Rockets start off 0-3 with loss to Heat
Houston somehow manages to lose a 3rd straight game by exactly 20 points. This one in particular was a little harder to stomach because we were up by 21 midway through the third quarter.
- Dwight Howard was held out due to this being part of a back to back. Terrance Jones was out due to a cut on his eye that required stitches. Capela started for Howard as expected, but to replace Jones they went small and brought Marcus Thornton into the starting line-up. Not only did Thornton make his first start for the Rockets, but this was his first game period after not seeing any time on the court the first two games. He led the Rockets in scoring with 21 points on 8-16 shooting (5-9 from 3).
- The defense wasn’t horrible. We held the Heat to 40% shooting in the first half. But the comeback in the 2nd half upped that percentage to 49% by the time the game was over.
- Chuck Hayes signed with the Rockets earlier in the day to help with their depth. He had played the first 4 years of his career with Houston. Known mostly for his ability to guard multiple positions, he’ll help us tons in instances like these where we are thin at PF and C. He came in for 6 minutes during the 2nd quarter and had a few good defensive possessions against Whiteside (who was otherwise unstoppable today).
- Up 21 in the 3rd. Down 20 by the end of the game. Yeah… that’s kind of bad.
- Whiteside killed us. 25 points on 12-15 shooting. It’s not like they just isolated him and we weren’t able to defend, but frequently he was the recipient of a pass off of a pick and roll and he was able to finish well around the basket. Not a particularly worrying trend for Houston being unable to stop that, because we can definitely stop that with Dwight in the line-up.
- James Harden has been in some kind of weird slump. 2-15 from the field. The only saving grace being the 12-14 he shot from the free throw line. He has been cold from the field to start the season.
So is it time to panic? Probably not. I get the feeling that the bad start to the season has a lot to do with Harden struggling the way he has. The defense hasn’t been great, but that is something that will eventually get fixed. However, it goes without saying that starting the season 0-3 has been hugely disappointing.