Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ, what do I have to do to get people to understand how much Rafer Alston sucks?!? Now I have the Houston freakin' Chronicle publishing articles about how the Rockets are "more consistent" with Rafer Alston as the PG.
You've gotta be f--king kidding me! Let's see, Rafer is the starting PG for a drastically underachieving team that's 17-17 (or .500 for those of you who like percentages and shit). The Rockets were projected to compete for the best record in the West. With McGrady and Yao, they were expected to make a strong push for playoff success. Instead, the newly "consistent" Rafer has "led" the team to the 4th best record in its own division, and would currently be on the outside looking in for the playoffs.
That aside, today's Rafer-themed article in the Chron is a puff piece for mediocrity.
Rafer: "We put in a lot of work. I think it's starting to show."
Hey, Rafer, by "starting to show" do you mean your 39% shooting? Or your 31% shooting behind the arc? Or your 62% free throw percentage? Or your two turnovers a game average? Enlighten me, please, for I must know what you have actually "improved" on this year.
Rafer: "I think I'm getting a better angle and more arc on the runners and the floaters," ... "I'm getting more spin when I put it off the glass. I give myself a better chance to make."
Holy shit - you aren't talking about that "tearput" shot of yours, are you? Urgent and horrifying news story: Rafer, you still can't make that shot. Stop taking it! Do I need to have all 8 of your bosses give you copies of that memo? Making 1-in-10 is not marked improvement. Or at least, not enough improvement to matter.
Maybe I need to contact the guy over at the Larry Hughes blog to dedicate some space to your shot selection as well..........
Oh, wait, there's more - it gets better:
"You're always aware of the criticism," Alston said. "But I thought of it like a football player. We have franchise players on our team, but I'm still the quarterback, and if the team loses, the quarterback is going to get the criticism. I felt that as a point guard on any level, you're going to get the criticism, because you spearhead the team, set the tone for the team. I listen to it here and there. It's funny to me. It's just opinions. If someone calls in and says, 'We got to get rid of Alston,' that's one person's opinion. The next person could call in and say 'Alston is really good.' You have to be a strong-minded person. That's what I am. I can deal with all the criticism."
Dude, you are barely 6' tall and are even skinnier than me (which is saying something). To compare yourself to a football player is laughable (unless you are comparing yourself to David Carr. That might actually be appropriate.) And I wouldn't hold my breath waiting to hear someone say "Alston is really good" - this isn't the And-1 league. I just hope that this "criticism" you are hearing is the ranting and raving this blog has done to get your ass traded. FYI, Aaron Brooks is outplaying you. He's a midget. And he'd have your job if Ricky wasn't so afraid of rookies.
More from Ricky:
"I think Rafer's really done a nice job in the last week and a half, two weeks doing that," coach Rick Adelman said. "I think he has a mindset because of the opportunities there. The way teams are trying to defend us, it's going to be open. If we set a good screen for him, or any of the guards, if they're going to put two guys on Yao, there's no one to help, and he can attack the basket. We have to do it that way. We have to attack."
Problem is... Rafer still doesn't attack the basket. (Indirect evidence of McGrady's "leadership"?) One layup against Orlando does not change an entire reputation. And you still took the shot too early! And you're always open because the best defense against Yao is to let you chuck 3s all day. Sometimes they even hit the rim!
Oh, here's the grand finale:
"I was struggling with the 3. I thought I could do something I've been known for through my life, that's being a penetrating guard," Alston said. "What helps is I'm finishing at a high percentage right now, driving to the basket, being able to finish with both hands. Then it opens up my jump shot. Now, they have a tendency to close out on me short, knowing I'm driving more, and I get a better look at the 3 ... We've worked since training camp, Coop, Kenny and I, on different finishes, different spins, putting more arc on the ball. They felt I could finish better around the rim and I'm doing so."
First... your struggles with the 3 are decidedly not in the past tense. You still suck at it. And if finishing 50% of your layups is a "high percentage" - you've been talking to Bonzi too much. Furthermore, the LAST thing we want is for your jump shot to be open - it means you aren't passing it to Yao enough.
I have never seen someone so satisfied with themselves when their team is playing badly. Yeah, you've won 4 of 6. But there are initial 28 other games you still have to make-up for, Rafer.
current record: 17-17; game 3 of projected 4 game winning streak is tomorrow night versus Washington (sans Agent Zero).