Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets
5:00 p.m. PST
November 28, 2014
FOX Prime Ticket/NBATV
Video of the Day
J.J. Redick tends to do well against James Harden. Harden tries to explain why:
1. True or false: The Rockets are better with Trevor Ariza than they were with Chandler Parsons.
Michael Pina, (@MichaelVPina): True. Despite falling back to Earth after a blazing hot start, Ariza remains the superior fit with this specific Houston roster. He’s a tremendous spot-up three-point shooter, can attack off the dribble, and remains one of the more competent perimeter defenders in the entire league. Financial advantages aside, Ariza is an upgrade.
Ben Mesirow: True for now. Ariza is a tougher defender, and so far this season he’s making a substantially higher percentage of his threes than is Parsons. Parsons is younger, taller, and a bit more skilled off the bounce so I’m not sure that Ariza is a better long-term fit, but this season, the Rockets seem better off as they are.
Seth Partnow, (@SethPartnow): Too early to say. Certainly Ariza has been better than Parsons so far this season, and he’s always going to be a better defender. But it remains to be seen if the Rockets suffer for lack of Parsons’ superior playmaking abilities against playoff-caliber opposition.
2. The Rockets are playing better than the Clippers right now, but are they better in the long-term?
Pina: It’s tough to say. The Rockets have battled injuries all season long, and we don’t yet know what their regular rotation will look like. With the Clippers, a lack of perimeter defense may be their fatal flaw, something that must be addressed via a trade with no in-house solution seemingly available. To answer your question, I guess I’d have to say…yes?
Mesirow: How long-term are we talking? Because if the rest of this season counts as long-term then I think the Rockets might be the more complete team. Over the next few years, though, I would absolutely rather build around CP and Blake than Harden and Howard.
Partnow: For this season, maybe. For the longer term, almost certainly. The Rockets have a cleaner salary cap, more young talent, future draft picks and more importantly a far superior GM to turn those assets into a top-level team.
3. Is this going to be one of those games when Blake Griffin takes double-digit mid-range shots?
Pina: Blake Griffin should dominate Houston’s thin frontcourt much like he did against Marvin Williams and the Charlotte Hornets earlier this week. Jump shots probably aren’t the wisest option.
Mesirow: I hope not. If Dwight Howard doesn’t play (as expected) then Griffin should be able to dominate any post defender Houston can throw at him. In that case, I would hope to see him attacking the basket with both post-ups and hard rim rolls, and inverting his shot chart from this season.
Partnow: It really shouldn’t be, especially if Dwight Howard is out or limited. Griffin should be able to overpower the rest of Houston’s front line, but he hasn’t consistently showed that level of explosiveness this season.
Latest posts by Fred Katz (see all)
- 3-on-3: Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers (Game 2) – April 20, 2016
- 3-on-3: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Detroit Pistons – November 14, 2015
- Unfiltered thoughts on DeAndre Jordan signing with the Dallas Mavericks – July 3, 2015