Highlights: Howard lifts Rockets over Mavericks
Whether it’s the first look at Omer Asik and Dwight Howard on the court together or point guards Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley running the team in tandem, Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale is trying it all as the preseason continues.
Despite struggling to get comfortable going big with Asik and Howard, the Rockets did more than enough to grab a fourth straight preseason win, beating the Dallas Mavericks, 100-95. The two teams will meet again in just under two weeks on Friday, Nov. 1 back here at Toyota Center in the second game of the regular season.
I’m not sure that much from a preseason game would carry over into the regular season, so I asked Chandler Parsons if he thought they’d be any carry over.
“You have that in the back of your mind, understanding that they are the second game of the season and you wanted to see how you match up, throw different lineups out there and throw different people at Dirk (Nowitzki), different pick-and-roll coverage,” Parsons replied.
He also noted the big lineup with Howard and Asik.
“We tried going to big tonight with Omer and Dwight,” Parsons said. “I don’t think those guys have played a lot of minutes with another center. It’s just going to take time. As guards we’ve got to understand when to drive and where to drive. As bigs, they’ve got to understand where to relocate and where to space the floor when we do drive.“
It seems fair to blame yet another new look for the Rockets for some of the ragged play. The Rockets 23 turnovers were a preseason worst and their 41.7 percent shooting matched their preseason low. But a dominant effort on the boards, led by Howard’s 17 rebounds, allowed the Rockets to overcome that.
Oh and so did their blistering performance from behind the three-point line. They finished 13-of-28 from downtown, and they missed their final four attempts. They’re now shooting 41.4 percent in their five preseason games, and have made at least 13 triples in each of their last three games.
“We are going to get open looks. We have to understand where the help defense is coming from,” Parsons said.
Francisco Garcia continues to be the Rockets perimeter player that is taking advantage of his open looks the most. He made 5-of-10 three point attempts tonight, He’s now 13-23 (56.5 percent) on three-pointers during the preseason and has made at least half of his three-point attempts in every game he’s played thus far.
Holding the Mavericks to just 15-of-50 shooting during the 2nd and 3rd quarters, allowed the Rockets to overcome their sluggish start. The way they started the game, it actually looked like this was the game that immediately followed the long far east road trip. "We were bad in the 1st quarter, like we were stuck in mud. Patrick (Beverley), Omri (Casspi), and even Chandler (Parsons), gave us a spark,” coach Kevin McHale said. “I thought that got us going a little bit.”
NEXT GAME: Thursday, Oct. 24 at San Antonio. 7 p.m. on CSN Houston.