The Hop – Despite John Wall breaking the franchise record for assists and leading the Rockets by 11, the Wizards dropped a game to the Rockets. The Rockets won behind another outstanding performance from James Harden, who scored 32 points and passed out 15 assists. The Rockets also made 17 3-pointers, with Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza leading the way with five and four 3-pointers respectively.
In the first half the Wizards raced out to a quick 6-0 lead again gave up a big run after grabbing a 11 point lead early in the 2nd quarter. Once James Harden came back in the Rockets offense started clicking immediately going on a 16-0 run before Otto Porter scored to end the Wizards drought.
In a highly competitive and entertaining second half the Wizards and Rockets went back and forth for some hard earned buckets. Unfortualty for the Wiz, James Harden forced his will in the second half, looking to score more than he did than in the previous half. In fact he scored 22 smooth points while also continuing to make his teammates better with his incredible playmaking.
It seems as tho head coach Mike D’antoni has found the perfect role for the bearded left-hander as the Rockets permanent point guard.
Defending the 3-point Line:
The Wizards again gave up way to many 3-pointers. In all the painful losses of the young season the Wizards have given up an average of 11.4 3-pointers. Most of these plays result based off the Wizards pick and roll coverage. In the instance of the Rockets, sharpshooter Ryan Anderson popped to the 3-point line knowing that the Wizards big men were uncomfortable playing defense that far from the basket. The Wizards must find a new resolve to run guys off the 3-point line otherwise they will continue to get punished from beyond the arc.
The Bench Rises to the Occassion:
Way to often in the Wizards prior losses the bench was the weakest links. This time around Kelly Oubre led the way off the bench with 10 points, while Marcus Thornton chipped in 8 of his own. Combined that with stronger defense and the emergence of Tomas Satoransky as the best option for 6th man and playing at least one starter and it seems that the Wizards are figuring out their bench woes.