NBA PLAYOFFS

Fred Faour: 5 observations from the Rockets Game 2 win over Golden State

Eric Gordon played well. Jonathan Daniel

The Rockets looked more like the team we have seen all season and knocked off Golden State 127-105 to even the series at 1-1. Here are five thoughts on the Rockets win:

1) Balance, balance, balance: The supporting cast showed up in this one. PJ Tucker scored 22. Trevor Ariza had 18. Eric Gordon matched a team high with 27. It was not all on James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela. A balanced Rockets team is dangerous.

2) Ball movement: The Rockets used ISO, but they also moved the ball and created mismatches. It made all the difference in the world.

3) One man show: Kevin Durant was a beast again with 38 points, but he had little help. Steph Curry scored 16 but on 7 of 19 shooting. No other Warrior hit double figures. Golden State simply did not do enough.

4) Getting defensive: The Rockets defense shut down Klay Thompson, who was great in Game 1. He scored just 8. They also bothered Curry again. Draymond Green was invisible. If the Rockets play defense like this, they can win the whole thing.

5) Great adjustments: Give Mike D'Antoni some credit for making the right moves. He changed things up, and the Rockets got a big win.

This is more like it. If the Rockets play like this, they can win at Oracle. If they play like Game 1? They come home down 3-1. We shall see.

 

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Astros suffer a huge loss. Photo by Getty Images. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

On Tuesday night former Astros center fielder George Springer agreed to a 6-year $150 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays according to MLB Networks, Jon Heyman.

But the Blue Jays still appear to be looking to add to their roster in free agency. Their next target, former Astros left fielder Michael Brantley. Rumors have been swirling about George Springer's desire for Michael Brantley to join him on his next team. Springer and Brantley are close friends and also share an agent. And apparently the Blue Jays have serious interest in Brantley, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

This would be a crushing blow for the Astros to lose both Brantley and Springer to Toronto. Former Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is also a free agent that won't be returning to Houston, which puts the Astros in a position where they only have one starter locked-in to play the outfield in 2021, that being Kyle Tucker. Just last year the Astros lost one of the best pitchers in baseball, when Gerrit Cole broke the bank signing a 9-year $324 million contract with the Yankees. Add that to Springer leaving for Toronto and possibly Brantley as well, and you have an Astros team losing three of their best players in short order. Hopefully, the Astros can find a way to bring back Brantley who is clearly one of the best hitters in the heart of Houston's lineup. In Brantley's two seasons with Houston he hit over .300 with 27 bombs and 112 RBI.

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