Rockets vs. Timberwolves: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Houston
The T-Wolves were without Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic, Alexey Shved, Brandon Roy and head coach Rick Adelman. The Timberwolves were led by the likes of Chris Johnson and Mickael Gelabale.
If you're wondering who those players are, you're not alone. It was their first appearance of the season after being signed to fill the roster.
Even still, Houston failed to top 80 points. Virtually every player is to blame for this defeat.
Houston has now lost seven consecutive games.
Jeremy Lin, Point Guard
Overall Grade: D-
Minutes Played: 34
Stat Line: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers, 3/12 FG, 0/3 3PT
Jeremy Lin didn't play terrible basketball, but he also failed to contribute in any sense of the word.
Consider him a casualty of what was a horrendous team performance. Either that or cite his 3-of-12 shooting as a reason for Houston's defeat.
Either option works.
Ricky Rubio, who is still recovering from knee surgery, worked at will against Lin. The same could be said about Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea.
Regardless of who Lin was defending, the Timberwolves guards went to work. This was a major reason that Lin was benched for the start of the second half.
Patrick Beverly has played very well, but there's no reason for him to overtake Lin.
This wasn't pretty, as Lin's minus-20 plus/minus will display. His miss of three wide-open three-pointers was of equal disappointment.
He wasn't to blame, but Lin contributed to a horrendous outing.
James Harden, Shooting Guard
Overall Grade: F
Minutes Played: 39
Stat Line: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers, 5/18 FG, 0/7 3PT
For the fourth consecutive game, James Harden was painfully inefficient on the offensive end of the floor.
Harden converted just 5-of-18 from the floor and 0-of-7 from beyond the arc. When he wasn't drawing fouls, he was horrendous.
Thus continuing a disturbing trend.
On January 15, Harden shot 8-of-20. One day later, he went just 5-of-23. Most recently, Harden shot 5-of-19 against the Indiana Pacers.
In other words, his shots aren't falling. At all.
Momentum appeared to shift in Harden's direction after Luke Ridnour was called for a controversial foul at the end of the first half. Harden would split the two and then get another when Ridnour picked up a technical foul.
Even still, Harden played poorly.
A plus/minus of minus-20 speaks to that. Four turnovers add to the disarray.
Perhaps most important of all, Harden allowed Mickael Gelabale to dominate the fourth quarter.
Call it fatigue, if you'd like, but The Bearded One has been atrocious over the past week.
Chandler Parsons, Small Forward
Overall Grade: D
Minutes Played: 33
Stat Line: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, 2/10 FG
Chandler Parsons just couldn't get anything going against Andrei Kirilenko and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Parsons finished with seven points and four rebounds in 33 minutes. He also shot just 2-of-10 from the floor and committed three turnovers.
Kirilenko, meanwhile, had 21 points, 11 rebounds and three steals on 8-of-11 shooting. Two of those misses came out of Kirilenko's range from beyond the arc.
The All-Star campaign continued for Kirilenko. Parsons' stretch of hot shooting came to an effective end.
Although Parsons was not the reason for this loss, his shortcomings cannot be ignored.
With the Rockets appearing to be poised for a fourth-quarter run, Parsons lost the ball on a drive. This was just one event in a horribly disappointing performance.
On a night in which Parsons could have made a name for himself, he came up short. Well short.
Patrick Patterson, Power Forward
Overall Grade: D
Minutes Played: 19
Stat Line: 3 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1/3 FG, 1/1 3PT
Matched up against an unknown in Chris Johnson, Patrick Patterson was dominated.
Patterson only played 19 minutes, but he had no answer for Johnson. The former LSU Tiger went off for 15 points and six rebounds in just 18 minutes.
Although Patterson produced at a decent enough level for the time he played, his defensive shortcomings are undeniable.
A disappointing outing by all, even if Patterson receives the least of the blame.
Omer Asik, Center
Overall Grade: F
Minutes Played: 16
Stat Line: 2 points, 5 rebounds, 3 turnovers, 5 personal fouls
With Nikola Pekovic sidelined by an injury, Omer Asik felt it was a good time to pick up five fouls in 16 minutes.
Matched up against a rather frail Greg Stiemsma, Asik couldn't help but foul at every turn.
Even with his absence, the Rockets managed to grab 21 offensive rebounds. Unfortunately, the T-Wolves' nine offensive boards were of greater effect.
The likes of Chris Johnson and Andrei Kirilenko dominated the glass when it mattered and created second-chance scoring opportunities for Minnesota. Already playing with the lead, this enabled the Timberwolves to seal this victory.
Had Asik remained on the floor, the outcome may have been different.
Carlos Delfino, Sixth Man
Overall Grade: B
Minutes Played: 34
Stat Line: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 5/12 FG, 4/9 3PT
Carlos Delfino may just be the Houston Rockets' MVP.
On a night in which the starters forgot to show up, Delfino continued to play a strong brand of basketball. He finished with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc and played quality defense.
Delfino may have come up with one steal, but he knocked a handful of balls out of the driving hands of his opposition.
Even as his efforts failed to provide a W, Delfino proved that he is as reliable a contributor as they come. Unfortunately, Delfino was unable to contribute in slowing down Andrei Kirilenko.
Even still, a solid B is deserved for the Argentinian sharpshooter.
Overall Grade: B+
Average +/-: +.4
Collective Stat Line: 37 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 6/17 3PT
If head coach Kevin McHale had kept his reserves on the floor, the Houston Rockets may have won this game.
To put it simply, Patrick Beverly has been a revelation.
Beverly continued his recent stretch of solid outings. Although his numbers will not blow anyone away, Beverly managed a team-best plus/minus of plus-3.
Unfortunately, he also picked up five personal fouls.
The true star of the evening for Houston was Greg Smith. The big man capitalized on the absence of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic in as great a way as possible.
Twelve points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes proves just that.
Although the likes of Marcus Morris and Toney Douglas were limited in their contributions, they played solid minutes.
Unfortunately, the starters couldn't follow suit.