April 25, 2015 at 1:34 am

Every Houston Rocket Highlight from Game 3 in Dallas

Houston Rockets Game 3 vs Dallas Highlights

The Houston Rockets took the best punch the Dallas Mavericks could deliver and it still didn’t matter.

Despite Dallas putting up an insane 72 points in the first half, the Rockets hung tough, took the lead back in the third and went on to the 130-128 win behind monster performances from superstars James Harden (playoff career-high 42 points) and Dwight Howard (playoff career-high 26 rebounds) and huge contributions from Josh Smith, Corey Brewer and Trevor Ariza.

When your team drops 130, this takes several hours to put together, but here is every Rocket highlight from the local broadcast of Game 3:

Game 3

See Also: Every Houston Rocket Highlight from Games 1 and 2

Posted in Houston Rockets |
April 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Every Houston Rocket Highlight from Game 1 and Game 2 vs. Dallas

Houston Rockets Playoffs Video Highlights

That was quite a thrill ride at the Toyota Center as key mid-season acquisitions Corey Brewer and Josh Smith each played huge roles in helping the Rockets take a 2-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

If you live out of town or watched the ESPN and TNT broadcasts, you may have missed the excitement that Bill Worrell and Matt Bullard bring to the call. Here is every Rocket highlight from the local broadcasts of the games:

Game 1

Game 2

Well-known ClutchFans user batkins has also posted every Rocket highlight from Game 2 on the TNT broadcast.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
April 22, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Mavericks rule out Rajon Rondo indefinitely to ego injury — err, I mean “back” injury

Rajon Rondo Dallas Mavericks

Rajon Rondo melted down in Game 2 and now he’s reportedly out “indefinitely” this series.

This isn’t even questionable — anyone who watched Rondo in Game 2 knows that he completely checked out and was looking for a fight. To suggest he can’t play because of a back injury is a blatant cover-up by Dallas.

But that doesn’t really matter. The question is — does this help or hurt the Rockets? Rondo is the best defender that the Mavericks can throw at James Harden, but as we’ve talked about in the last few podcasts, he is a complete mess for that Dallas team on the offensive end of the ball. The Rockets are consistently able to sag off Rondo and force him to shoot outside shots, where he’s a total train wreck.

The Rockets will be seeing a lot more of JJ Barea, Ray Felton and Devin Harris (once healthy from a toe injury) in this series, so some adjustments will have to be made. Jason Terry has been fantastic shooting the ball in the series (6-9 from three-point range) but can be a liability on defense. I don’t think any player in that mediocre Dallas trio is going to force the Rockets to slide Trevor Ariza or Corey Brewer over, but it’s something to keep an eye on in Game 3 this Friday.

But with the Mavericks giving up three key contributors in Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder and Jameer Nelson, plus a first round pick, for Rondo, I’m reminded of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s comments this past summer when talking about the difference between the Mavericks and the Rockets.

“(The Rockets) just have a different understanding and approach to chemistry than we do,” said Cuban. “Some teams, and that’s not just the Rockets, just put together talent and the talent takes care of itself. We think chemistry matters.”

Talk about blowing up in your face.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
April 22, 2015 at 3:22 am

Podcast: The Josh Smith Show in Game 2

Josh Smith dominates Game 2

Josh Smith was struggling against the Dallas Mavericks in this series.

The key word there is was.

Smith exploded for 13 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds in the second half alone (See Video), feasting like a king on lob passes to good friend Dwight Howard as the Houston Rockets pulled away from the Mavericks in the fourth quarter for a 111-99 win in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead.

MK Bower joins me on the podcast late into the night at the Toyota Center as we discuss the huge win, Smith and Howard’s big night, James Harden’s struggles, the crumbling Mavs and how Daryl Morey appears to have outsmarted Mark Cuban.

Posted in Houston Rockets, Podcasts |
April 19, 2015 at 11:40 am

On Fire: Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Playoffs Intro Video

Houston Rockets 2015 Playoff Intro Video

If you were there Saturday night, you know what I’m talking about — but it was an absolutely electric atmosphere at the Toyota Center before, during and after the Houston Rockets’ 118-108 Game 1 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Adding to the hype was the player intros. One of the most anticipated events of the first playoff game is the reveal of the new playoff intro video that the Rockets and their video production crew put together. They did the amazing comic book intro video that ran the past two months and they released a new one for the 2015 playoffs last night, centered around an “on fire” theme.

Here is my recording of the intro video and player introductions.

UPDATE: The Rockets have posted a copy of the intro video by itself.

Posted in Houston Rockets |
April 19, 2015 at 8:48 am

Podcast: Role players fuel Rockets in Game 1 win over Mavs

Corey Brewer celebrates

James Harden couldn’t get cookin’ and Dwight Howard was taken out of the game by the whistles, but it didn’t faze the Houston Rockets. The team still put up 118 points on their way to a huge Game 1 win over the Dallas Mavericks at home Saturday night. Why? The role players stepped up big as Trevor Ariza (12 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals), Jason Terry (four three-pointers) and Corey Brewer (13 of his 15 points in the fourth) were too much for Dallas.

MK Bower joins me from the Toyota Center as we discuss all things Game 1.

Posted in Houston Rockets, Podcasts |
April 16, 2015 at 11:10 am

Houston Rockets 2015 Draft Pick Situation

Houston Rockets NBA Dratf

The Houston Rockets are division champions for the first time in over twenty years, but while last night’s Pelicans win was a boost to the Rockets’ present, it came at a small price to their future.

The Rockets hold the 18th pick and the 32nd pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. Had the Pelicans lost to the Spurs, Houston would have been the fifth seed and faced Portland, but would have almost assuredly moved up four spots in the draft to #14.

Omer Asik Trade Complete

The Rockets acquired the Pelicans’ first-round pick last summer in the Omer Asik trade. The pick was protected so that it had to be between 4 and 19 to be conveyed. Daryl Morey often called the pick a “guaranteed lottery pick” but it didn’t work out that way.

With the Oklahoma City Thunder suffering massive losses due to injury down the stretch, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans squeezed in to the final playoff spot. That dropped their first-round pick to 18th overall. Had they lost that game, the Rockets would have had a 98.2% chance of picking 14th overall.

The teams that leapfrogged the Rockets are the Thunder, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks. On the positive side, none of those teams would appear to need a point guard (a Rockets need), but that doesn’t mean much.

Overall, this was a good deal for the Rockets — it could have been amazing with the pick, but that was a risk worth taking given the West landscape. Asik was leaving this summer anyway and the Rockets netted long-term assets in the #18 pick and Trevor Ariza (sign-and-trade) in the deal. They also flipped Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson (received from the Pelicans in the deal) for Jason Terry and two second-round picks. The Pelicans now have to make an interesting financial decision on keeping Asik, who will be a free agent in July.

Marcus Camby – The Gift That Keeps on Giving

When Morey went through his breakthrough overhaul in the summer of 2012, he agreed to a rather small sign-and-trade of Marcus Camby to the Knicks, netting two second-round picks (2014, 2015) and Toney Douglas to help the Knicks work their cap. New York imploded, Camby was back on the Rockets a year later and now those draft picks are making an impact.

The Rockets took Nick Johnson last year with one of those picks and now they will receive the 32nd pick from the Knicks this summer. The top picks of the second round can be very valuable as contracts are not guaranteed in the second round like they are in the first round. Only the Minnesota Timberwolves at #31 will have a better second-round pick.

And to top it off, the Rockets have New York’s second-round pick next season as well, which came via trade with the Kings for taking Jason Terry.

Rockets traded away their own picks

The Rockets will not have their own first- or second-round picks in the 2015 Draft.

Houston’s own first-round pick, which will be #27, was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers last July to get them to agree to take Jeremy Lin off of the Rockets’ hands. The second-round pick that the Rockets also sent the Lakers (from the Clippers) needed to be between 51 and 55 to be conveyed, but it will be 57 or 58, so the Lakers got nothing there. Given how Lin played for the Lakers and his enormous salary (and sizable cap hit), this proved to be a very good deal at the cost of a very late first-rounder (guaranteed contract on the books). The Rockets also used the trade exception created by that move to land Corey Brewer.

The Rockets traded their own second-round pick, which will be #58, to Philadelphia in December in the move to acquire Alexey Shved.

Posted in Houston Rockets, NBA Draft |
April 15, 2015 at 8:20 pm

Houston Rockets win division, land 2nd seed and will face Dallas in the first round

James Harden Chandler Parsons

The Houston Rockets have won their division for the first time since their championship season of 1993-94.

The Rockets crushed the Utah Jazz Wednesday night in their regular season finale, then got the good news that the San Antonio Spurs lost to the New Orleans Pelicans. At 56-26, the Rockets take the Southwest Division. They take the #2 seed by tiebreaker with the LA Clippers (56-26) since the Rockets are a division winner and the Clippers are not.

The stage is now set for some poetic justice. Former Rocket Chandler Parsons and the Dallas Mavericks will be travelling to Houston this Saturday to start a first round best-of-seven series.

The Rockets were 3-1 against the Mavericks this season despite only having Dwight Howard healthy in one of those games. James Harden averaged 24.8 points a night in those four games, hitting 40% from three-point range, while Josh Smith was also strong, scoring 16.0 points on 50% from the field to go with 7.3 rebounds.

Game 1 – Sat. April 18, Dallas at Houston, 8:30 PM CT, ESPN
Game 2 – Tue. April 21, Dallas at Houston, 8:30 PM CT, TNT
Game 3 – Fri. April 24, Houston at Dallas, 6:00 PM CT, ESPN
Game 4 – Sun. April 26, Houston at Dallas, 8:30 PM CT, TNT
Game 5 – Tue. April 28, Dallas at Houston *
Game 6 – Thur. April 30, Houston at Dallas *
Game 7 – Sat. May 2, Dallas at Houston *

* if necessary

Posted in Houston Rockets |