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206 Tracker: The Houston Rockets and Jason Terry make their case

The Houston Rockets are staking their claim to the best team in the NBA, and Pacific Northwest guard Jason Terry is part of the reason.

This Houston Rockets lineup is staking their claim as the best team in the NBA.
This Houston Rockets lineup is staking their claim as the best team in the NBA.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

I know Golden State and Memphis might have something to say, but the Houston Rockets just put in their bid for the best team in the NBA title.

Surprisingly, Jason Terry is one of the key parts in making that statement arguable.

Don't you laugh at me, it's true.

Seriously. I did say one of the key partsDonatas Motiejunas's post game on offense and his mobility and length on defense is one. Tarik Black is averaging 7.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and he's holding opposing power forwards to a PER of 12.2 and centers to 6.9 (per 82 games.com). James Harden himself is now transcended into super stardom, mainly due to his improvement on the defensive end (9th in DefRtg, 1st in Defensive Win Shares, and Houston as a whole is third in DefRtg). Finally, for all of Joey Doresy's ineffectiveness; the Rockets have been 16 points better on defense when Dorsey is off the floor and His Opponent Counterpart 48-Minute Production - PER of the player he is guarding - is 37.1(!), a mark would lead the NBA by four points....ok wait Joey Dorsey is not one of those reasons.

At least he hasn't been lately. Though he did hold his own last night. Doing stuff like this and this against a front line as imposing as the Grizzlies, does deserves some recognition.

Still, Terry may have been the most effective of them all. Isaiah Caanan and Patrick Beverley both are out. At this point in his career Terry is seen by most as a championship presence and knockdown shooter off the bench. He's masterfully played the role of spark plug combo guard, that can play point guard in a pinch. As he's always been known to do. But his last two games have been a revelation at 37 years old.

His last two games: 32.5 minutes, 17.0 points, 48% from the field, 46% from three, a 120.3 OffRtg and a 100.6 DefRtg. That's insane for a player Terry's age, especially given that his last two opponents are ranked 8th (Milwaukee Bucks) and 4th (Memphis Grizzlies) in DefRtg. I know. It's two games, but you can't deny the effect he's having on the Rockets. Nick Johnson and Francisco Garcia, bless their hearts, are the only other guards currently playing minutes.

This type of "next man up" mentality is always heard in teams (usually) floundering to mask deficiencies, but Houston has scored two of its three highest point totals in the last two games, coincidence? I think not.

For more Rockets: The Dream Shake | Grizzlies: Grizzly Bear Blues

PNWer PTS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A REB OREB DREB AST STL BLK TO MIN
Jeff Green (Celtics) 32 8-22 6-10 10-10 5 0 5 1 0 1 2 36
Kelly Olynyk (Celtics) 20 8-13 2-4 2-5 7 0 7 3 2 3 2 27
Jason Terry (Rockets) 16 5-10 3-7 3-5 3 0 3 5 4 0 2 31
Spencer Hawes (Clippers) 12 5-7 2-4 0-0 4 0 4 2 1 0 3 17
Terrence Ross (Raptors) 11 4-8 1-3 2-2 4 3 1 0 1 0 1 31
Aaron Brooks (Bulls) 7 3-7 1-2 0-0 3 0 3 3 0 0 2 15
Marvin Williams (Hornets) 6 2-5 0-2 2-2 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 25
Robert Sacre (Lakers) 6 3-9 0-0 0-0 5 1 4 3 0 2 0 20
Avery Bradley (Celtics) 6 2-5 2-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 26
Zach LaVine (Timberwolves) 6 3-6 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 15
Jamal Crawford (Clippers) 5 1-6 0-5 3-3 0 0 0 6 2 0 2 22
Aron Baynes (Spurs) 4 2-5 0-0 0-0 4 2 2 1 1 0 0 17
Quincy Pondexter (Grizzlies) 2 1-7 0-3 0-0 4 1 3 3 1 0 0 28
Nick Johnson (Rockets) 2 1-5 0-1 0-0 4 0 4 2 1 0 3 19
Luke Ridnour (Magic) 0 0-1 0-1 0-0 3 0 3 4 1 0 0 13
Martell Webster (Wizards) - - - - - - - - - - - DNP
Austin Daye (Spurs) - - - - - - - - - - - DNP
Tony Wroten (76ers) - - - - - - - - - - - DNP
Rony Turiaf (Timberwolves) - - - - - - - - - - - DNP

Back out on the east, Jeff Green made a season high six threes, scoring 32 points in an overtime win over the Detroit Pistons. Green scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including nine straight Celtic points that held off a Pistons comeback (they were down 11 at one point). Green is in the midst of a taking leadership and control on this Celtics team. Being aggressive (his 10 free throw attempts were tied for the highest this season), and demanding the ball in crunch time, Green is slowly carving a new niche during his Celtics tenure.

Avery Bradley was invisible, but Kelly Olynyk's play on both ends of the court was good, but it was his defense that was a catalyst in the win.

For more CelticsCelticsBlog | Pistons: Detroit Bad Boys

Jamal Crawford's stat line can be deceiving, the Clippers blew out the Magic, 114-84. Crawford sat out the last 5:43 of the game when Los Angeles was up by 29 points. That's also the reason behind Spencer Hawes's second double-digit scoring game in a row.

Also, Luke Ridnour made his return from missing the last three games with injury, but didn't do much in 13 minutes.

For more Clippers: Clips Nation | Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post

Terrence Ross returned to Earth after back-to-back 20 point outings with 11 points in a blowout win over the Jazz.

For more RaptorsRaptors HQ | Jazz: SLC Dunk

For more SpursPounding the Rock | NetsNets Daily

For more Sixers: Liberty Ballers | TimberwolvesCanis Hoopus

For more LakersSilver Screen & Roll | WizardsBullets Forever

For more MavericksMavs Moneyball | Bucks: Brew Hoop

For more HawksPeach Tree Hoops | HeatHot Hot Hoops

For more BullsBlog a Bul | HornetsAt The Hive