The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: November 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

People That Piss Me Off (Week the Second)

Yes, I know it's more than a full week after my first PTPMO entry... there were holidays in the way. And it was hard for me, alright? So back off!!

Anyway - without any interruption, the five people/teams/entities that piss me off this week (not necessarily NBA-related, but...)

1. The NFL (and the NFL-Network)

This has been covered by Big Daddy Drew in his weekly deadspin post, but a big F-U to the higher-ups at the NFL. First, I hate the Cowboys. I also have a relatively strong dislike for the Packers and the random fellating of one Brett Favre (pronounce your name right, you redneck SOB!). But I have a distinct predilection for watching regular season NFL games between two 10-1 teams. It only happens once every 15-20 years, so I kinda had to watch. What can I say, I like football. I like good football games even more.

Nevertheless, even though I have the NFL Network at home, watching these games alone is lame. So, the problem is that this forced me to (a) go to a bar with 200 other people, and (b) Miss the Rockets v. Golden State matchup because the bar would not switch the channel. Damn Cowboys fans.

And now I'm all tired and irritable because I had to wait in line for all my beer... got no sleep... and only recently found out the Rockets gave one away to the Warriors. Weak.

The NFL knows it has this power over me, and makes no effort to be nice to me. F-U, NFL.

2. Rafer Alston

Yes, Towelie had not one, but TWO borderline good games this week. (Granted they are mediocre games for most players, but we're always grading on a curve when we talk about Alston.) Because of this - it makes it harder for me to write "Rafer Alston sucks" and have recent empirical evidence to support my contention.

So, please Rafer, just continue sucking so the Rockets will be forced to dump your sorry ass.

3. opposing counsel

On days when all I wanna do is write a scatching review/commentary about the NBA or a particular player to this here blog, opposing counsel comes along and [discussion redacted due to privilege, confidentiality and a desire not to get my ass fired/dis-barred]!

4. Steve Nash

Look, I know you're all Canadian and anti-war and shit, Nash. So what's the deal with kicking Yao Ming in the 4th Q on Wednesday night? First you jump out in front of him in an attempt to draw a foul, flop when Yao tries to avoid contact, and when Yao actually falls down you kick him!?!? WTF? The dude is 7'5" - he doesn't exactly pop right back up when he falls down.

Don't make me go get Robert Horry to hip-check your ass into the boards again!

5. Houston Rockets who can't shoot at least 80% from the FT line.

Basically, this points the finger at every Rocket not named "Yao Ming". Guys, it's a freakin' free throw. No one is defending you. And you are supposed to be professionals. Hell, I am a 6'1" skinny white dude. But I made 85-90% of my free throws all through high school and college intramurals. So, yes, I do believe this gives me a license to be angry at you guys for continually failing at a fundamental part of basketball. Maybe you just need help?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Let's give it a shot! Rockets running game blog!

Tried this last night, but we had a delayed tip off. The Rockets are streaking and it's time to do a live blog of the Rockets versus Warriors. It's a horrible match up for the Rockets after a night of running in Phoenix and Stevie is sore apparently. Let's go:

Warriors up 2-0 on an easy basket and the Rockets take a stupid shot

Luckily Stephen Jackson threw up an equally dumb shot and of course Yao turns it over.

Baron Davis cuts down the middle absolutely using Towelie and gets the foul on McGrady
somehow. But he misses the free throw. Seriously the NBA sucks at the easiest of things
Fuckity fuck fuck fuck, Rafer just shot a three while being covered like a glove, that is no good.
Warriors up 6-0, not a good start. Good shot by Yao but he misses, turnover by the Warriors, for having a 6-0 lead I'm not impressed so far

Rockets are shooting terribly so far, tired legs

Baron Davis with a goal tend assist by Yao makes it 8-0. I love how Air Bullard always has to say what's allowed in international play like anyone cares.

Rafer just went and wasted points driving to the hoop, he gets fouled but is a horrible free throw shooter so only gets one. At least we're off the snide

Yao with the block!!

Rafer is shooting still, holy crap this is not good.

10-3 Warriors, and Rafer is still trying to shoot, all in all this is looking horrible so far.
And another fast break by the Warriors, but it's broken up by Rafer, so he's done one thing right so far

Dunk for GS, 12-3, TMac's legs and Yao's legs really seem fatigued. Not looking good.
What the hell??? You never call traveling when people actually do travel, yet there is a travel call on a beautiful spin by Yao-za??? That is awful

GS for 3...and it's good. 13 point lead now. This blog entry has not been nearly as fun as the one I wrote last night. It sucks that the genius that was that entry was only known to me. I'm a little sluggish tonight as well, I think my fingers are tired like the guys legs, I'll pull through, don't you worry about me!

And back from commercial, well, at least from fast forwarding from the commercial ;-)
Battier rattles in and out a three, at least the Warriors took a stupid shot


Easy fast break layup for Baron

We are something like 1-15 so far in this game

Mike James didn't play a ton of minutes last night, he is going to have to get in this game soon.
18-3 after a missed three and I just noticed Tracy got a haircut, lookin good big guy. Yao finally hits a basket and 3 seconds later GS for 2 more.

Scola could be huge in this game. 20-7 GS, at least we have two real possessions in a row, so we got that going for us which is nice.

ANOTHER fast break, 22-7, they are shooting 70+%

Rafer just shot a 30 foot jumper that actually looked like a real shot. The problem is that he shot it from 30 feet

Stevie in the game!! But for Yao? Guess we are going midget because this lineup is way past small

Alston actually made another nice play, I think I'll break the record for the use of the word actually tonight. Rafer will NOT break the record for nice plays. He won't even break my intramural record for that, and that's just sad.

The Mad Man Stephen Jackson goes right at the Rockets D and draws the foul. Hits 1 of 2 free throws. If we can hit ours tonight that might get us back in it. Down to a 9 point lead after a Tracy mid range jumper.

Steal by Stevie and the layup and the foul!!! Great play Steve. He does not have the moves he used to but he seems a LOT stronger than when he was younger. Misses the free throw though after hurting his ass bone

They just diagrammed a play I used with the 3rd and 4th grade team I coached, that's hilarious
McGrady brings it to seven with a sweet reverse layup, TO #3 by the Warriors

And Towelie tries to launch yet another three. He's pissed me off earlier than usual tonight. Why isn't Mike James in the game???

Thank the good Lord, Mike James comes in right after I ask for it.

Scola has a fantastic looking free throw shot. Of course he still missed 1 of 2, the Rockets are 2 of 5 from the line, so I guess they don't want that advantage I talked about earlier from the line
Tmac must have taken my blog entry about not driving seriously because he looks really happy to do so tonight

Scola fouled by Matt Barnes but it's not called, luckily we got the ball back

Yao with a rebound and put back to get it to 4!!!

Surprisingly it hasn't taken a ton of energy to get back in the game. The Warriors have to be the most fun awful team to watch though. They play an NBA version of street ball, and it's just fun. It's not good enough to finish more than 5-6 games over .500 though. And I bet most of there wins are against good teams. They seem to rise for those games

Great rebound by Scola and Steve hits the ground again. Not to Franchise, the D-Wade game should NOT be modeled after

And another missed free throw....

According to Air Bullard he keeps "grabbing his backside" but he does get the second free throw to bring it to 5 at the end of 1 after being down 15 at one point. I'll take that

DVRs rule, no waiting back to the game. I'm close to being caught up again though

Rockets start out with a terrible shot by Steve and then a turnover. 7 point lead but at least they got bailed out by an even more horrendous shot by Stephen Jackson. No one can tell me that that guy was not involved with Michael Vick, I absolutely guarantee it. He probably fights chickens too

Bonzi actually made a shot! Welcome back Bonzi!!

Mike James is not allowed to guard Baron Davis anymore, that is much like milk on a hot day, we immediately regret that decision. BTW Baron Davis is constantly overlooked, even by me, I forget he's there. He's a fantastic player and distributes the ball even better than he gets credit for.

Stevie for 3!!!!!!! 33-29 and Baron Davis shoots a bad ass shot, at least from my perspective as it was basically a turnover.

Back door cut my Mike James!! And then a steal by Stevie and Mike James with the finger roll!!! Yao with the block!!!! Tie game.

Yao makes it an 11-4 run and 28-11 overall with a jumper. No one on this team can guard him. he really should score 30 tonight but is probably a little too tired for that.

Timeout GS, Rockets 35 Golden State 33

Wow, a Kirk Snyder sighting!! I like it!!!

Bonzi to the basket but it's knocked away. Francis gets it back. I never really looked before but Bonzi really is built like the Sta-Puf Marshmallow man. I just hope no one conjures him up to terrorize NY one day. Oh ya, quick note, if someone asks you if you are a god, you say YES
Snyder to the basket and gets fouled. And now we are at 3-7 with ANOTHER miss. And 3-8 but we got the Rebound because it was such an awful shot

Apparently they thought an under the basket cam from the baseline was a good idea for that possession. They were wrong.

Bonzi gets fouled and holy shit, we hit a free throw!!! 4-9, but no such luck on free throw two, but again, so freaking terrible that we got the ball back! Francis for 2! Rockets by 3
We have 18 bench points to their 0, that sits well with me

Al Harrington ties it up from the ocean

Terrible, terrible possession, but Baron Davis bailed us out with his 3rd foul. Don Nelson wisely leaves him in the game. 5-12 now from the line!!! 6-13, one more and it's a streak!!!
Davis with a bomb from three to take a 3 point lead. TO Rockets. Glad we got that quickly, just need to regroup a bit.

Just saw a commercial for Guys Night Out, it's Dave's and my first game to attend of the season. We better beat the shizzle out of Memphis for that crap they pulled in Memphis. And I don't mean something unsportsmanlike, I just mean how dare them beat us, they suck!

Good Rockets hustle on the GS fast break, but they still kept the ball and are up 5 now
Luther head drives to the basket and kills a 10-2 run, 3 point lead by the Warriors, but no defense on the other end with a layup drill by Stephen Jackson

Harrington with another 3, 8 point GS lead. Damn, they are shooting 56%, that's amazing because their missed shots have been hilariously bad

The Kevin Durant commercial with the jerseys just came on and I love that he wears the Longhorns jersey the longest. Hook'em!!

Just talked about the rookie game, it is a travesty if Scola does not play. Of course I think they take just about everyone so he should

McGrady drives and is touched. Scola follows. TMac gets T which is completely stupid, he drew all of that contact and the guy jumped straight up. Get your head back in the game and stop giving up free shots

Now it's 11 again for the Warriors

Luckily it looks like Tracy is pissed, that does not bode well for the Warriors. Rockets down 7 now

Steal by Scola. Tech on Steven Jackson, it was equally as dumb for him to argue as it was for Tracy. It was really clean by Battier. I really cannot stand all the whining done in the NBA. What happened to the no tolerance rule

Wow, that's the fourth drive by Tracy, that makes me happy in my pants

He bricks another free throw, it has to be in his head. Though I just tried to see if I could see it in his eyes or body motion and I couldn't, so that was a good sign at least

It's a 9 point lead for the Warriors at half, that sucks, but it doesn't suck as bad as it could.
59-50 Warriors at the half.

Damn, I'm caught up on the DVR and have to watch about half of the halftime. Guess I'll go get some caffeine. Crap, I just realized this game won't end until past midnight and I have to wake my ass up at 5:30, I'm doing the dry wall at the new McDonald's (Actually my boss called a 7AM meeting, if I didn't actually like the guy I'd hate him)

Battery on the laptop almost out, need to plug in. That reminds me to save this though, we don't want a repeat of last night.

Alright, at least I'll have the first half blogged tonight!!

We're back from the break and Yao misses two layups in a row. Not a good start. He's 3-10 o the game. McGrady hits a 2 to continue his pissed off streak though. GS by 7

TMac locks down Stephen Jackson, and I've typed that out too much tonight, it's SJ from now on, even if he isn't the real SJ from StLouie.

We are now like 7-15 from the line, at least there were 3 made in a row there for about 4 seconds before the next "miss" I say miss in quotes because I can't paint a picture with words well enough to explain how poor that free throw was. It had literally no chance at going in.
Yao misses another. He is really off tonight. Damn you late back to back games against small teams!!

Battier is 0-3 and the Rockets are standing around the court just watching. I know you're tired, but show some heart guys!! You lost 5 in a row, you need to get those all back. This GS team is really not good, a 10 point lead means dick

The commercial breaks seem unusually short tonight, that is an excellent thing.
Right out of the TO the Warriors hit a 2 to move it to 13. And they actually hit both of their free throws to make it 15.

I know you're tired Yao-za, but I'm tired too, but I'm being a trooper. Do you think these fingers want to keep going? Hell no, but it's mind over matter big man.

Rafer with the "tear put" I could not hate that shot more, I'm not sure I have ever seen it go in, but I've definitely seen it be shot over 100 times.

Rockets down 15, time for a comeback. Let's get it to 7 by the fourth.

Not rebounding is not going to get you there.

Another fast break 17 points

And another 19 points, I used to like this Warriors team. Not so much now...

And I already have some Rafer Explosion of Awfulness Quotes. Not as many as you'd think with as bad as he is playing tonight. Finally Steve Francis is back.

38% from the field, that usually doesn't get it done.

And a touch foul in a 19 point game, really??

Even their misses are going right to them. That's going to make it hard to comeback. Shane Battier posting up and missing will make it even harder

Mike James for three, it's only 16 now!

Now I love Yao Ming, but he really has no business playing this many minutes tonight, he just doesn't have it right now. Let's keep playing the small lineup, that's how we got back in it the first time

Two missed free throws but the rebound falls back to them.

We really need to take advantage of all these poor decisions. Air ball by Mike James... Sweet, we actually got a second chance point!! And that's Baron Davis's 4th foul. And Yao took the charge! That was hilarious!!!

Yao for 2 on the assist from Stevie!! 12 points now

Baron draws the foul on Battier, his fourth. Davis misses one of them

McGrady shoots an ill advised 3, but we get the steal. Stevie bowls over Monta Ellis but gets a terrible foul call on him. I hate that semi-circle even when it helps us. We've missed 10 free throws tonight, it's like we got shaq-itis, make that 11...

Steve is 1-5 from the line, that's not going to cut it. 9-20 for the team, we don't deserve to win this game.

Yao turns it over, I'm not sure on back to back nights that this high post game is a good idea.
McGrady and Battier don't block out and Battier gets called for a foul, that was Busch league...
Mike James gets his 9th point to cut it to 14.

Of course Al Harrington hits another three, this time from Hawaii

Just an asinine pass by Stevie trying to create something, that was ugly

Mike James for his 11th, why hasn't he been playing more? He's the only guy with fresh legs besides Kirk Snyder

I think the referee just tried to get TMac to get himself thrown out of the game, he just called a completely phantom offensive foul. TMac had his back to the guy and there was no contact on a pass to him. What the fuck was that about??

At least Yao can hit free throws, he hits them both. Only 10 points for him tonight.
Tracy is pissed and talking to another ref, I'm pretty sure he's asking why that guy wants him to get thrown out of the game. That really was crazy. I hate NBA refs more than any others. You are NOT the stars, just call the game. Maybe if you did that less whining would happen.
Start of the fourth and Baron Davis with his 22nd point on a circus shot

Mike James with 13. We can't trade shots at this point though, 15 point lead

This game is the awful free throw clinic, I'm ecstatic that kids are asleep in Texas and can't see this.

Franchise with the block and the save!!!! Snyder for 2 and the foul!! Wow he hit a free throw too!!

I'm going to get excited about every made shot by the Rockets, there just haven't been that many this half.

Mike James with 15, but we just used a an entire 24 second clock to do it. Isn't this offense supposed to be more quick hitting?

I'm chalking this game completely up to last nights loss. When we play these guys at home and not on a back to back we are going to beat them by 20.

13 point lead, lets get out of this timeout without a quick GS made basket, let's just start there.
We need to get this down to 7 here in 3 minutes. And they missed two shots!!

Stevie to the basket and no foul called. Another cut by the Warriors. That was just awful by the Rockets. 15 point lead

Why are we running clock? We're down two touchdowns and extra point and a 2 point conversion, start trying to draw fouls!! Stop the clock

Maybe the Coach Norman Dale lookalike needs to play 2 or 3 guys and rest the others. "This is my team"

19 point lead. Why am I still up and watching? Because I'm commited. Or is that I need to be commited? Who knows? No. seriously, who knows?

The UNICEF commercial is on. They don't let Yao speak, what's up with that? He speaks better English than everyone on that commercial but Brand and Nash. Hell even the Cookie Monster gets a speaking part. Who want's to sex Mutumbo... I mean help Mutumbo?

Yao's back in the game, and Air Bullard doens't know why. I don't either. It's a 19 point lead, why risk a tired Yao??? He's not playing well and he's dead legged. I just don't get it.
Okay, he's out again, let's hope that's for the rest of the game.

Down to 18!! Let's go on a run just to F with them. At least let's play some D for teh third time tonight.

We just missed the 45th layup we've had tonight. Golden State on the othehr hand has about 48 points in the paint, that's ridiculous.

11 points for TMac and he's done, 10 for Yao, this game is an anomaly.

Francis fouls out, Alright boys and girls on that note it's time to call it a night. I know I'm a jackass for this, but it's 11:45 and I'm done. If the Rockets somehow pull this out, you can thank me for turning it off.

The evolutionary Nick Anderson

Any chance I get to reference Darwin (or even "social darwinism") - I'm all for it. Even better - the Darwin Awards.

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

First, let's examine a quotation directly from Tracy McGrady prior to last night's game:

"That's what our system is all about, making the game easier, not settling for jumpers"

So, what does T-Mac do against the Phoenix Suns last night? 7-19 from the field (1-2 from 3-land), and an anemic 3-8 from the FT line. On the season, T-Mac is now shooting 76-105 from the line (a 72.4% clip). For his career, he's only 75% from the charity stripe. Again, for a point of reference, Yao shoots 90%. Yao is 7'5". Yao does not live on Endor with Wookiies! (Now that does not make sense!!)

T-Mac is a skilled perimeter player. He also used to be a very, very feared player when he put the ball on the floor and drove it to the freakin' basket! Ask Shawn Bradley...

somehow, some time, some way - T-Mac has stopped being aggressive. He constantly settles for that fadeaway, off-balance, line-drive 18 foot jump shot. Sure, it goes in about 40% of the time. But, like LeBron James circa 2005, all that does is make things easy on the opposing defense. T-Mac bails them out every time. Jump shooters don't get to shoot free throws - and I think that's both the problem and the solution for Tracy.

All that talk about not settling for jumpers... and what does Tracy do? Settle for jumpers.

Lee and I watched Game 7 v. Utah last year in horror as T-Mac continued to puss out and not take the ball strong to the rim. In contrast, Rafer sucks, but he at least tries to draw contact/fouls with that awkward looking flip shot of his.

Is Tracy McGrady afraid to get fouled?

In 1994/1995 - Nick Anderson was one of the most feared perimeter players in the NBA. He got to feed off Penny and the Fat Ass... he was a dead-eye shooter... and he was very good at finishing strong at the basket. Then came the 1995 NBA Finals. Game 1. And four missed free throws.

Granted, Nick's inability to make a free throw made me happy that day -- it brought Hakeem and Horry another ring, of course. But is history repeating itself with T-Mac? Karma would be cruel that way.

McGrady on a bad day is a far superior player to Nick Anderson on his best day. This is what helps hide any growing concern that T-Mac is becoming a pure perimeter player. He can get away with just taking those mid-range shots because he's so good at it. But he's 10x better if there is the threat that he might go dunk on your head. Which he just doesn't do anymore.

I miss the old version of T-Mac. Come back!!

moral of the story/rant/plea for help: stop settling for jumpers, Tracy!!!

An Explosion of Awfulness Game 16

Towelie, I have to give you SOME props for last night, you shot the ball lights out. Even Air Bullard and Bill Worrell were nice to you all game. That's an accomplishment in and of itself.

The problem is that you are the worst entry passer I have ever seen. And I'm a big guy, I've played post with many people at the Y or at the park, and I have never seen someone toss the ball to the post as poorly as you. Note to you: Yao is 7'6 he can get a pass high and it will be okay.

See, Yao is tall, I'm not making it up, I'm being totally serial:

Francis ate a big bowl of Campbell's Chunky Soup

I've been saying it for a while now, Steve Francis is the answer at PG. He doesn't even have to start, he's a great 6th man, but I really like Mike James in that role with Towelie being left at home, his home, NY, not home as in Houston.

Steve Campbell of the Chronicle wrote an "article" before yesterday's, well...I'd call it a coming out party but Steve has played well in every game he's been in this year. Last night he just played like he did 7 years ago and delivered in the clutch. This article by Campbell basically said "Trust Adelman's choice", so I guess if his choice is to play Stevie then that is trusting his choice as well, but that wasn't his point. His point was to say that Steve sucked, I mean, he has to if Adelman isn't playing him.

This quote in particular made me laugh out loud: "Does Adelman's past make him immune to scrutiny? Of course not. It's possible he's wrong, that there's more left in Francis than meets the coach's eye. If so, then Adelman has plenty of company around the NBA."

Seriously, the guy wrote an entire article saying that Adelman is right, and then completely unraveled his argument with an out. That's just pathetic. Seriously, have your take and stick with it.

I am horribly tired of sports writers being this lazy. Just because I'm not a coach doesn't mean that I can't possibly know what I'm talking about. Just because I'm a fan doesn't mean I should shut my mouth over something I PAY to see and don't get paid to see. It's boring and sad. I know I don't have to write every day with deadlines and bosses breathing down my neck, but you will never see me write something and then give myself an out unless it's in jest.

On to last nights game:

The Rockets played as well as they could defensively against the Suns. They didn't let Nash get into a rhythm passing the ball and made him shoot. That's fine by me because it took time off the shot clock, that's the best I've ever seen this team defense the Suns, and exactly what San Antonio does. I'm not saying we should be sucking each others dicks just yet, just that they played extremely well and as a team last night.

Game ball would have to go to Steve Francis, not because he was the best player or even in the top 5 out there last night from both teams, but because he gave us exactly what we needed. Up tempo, yet in control heart. The driving layup at the end was a thing of beauty. Maybe TMac will remember that it's okay to not shoot 27 foot jumpers and you CAN drive to the basket in the last 5 minutes of the game. Even Yao realized that as he gave the game ball to Steve last night right after getting the game ending layup.

Speaking of TMac, he really looks scared to go to the rim. Not because he's afraid of the contact or if his shot will go in, but because, as Dave said last night "He has Nick Anderson's disease". He can't hit the rim on some of these free throws. I don't know what's going on with him.

The greatest quote I saw anywhere from the game is:
"Just knowing a lot of us were settling for jump shots late, we needed to be aggressive and try to get to the basket," Francis said.
Now THAT is what I'm talking about. When jumpers aren't falling get thee ass to the basket.

There is more fun tonight, and I'll be doing a running blog over at I tried to do it last night but when I went to spell check it deleted half of the blog entry.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kobe for T-Mac? Yeah, I'd do it.

Question posed today in the Sports Guy's ESPN chat session (a/k/a - ways other than porn to distract yourself from doing real work during business hours):

peter (chicago, IL): bill, what is your take on the kobe-lakers saga? who's side on you on? I don't believe you've ever addressed this.

Bill Simmons: (1:12 PM ET) I agree with Kobe in that the team is wasting his prime by pseudo-rebuilding with young players (Bynum, Farmar, Crittendon, Kwame, etc.), but at the same time, he wanted his own team and he never should have allowed them to give away Butler for Kwame, which was one of the five worst moves of this decade. From what I hear, Kobe has been allowed to okay EVERY major Laker move starting with the Shaq trade and they run everything by him. If he wanted to block Kwame-Butler, he could have. But he didn't. So it's his own fault.

Bill Simmons: (1:12 PM ET) I don't understand why Houston and LA can't just trade T-Mac for Kobe. What's the holdup? Make the trade already.

Sadly... I do not and cannot disagree here.
I would be the first person in line to buy a Kobe #24 (#8?) Rockets jersey.

at least this would prevent Kobe from putting up 50 on the Rockets nearly every time we play them. Now he could score 50 for us.

Yao is not subtle

Big game tonight. Rockets face the insanely-hot Suns (lame pun alert). Yao v. Amare and all that...

We are 8-7, they are 11-3. A win will do a lot of good for both the standings and the Rockets' collective ego. Even Yao is taking this one seriously. From the Houston Chronicle article today:

Tonight's game in Phoenix should be the best test of that. In the loss to the Suns, Yao was rarely in good scoring position and McGrady was out with his sprained elbow.

"At least we're moving the ball better," Yao said of wins over the Nuggets and Clippers in their last two games. "I know who I should pass to, but I think we still need to work on that. When they come to double-team me, it's still not perfect."

Hold up, that was almost subtle there, Yao. "I know who I should pass to...." I guess that also means Yao knows who he should not pass to. This guy:

Look at that - Rafer wide open. I expect to see that, oh, every game. Jeez, even Uncle Rico's throwing motion is more fundamentally sound than Rafer's jumpshot.

I'm even more worried now that Rafer actually had a decent-to-good game on Monday. He scored double figures, shot 50% and the Rockets won. Yup, that's a definite "oh, shit, he thinks he's good now" moment just waiting to happen. And now we expect to play an up-tempo game with lots of jump shots and running-and-gunning? Uh oh.

I think Tracy McGrady expects it too, and he's trying to stop it:

"The one thing you have to do in this league is stay the course. Whatever your game plan is, whatever your offense is, you have to stay the course and keep on executing. That's what our system is all about, making the game easier, not settling for jumpers, and being able to put myself and Yao in easy scoring positions."

translation: Hey, Rafer, stop shooting. Give me or Yao the ball and get out of the way. Maybe try to play a little defense on that dude with the beady little eyes and flapping head.

... at least that's what I think "staying the course" should be.

My prediction for the night? Rockets 112, Suns 109 - T-Mac with a surprisingly clutch layup and the following FT to put the game away. Rafer likely does his best to keep the Suns in the game with a 3-13 (1-7 on 3s) effort...

I'm still holding out hope for Yao and T-Mac to give him the Private Pyle treatment in the locker room:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Explosion of Awfulness Game 15

Today will mark the first installment of "An Explosion of Awfulness Game X". I'm going to try and put one of these together from each game that I can, but may combine a few games. These will be direct, or as direct as I can remember them, quotes about Rafer Alston. Most will be from the broadcast of the game (which was in fantastically awesome HD last night), but some will come from print media not as badassed as this blog, and even other will be my thougths during the game and maybe Dave's.

Here's a few from Game 15 against the Clippers, a game he actually played decently in. And there were more, I just started keeping track when I realized how much trash they were talking about him:
Rafer!…and it goes… out of bounds - Bill Worrell

Rafer’s wide open…and he misses - Bill Worrell

Everyone’s gotten hot here in the second half… expect for Rafer - Air Bullard

If you go by statistics, you have to leave him open, because he’s only hitting 22% from behind the line - Bill Worrell

Stop fucking shooting Rafer!!! - Lee

Fuck! Now he's going to think he's good - Lee

God, can I please have Calvin back? He would be making me laugh about how awful Rafer is - Lee

Of course, any offense will look a whole lot better with Rafer Alston at the controls.
Well, only if it's this Rafer. - Jonathan Feigen

That concludes the first edition. Here's hoping by Game 16 he will somehow be traded and this is the last edition...

We're going streaking!!!!

Up through the quad to the gymnasium!! Or at least through the Clippers and the Nuggets! That's two in a row boys, if we win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak; it has happened before.
The Rockets looked absolutely dominant on Saturday night and looked that way in the second half of last nights game with the Clippers. Luis Scola is starting to become the player we all hoped he would be.
Don't misunderstand me, we still are a "struggling to find our identity" team, but I rather like these flashes.
I'm actually looking forward to the rematch with the Suns though. I think Yao puts up 35 on Amare tomorrow night. I also think we will see Stevie more this time around even with Towelie having a "decent" game last night. And by decent I mean decent for him and isn't it a shame that he's had exactly two decent games all year??

Gratuitous Post Du Jour

Last week Dave and I were throwing around the infamous "Rockets as South Park characters" post. At some point in time almost every blog seems to do one. Well, maybe not the ones that actually respect themselves, but almost every other one does. The problem is that we are both such big fans, that it was more difficult to agree on who was who than we thought. Mostly that's because Dave is into this law stuff and it makes him think that because he knows rules that he's always right. Mind you, I'm NOT into law and I actually AM always right, just ask my wife. So, I decided to do something that would probably piss him off because he thinks the young lads from Colorado are better than the family from Rhode Island, but I wholeheartedly disagree. So, without further banter or ado, I present to you, "If the Rockets were on Family Guy":

Rafer Alston = Death, much like the Towelie comparison, this one just makes sense. They are both constant screw ups even though they continue to have gainful employment. Where Death constantly fails, Towelie fails constantly.
Shane Battier = Brian Griffin, reliable and each has one part of their game that is worlds beyond the other parts, Brian is a drunk and Shane is a hellacious defender. They also have other parts of their repertoires that have potential, Brian has a great nose, and Shane can hit the three.
Aaron Brooks = Cleveland Brown Jr., they are both hyperactive and natural athletes. They also both have only bit parts until they grow up.
Steve Francis = Meg Griffin, is actually pretty decent, but for some reason has a negative stigma brought on by Peter’s disdain for her. Sound familiar?
Chuck Hayes = Chris Griffin, does all of the little things, and is consistent but has a fatal flaw: he’s dumb. Chuck rebounds and defends and fills up the box score in consistent ways but has a fatal flaw: his horrific "offensive game”
Luther Head = Bonnie Swanson, tons of potential, can’t seem to really finish the job, much like Luther, he shoots the hell out of the ball, but can’t seem to hold on to it to save his life when under pressure.
Mike James = Cleveland Brown, he's funny in spurts and Mike James is a great offensive player in spurts but both are unwanted by some. Rockets management has traded him before (for fucking Towelie/Death no less) and Cleveland’s wife is always on his ass thinking he’s not good enough.
Tracy McGrady = Peter Griffin, tragically flawed yet he is one of the greatest characters ever in prime time television. TMac is one of the league's greatest offensive players and really does the little stuff well too. That is until the playoffs come around and there is less than 2 minutes in a game. (I still love you Tracy, and we both know this is the year!!)
Dikembe Mutombo = Ollie Williams, they are both fantastic in spurts, but not part of the big time these days.
Luis Scola = Glen Quagmire, I can’t even think of anything witty, but no one can tell me they don’t see this one. Giggity giggity!
Kirk Snyder = Tom Tucker, solid, but never gets his shot at the big time, much like Kirk Snyder, I can’t help but think they he would be better off on another team that would utilize his athletic talent.
Bonzi Wells = Joe Swanson, excellent athlete but always has his one handicap slow him down at the wrong time, only Bonzi’s handicap is his thought process
Yao Ming = Stewie Griffin, each is awesome in every way but one: Stewie is a baby, Yao doesn’t yet have that killer attitude. The bad ass thing is that eventually both of their flaws will be corrected, though Stewie will never grow up "on camera" and Yao will never get credit for it.
Rick Adelman = Mort Goldman, it's the best I could do.
Leslie Alexander = Carter Pewterschmidt, the wealthy billionaire, just fits

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bob Barker should just kick Rafer's ass

"You suck, ya jackass!"

Will Rafer just go away?

Nearly one month into the season now... he is sucking more than usual. Which is impressive in its own right.

current stats for '07/'08
29 minutes per game;
34.8% shooting (22.4% on 3s);
7.4 ppg;
62.5% from the FT line;
and all of 4.6 assists per

Rafer has scored in double figures exactly twice (18 versus Dallas on 11/21 and 11 versus the Lakers on 11/14 - naturally, the Rockets lost both games).

(yes, he missed this shot...) Rafer's likely excuse... "Yeah it is about time. I mean I just can't get the ball in the hole. I *want* to, but I just can't do it!"

Rafer is too much of a little bitch to actually get angry and yell at the ball like Happy though. Personally, I think it's about time that T-Mac and Yao invoke the Dante Hicks rule with Rafer... as in "don't pass to this guy, he sucks!"

If the guy had one single skill that was actually useful, maybe (and I stress *maybe*) we might be able to find a role for him to actually help the team. Instead, he can't shoot 3s. He can't make layups (or that floater/"flip" shot he continues to try). He can't even be trusted to sink his free throws at the end of games (yeah, our 7'5" center shoots 90%, our starting point guard shoots below 70% - that's ass backwards).

Even Bob Barker has an opinion:

"I can't believe you're a professional basketball player. I think you should be working at the snack bar....... There is no way that you could have been as bad in the And-1 league as you are in the NBA."

go ahead, Bob, kick his ass...

I bet Caroll Dawson even had a Ron Burgundy moment back in 2005 when he traded Mike James for Rafer. As in... "I immediately regret this decision"

Rafer was most definitely a bad choice!

Yes, Toronto is definitely laughing at us for that one. Shit. Even Brick Tamland wouldn't have been dumb enough to make that trade. Yup, talk about your all-time backfires.

(current record: 7-7, wayyyy behind San Antonio, Dallas and freakin' New Orleans in the division. 6 game losing streaks tend to do that to you.)

oh, a certain Lt. Daniel Kaffey wants me to relay a message to Rafer, too:

"you're a lousy fucking basketball player, Skip!"

(hey, that gives me a good idea! Any readers/players willing to give Rafer a Code Red?)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Streak is over!!

Let's recap my Thanksgiving vacation:
Wednesday - Rockets lose a game they dominated for 3+ quarters
Friday - Longhorns lose to aggy, a team that we typically own
Friday - Rockets lose to Miami and are generally beaten up all game

So it wasn't really looking too good, then Saturday came around and almost redeemed it all!

Saturday - Longhorns are 5-0, I guess it's officially basketball season for me. They took the fake UT to school with an absolute pasting. Chris Lofton meet a much more mature DJ Augustin
Saturday - Rockets pulverize from beginning to end, the small boot/circle/rectangle shaped fellas from Mickey D's just couldn't hang
Saturday - After both games were concluded, USA HD was showing Elf in HD and right now as I am writing this, they are showing Happy Gilmore in HD. (Holy shit! That house is like 400 yards away! Is that good?")

Remember just a few days ago when I said there were times in my past life as a Rockets fan that I was excited we were back at .500? This is one of those times. During the losing streak I wanted to yell "Cut that out, you're making me sick!" But my boys just fuckstomped the Melo/Answer led? Nuggets and they don't even have to win money to get the house their grandfather's built WITH HIS BARE HANDS! Now THAT is the team I want to see every night, they played like they were primed to make the big bucks. For the first time all season I didn't hate what I saw from Rafer, he ran the offense well and only shot the ball 5 times and all of the ones I remember he absolutely had to shoot (Wow that was easy, he should should try to do that every time). Sadly, that might be the last time you see me complementing Towelie this season, and really it boils down to a 5 to 1 turnover to assist ratio. Don't let him fool you though, Towelie will "wanna get high" soon enough and screw up. That brings me to Stevie playing his first substantial minutes of the season (Stevie learned how to stay on the court Rafer, uh oh...), and hey, look at that, the Rockets didn't blow a lead while he was in, the Rockets have led big in almost all of the last 6 games and somehow found a way to take defeat out of the jaws of victory. The goddess Nike has not exactly been divining things our way. I offered up Rafer to her and she laughed at me, I think this was her gift to me for my intense begging to take him. She saw the hurt in my eyes. I mean, there were times I wanted to test a rakes durability and then place it in the woods cause it's made of wood and I thought it should be with it's family.

So I was sitting there and thinking about the Nuggets. This is one of those teams that has no chemistry but has some truly great players. They have four all stars and could very well still not be a top 6 seed. Granted they are better in the standing than the Rockets right now, but I attribute that to schedule and to the Rockets needing to learn how to maintain a lead, something they showed a predilection to tonight. Maybe it's just that the Rockets matched up extremely well with them tonight, or that Battier punked Carmelo Anthony repeatedly (The Price is Wrong bitch!) but they did not impress upon me that they even liked each other at all on the court, much less off it. Even Najera who I hate because he's a Sooner but is usually a great team guy doesn't seem right there. (Of course he seems like he owns a few records like taking his skate off and trying to stab someone with it). This lack of chemistry is exactly what I was afraid would happen with the Rockets. The point of all of this is that even in the 6 game losing streak I never got the sense that this was the case with the Rockets. They seem to all get along and know that they can/will put it together sooner or later, and probably sooner.

Something I really can't decide is whether I like Scola coming off the bench or not. On the one hand, Chuck Hayes is truly underappreciated. On the other, Scola looks like a semi-star in the making. They both play good defense, but Chuck has absolutely no offensive game. That said, it might lend itself more to Scola off the bench, especially when Yao comes out.

All in all, the weekend has shaped up a bit better, now I just need the Texans to kick the shit out of the Browns and all faith in the world will be restored. I don't want to have to resort to going to my happy place

6 in a row? Ugh

I am far, far away from civilization or a working computer with a good database of images. I barely have access to ESPN until tomorrow...

how the (@&(#*& did the Rockets lose to the Heat? The f--king Miami Heat? Let me guess - Rafer is back to sucking?

I knew it - the bastard finally shoots over .500 for one game and he contracts the Charles Oakley disease. It's very contagious - it's when a player all of a sudden starts thinking he can make a shot (or 6) and then continues to shoot and miss. All because of one lucky game/shot. And Rafer caught the disease again. (His immune system is often prone to this...)

So, now we are staring at 6-7?!? And I thought it was bad enough that SMU lost yet another overtime game to fall to 1-11. Plus I was cold-decked playing cards at the casino this weekend. What a crappy Thanksgiving!!!

things I have learned:

Yao rules
Rafer still sucks
Shaq is still a Fat Ass
This blog may actually be a jinx.

Friday, November 23, 2007

6 and 6!!!

You know, there have been years when the Rockets have gotten back to .500 and it has excited me. The problem is that those years they were under .500 and fighting back to get to .500. This year, we were at 6-1 and had to lose 5 games in a row to get to the bad side of even. I tried my best not to get upset at all during the loss to the Mavericks, but it was a futile effort. We played remarkably well for three quarters and then an 8-0 run by the Mavs wiped that out in the fourth quarter. We were playing great individual and team defense, hell, even Rafer shot over 50% as the offense was clicking. Up 17 points we systematically feel apart, we let them get open looks from inside and outside the arc and even gave a couple of weakly contested points inside the paint. The worst part of it all? I'm staying with family who have satellite, the Rockets were still up 5 with a minute and 22 left and the satellite decided that losing 11 points of our lead wasn't enough misery for me, it had to add to it by pulling a disappearing act on me and going out. When did it come back you ask??? Right about the time the Mavs were up by 3, when did it go out again? When the Rockets had a chance to tie it on offense. When did it come back? 20 minutes after the game was over and inexplicably the Rockets lost by 6.

Why am I no longer upset about it? Because I'm not a liar, it's not the end of the Rockets season that they are .500 and the Rockets have a decetn amount to be happy about.

1. Yao Ming is awesome, his 30 points, 15 rebounds and 6 blocks was incredible vs the Mavs, he's on track to have his best overall season of his career, and last year he was on his way to completely shutting up idiots that didn't understand his greatness. Once he figures out exactly where he fits in Adelman's system/Adelman figures it out himself he will earn his distinction that he will gain from the foregone conclusion that is his starting in the All Star game (Yao beat Timmy by over 1 million votes last year, it's inarguably over). Oh and he played 41 minutes and didn't seem to really get tired!
2. Tracy McGrady looked like his arm tingled a bit at times, but instead of shooting 30 times he actually adjusted his game and dished out 12 assists. Truth be told though, the 12 assists isn't really what's impressive, TMac passes extremely well every game. What's impressive is:

3. The Rockets shot 10-23 from the 3 point line!!! I will take that literally every game. Battier shot the ball well as did Luther head and so did...wait for it...Rafer Alston. That leads me to my problems that they are going to have and it's a list of 1.

1. Rafer will now continue the pattern he has had after all his needle in a haystack games, he's going to think he's good. I guarnatee that he shoots the ball at least 12 times, which is about 12 too many for me. Jon Barry described his running awfulness of a shot extremely well, he said, it's not a teardrop really, it's kind of a shotput, it's a "tearput". That's about the furthest from a compliment you can get for your shot.

All in all, I'm sticking to my word, I'm not upset, I'm still in bliss. We played extremely well and WILL put it together by the All Star break. Yao is an extremely good passer and can easily play that role in Adelman's offense given som time.

Next up: Rockets at Heat, a terrible Heat team at that, hopefully that is the turnaround game we've all been looking for

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Square Pegs and Round Holes

Lately grungedave and I have been talking about doing the all too cliched :"If the Rockets were South Park characters" post. It seems easy to do, is harmless and could be fun. The only problem? It's not easy, it's hard, half of this team has absolutely no personality on or off the court. So far we have only agreed on one thing, and I can't imagine that any one would argue it:

I mean really, he's the worst player in the NBA that's starting and Towelie is the worst character in cartoon history on a good show. They both are repeatedly trotted out even though everyone can admit they are the worst elements of their teams. At least on South Park they don't pretend that Towelie is good, they know he's awful, even he can admit he's the worst character ever. That's the first step, admit when you're wrong. Or at least I think that's step 1 of the twelve step program.

I just ran by the Toyota Center to pick up some tickets to an upcoming game and went into the team store. Apparently I wasn't supposed to be in there as the lights were out and there were a few players as well as Coach Adelman in there. If I had balls I would have told him that he should give up the charade. I did tell him about the blog though, so on the off chance he reads it (and yes, I know he's not going to, fuck you): Hey coach, I know I told you to beat the Mavs tonight, and I still hope that's true. What I didn't say was, Fuck Rafer Alston. That's actually the other part to what I was trying to get out. Sit him down, start Mike James, play Stevie as the backup. I know I joked with you and your wife that she should get a Steve Francis jersey as a joke, but I was only half joking, the other half was meant as a hint. I don't care how out of shape Stevie is and how in shape Rafer is, Stevie is a better player and it would play out on the court if you let it.

Here's hoping that we aren't .500 after tonight. It's still okay if we are, but here's hoping we aren't...

on the path to .500?

Big game tonight. Rockets host the Mavericks and their nazi-poster boy (blonde hair, blue eyes...) reigning MVP.

If at any point I see the Rockets leading 88-82 in the 4th quarter, I'm going to have flashbacks to 2004 - and I might never recover. Then again, I can always pray for this to happen again:

Or is it bad form to pray for injuries? Does it count if you ask for an opposing player to get hurt? I think I need a judge's ruling here. And since I've been praying (unsuccessfully) for Emmitt Smith to get hurt since the early 1990s - can I carry over those prayers to the other Dallas team?? There's gotta be a loophole allowing for this, right?

Check that. I already have bad enough karma. And I don't rock the cool 'stache like Earl Hickey. So let's just move along...

The Rockets started 6-1. They have now regressed to 6-5. With Dallas coming into town. Dallas gave us our first loss. Or rather, Jason Terry did. It's time to exact a modest level of revenge. Or at least preserve some form of regular season dignity.

Maybe Yao just needs to "Go America All Over Everybody's Ass" tonight...

(or would the Chinese government not allow this?)

Screw it - Go Rockets! 7-5 here we come!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hakeem is underrated

Yes. You read the title right.

Hakeem Olajuwon is tragically underrated as one of top centers in NBA history.

From his wikipedia page: "Olajuwon is generally considered one of the five greatest centers to ever play the game, along with Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Shaquille O'Neal." Sure, okay, maybe I shouldn't get so riled up at being put in this category.

Then you read this ESPN report from last year where Olajuwon ranks *fifth* (yes, fifth, as is 1, 2, 3, 4... fifth) as an all-time center.

To put it mildly - that is absolute bullshit.

There is no f'n way Hakeem should ever be ranked below Shaquille O'Neal on any list. Except maybe "most cheeseburgers consumed during an NBA career." The one time Shaq faced Hakeem in a playoff series during Hakeem's prime - the Dream crushed that mofo. Swept his team right outta the NBA Finals.

(Doesn't the Fat Ass look skinny in that picture...? Wow, 1995 was a long time ago!)

Anyway, it's not just Shaq that annoys me. It's the list in general. The all-time greatest NBA centers list should look like this:

1. Wilt Chamberlain - he's a freak, but he did rely on others to get him his ring.
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Sports Guy says he is a ninny, I don't disagree. But he's good.
4. Bill Russell - though he's overrated on many levels
5. The Fat Ass - (and the fact that the Fat Ass isn't #1 overall is a shameful reflection of Shaq's wasted talent. Too many movies and CDs... not enough time being a leader. Kobe was right - Shaq spent too much time showing up out of shape.)

***note the complete lack of players from Utah, or anyone named "Patrick Ewing"

That said here's some arguments for why Hakeem is/was better than all of them:


Wilt won two championships - in 1967 and in 1972. Wilt's 1967 Sixers team was very good - but it featured TWO other future Hall-of-Famers (Hal Greer and Billy Cunningham). A starting lineup with three HOFers... in the 1960s. When there were like 10 teams. Wilt averaged 24.2 rebounds per game that season. That's video-game shit there. But he'd never duplicate those numbers in the 1990s version of the NBA. No way.

Wilt won another championship with the 1972 Lakers. A team that was so loaded that Chamberlain wasn't even the featured scorer or star player on the team (that would be Jerry West). Wilt didn't even make 1st-team all NBA that year.

Imagine Hakeem Olajuwon with Jerry West, Gail Goodrich and cameos from Elgin Baylor and Pat Riley?? That would be sick!!

Of course, Hakeem can't compete with Wilt off the court... 20,000 women? A record soon to be broken by Paris Hilton, but impressive nonetheless.


Kareem is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He also has 6 NBA Titles (one less than Robert Horry - suck on that Kareem). Only one of those titles came without the help of one Earvin "Magic" Johnson. This cannot be overlooked. Magic is probably a top 5 NBA player of all time - and the #1 PG of all time. Kareem survived longer than he should have because Magic was that damn good. Five titles because he got to stand around and watch Magic, James Worthy, Michael Cooper and Mychael Thompson run wild. Oh, and Byron Scott - he wasn't as shitty a player as he is a coach.

Plus, no one ever really feared Kareem once he left UCLA. Sure, he was a HOFer without a doubt, but even Shaq scared people. Kareem kinda pranced his way around the court. Even his go-to move was kind of lame for a dude that is 7'2". A sky-hook? Really? That afraid some guard is going to block your stuff? Whatever...

Okay, 6 rings is hard to overlook. And all the points. And everytime someone mentions Hakeem's blocks record they always talk about how the stat wasn't kept in Wilt and Kareem's day... to that I say, whatever. And the scoring record? Kareem played 1,560 games in the NBA. Look it up. If you play that many games are are *not* one of the top scorers of all-time, you must have a lot of dirt on Pat Riley. That's all I'm saying. Shit, when Karl Malone is the #2 leading scorer of all time - that kinda negates the argument that it is an important record.


Bill Russell has 11 rings. Yes, I know. This keeps getting shoved down my throat every time his name is mentioned. Here's the thing though: if he did NOT have 11 rings, his career would have to be deemed a failure. During the vast majority of Russell's career, there were EIGHT (*8*) teams in the NBA. He had a 12.5% chance of getting a ring every single year. Plus, the dude had, on average, 5 hall of famers on his roster at any given time (Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, KC Jones, Tommy Heinsohn, etc., etc.).

Seriously? You have 5 HOFers on the roster at the same time? You are not allowed to lose with that kind of talent. To make a more direct analogy - if the Celtics of that era ever lost a game - it would be like the Duke Blue Devils beating the San Antonio Spurs. There is no excuse for having any *less* than 11 rings.

Oh, and your career scoring average, Bill? 15.1 ppg. In an era when teams routinely scored in the 120s. Shit, even Patrick Ewing laughs about that low number. Check that... Xavier McDaniel laughs at that number. And while the X Man rules, he is not in the HOF.

The Fat Ass

Uh, yeah, Shaq. He who could not win in 1995 with Penny Hardaway at his finest. He who had to have Kobe carry his fouled out ass to the ring in 2000 (Pacers), save his ass against the Spurs in 2001, and had Horry save his ass against the Kings in 2002. Sure, Shaq got to beat up on New Jersey in the Finals because the East had no centers. Whatever. Shaq has never been able to do anything without the help of a stud 2 guard. Witness this season without D-Wade. Or Shaq's rookie year pre-Penny. That Fat Ass is a lot of hype, a lot of mouth, a good sound byte or 20, but the substance just isn't there. And he's never going to approach Hakeem's 3,800 blocked shots.

I'm not even sure Shaq has jumped off the ground 3,800 times. Takes too much effort. Even Cartman learned how to use his powerful ass in productive ways:


12 time all-star
Only player to be NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA Finals MVP - in the same season. Suck on that, Jordan.

The only HOFer to play with Hakeem during his prime? Clyde - and we got Clyde on the downside -- for Otis freakin' Thorpe. And until my attempts to get Robert Horry inducted are successful, that's it.

(The Barkley era is struck from my memory. I can't believe we traded Horry, E.T., Chucky Brown and Mark Bryant for a broken down Barkley. I'm still crying about this. 10 years later.)

.... oh.

For anyone daring to claim that I need to discuss David Robinson? No. Fucking. Way.
I direct you to this. Case closed:


Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm allowing for a do over

For three days, including what's left of today, I'm going to vow to not be down if the Rockets crash completely back to earth with a loss to Dallas on Wednesday. With a loss, the Rockets, once mightily above the Western conference at 6-1, would be 6-6 and 0-5 since TheDreamShake began impressing its will upon the masses. That would include two losses to Dallas, one to SA, one to Phoenix, one to LA and one to Memphis. With the exception of the Phoenix game, the Rockets had chances to win them all in the final 2 minutes, and those teams are a combined 24-16 and without Memphis (on the road) they are 22-9, so not exactly bad teams to which they are losing. Their SOS is by far the best in the league. The good news? They also beat the Lakers and Spurs during that stretch, and the Jazz by the way (Suck on that Utah Jazz Nation.) So the Rockets will have already played Dallas, SA and Phoenix 5 times, and only have to play them 7 more games the rest of the way, what's my point? I'm not sure, but I think I'm trying to say they have played a hellacious schedule in the first few weeks of the season. I'm also saying that we will prove that we aren't just on board for a team on top of the world. I've contended from the beginning that this team will be severely up and down until after the All Star break. A break that will again have two Rockets in uniform for the East-West game I might add. (As an aside, why do people do that? Why say "might add" when you just did? But I digress...especially since I do it all the time)

On Wednesday night, I will be officially on Thanksgiving holiday, and with that holiday I will give thanks that my city has an NBA basketball team with a history of success. And along with that feeling, the Rockets don't have to win on Wednesday. Don't get carried away with my good will though, I still want nothing to do with Dallas winning any games, especially against the Rockets, but if they do, I won't be mad. So the pressures off guys, you don't have to keep pressing to impress me and TheDreamShake, just go out, play some basketball and gosh darnit, have some fun! Be thankful that you are millionaires with Bentley's and mansions and that you get to shoot an orange ball through a red hoop with a white net for a living.

To recap, go out there, play hard, but most of all, have some fun out there!

Oh, and don't think that come Thursday if they are 6-6 and the Longhorns are kicking the every living shit out of aggy, that the tone of this blog will be so cheery. For now though, I'm in peaceful bliss like the night after this:

Robert Horry for the HOF (plea #1)

On June 24, 1992, the NBA held its annual Draft. It will likely follow the 1984 and 1996 drafts as the most talent-stocked draft of all-time. After the Fat Ass was taken by Orlando first overall (no surprise)... the draft began to get interesting around the 8th pick. Once the Bucks took Todd Day (ha ha!), many Rockets fans started to sense that Harold Miner, aka Baby Jordan, would be tossing post passes to Hakeem Olajuwon for years.

At picks 9 and 10, Clarence Weatherspoon and Adam Keefe were taken. Okay, seriously...

This put the Rockets on the clock with the 11th pick - the first time they'd drafted in the lottery since Hakeem was taken first overall, instead of that overrated "original" Jordan guy. It was now a near certainty that Baby Jordan was coming here. Then they called the name "Robert Whore-y" (phonetically - thanks, David Stern!). Immediate reaction by 99.9% of Rockets fans:


This guy:

Now, Horry's reception by Houston was not the kindest. But for me, everything changed on March 16, 1993. For this game was monumental on two levels. First, it was the Fat Ass' first visit to Houston in his rookie season. Shaq was popular in those days. Even with me, I'll admit. But the Rockets had a 13 game winning streak going. The Magic took an early lead... only to see the Rockets fight back (heart of a future champion, bitches). With the Rockets down 93-91 with a few seconds to go, Big Shot Rob was born. Horry hit a game-winning 3 to beat Shaq and continue a winning streak. The winning has not stopped since. And with me in the audience - and sitting right behind the basket where Horry nailed the shot... well... I've been a loyal and devoted fan ever since.

Sadly, the Internet wasn't what it was today back in 1993, or else I'd post a YouTube link to this shot.

Of course, Horry would continue to haunt Shaq for a while... witness the 1995 NBA Finals:

Horry won 2 championships with the Rockets ('94 and '95)... and the rest is mostly well-known history. In 1994 he led off Game 7 with a Gorilla Dunk over Patrick Ewing. In 1995, he finished Game 3 of the NBA Finals with a game-sealing 3. He also still holds the record for most steal in an NBA Finals game (7 for those counting at home). All he's ever done is come up big when it matters. Unlike these guys:

(yeah, F U, Utah... bunch of flopping pansies)

Horry now has 7 rings (Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James... 0). Jordan only had 6. [see, I told you he was overrated]

Basically, Horry's career is 15 years -- and counting -- of treating opposing teams like Pip treated the Chinese dodgeball team.

... to be continued.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why I hate the Utah Jazz

In honor of our Deadspin and TheBigLead stardom, okay so it's more like the size of the star on a T-shirt versus the sun, but still thanks for the mention guys. The ironic fact is that it was in a mention with a Utah Jazz blog. I think it's time to seethe with a little hate for that team (not the blog, looks like good stuff).

I fucking hate the Jazz, I hate them in just about every way. Let's go down the list, from what I hate the least. And while one had to be the least, I still hate it with utter and absolute passion, just with about a razors worth less ire than the next item on the list.

10. Let's start it off with Salt Lake City. What in the freakity frick is a Salt Lake? Fake ocean, that's what it is. In our metro area we actually have a REAL ocean, none of that fake shit. They have 178,858 people in that city, they even suck at having people, you know how many we have? 2,144,491, suck on that Utah!

9. They stole our mascot and then made it cooler, that is a load of crap, you can't go stealing/improving things and get away with it. Just for that, I'm linking to the worst picture they have. See Clutch kicks the shit out of their bear

8. Energy Solutions Center, I work for an energy company, that's not it, I hate Energy Solutions center. Plus, it used to be called the Delta Center, and I'm from Houston and Texas where Continental and Southwest make Delta their bitch every day. And no, I don't have any idea if it was named after the airline, and I don't care.

7. They left the same the division as the Rockets, why do I hate them for that? Because I enjoyed beating them routinely during the year and now we only get to play them 3 times, and we have to go to Utah this year for 2 of those. Utah, what on earth is their to do in Utah? Rafer can't even knock any of the girls up because when you go out in Salt Lake City the only thing to do is go to church with Bill Henrickson and then be pissed off that Ginnifer Goodwin is taken
6. Navy Blue, Ice Blue and Purple - What....the....fuck.... Who on earth thought this was a good color combination? We're going to put sailors, dirty ice and Prince together and it's going to look so handsome!

5. Deron and the Guy who stabs blind guys in the front - Last years playoffs is enough for me to hate them. I actually only have mild distate for Deron, but I cannot stand Boozer, that mother fucker preens like my one year old running around after a bath. For some reason he thinks that he's dominating Yao, even though he doesn't have to guard him on the other end. Man up bitch, Yao detroys you everytime you come near him on the defensive end.

4. Championships, oh wait, I actually like them for those :-) I hate them because of the playoffs in general where they somehow own the all time series 4-3 even after the Rockets started with a 3-1 lead. Last year really amped it up for me, I sometimes yell at TMac to drive to the basket and not shoot a jumper during The Office and Family Guy. How many championships did you get out of those series wins though Utah, oh, wait,I can't hear you with these Larry O'brien trophies in my ears.

3. Jerry Sloan, I should probably have old man river number one on this list because he's the tie that binds. The grumpy old fart only seems to know how to yell at people, I wonder if when his wife brings home 2% milk instead of vitamin D if she has to sit on the couch and get a lecture so she "learns"

2. Karl Malone, Lee couldn't hate you more Karl, and yet you are still only number two on Lee's list. Karla, your incessant whining after you bowled someone over on a "pick and roll" and didn't get a foul called your way makes Lee realize you earned that nickname. And I put pick and roll in quotes because that pick was really Malone running into someone and as that person fell over from the non-called offensive foul continuing to run and then scoring on a hideous shot. It sickens me deep in my bowels how many moving picks he got away with. And Yao has stopped moving, so I don't even want to hear that.

1. John Stockton, oh Johnny boy, you served as the impetus for my hate. I wish I could Scott Tenorman you three times a week and then have you drawn and quartered for three days and then double up on Sunday. I can't even get away from you in March Madness because everytime Gonzaga gets mentioned I have to hear about how you went there. You aren't in the top 400 NCAA players of all time yet your name gets mentioned what seems like every 8 seconds in the tourney. There is no way on earth that shorty shorts should own the all time assists record. If a quarter of those moving picks were called you wouldn't be in the top 10.