Saturday night was most likely the easiest game of the season for the Houston Rockets. The Cleveland Cavs have been on a 6 game losing streak since their hometown embarrassment by way of LeBron. I have not seen a team this season that looked so beaten up until tonight’s win.
For whatever reason, Cleveland decided to start Daniel “Boobie” Gibson at shooting guard and Kevin Martin immediately took advantage of the 6 foot 2 inch 24 year old. Scoring 32 points in the first half, Kevin Martin could not be slowed. Scola and Battier also had great games. My theory is that any time Battier outscores Scola, the Houston Rockets are in good shape. Scola however pulled down a beastly 14 rebounds, 6 of which were on the offensive side.
Cleveland has got some retooling to do. Experimenting with different starters is a good start but the fact of the matter is they need to make some trades and unload some contracts and keep their fingers crossed come July 2011. J.J. Hickson, who I’ve never been sold on, was removed from the starting line up and shot 2-9. He finished with 5 points.
Tonight was a mixed bag for Houston’s bench. Chase Budinger looked like he had found some confidence on the offensive end. He had 16 points and 5 rebounds. His defense, however, was atrocious. I know Chase isn’t expected to be any sort of defensive stopper but he looked lost on D and his man was able to blow by him with ease numerous times. Courtey Lee has taken over back-up point guard duty and handled the role decently although there was one particularly bone headed turnover where he decided to pass to the wrong team.
Overall I like what Courtney brings off the bench and his 5 assists were a pleasant surprise. Jermaine Taylor was given only 8 minutes and finished with just 2 points but I was pleased with both his offensive and defensive intensity. I’m glad Rick is finally letting him play some minutes.
Brad Miller played 31 minutes and the more I see out of him, the more I’m convinced that Adelman’s system has rejuvenated the 34 year old center and that signing him this summer may have been our best roster move. Brad had 10 rebounds, 9 points, 4 assists and 2 blocks. When he’s on the floor we run the offense through him and it’s truly remarkable how he’s able to find cutters and occasionally hit the three bomb. His ability to stretch the offense is also very rare in a player of his size.