Rockets blow lead, lose 117-111

Three pointers from Rockets loss to Bucks

James Harden.

The Rockets kicked off the 2019-2020 season Thursday night at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Rockets jumped out to a massive 16-point lead and controlled the game throughout the first three quarters. Fueled by a Giannis Antetokounmpo triple-double, the Bucks would lead a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to eventually knock off the Rockets.

Tyson Chandler kicks down the door

Tyson Chandler was one of the later additions to the roster this off-season but took very little time making his presence known. In his first seven minutes on the floor in a Rockets uniform the backup big man crushed multiple alley-oops to the tune of 8 points and 4 rebounds. In the first half it looked as though father time had turned back the clock 11 years and slid him into a hornets uniform. Chandler brought a fiery energy on the court in starting center Clint Capela's absence, as well from the sidelines.

New parts need oiling

The Rockets were in control throughout the first three quarters, but the growing pains were apparent. Bobbled passes from Russell Westbrook to Clint Capela, slightly mis-timed alley oop lobs from James Harden to Chandler, and an overall lack of synchronization contributed to Milwaukee climbing back into the game in the fourth quarter. It will take some time for all of the new faces to get on the same page, so there's no reason for concern yet.

Welcome Westbrook

If Chandler knocked the door down, Westbrook drove through it with a tank. Brodie brought the same patented relentlessness he became famous for in OKC straight to his first start in Rockets Red. Westbrook carved up Milwaukee inside all night long, in addition to flying over everyone on the court for unreal rebounds. Look for Westbrook to push a much faster tempo all season than previous years.

Rockets Player of the Game

Russell Westbrook: 24 points, 7 assists, 16 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block

Bucks Player of the Game

Giannis Antetokounmpo: 30 points, 11 assists, 13 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block

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Correa knows it's time for his payday. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Rangers made a big splash over the weekend when they agreed to terms on a 7-year $175 million contract with infielder Marcus Semien. Apparently, that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to multiple reports, the Rangers have also added arguably the most coveted player in free agency, Corey Seager. Seager and the Rangers have agreed to a massive 10-year $325 million contract.

Before the Seager news broke, many were starting to wonder if teams would be willing to hand out 10-year deals for over 300 million dollars with the lockout just around the corner. Now we have our answer, and Carlos Correa has to be a very happy man to see how the market is shifting. The Rangers not only added two incredible players, but they also made it pretty much a certainty that Correa will either leave Houston, or the Astros will have to sign him to a long-term $300 million deal, which is not likely based on their stance on multi-year big money contracts.

The Rangers aren't the only team in the AL West making blockbuster moves. The Mariners agreed to terms with 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on Monday. Ray and Seattle agreed to a 5-year, $115 million contract.

The Angels joined in on the action a couple of weeks ago when they signed Noah Syndergard to a 1-year 21 million dollar deal.

Clearly, the AL West is on notice that they're going to have to make big changes if they want to compete with the Houston Astros who have dominated the AL recently with 5 straight ALCS appearances and 3 trips to the World Series. With Correa likely out the door in Houston, these teams might believe this is a perfect time to make a run at the division and finally knock off the Astros. Only time will tell if these deals will work, and the Astros look to have a terrific team this season whether Correa returns or not.

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