The Houston Rockets rolled the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series 126-99. The blowout was surprising to many in the NBA community and caused people to start wondering whether or not the Spurs would be able to recover from starting the series that way.
“I do. They’re the Spurs man, and they’re going to win Game 2 because they’re the Spurs,” said CBS Sports NBA writer Matt Moore on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench show. “I’m in the building, I’m here in San Antonio and the amazing thing about that game is, you can have nights where all the shots are going down and one team just couldn’t miss while the other team just had a bad night. There was some of that. But, the other thing is, the Rockets won a lot of match-ups where they should have lost. Ryan Anderson is a defensive weak point and he was locking down LaMarcus Aldridge and making steals and converting plays and getting rebounds. They had all these situations where the Spurs couldn’t get any of their match-up advantages to go their way and Houston flipped all of them.
Everything that should go Houston’s way, went Houston’s way and everything that should have gone San Antonio’s way went Houston’s way. It wasn’t even a draw, it flipped towards the Rockets and that’s why you get this massive blowout. The Spurs are not going to play that badly again–they missed a lot of layups, they missed a lot of open shots and that’s going to mean that they get to set their defense if those shots go down in Game 2. But, the Rockets have the weapons and that was a statement game. The mood for them at practice today wasn’t ‘oh, hey we got a split, neat.’ The mood was: this is the Spurs. If we don’t keep the foot down we can lose this series. The Rockets have very serious intentions of making a legit run at the NBA title.”
On the other side of the bracket, in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards blew another early lead in falling to the Boston Celtics 129-119 in OT. The Celtics got an incredible performance from guard Isaiah Thomas who scored 53 points, 29 of those in the fourth quarter and OT. Now trailing 0-2 in the series, the Wizards head home wondering what could have been in Boston.
“They blew opportunities. Here’s the thing, the Wizards should–realistically–they should be split 1-1. The first game, Markieff Morris goes down and you lose a starter on a team with no bench and that’s going to mess you up, okay fine,” said Moore. “They had a good opportunity in Game 1, they got injured, whatever. Game 2 they should have won. Isaiah Thomas had an otherworldly performance with 53 points, which was incredible, an all-timer from Thomas. Really, with everything he’s gone through from his sister’s death to having oral surgery yesterday into today, that’s a legendary performance. But, the Wizards did not have the poise down the stretch.”