• You’d think it would be a quiet, peaceful Thursday night with only four games on. Well, we guessed wrong.

    Houston, we have a problem

    The Rockets are a hot mess. You can say that with confidence about the Western Conference’s top team from last season when a Westbrook-less Thunder squad shuts you down and you lose 80-98.

    While you can peg some blame on Carmelo Anthony and his 1-for-11 shooting from the field and the absence of Eric Gordon. This goes beyond the “Melo Curse” though. The Rockets are sluggish, uninspired, and downright lost right now. Chris Paul has a sore elbow and it’s hampering him. He did get six steals but outside of that, Paul was disappointing in other areas.

    James Harden and Clint Capela are simply not enough. A sneaky-good P.J. Tucker has been a pleasant surprise this season,  but scrounging for positives to point out is such a chore right now.

    Some credit had to go to Paul George and Steven Adams, who both played well for the win. The defense was key but the Rockets were just too easy to neutralize. Expect Mike D’Antoni to spend a lot of sleepless nights at the drawing board.

    Celtics, so good they’re lazy, which is not good

    The title says it all. They were lazy. Frustratingly so in their 116-109 OT win over the Suns. The fact that they needed an extra period to dispatch with the Suns is telling. Kyrie Irving had to will his team to victory in those extra minutes. His 39 points and fat line were the only things worth celebrating. No, not even the win. Frankly, the team did not deserve it. Irving did.

    As much as I’d like to credit T.J. Warren’s move to the starting five for the Suns almost winning this, or the solid 38-point game from Devin Booker, it really was more a case of the Celtics playing poorly than the Suns playing well. If Warren does stick in the starting five, which should be the case, Warren becomes worth an add in 12-team leagues, especially after his 29-point performance with seven boards, three 3-pointers, a steal and a block. I think he’ll stick. It’s the logical move. Because Ryan Anderson is just awful. Nasty-bad.

    Why Boban? Why?

    The Clippers-Blazer game was not much to look at from an “is this interesting” point of view. The sad news is that Boban Marjanovic, despite starting, managed just 12 minutes, four points, four boards and two blocks. Montrezl Harrell stole his thunder with 19-point, three-block performance. Yes, Boban was freed, but the fact is Harrell is just better. Patrick Beverley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shared the backcourt as starters and we’re seeing SGA grow right before our eyes. He’s legit and dare I say a dark horse for ROY? Nah. But maybe? Right? 19 markers and a full line was a sight to see for sure.

    Zach Collins flirted with a double-double in the Blazers’ 105-116 win. He’s going to have his ups and downs. For sure. But expect a decent leap from him this season. You can count on it. He’s ripe and ready.

    What the Bucks?

    The Bucks are the real deal. Aside from Brook Lopez making a fool of himself in fantasy, the starters did their respective things and did them well.

    The Warriors were missing Draymond Green (ankle) but Stephen Curry added injury to injury by suffering a strained adductor and is due for an MRI today. Quin Cook is a must-add for his temporary boost in value and expect bumps in production from Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

    The Warriors cannot win without both Green and Curry, so Green might rush back on Monday.

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