The game of chess is basically all in strategy. It’s the beauty of what moves you make, when you make them, and the response from your competitor. It’s quite a beautiful game to witness. However, when it comes to this Rockets vs Kings game, the Rockets play was the complete opposite of strategy. The Kings, who are in the middle of a playoff hunt, started the first of two games against the Rockets with a checkmate. With superior team cohesion, the Kings were easily able to dispatch the Rockets yet again.
Wanted: Defense and Effort
The last two games collectively by the Rockets have left A LOT to be desired on the defensive end. Tonight the Rockets gave up 140 points to the Kings after giving up 153 points to the Thunder on Saturday. This type of effort and play will not be ideal for the Rockets moving forward. The Kings shot 21/41 from 3 point land tonight and shot 52/89 from the field for 58.4%. Unsure if the Rockets defense were aware, but the Kings are a good team and they can definitely score. It just felt like the Rockets were playing lackadaisically on defense with no regard for how the Kings decimated them offensively. The last two performances should definitely be a cause for concern.
Keegan Murray was probably the biggest beneficiary of the Rockets weak perimeter defense by scoring a career high 30 points tonight. To add insult to injury, Murray also set the rookie record for most 3’s made in a single game. It always seems like the Rockets have a knack to get players to play above themselves when they visit Toyota Center and tonight was no exception.
We got some LIFE from Jalen Green in Rockets-Kings
The Rockets may have lost big tonight but one small sliver of victory for this team was Jalen Green’s shooting tonight. Jalen Green had a horrible shooting night Saturday, and in recent games before his injury, so it was a troubling trend for the sophmore. However, Jalen tonight shot with confidence and precision as he shot 10/21 from the field and hit five 3 pointers in the process. If we’re gonna have a sliver of hope this season, we will need Jalen to shoot this well for the rest of the year.
Eric Gordon makes history in Rockets-Kings
Not to get lost in the noise of negativity, Eric Gordon has surpassed Kobe Bryant in made 3 point shots for a career. In the 3rd quarter, EG jab stepped into a 3 pointer that placed him 22nd all time to pass Kobe. In the grand scheme of things, this feat is quite the accomplishment for EG. Passing up Kobe in the process is a nice touch for that moment. Despite all the losing, this was also a nice positive moment for a player that has played in a Rockets uniform for many years now.
We do this all again Wednesday evening
Thanks to NBA scheduling, the Rockets are scheduled for another shellacking Wednesday evening since the Kings will play the Rockets once more at Toyota. If the Rockets come out with the same energy, the score could be even higher for the Kings. However, the team could use this game as the metaphorical match to light the fire for them to grab a win. The Rockets must properly execute the two man game of Jalen and Sengun to have a chance at all. We will see Wednesday evening if it’ll be a Rockets rising or yet another checkmate for the Kings as they march towards the Playoffs.
Make sure to stay tuned to Apollo’s Houston Rockets coverage. Buy the Rising Son Shirt and the Legion of Stops shirt, follow the Summit State of Mind podcast on Twitter and listen wherever you get your podcasts, follow Justin on Twitter, and follow the company at ApolloHou and Apollo NBA