How did the Rockets lose to the Nets at home when they were up 7 with a minute to go in OT? When you’re the Houston Rockets, you will find a way because winning winnable games makes too much sense.
Call me a hater. Call me a Harden doubter. Call me Al. I don’t care.
After getting so close that they could basically taste the NBA finals last year, outside of Harden’s production, this year has been a mess for the Rockets.
Spencer Dinwiddie hit three back-to-back three pointers to keep the Nets in the game in the 4th quarter. My coach would’ve benched me if didn’t contest one with the game clock winding down.
In overtime, you can see just how happy the fans were. James Nunnally had just hit a three pointer to put them up seven with a 1:28 to go.
All they had to do was stop the Brooklyn Nets from scoring. One may argue that this thing called ‘defense’ is a fundamental part of basketball.
Instead, the Nets convert a weak-side corner three on a broken play.
1 minute to go. 4 point lead.
James Harden gets the ball just inside the halfway line and starts burning clock while anticipating the foul. Then he throws the kind of pass you’d see an 8-year-old throw in desperation because there was too much defensive pressure on him, leaving Austin Rivers to try and create something.
Nunnally drives, gets blocked, Tucker recovers and airballs a fadeaway as the shot clock expires.
47 seconds. 4 point lead. Nets ball.
PJ Tucker gets caught watching the ball, so Jarrett Allen cuts to the basket for a wide-open two and picks up an and-one in the process, which he then misses and the Nets grab the offensive rebound. (Props to Jarrett Allen, by the way, 20/20 double-double!)
Dinwiddie calls for a high screen, drives and draws a foul on Tucker while hitting a soft floater and converts the and-one.
28 seconds. Nets up by one.
The pursuing Rockets possession encapsulates everything that is wrong with them.
- Harden, for some reason, did not bring the ball up.
- They wasted 16 seconds trying to get the ball to him.
- Harden inexplicably looks for the three-point line.
- Harden gets trapped by a double team and dishes the ball to Austin Rivers, who misses a wide open three.
- Jarrett Allen grabs his 70,000th rebound of the night and instead of fouling him, they allow an outlet pass and then foul Joe freakin’ Harris.
- Game Nets.
As someone who watches a lot of basketball, I can only imagine a shred of the disappointment that Rockets fans tasted this evening. Clyde Drexler shared his thoughts on where the Rockets failed, then I swear he muttered the word ‘damn’ to himself.
So, to recap:
- Harden drops 58 and they lose to the Nets at home.
- Rockets attempted 70(!) three point shots
- Both teams combined for 106 three point attempts, an NBA record
Imagine a league where you take just about twice as many three point shots as your opponent and still lose… And that brings you to today’s NBA!