Hornets vs Rockets: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Houston
So how did it all go down?
Led by James Harden's 30 points, the Rockets were able to overcome the fact that they were outscored 51-36 in the second half. Although the victory is all that counts, there is criticism to hand out and praise to distribute.
So how will we grade the Rockets' 100-96 victory?
Jeremy Lin, Point Guard
Overall Grade: C-
Jeremy Lin may not be producing Linsanity caliber numbers, but he continues to prove one important thing. This young man is a legitimate NBA point guard.
Lin finished the first half with four points, three assists, two rebounds and three steals. That makes four games in eight outings with at least three swipes.
Unfortunately for Lin, the second half saw his weaknesses on full display.
Lin failed to move the ball in an adequate manner, allowing the Rockets to become an isolation-based offense. As a result, the Hornets climbed back into things and forced the Rockets to close out instead of maintain a blowout.
As for Lin himself, he tallied just one assist throughout the entire second half. He also shot just 2-of-10 from the floor.
Lin had a quality first half but continues to display inconsistency down the stretch.
James Harden, Shooting Guard
Overall Grade: A
For those concerned about James Harden's sudden decrease in production, temper your fears. The Bearded One returned to his All-NBA caliber form against the New Orleans Hornets.
After New Orleans Hornets rookie Anthony Davis had held down the paint throughout the first quarter, Harden stepped up in the second period of play.
Harden attacked with no fear, setting the tone for the rest of his teammates. On his own, Harden finished the first half with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, with most points coming off of the drive.
Such led to 4-of-5 shooting from the line during the first half, as well.
During the second half, Harden and the Rockets abandoned ball movement and began to play isolation basketball. As a result, they allowed the Hornets to outscore them 31-21 in the third quarter and get back into the game.
Fortunately for Houston, The Beard was strong.
Harden continued to produce at a high level, even as their offense entered isolation mode. He'd score 11 second half points and dish out key assists down the stretch, further establishing his status as the team's leader.
For the game, Harden would finish with 30 points, four assists, three rebounds and one block. A pleasant change from what Harden had been doing in recent games.
Chandler Parsons, Small Forward
Overall Grade: B-
Chandler Parsons may not have put up 25 points as he did against the Miami Heat, but he was dominant on the boards and came up with five key points in the closing minutes of the game. Despite shooting just 4-of-14 from the floor, Parsons performed well.
As he always seems to do, Parsons produced a quality performance that goes beyond the stat sheet. Even if 13 points and 10 rebounds are nice numbers to have.
Parsons played solid defense on Al-Farouq Aminu, who started the game hot but was eventually slowed down by Parsons. Aminu missed three of his final four shots, including a game-deciding three-pointer with four seconds remaining.
Parsons' defense and tenacity on the glass is a major reason why. It is also played a key role in the Rockets' escaping with a victory.
Patrick Patterson, Power Forward
Overall Grade: C+
James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik have been dominating the box score. The true player to watch in their starting lineup, however, is power forward Patrick Patterson.
Tonight offered yet another look into his influence.
Although his stat sheet underwhelmed, Patterson performed very well against the floor-spreading Ryan Anderson and rookie Anthony Davis. Although Anderson scored a great deal of points, Patterson played very well out on the perimeter.
For the game, the reigning Most Improved Player of the Year award winner shot just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.
As for Davis, he shot 2-for-7 from the floor. A direct result of the pressure from Patterson and Omer Asik on the interior.
These are the type of performances you can expect to see from Patterson, who will not make any fantasy basketball teams. What he will do, however, is continue to provide a powerful presence in the paint on both ends of the floor.
As for tonight, just be pleased he was there to provide quality minutes alongside Asik and Morris.
Omer Asik, Center
Overall Grade: A-
Omer Asik continues to live up to the hefty nature of his offseason contract. Matched up with top Rookie of the Year candidate Anthony Davis, Asik posted his fourth double-double in five games.
This time out, he finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. Although he continues to turn the ball over at an unusually high rate for a big man, Asik is a powerful weapon in the paint.
Even if his fundamentals are still catching up with his unbreakable passion and energy.
Against the Hornets, Asik made his money on defense by attacking the glass and stepping in to alter any shots coming his way. This included a smooth block on a driving Al-Farouq Aminu dunk attempt.
Although he's not the most skilled player, Asik is dominating all opponents by virtue of his relentless energy and untamed effort.
Carlos Delfino, Sixth Man
Overall Grade: C-
Carlos Delfino may be the sixth man by design, but Marcus Morris is rapidly developing as the better fit for said role. With that being said, Delfino remains the man who fills said label.
He just didn't perform like it tonight.
With the Rockets in need of a third quarter scoring spark, Delfino failed to step up. He shot 0-for-5 from the floor and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc, filling a stat sheet with one point, four assist and two rebounds.
To say that he underwhelmed against the likes of Ryan Anderson is a gross understatement. A poor performance by Delfino.
Overall Grade: A-
The Houston Rockets have one of the most underrated second units in the NBA. As the New Orleans Hornets will attest you, the Rockets will tell you all about it with their play.
In the first half alone, Marcus Morris had 11 points in 11 minutes of play on 4-of-6 shooting. For the game, Morris would finish with 13 points, three three-pointers and three blocks to solidify the Rockets' interior defense against a previously slashing Hornet steam.
Upon Morris' entrance into the game, Greivis Vasquez and company refrained from attacking the basket.
Alongside Morris was Toney Douglas, who finished with nine first half points of his own. After struggling with his shot early this season, Douglas connected on three first half three-pointers to help the Rockets outscore New Orleans by a score of 39-18 in the second quarter.
For the game, Douglas would finish with 12 points on four three-pointers. Prior to dislocating his finger, Greg Smith would add six points of his own.
As a whole, the second unit combined for 32 points and seven three-pointers. A very good performance from the Houston bench which paced the team to victory.