I’ll make this quick since there is no controversy in how the Rockets took care of business last night beating Detroit, blowing them out with a 19-6 run to close out the game in a 97-83 victory.
Luis Scola is making a great case for an All-Star spot with 35 points on 16-of-25 shots, one point short of his career high at Golden State in the second game of the season.
Kyle Lowry’s growth as a point guard continues, scoring 22 points and racking up 12 assists and 6 steals, both career highs. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when Aaron Brooks returns to the court soon since Lowry has raised the bar on Houston’s point guard expectations. A little bit of pressure to be more of an assist man isn’t a bad thing.
The part of Lowry’s game that has made him even more dangerous is his 3-point shooting, which has drastically improved over the past few games. He was 4-for-5 from 3-point land, and 11-of-19 over the past four games.
Joining forces in the 20+ scoring club for Houston was Kevin Martin, who continues to amaze with his aptitude to get to the line, hitting 14-of-15 free throws.
Who would have thought just a couple of years ago the Yao Ming/Ron Artest/Tracy McGrady “Big 3” would be replaced by the Scola/Lowry/Martin triumvirate? Add Yao and Aaron back into the mix, and you’ve got a very formidable lineup that could get the Rockets back into the playoff hunt as they face a very weak schedule of teams in December to make up for all those opponents they faced before last night’s game. But they’ve got to play defense like they did Tuesday night, although Rip Hamilton getting himself ejected from the game gave the Pistons little hope offensively.
Speaking of McGrady, his return back to Toyota Center for the first time since leaving the Rockets provoked an interesting reaction. I heard many more boos than I had anticipated, but perhaps that’s because most of the crowd got word that McGrady dissed Houston before the game by saying the Rockets’ poor start this year is correlated with his leaving, or something like that.
When you read this quote, you’ve got to be happy this selfish, insecure bufoon is gone:
“It wasn’t my fault it ended the way it did, but yeah, I regret it. I want to know who they’re blaming around here now that I’m gone.”
Yes, it was your fault McGrady, and you hold partial blame for sucking tens of million of dollars from the Rockets’ cap the past two years in Houston when you hardly played, taking us through all of your drama, and handcuffing Houston from being able to get a legitimate free agent during your last two years here.
Back to Houston’s roster: Chase Budinger continued to struggle Tuesday, hitting only 2-of-6 shots, including an air ball on an open jumper from the free throw line, then missing 2-of-3 free throws after getting fouled on a 3-pointer. I haven’t seen a “sophomore slump” like this one in quite some time. Something has got to give here with Budinger’s playing time.
Rick Adelman said before the game that he was going to play more of Jermaine Taylor so he can add some size to the backcourt since Ish Smith isn’t all that big (and he’s not playing so spectacularly to give him lots of minutes). We’ve been calling for more playing time for Taylor for weeks, so I’ve got to give credit to Adelman for adjusting like he did with playing Jordan Hill more. But he only gave 6 minutes to Taylor on Tuesday night. Hopefully we’ll see more of them, although the Rockets might not need him as much with Milwaukee (7-13), Cleveland (7-14) and Sacramento (4-15) as upcoming opponents.