School is in session. The Houston Rockets have split the first four games of the season and seemed invincible on the road en route to their first two wins. The invincibility quickly disappeared, however, when they returned home and promptly dropped their next two games.
With that in mind, the pop quiz and the midterm grades must be overlooked. It's time for the early report cards.
The following players currently have an incomplete card at this point: Royce White, Terrence Jones, Donatas Montiejunas, Scott Machado and Daequan Cook.
He didn't shoot particularly well last night, but Marcus Morris is off to a good start. His 9.7 points and 2.5 rebounds are a nice improvement over last season.
He should continue to do well as he adjusts to the small forward position.
Just like we thought, Cole Aldrich has been able to see more playing time with the Houston Rockets than he did with Oklahoma City Thunder.
His 4.7 points and 3.3 rebounds aren't bad in 14.7 minutes. He's not afraid to bang either, as his 2.7 fouls per game indicate.
His monster two-handed putback dunk against the Atlanta Hawks was impressive too.
There have been a couple nights where the shot wasn't falling for him, but Carlos Delfino is starting to become his usual versatile self.
He's averaging 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals.
How's he doing from deep, you ask? Hitting at a .385 clip, rounding into form and starting to be the glue guy he's always been.
At 13.0 points per game (18 last night) and 6.0 rebounds, Patrick Patterson is well on his way to being the player everyone thought he could be.
These numbers will soon become just another day at the office stats to Houston Rockets fans. This is what he's capable of when he's healthy. His mid-range game has never left him and now he's stepping out and shooting and hitting some threes also.
With his stroke he'll continue to hit them and will continue to make himself that much harder to guard.
Keeping it short and sweet on the bearded one. Had James Harden gone scoreless against the Denver Nuggets last night, his average would have fallen to 26.5 points per game. He didn't, as he tallied 15 points.
He's a marked man now, more than he ever has been in his career. He's said he's ready to be the man, this comes with the territory.
It will be nice to see how he adjusts to defenses adjusting to him.
Obviously, minutes at the point guard spot are going to be slim for Douglas as he backs up Jeremy Lin. That said, he's got to make the most of his time and get some three balls to go down.
Once one or two fall for him, he'll be fine.
Chandler Parsons has raised his rebounding (4.9 to 6.8) and doubled his assists (2.3 to 4.8). That's the hard part.
The easy part, his scoring, will come around as well as he adjusts and finds his spots within the offense in his sophomore season.
He's close, a little more time together, which will benefit all of them, but definitely Parsons as he gets more comfortable with Lin and Harden will help him pick his spots and find his rhythm more easily.
The big man has been as good as advertised on the boards. Once Omer Asik learns to be just a little bit mean, he'll have a decent impact offensively.
Just transfer a little aggressiveness from his defense to his offense and he'll be fine.
In his first season as a full-time starting point guard, Jeremy Lin is averaging 13 points and seven assists. His 3.2 steals per game to start the season are making Mookie Blaylock and Gary Payton proud.
Greg Smith is still perfect. In his one appearance to date he didn't miss a shot from the field or the free-throw line. His 10 points and five boards were very impressive before he went down with a foot injury.
Everyone is excited to see this output from the center position and looking forward to seeing him return and build on his solid performance to open the season.