HOUSTON When the tables turn as decisively as they did defensively in the second half for the Rockets Monday night, the knee-jerk reaction is to laud the effectiveness of their small lineup on that end of the court.
However, there were offensive benefits in stationing forward Patrick Patterson in the middle and utilizing Chandler Parsons as the second big. During those stretches when the Rockets' spacing was superb, it was easy to see how this unorthodox unit can serve dual purposes.
Buoyed by a diametrically opposite approach from what paid dividends the night before against the Jazz, the Rockets used abundant quickness to fend off the Grizzlies and squeeze out a 97-93 win at Toyota Center.
"I thought Patrick did a really nice job in the pick-and-roll coverage with (Grizzlies center Marc) Gasol, and we played that small lineup quite a bit to close the game," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.
"Our bigs, Luis (Scola) and Sam (Dalembert), got in foul trouble in the third quarter a...