Rockets officially sign Aaron Brooks and Reggie Williams

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Now that the Rockets have Dwight Howard, the goal is to surround him and the rest of the team’s core with enough talent and depth to build a contending team.

With that goal in mind, the Rockets have officially added two perimeter threats that should be able to take advantage of the space Howard creates when bullying his way in the post.

Per Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the team has inked point guard Aaron Brooks and swingman Reggie Williams to contracts:

The Rockets are quite familiar with Brooks who was brought back to the team for his second stint last season at the trade deadline. Brooks gave the Rockets some depth at point guard behind Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverly, offering a change of pace to both players by using his quickness and scoring instincts to create offensively.

Heading into next year, Brooks will likely retain that role as the 3rd point guard, but offers insurance in the back court should the Rockets end up moving Jeremy Lin in a trade for the third star that can complement both Howard and James Harden.

Williams, meanwhile, offers the Rockets some needed depth on the wing behind Harden, Chandler Parsons, and Francisco Garcia. Williams has languished in Charlotte, only appearing in 73 games over the past two seasons and saw his minutes and points per game dip to 9.5 and 3.7 respectively. That said, if he can recapture some of the explosive offensive ability he flashed in Golden State, he can be a serviceable pick up.

And, really, that’s the point of what the Rockets are doing at this point. They landed their big fish in Howard and it’s now about finding the right pieces to fill in the gaps and make the team as strong as possible. In Brooks and, potentially, Williams they’ve done just that.

Lonzo Ball finishes one-handed alley-oop on Willie Cauley-Stein (video)

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So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.

But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.

But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.

Marc Gasol makes 3/4-court shot just after buzzer (video)

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When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.

Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.

Watch Knicks string together 28-0 run against Raptors

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Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.

Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.

Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.

New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.

Devin Booker forces OT with deep turnaround buzzer-beating 3-pointer, but Bucks beat Suns (video)

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I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.

But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.