Houston went into last nights game on a 3 game losing streak. In those last 3 games we’ve looked flat out shitty as a team. Of course James is doing his thing, but Dwight can’t seem to play an entire game without getting ejected. Because of Dwight’s actions towards a referee in the Wizards game, he was not able to suit up against Miami.
In a game where we didn’t have Dwight or Capela we were going to need others to step up. Josh Smith got the nod to start at center, and took full advantage. With J Smoove being the biggest player on the court we were able to switch on most screens and play better team defense. Yes I just said we played good team defense…. Sounds weird right? Good D led to easy buckets in transition which is always nice to get players in a grove.
One player that benefited from those easy shots was Marcus Thornton. His play style can annoy the shit out of you because all he does shoot when he touches the ball. He also looks like one those little gummie bears that you use to eat as kid. However, last night Marcus played well and consistently knocked down shots, going 7/11 from the floor with 18 points.
Then of course there is James Harden. Normally I would bitch about his defense and how his guy lit us up for 35+, JJ Redick cough cough, but James showed more effort and the results were better. Offensively James was the catalyst, he got the rest of the squad involved early and tied his career high with 14 assists. His offensive game is borderline beautiful, it’s honestly awesome to watch. I mean who doesn’t love 3 pointers, euro steps, and a shit ton of free throws. He finished the night with 26 points and was 10/19 from the field.
Yesterdays game featured Justise Winslow who plays for the Heat but grew up and played high school ball here in Houston. He had 11 points and 8 boards in 35 minutes. Justise and Joe Young, Indiana Pacers, are two Houston born rookies playing meaningful minutes this season.
We play the Suns Thursday in Phoenix. Hopefully we come out strong and put the Suns in their place early. I’m also looking to see if KJ McDaniels can get some extra minutes against a younger Suns squad.