The emergence of the Houston Rockets has been well documented thus far this season. While there are still some obvious questions as to whether Kevin McHale can keep his young Rockets in contention, there's no doubt that there are some real building blocks on this roster. Luis Scola has proven himself to be in the upper-echelon of power forwards in the NBA and Kyle Lowry near triple-double's every night (as highlighted in Tom Ziller's Power Rankings) almost dethroned an All-Star lifer like Steve Nash in making the marquee game in Orlando.
Last season was the first in five seasons that Kevin Martin was able to stay healthy for virtually (80 of 82 games) an entire season. While Martin's scoring averages are down (primarily due to his decline in getting to the foul line) one must remember that at this stage in his career he's the closest thing to a seasoned veteran the Rockets have. Moreover, its a bit of a head scratcher that a player like Joe Johnson can continually make All-Star teams while a player like Martin, who has virtually identical stats as Johnson, can't sniff an All-Star roster.
Can Martin at least get an invite to the Three-Point shootout on All-Star Saturday night? Good grief.
The good news for the Houston Rockets is that Kevin Martin broke out of his slump by scoring 28 points, but it was not enough as the Golden State Warriors won 106-97. The game was close throughout the game, but the Rockets could never take a lead and then allowed the Warriors to extend their lead in the fourth quarter for the win.
The Houston Rockets have won three straight road games and four of five overall coming in to face the Golden State Warriors. The Rockets had a six-point lead going into the second quarter but a scoring run by the Warriors' Monte Ellis and Stephen Curry. Ellis has 14 points at the half and Curry has nine points.
Houston Rockets guard Kevin Martin has been in a major scoring slump during the teams four game road trip. Martin is averaging 18 points per game this season scored a total of 16 points over the past four games, and is shooting 5-of-26 from the field.
Martin did miss a pair of games in late January due to plantar fasciitis, but in his first three games back he scored 29, 29 and 16 points before his slump began. The cause for the slump is puzzling to Martin:
Martin contributes some of his slump to the condensed schedule which is taking a toll on players stamina, but with the team winning Martin is upbeat and believes it will be only a matter of time before he gets his shot back.
The good thing for the Rockets is that they have won three of four games during Martin's slump, and he can thank the Rockets bench who has stepped up their play of late. Sunday night against the Golden State Warriors could help break Martin's slump since the Warriors are 29th in the league in points allowed.
The Houston Rockets have won three straight and six of its last 10 games to arrive at 16-11 on the season. That mark is good for just third in the Southwest division that is proving to be one of the Western Conference's best. San Antonio has won seven straight and sit atop the division with a 19-9 record or 2.5 games in front of the Rockets. The Dallas Mavericks are second at 17-11 which is just a half game in front of the Rockets.
The Spurs, Mavs and Rockets are all in the thick of things in the Western Conference standings. San Antonio is in second place in the conference trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder by 2.5 games. The Mavericks currently sit 4.5 back in the No. 4 spot and are followed by the Rockets who are five back.