldn’t make a layup or a jumper and the frustration finally boiled over in the person of Trevor Ariza.
What a dumb play! He’s definitely going to miss some money for that and he may even miss some games. How was it DeMar DeRozen’s fault that Ariza couldn’t make a basket or hold onto the ball? That was worse than Mario Williams showing out on a 6 – 7 Houston Texans team. What an embarrassment these 2 geniuses are. But I digress again.
The Houston night was summed up by a Shane Batti-eh shot from the corner that hit the top of the backboard. Awesome. Brooks did finally get it together though to lead a 14 – 4 run that did nothing but get the Toronto starters back into the game.
75 – 63 Toronto after 3.
Once again the Rockets got it to 9 but then this happened:
And Jack hit another 3 to take back the momentum. Pops wasn’t the only one in the game who should’ve been getting more looks from Adelman. Jermaine Taylor came in in the last 1:30 and hit a jumper from the corner. I really don’t understand why this kid can’t even get a look when the team is struggling so mightily to score. That is the one thing he can do at this point of his career but he never gets a chance to do it! Adelman is going to regret having such a short bench this early in the year. He’s not developing anyone except Budinger.
1. Carl Lanndry – 31 minutes, 25 points, 10/13 shooting
1. Ariza is a dumbass. It was just announced that he is going to miss the next game because of that elbow he threw.
2. Aaron Brooks was 3/12 from the 3, everyone else was 0/12. That’s horrendous.
Ariza was still acting like a jackass after he threw the elbow. He untucked his shirt and was talking crap to Jarret Jack. He leaned up against the scorer’s table and had more words for the referees. I couldn’t believe it. Loook, if you lose your head and throw an elbow out of frustration, then say, “Hey, my fault. That was stupid.” Don’t try to act like “man” and save face by being a tough-guy. It just makes you look even dumber.
This is just one indicator of Ariza’s maturity level. He doesn’t put in the work in the weight room or in the video room or with Battier learning how to play proper defense. It’s aggravating to watch because he could be a very, very good player if he wanted to be. It’s a shame that he doesn’t.
|36.8%||12.5%||84.0%||team rebs: 13||total to: 13|