Only April fools thought the Rockets could slip into Oklahoma City on Sunday night and sneak away with a victory in Game one of their playoff series. A well-rested Thunder playing at home against a team that it is significantly better than, wasn’t about to be caught slipping to start what they hope is a run to the NBA championship. After losing in the Finals last year, OKC is a confident bunch. The only way they could lose to Houston is to have a bad night on the same evening the Rockets have a good one. For the Rockets, playing well won’t be enough. OKC is simply too good. For the Rockets to even have a chance at winning a game or two, they need to do almost everything better than they did tonight. • Jeremy Lin needs to settle down. He looked shaky, made poor decisions and couldn’t make a shot. Lin can’t make just 1-of-7 shots (0-for-4 on 3s) in 33 minutes unless he is running the offense to perfection and setting others up, which he wasn’t. • James Harden has to play like a superstar, especially when his teammates aren’t playing well. The Rockets look to him to deliver and his getting off to a slow start and not playing an efficient offensive game overall, is too much for this team to overcome. He has struggled of late, and his injured foot hasn’t helped. • Chandler Parsons, Lin and Harden can’t go 2-for-15 on 3-pointers. Simply, Houston will have to gain some points on treys to make up for the times they can’t stop OKC. This trio is important in accomplishing that.
Rockets need to do almost everything better to steal a game or two
Houston Chronicle | Apr 22