Houston Rockets: How the team lifted off against the Mavs in the bubble

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets officially kicked off the restart of the 2019-20 season against the Mavs ensuring it was a great dogfight. How did they lift off?

Last night, Houston Rockets‘ fans saw the highly-anticipated match-up between two of the most luxuriant scoring/shooting teams in the league. The Houston Rockets took on their Texas neighbors, the Dallas Mavericks in their first of eight seeding games inside the bubble.

With the apparent height difference of our small-ball lineup and their undeniable seven-foot bigs, it was sure to be an interesting game, not to mention both teams scoring averages.

With Eric Gordon out from an ankle injury he sustained in their last scrimmage, Danuel House filled his shoes in the starting lineup.  The Rockets were off to a rocky start as Luka Doncic was dominating the defensive rebounds for the Dallas Mavericks.  James scored the Houston Rockets’ first two points in their isolated bubble with his patented euro-step that we’ve all come to love.

Despite the height differences, the Houston Rockets were playing both sides of the ball well, and had tightened up a lot of defensive mistakes they made during their scrimmages. It was apparent that the Mavericks couldn’t quite figure out how to defend Harden, they would give him room and he would kill them with his infamous step-back three.  There were also occasions where he’d get space, drive it in and attract a foul.  Either way, James couldn’t be guarded. He ended the 1st quarter with an effortless 23 points.

They started the second quarter tied at 42-all.

James took a back seat to scoring but started to showcase how creative of a passer he is on the court, which continued throughout the whole game.

Russell Westbrook dominated the second quarter, with the energy he always brings as well. His fearless attempts to blow past anyone one-on-one, including the mismatched Luka Doncic, were just as stunning as it was before the shutdown.

House continued to put major numbers on the board, signifying his spot on the Houston Rockets starting lineup, as well as Jeff Green.

It was an undeniably high scoring game at the half for both teams, so when they came back in the third quarter, both teams brought the same energy and played an amazing game all the way to the end. They ended the game in overtime after a series of interesting and unexpected events that led to the Rockets to walk away with their first win in the bubble.

Last night’s game, although the first of many, showed way more potential then we have seen in a

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while, including post-quarantine. It showed us that Russell Westbrook will continue to bring that same fearless monster mentality to every game, which the team needs.

It showed that James will continue to push the ladder in scoring, after putting up a ridiculous 49 points tonight. It also showed us that our role players mean just as much to the team’s success as the starters.

The supporting cast has resilient strength inside of them and the will to pull through no matter what.  Robert Covington, who was 4-for-14 from the field and 1-for-9 from three, didn’t keep his head down and amazingly scored the key tip-in bucket with 3.9 seconds left in regulation tying the game back at 139-all.

RoCo also contributed tremendously with a clutch three, putting the Rockets up by four with 1:22 left, further signifying that they saw blood in the water.

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The Houston Rockets are finally starting to come together as a whole, they really do have a fighting chance of “bringing it back to the city” as Harden has said.

The struggle is expected, but the Houston Rockets will always pull through.