News » Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-07

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-07

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-07With Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady out, backups became starters and the Rockets depth seemed tenuous at best.

By the time they took their first injury of the season, with rookie Chase Budinger sitting out against the Lakers with a sprained left ankle, the rotation shrunk to seven players, short by post-season standards, to say nothing of the first week of the season.

With Budinger back on Friday, however, the Rockets got 41 points off the bench, and a clear jolt of energy in the second quarter when Budinger, Carl Landry and Kyle Landry bringing a much-needed jolt of energy.

The Rockets' bench still seems to have little margin for error, at least until McGrady returns and the Rockets add one more offensive option. But Budinger seems as valuable a pick-up as Von Wafer proved to be last season when McGrady went out and Wafer brought a sudden wave of scoring. Lowry seems to be with a group that fits his high-speed style. And Landry seems to have grown into a player that can provide the consistent production he hinted at in his first two seasons.

It is almost enough for a weakness to look like a strength. It might be too soon to reach that conclusion, but it was clearly a key against in the wins against Trail Blazers, Jazz and Thunder, and what was missing in the loss to the Lakers.

ROCKETS 105, THUNDER 94: The setting was the same, but the scene was dramatically different. The Lakers had left town, and so had much of the electricity. The Thunder, though talented, could not inspire the same sort of buzz, instead bringing the Rockets' first test of their ability to win when they were expected to win. They had little difficulty. The Rockets could not put the game away until the final minutes, but they scored so consistently from the start, they led by as much as 14, got double-figure scoring from five players and never seemed threatened.

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Added: November 7, 2009


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