Rockets, Spurs looking at big adjustments in wake of Nene injury
HOUSTON – This was a compelling clash of styles even before the Nene news broke on Monday.
The Houston Rockets reserve big man is done for the season with a left groin tear suffered in the first quarter of Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday, when the San Antonio Spurs’ Go-Big-or-Go-Home approach fell short against the small-ball strategy of James Harden & Co. The slow and steady Spurs lost 125-104, overwhelmed by a fast and furious Rockets group that rediscovered its identity with its special season on the line.
The Spurs’ twin towers, their front court of LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol that brings 13 feet, 11 inches of combined length and a shared total of 510 pounds, struggled to survive with all those Rockets shooters that surrounded them. The flurry of threes finally fell, 19 in all on 43 attempts (44.2%) for the team that set NBA records in three-pointers attempted and made during the regular season. In Game 2 and 3, Houston hit just 23 threes combined (converting at a 31.5% clip). And now, with the Rockets looking to regain the series lead in Game 5 in San Antonio on Tuesday, the something’s-gotta-give factor will be even more pronounced because of Houston’s dearth of plus-sized options.
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If the second half of Game 4 was any indication – and it…