Everyone falls the first time.
Rockets vs Thunder was classic first playoff action jitters except it was by basically an entire team. Harden is the only guy with significant playoff experience. Asik has been in playoffs but as a backup playing 15 minutes a game. Lin, Parsons, and Greg Smith obviously have never come close. Delfino has played some and he was just normal nervous and didn't hit his threes.
Rockets did have it tied at 40 - 40, which was closer than I ever expected it to be. But they were tentative all day. Lin was terribly tentative. Seriously if Derek Fisher is going to get court time, then he should be taken off the dribble every single possession. Everyone was eventually spooked by Ibaka.
One of the Rockets problems is that they traded their starting PF and their backup PF for T. Robinson. That might pay off in the long run, but Robinson has been just as bad for the Rockets as he was for the Kings, so he doesn't play now. So they are playing Greg Smith as their starter. The Rockets basically haven't been able to get back into form since the trade and that is why they are sitting in the 8th spot instead of the 7th or even 6th.
And not that I put too much emphasis on game log +/- but Greg Smith was minus 34 in 17 minutes of action. Since the Thunder won by 29 you can basically say that the Rockets lost the game during those 17 minutes. Fortunately, the Rockets have three more PFs they can play (Mojo, T. Jones and T. Robinson). Unfortunately they are all rookies. Mojo might be a good guy to play. He is a bad rebounder, but neither Perkins or Ibaka are pretty average rebounders, so they might not kill the Rockets.
Also Rockets need to play Asik 48 minutes. They don't have a backup center, they have no defense without him on the floor (he was minus 3 in the 27 minutes he played). McHale needs to accept that without Asik on the floor, the team has no chance. So play him and challenge the refs to give him that 6th foul. He can take plays off and rest if need be when Perkins is in the game.
I was wondering why T-Rob didn't play last night. They still have this guy starting for Houston on NBA 2k13. lol
I'm a big T-Rob fan but still confused why everyone thought the rockets got away with a steal in that trade. T-Rob at best is the next Patrick Paterson the way I see it. Paterson could provide solid minutes at the 4 spot and helps space the floor. T-Rob can't even get off the bench in a blow out. I know the deal was made for the future but I don't see it at this point.