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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston has lost back-to-back games

Astros drop series to Giants with finale loss

Houston's offense came up short again in San Francisco on Sunday. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games against the Giants, the Astros tried to grab the finale to win his high-difficulty series. They came up short, though, with San Francisco once again one-upping them on offense against Luis Garcia, giving Houston back-to-back losses.

Final Score: Giants 5, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 64-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Logan Webb (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia (7-6)

Gurriel strikes first, but Giants get the better of Garcia

The Astros were able to grab an early lead against Logan Webb in the top of the first, getting a runner on base to set up Yuli Gurriel for a two-run homer to start the scoring. Luis Garcia, who erased a walk in the first and a double in the second to maintain the 2-0 advantage, ran into trouble in the third. After two quick outs, Kris Bryant, recently acquired by the Giants at the trade deadline, changed the momentum with a solo homer in the first game for his new team.

They scored two more runs during the two-out rally on three hits and a walk, grabbing a 3-2 lead before Garcia would get the final out. He managed a scoreless fourth, but San Francisco got to him again in the fifth, chasing him out of the game with a two-out, two-run homer to extend their lead to 5-2. His final line in the loss: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 89 P.

Giants take series as Astros drop the finale

First out of Houston's bullpen was Rafael Montero, making his debut for his new team. He did well, getting the third out of the fifth then tossing a scoreless sixth. Phil Maton was next, coming in for the bottom of the seventh and erasing a single to keep it a three-run game. After wasting a chance with two runners on in the seventh, the Astros started a new rally in the top of the eighth, getting back-to-back hits to lead it off with runners on first and third with no outs.

They would get just one run from it, though, making it 5-3, which would go final after a scoreless bottom of the eighth by Ryne Stanek and a 1-2-3 inning at the plate by Houston in the top of the ninth. That gave the Giants the series and left the Astros reeling from back-to-back losses as they turn the page to another high-caliber opponent to finish this road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel to the last leg of this road trip, Los Angeles, before a day off on Monday. Tuesday, they'll pick up a quick two-game series with the Dodgers, with Lance McCullers Jr. (8-2, 3.23 ERA) for the Astros going up against Walker Buehler (11-1, 2.19 ERA) for LA in the opener at 9:10 PM Central.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome