Thursday , Apr , 26 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, And Houston Rockets Stumble In Game 3

Utah plays great defense in game 3 …. But the Rockets were just awful on offense … T-Mac is off, Yao gets harassed by Okur … So who will step-up? … Where’s the third scorer? … Read about Utah getting back in this series and Houston’s Achilles’ heal …

{{What Happened:}} The Jazz won their first playoff game by playing defense. stopped from scoring a single basket for 10 minutes in the second half and ended up beating the Rockets 81-67 in game three of their Western Conference playoff series.

led the way with a double-double, scoring 22 points and pulling in 12 rebounds, while had 11 points and 8 rebounds.

The Jazz’ defense only tells part of the story-the Rockets were ice-cold on offense. Only four Rockets scored a basket. And and accounted for 50 of Houston’s 67 points.

Their numbers are deceiving; Yao and McGrady struggled. Yao went 6-for-14 from the floor and became frustrated with Mehmet Okur’s aggressive defense. McGrady struggled with his shooting, connecting on just 9-of-23 shots.

Houston’s reserves, Luther Head, Dikembe Mutombo, Kirk Snyder, and Juwan Howard, were completely shut-out. They did not score a single point. Head was particularly bad, missing all of his shot attempts in 24 minutes of action.

The Jazz, on the other hand, got a solid 33 points from the bench. Utah’s bench also out-rebounded Houston’s by a margin of 18-6.

The Rockets lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday.

My Take: Houston’s weakness has been exposed. They struggle with scoring. And they struggle because there’s no third option behind Yao and McGrady.

A third scorer is so important. Great teams have more than two scorers. Derek Fisher did his thing for the Shaq and Kobe Lakers, while Manu Ginobili takes pressure off of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

So who will be Houston’s third scorer? No current Rocket can fill this role. Points will have to come from a number of players like Luther Head, Juwan Howard, and Shane Battier.

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