The Rockets, with two straight wins over Oklahoma City, have momentum in their first-round series. But down 3-2, their backs are still against the wall.
Consider them pressed a little tighter.
Jason Friedman of Rockets.com:
Carlos Delfino has a fractured bone in right foot. Out for the playoffs.
Delfino has been having a nice series, scoring 9.0 points per game and making 11-of-31 pointers off the bench. Without him, spacing the floor will be a little more difficult, though Jeremy Lin’s return could help.
For the Rockets to do the never-been-done and win four straight after trailing 3-0, they’ll need nearly everything to go right. Houston has even less margin for error now.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.