Thunder 120, Rockets 91. Thoughts on Game 1:
* Five minutes into the game, I thought, how did these guys make the playoffs? I mean, James Harden is fabulous. Omer Asik is an exceptional defensive center. But man, the rest of that roster. That’s a ragtag bunch. I watched the Rockets play the Lakers on Wednesday and was unimpressed. I saw nothing different Sunday night. I think more of Harden now than ever before.
“There were definitely nerves,” Harden said of his 20-point game on 6-of-19 shooting. “Not just for me, but also for my teammates that are going through their first playoff game on the road. It’s one game, and it is a best-out-of-seven game series.”
* Ugh. This matchup reminds you of why they used to play best-of-five.
* The Rockets play small for the very best of reasons. They have no other options. Let’s see. Asik. Greg Smith. Terrence Jones. Donatas Motiejunas. Thomas Robinson. That’s got to be the worst collection of inside players in playoff history. I mean, Asik can help anybody. But those other guys? I think you’ll see the Rockets go super small at times against OKC. Five perimeter players. What do they have to lose?
* Hasheem Thabeet would play 20 minutes a game with the Rockets.
* Jeremy Lin is going to have a long series. He was 1-of-7 with four turnovers Sunday night. And Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha and Reggie Jackson aren’t going anywhere.
“I think we could get better on a little bit of everything of everything,” Lin said. “A little half or second of hesitation can effect everything. We are just a half second behind. We don’t have an excuse anymore, because we already got it out. We played terrible across the board. Offensively and defensively, we played terrible. That one is over, and for us, we are going to learn a lot.”
* I do think the one Rocket who can play a lot better is Chandler Parsons. He had nine points on 4-of-11 shooting but was saddled by foul trouble. When Parsons got his third foul, with 9:59 left in the second quarter, the Rockets trailed 26-24. OKC outscored Houston 34-23 the rest of the quarter.
Of course, Parsons played the entire third quarter, and OKC outscored Houston 29-19. Which means Parsons didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter.
* The Rockets made just eight of 36 3-pointers. The Thunder didn’t let Houston have many open looks. If that continues, easy sweep.
* Houston’s defensive problems showed. Kevin Martin was 5-of-15 — he took as many shots as Westbrook and Durant — and still the Thunder shot over 50 percent (53.0).
* I don’t think James Anderson’s future in the NBA is great, if he can’t crack this rotation.
* I did like Patrick Beverley. Little gnat, quick as Westbrook. Beverley really disrupted Jackson early in the second quarter. Jackson needs to play better.