A NEW ERA IS HERE

All the reasons Christian Wood looks like the real deal for Rockets

What a night for Christian Wood! Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

Thursday night, the Rockets faced the Spurs and I personally enjoyed the ball movement inside of head coach Stephen Silas' offense. The Rockets' head coach called plays that involved screens and moving without the ball. James Harden killed the narrative of not being able to play off the ball, as he scored off catch-and-shoot multiple times. In my opinion, Harden is buying into Silas' system. Harden finished Thursday night with 20 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

Another thing that I enjoyed was the play of 6'10 Christian Wood, as he was dominant from all over the court. Harden and Wood destroyed the San Antonio Spurs in the pick-n-pop and pick-n-roll formations. Woods was effective inside for the Rockets, as he used his big frame to control the paint. He also wasn't hesitant to shoot from long range, as he shot 2 of 6 (33%) from the perimeter. Wood even collected 10 rebounds versus the Spurs, which is another reason that micro-ball will not be missed. At the end of Thursday's game, Wood finished with 27 points in 24 minutes.

It was a pleasure watching Wood being disruptive with his creativity towards the basket. When Wood was 8-10 ft from the hoop, he was able to create off the dribble. This is a huge upgrade from Clint Capela, and very encouraging to see more production from a big man in Houston's offense. Wood deserves to be the starter over DeMarcus Cousins because of his youth, athleticism, and upside.

Eric Gordon looks more inventive playing in Silas' offense and became extremely active. Gordon looks more confident, as he shot 44 percent from the perimeter and finished with 23 points Thursday night. Of course, Gordon has been through recent struggles with shooting the basketball, but if he stays healthy and optimistic, he'll have a great season. Silas has created more opportunities for Gordon off the ball, as he scored the first basket on a variety of screens.

The roster looks completely set for this upcoming season. David Nwaba, Sterling Brown,Bruno Caboclo, and Jae'Sean Tate could equally fight for rotation minutes. All four players have been impressive inside of preseason and training camp. It will be a tough decision for Silas to make because of the talent of each player. Those four definitely had something to prove during training camp and preseason.

Brown's efforts have been noticeable on defense, and he's also been able to run the point on offense. Which the Rockets desperately need, so they have a backup for John Wall. Caboclo has been impressive on offense because of his shooting and being able to set screens. Nwaba has shown ability on defense for the Rockets and is also averaging two assists per game. Tate can become great in the pick-n-pop and pick-n-roll for the Rockets, as he scored 11 points on Tuesday night versus the Spurs.

Hopefully, Harden stays, Cousins and Wall stay healthy, Wood continues to dominate, Gordon remains confident with his shooting, and Silas stays consistent with the ball movement on offense. That's a lot of ifs, but this roster has some serious potential if they can put it all together.

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This is a tasty burger. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

If a person isn't a real Houstonian until they have favorite places for staple foods like burgers and Tex-Mex, then Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has officially embraced his new home.

In an interview that occurred during the Thursday, August 11 broadcast of the Astros game against the Texas Rangers, YouTube announcer Scott Braun asked Verlander if he found any food in Houston that he couldn't get in Detroit.

"I like Nancy's Hustle's burger," the pitching ace replied.

Indeed, what's not to like? The Nancy's burger — a double patty cheeseburger with chopped onions, pickles, and aioli on a housemade brioche English muffin — has been a staple since the restaurant opened in late 2017. Here it is, as captured by Houston food influencer Abbas Dhanani.

Beyond its deliciousness, Verlander's affection for the burger makes a certain amount of logistical sense. The EaDo restaurant is only about a mile from Minute Maid Park, and it stays open until 11 pm, making it a perfect post-game treat.

Nancy's co-owner Sean Jensen tells CultureMap that he and chef-owner Jason Vaughan consider Verlander and his wife, supermodel Kate Upton, to be regulars. "They have always been supporters and super nice when they visit," he writes in an email.

Continue on CultureMap to learn more.

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