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Steve Blake hit a big game-winner to upset the Rockets in Dwight's first game against his former team.
At the very beginning of the season, the Rockets were struggling early in games and found themselves in plenty of big first-quarter deficits. As of late, Houston has been doing better in the first quarter, but instead has been surrendering large leads late in games.
Houston has given up some big shots on last-minute possessions that have cost them the game. For example, this one. And don't forget about this one too. Just found another one.
You get the point.
McHale needs to take out Lin and Harden during key defensive possessions with the clock winding down. When it comes down to it, they are not good defenders at all. There's a reason Daryl Morey signed players like Brewer, so do us all a favor coach and PUT HIM IN. For heaven's sake, how many overtime games must Rockets fans suffer through?
Obviously, the Hack-a-Howard strategy deserves some credit. Howard's missed free throws keep the Rockets off the scoreboard and stop the clock each time. Houston has let teams right back into the game because of Howard's inability to cash in from the charity stripe, although his percentage has gotten better the past couple weeks.
When the Rockets have big leads in the final frame, they tend to dwindle on offense. They take their foot off the pedal, while still not playing good defense, and before you know it it's a one-possession game. When the Rockets have a team beat, they have to stay aggressive for the rest of the game, or it will come back to bite them.
In four of Houston's five losses, the Rockets had a double-digit lead in the second half. They need to work on closing games out, which is difficult to do when your closer James Harden is hurting with a sore foot.
The other night in Memphis, McHale stuck with his bench during crunch time against the Grizzlies. He stuck with the hot hand rather than just putting the starters back in the game. Omer Asik played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter, while Dwight Howard didn't play a single minute.