Rockets finally getting second-half rest

Rockets finally getting second-half rest
February 27, 2013, 7:30 pm
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The Rockets have enjoyed a couple practice days before their game against the Bucks on Wednesday night.

In fact, Kevin McHale said the couple of days were like another training camp.

But the Rockets had it coming to them. They earned a few extra practice days in the second half of the season after how hard they worked and how many games they played in the first half.

The Rockets played 55 games in the first part of the season (29 of which came on the road), before the All-Star break, second-most among all NBA teams. The Clippers, who played 56, were the only team with more. The Heat played the fewest with 50.

“We have a lot of practice time in February and March because we had no practice time in December and January,” McHale said. “It all equals out at some point. If you play a lot of games early, you’ll play very few games late.”

In the first half – we’re calling it a half because it leads up to the All-Star break but it’s really more like 2/3 – the Rockets played 55 games in 76 days, which comes out to playing one game every 1.38 days.

In the second half of the season – we know, we know – the Rockets have already started to play 27 games in 56 days. Playing a game every 2.07 days, which is much more manageable.

“For us I think it’s a pretty good formula but we’ll see,” McHale said of playing so many games early. “You never know. This is a brand new team. I’m still trying to figure out their personalities. I’m still trying to figure out how they are after two days of practice, how they are after two days of rest.”

And it stands to reason that not only the rest will help the Rockets but the practice will help too, perhaps even more.

The Rockets were already a brand new team to start the season. They brought in players, including Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Carlos Delfino, Toney Douglas and Donatas Motiejunas. Then, they lost players like Kyle Lowry, Marcus Camby, Samuel Dalembert and Luis Scola.

And that was before the James Harden trade.

Now, they have two new faces and four players -- Marcus Morris, Patrick Patterson, Douglas and Cole Aldrich -- are gone.

Plenty of new faces and it takes time to learn each other and the system. That's where the extra practice time will help the most. Lucky for the Rockets, they’re getting it now.