This game was closer than the final score would indicate. One thing is rather apparent from watching all the first 2 games : we don't have the talent some of these other teams do. I doubt any new faces from this summer league team will be on the roster for us unless we have something bad happen during the summer. Malick Badiane may make it, but from what CD's been saying, he's 1-2 year away, so...
Let's start again with the only people anybody other than relatives may care about :
They're freezing you out, Malick!!
Well, I type that chuckling. There were several plays where Malick had posted up the defender, but for whatever reason we decided not to get the ball to him. He definitely wasn't featured much in this game. Most of his shots early on came from garbage baskets (at least 2 or 3 of them did anyway). Badiane didn't start the game, and as a matter of fact, didn't even play the first quarter. He continued to display his non-stop hustle. There was one play after a turnover where he out-sprinted everyone down the court to get in position for an easy dunk. Unfortunately, the play was called dead because of a foul. I didn't get to see much of anything new from Badiane in this game. For the second straight game, I was sitting next to rocketsfan34 (of the Clutch BBS), and one thing we both were noticing was, whoever said this guy has no offense is off their rocker. He has a good touch from the FT line, he has a good 15 foot jumper, he has a jump hook, and he has a fake/spin move in the post.
That's the good stuff. Now for the bad. If Badiane has to ever guard Chris Bosh one on one again, he'll be destroyed. There's no way he could stay with Bosh. But then maybe that's why Bosh was drafted so high. Malick was juked and faked out of his underwear on 2 or 3 plays by Bosh. Bosh almost slammed 2 or 3 highlight reel dunks over Badiane and his teammates on a couple of other plays, too. By the end of the game, Badiane was getting help in the form of a double-team before Bosh could do any further damage. I'm not sure what Bosh's final point total was, but believe me, it could have been higher had he been featured.
My feelings on Badiane after the 2nd game? He's raw, but not Hakeem Olajuwon raw. His defense is good, but he isn't intimidating people like a Mutombo. He's very similar Dikembe Mutombo in that if he has to move laterally, he can be beat by quicker PF's. He's rather awkward at times when he has to move laterally. Like I said, Bosh was the one exposing him, so it's not like he was letting some absolute stiff do this to him. I still think the guy has game. Is he better than Mo Tay? No. Is he better than Eddie Griffin? Probably not at this point. He's more aggressive than Griffin, though.
Everything but the basket...
That's what I kept saying when I saw Bostjan Nachbar miss a shot. I'm not sure what he ended up with shooting, but here are a few things I'm noticing about Boki :
1) His shot is there, but seems to be short no matter what the shot is. You know the guy can shoot, just by watching him shoot, but the shots just aren't going in.
2) Boki's defense needs some work. He got lit up (for the most part) by Lamond Murray today. Murray was often left open or was draining shots over Boki for the better part of the game.
3) Boki's not afraid to mix it up inside and get physical. He hit the floor hard a couple of times today defending and going after rebounds. Lamond even threw an elbow to his jaw that went un-noticed by the refs.
4) Boki has handles. He's 6'9" or 6'10" and can legitimately bring the ball up the court a la Lamar Odom. I have more faith in him bringing the ball up the court than Moochie Norris. OK, am I exaggerating there? I don't know, but I know when Boki brings the ball up, we have more than 8 seconds left on the clock before the play kicks off. ;) I also saw some really sweet and explosive moves into the paint where he summarily blew the layup. :rolleyes: Hopefully the shot will come around because everything else is there... uh... well, ok, the defense isn't exactly there, either.
5) Boki seems to have some problems getting his shot off against players similar in height. He got his shot blocked a couple of times because of this. When this happens, he usually tries to dribble and free himself and ends up fumbling the ball or just outright turning it over.
6) He's a pretty good passer off the dribble. He made an electrifying pass in which he drove into the lane and wrapped a pass around his defender to a Rocket waiting behind the defender which resulted in a basket.
Those other guys...
Tito Maddox never shoots. I swear he's all pass and no shot. He's the opposite of everything people often bitch about Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley. Someone must have talked to him during halftime because in the 2nd half, he decided to shoot the ball. Of course, that had mixed results. Tito's not ready to lead a team, and if it wasn't apparent to the Rockets last year, it sure as hell better be this year.
Demarco Johnson led the scoring today. I have no idea who he is, and in about a month, you won't need to know either. But props to Demarco anyway for his 15 minutes of fame.
Jason Miskiri displayed a decent jumpshot again, and also, once again, seemed to run the offense better than Tito did.
Juaquin Hawkins hit a few open jumpers when the defense sagged off of him. It's always good to see a Rocket hit an open jumper when the defense is collapsing inside. It sure would help during the season. Once again, I have to give my vote to Hawkins making this team. Puhleez don't let him go!
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar showed up and sat near Carroll Dawson and Jeff Van Gundy. I told rocketsfan34 that I think we just signed a new assistant coach. Of course, I was kidding. He was probably just there to watch the Lakers play the Clippers, which was the next game.
Unlike the last game, the Rockets did not employ any trapping or pressing defense.