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Early Season Woes

Posted By Munaf Manji On Nov 3 2010 @ 1:41 am In Houston Rockets | 9 Comments

Season Greetings, as the 2010-2011 NBA season is upon us! The Houston Rockets are not off to the best of starts but there’s both positives and negatives after the first 3 games of the regular season.

The Rockets are off to a 0-3 start to the 2010-2011 NBA season, much due to the lack of defense played early on.  Giving up 112 points to the defending World Championships the LA Lakers, the following night 132 points to a young and energetic Golden State Warriors team, and 107 points in the home opener to the Denver Nuggets, an average of 117 points given up per game, and the back breaker of all the 4th quarter where the team is giving up an average of 33 points to opponents.

With Yao Ming back this season, after missing all of last season, both the coaching staff and players are adjusting on how to handle Yao’s limited minutes of 24 per game, with the added fact of no back to back games for Yao Ming as a precaution which I think is a smart move on the staff.  We saw in the first two games on the road, where Yao started the ball game and was taken out after 6-7 minutes in first quarter, and brought back early in the second quarter. As for the second half he started the second half and rested for the finals minutes of the third quarter, brought on early in fourth quarter until his limited minutes were reached.  But there was a different approach in the home opener where Brad Miller started the third quarter, so Yao Ming could play in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. So far in two games Yao is averaging 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The bright spot for the Rockets so far has been their explosive offense averaging 110 points per game led by the play of Kevin Martin, through 3 games he is average 25 points, and is a perfect 30-30 from the free throw line. Kevin Martin adds the perimeter scoring the Rockets had been needing ever since the downfall of Tracy McGrady. But with all the offensive power of Kevin Martin his defense thus far has been a big problem.  The energizer for the Rockets front court the international all-star, Luis Scola.  Scola in the first 3 game averaging 27 points, 14 rebounds, and shooting 56.9%.

The second unit for the Rockets led by Budinger, Lee, and Lowry may be one of the best in the NBA. Great amount of energy brought by Lowry who loves to push the ball every opportunity he gets, and the athletic play of Budinger getting up and down the floor on fast breaks for the Rockets who has a couple of monstrous dunks and alley hoop finishes. The weak spot so far for Bud has been his 3 point shooting, just 1-8 in the first 3 games but that slump won’t last long as I expect his shooting to improve in the next weeks.

Look for the Rockets starters in particular  to play with more energy in the next games and improve on their perimeter defense, and  interior defense.  Surely the 3 ball will start falling in the hoop for the Rockets,  after a lackluster 3-19 shooting from beyond the arc in the home opener against Denver.

With a game tomorrow night against the 3-0 New Orleans Hornets, along with the return of Trevor Ariza after the off-season trade, it will be gut check time for the Rockets in the next 2 games against division opponents, Hornets and at the Spurs Saturday night.

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