Sunday, October 13, 2013

Houston Rockets look dangerously good in preseason

The NBA regular season kicks off in a couple of weeks, and it looks to be a fascinating season with tonnes of juicy storylines. Will the Dwight-loaded Rockets launch into the stratosphere of the Western Conference elite? Will the Heat have enough for a three-peat and cement their status as one of the greatest teams of all time? Can the Thunder cope with the temporary loss of Russell Westbrook, or will it become more apparent that the James Harden trade has been a disaster of mythic proportions? Will the Celtics' Nets' expensive attempt to win the 2008 2014 championship work?

This preseason, the Rockets have looked very good. In the last 2 games (which were played in the Philippines and Taiwan), they were able to pretty much dominate the Pacers. That was the team that pushed the Heat to their limit in last season's playoffs. And I know that preseason doesn't mean much, but remember how the Lakers sucked in preseason last year and it basically foreshadowed their upcoming season? At least we know that the Rockets will most likely not totally flop in similar fashion.

The game in Taiwan was, to borrow a phrase from U2 (or more accurately, the Romanian poet Paul Celan), Jeremy Lin's sort of homecoming. It was a massively anticipated and pressure-filled situation for him, and he delivered with an excellent stat sheet of 17 points, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 rebounds and 1 BEASTLY block. He shot 6/8 from the field, including 3/4 from 3-point range, which is the kind of efficiency you want to see in a player who also has to share the ball with James Harden, Dwight Howard, and Chandler Parsons.

From what I saw in the game, Howard still hasn't been smoothly integrated into the offense yet. And there's still the question of what to do with Omer Asik, who deserves to be a starter on any team in the league (except for perhaps any team that has Dwight Howard or Roy Hibbert) but could make the Rockets ridiculously deep if he becomes cool with coming off the bench.

But still, if I were the Thunder or the Spurs, I'd be very anxious right now. The Thunder especially, since I would be directly responsible for spawning this monster.

Highlights from the Taiwan game... LeBronesque chasedown block on Danny Granger
at 1:15

No comments :

Post a Comment