The Raptors are lamenting their play from Tuesday night against the Heat. They didn’t quite execute their defense, they didn’t hit shots, they didn’t solve Jimmy Butler (again). And they didn’t win. That’s life in the NBA though — a team can win a lot of games, but they’re still going to lose sometimes. At least it’s not as bad as what happened to the visiting Houston Rockets, who are on their own journey of regret.
For the Rockets, Tuesday night ended in brutal fashion with a two-point loss to the Spurs in double overtime. This, despite having a lead as big as 22 points in regulation. Worse still, it all seemed to pivot on this truly bizarre play, the likes of which I’ve never seen:
Asked about it pre-game, Raptors coach Nick Nurse could only shake his head. He hadn’t seen anything like that either. It’s a bizarre call, a bizarre turn of events, and while it didn’t necessarily lead to the Rockets’ eventual loss — it certainly didn’t help their mood.
The point here is, of course, one of perspective. The Raptors are disappointed in themselves after a weirdly lackadaisical effort against the Heat. The Rockets are ticked off after blowing it against the Spurs. Now, the two teams have to clear their minds — or use those perceived slights as fuel — and turn on each other. The usual bits and bobs of strategy apply for both teams (how to slow James Harden and Pascal Siakam chief among them, respectively). But really, it’ll boil down to which team wants to reset their mood more: the Raptors or the Rockets.
For some more table setting, here’s the Raptors-Rockets preview from this morning. Below are the updated game details. And now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN 4, 7:30pm EST
Toronto – Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol
Houston – Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Ben McLemore, P.J. Tucker, Clint Capela
Toronto – Stanley Johnson (out – groin), Matt Thomas (out – finger), Patrick McCaw (out – knee)
Houston – Eric Gordon (out – knee), Gerald Green (out – foot), Nene (out – hip)