The first-round Playoff series between the Thunder and Rockets is underway. A matchup made in heaven that I’m sure most people are interested in, and curious to see where the outcome will land.
As this issue arrives in your inbox a little late (apologies Lazies), I thought I’d make a little tweak and compose this Playoff issue into the future and pencil in not just about Game 1, but also about today’s matchup too.
Two games played, and the Rockets are 2-zip on the Thunder. Game 1 featured James Harden unleashing 37 points and 11 rebounds to roll past the Thunder 123-108. Then, in tonight’s matchup, top dog Harden struggled to find his stroke in Game 2. Harden only shot 2-for-12 from the field entering the fourth quarter, but shockingly it didn’t spell doom for the Rockets with the supporting cast picking up the slack. Six Rockets players (not named Harden) scored in double figures. Danuel House Jr. had 19 points, Eric Gordon and Jeff Green both pitched in with 15 points, and P.J. Tucker chipped in with 14. By the way, Harden still managed to score 21 points, 11 of which were in the fourth quarter.
Some key takeaways from these two games have been Houston’s defense and the ridiculous three-point attempts that are working in their favor. It must be Russell Westbrook’s coaching because this Rockets team locked up the Thunder on defense. Defense really isn’t in the Rockets DNA, they’re more known for their shameless attempts to shoot the three. While the Rockets only shot 41.8% from the field as a team and shot less free throws than the Thunder, they were able to ride a record-breaking three-point effort to victory. The Rockets attempted an NBA playoff record 56 three-pointers, breaking their previous record of 52. They connected on 19 – compared to 11 for OKC – and Houston is 5-0 in the Playoffs when attempting 50 threes or more. In conclusion, make them miss their threes!
Catch you Monday.