You can't stop Luis Landry - you can only hope to contain them. Memphis did no such thing.
Good God, Memphis sucks.
I want to have some idea of how good our team is without Yao, but games against Memphis and Washington just do not help me make that evaluation when our opponents make D-League teams think they have a chance to win.
Short notes from this game:
Rafer Alston started out amazing, then returned to the Rafer we know. Turnovers, more turnovers and a bunch of missed 3s. Yeah, I expect a LOT more of that against better teams.
Luis Landry - 11/13 FG, 30 points, 8 rebounds (rebounds not needed tonight), *6* steals, and 8-9 FTs. I love the free throw and steals stats. That's just me though...
Luther Head is trying really, really hard to get the negative attention we give to Rafer. Bad passes, bad shots, an inability to make post passes OR layups, and some ridiculously awful defense on Lowry and Crittenton... I'm thisclose to starting a "Luther Head sucks, too" tag for game reviews. He was that bad tonight. Fortunately we have 10 guys on our team who do not suck, so we could cover for him.
Our new guy, Bobby Jones - he may be one hell of a golfer and he can also shoot the basketball with ease. Problem is, he doesn't seem to do anything else. Not much defense, not much handle of the basketball, no discernable passing ability. He's only on a 10 day contract, but I had higher expectations...
then again, I've been drinking since 7pm. You be the judge.
Rockets 116, Grizzlies 95. That's 14. Hate to say I told you so, but ... alright!!!
Friday, February 29, 2008
You can't stop Luis Landry - you can only hope to contain them. Memphis did no such thing.
Go Rockets! We're winning 14 in a row!!!
(what, did you expect me to write something nice about Rafer? Unlikely!!)
This clip always makes me smile. Sadly, we have another 7 months before we can see Yao go off on an NBA referee again.
Someone else needs to step up in the "unbridled anger" category for the Rockets now. We know it won't be T-Mac. Maybe it will be Carl Landry (they do call a lot of fouls on him!)?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
It's Rodeo time here in Houston and I am on a cookoff team that plans to wreck shop with our ribs. That means I won't have time to do a long preview as I have about 10 minutes to type this up. Luckily for me the Rockets are destroying, I mean taking on, the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. If I am going to have to miss watching a game, this is the one for me to miss.
Memphis Grizzlies: 14-43 (4-23 on the road) 1-9 in their last 10
Houston Rockets: 37-20 (19-9 at home) 10-0 in their last 10
Memphis has won all of 4 games the entire season on the road, at Seattle by 7, at New Jersey by 7, at Orlando by 4 and at Indiana by 18. They've lost 6 in a row overall and 12 in a row on the road. Basically, they suck, badly. A Rockets loss here is unnaceptable even if Yao AND TMac were out.
The Rockets lost to them early in the season when they had absolutely no identity. In the last two wins over the Grizzlies they won by 13 in a game that wasn't even close to that score throughout and by 20 in a game that was even more of a mismatch.
What's my prediction? 14 in a row on the way to 16 in a row.
Oh and Shane will shut Rudy Gay down...again
Portland won 13 in a row earlier.
Detroit has a couple streaks beyond 10 games.
But the Rockets will have the longest. And most distinguished.
Am I overlooking Memphis? Uh, yeah. If we can't beat Memphis - our whole "we are making the playoffs!" push will seem rather pointless. Sure, Memphis stole one from the Rockets earlier this season. But that was when they had Pau. Now they don't - he's out banging groupies in Los Angeles as we speak.
Besides, we have "Luis Landry" - a pretty good combination. Which we didn't have last year when Yao went out. From David Thorpe's Rookie Watch on ESPN.com:
"• Luis Scola's consistent production is an important part of the Rockets' success. Chuck Hayes, who used to be the Rockets' starting 4, is a glue guy with no offense, while Scola is just as "gluey" and is a capable scorer. He can play off of franchise guys or get his own shot when needed.
• The Rockets have the luxury of playing Carl Landry behind Scola, making Houston strong at the power forward position. Landry could start for some teams right now and is going to be a relative force in this league. Amazingly, at 24 years of age, he's not even the oldest rookie on the team (Scola turns 28 in April)."
(images courtesy of ClutchFans)
The Rockets continue streaking....... tomorrow night at home against Memphis.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Hey, Stephen A. Smith... up yours, buddy!
On SportsCenter last night, they put SAS on camera. For some unknown reason. Anyway, they asked him about the Rockets and the Yao situation. Considering how tough the West is, whether or not the Rockets can survive is a legitimate question today. That I understand. SAS's answer, however... I do not understand (and I am only slightly paraphrasing here):
MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE THE ROCKETS CAN STILL MAKE THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT YAO MING. I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN WIN IS TO GIVE THE BALL TO TRACY McGRADY AND THEN GET OUT OF HIS WAY AND SHUT-UP!
(He then proceeds to give like 3-4 other reasons for how we can win, but hey, who's counting?)
I fail to see how Mr. Cheezy Doodles has any expertise on the Houston Rockets. I'm pretty comfortable saying I have a better feel for the team than he does.
Yes, we still have Tracy McGrady. NO - T-Mac should not be shooting 27 times a game for us to win. The Rockets have played soooooo much better when T-Mac is a distributor and seeks to get his teammates involved. If he wants to actually try a layup or two each night, I would not oppose.
Also, we still have a really good team. T-Mac is the cowardly lion in the 4th Q, but "Luis Landry" is not. Shane Battier is a tough character, too. Rafer sucks, but he's at least not afraid to shoot the ball. Bobby Jackson is a playoff tested veteran. Chuck Hayes didn't get his Chinese shoe contract by sucking. This team can (and will) win basketball games against tough competition.
Granted, the Wi--rds are not a good barometer for our ability. They are from the East, and teams from the East suck. I think this season has made that rather clear.
The Rockets are going to make the playoffs. We are going to win at least 50 games. Including the next one, which will give us a perfect February.
There have been a plethora of articles, blog posts and internet rumblings written about Yao in the last day and a half. It's a shame that this doesn't happen for one of 5 guys in the NBA averaging 20 and 10 without it having to be about an injury. It's even more of a shame that these articles mostly seem to focus on calling China out and insinuating that they are behind him sitting out the rest of the season. And most of the ones that aren't putting blame on China are actually coming from China in forms such as Titan Sports saying the Rockets playing Yao so much is why he is injured. Titan actually tried to say that the Rockets lack of a substitute for Yao is why he is injured. I don't throw the term idiots out very often, but there are a lot of those writing in the last day and a half, a lot.
Here's what really happened: Yao is 7'6 and 300+ pounds. He runs hard, he cuts hard and he jumps high, he puts that weight on a size 18 foot. You know what happens when you do that? You quite probably get a stress fracture. You know who is to blame for this? No one. Not the Rockets for playing him the normal, or in some cases lower than normal, minutes expected of a superstar. Not the Rockets training staff for not finding it sooner. They found it in a few weeks,, players have had stress fractures not found for many months. Not China for making him play for the National team, because that is extremely overrated. Basketball players do not really rest in the off-season, at least not the driven ones like Yao. They play in summer leagues and in the Olympics most days of the off-season. Neither the Rockets nor China are to blame, period, end of story.
You know who else isn't at fault? Yao. He wants what is best for everyone even at the jeopardy of himself, I 100% guarantee you that if the Rockets told him that he could play and it wouldn't get worse and that he could also play in the Olympics he would do it. Asking him to play on this injury is selfish and idiotic, it would effectively end his career. Do we really want him to end up like Bill Walton? On the plus side Yao isn't smoking up to forget his troubles and ruining his career by playing on this anyway. He is wisely shutting it down, not because he doesn't love the Rockets or doesn't want to honor his contract, but because he does not want his career to end this way.
Here is the big picture: The Olympics to me are more important, plain and simple. Your country should come shortly after God and family in my book, and for Yao, as the face of Chinese sports, that is doubly true. Yao is too good of a person and to loyal of a teammate to allow that to cloud his judgement, he is out because he has to be. And even if 51% of him does want to play in the Olympics first and foremost, who is to blame him? I know in this day and age when NBA players repeatedly puss out of representing our country it's easy to overlook how big of an honor the Olympics are. At one point in time these guys took it as an honor and a privilege to play in the summer games, now some would besmirch Yao for doing what is right for him and in the short run his country. I for one will not do that.
Good luck to you Yao, get healed up, come back pissed off and destroy these guys. While I won't be cheering for your team in the Olympics, I will be cheering for you to be there, representing your country with your honor and pride. Here at The Dream Shake, we salute you sir.
Last night the Rockets came out like most teams after they lose a big player, trying to prove they still belong in the playoffs. The difference is that this team actually won the game going away and actually might have convinced a few people.
The best part of the night? Tracy McGrady sucked, but he only forced his shot 3 times, which is about 9 less than I expected in this game. He did the little things with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block doing what I've begged all year, if your shot isn't falling, find other ways to get involved. He also played some inspired defense.
Luther Head apparently enjoys playing the Wizards, maybe it's because they simply don't guard him at the arc. He led the Rockets for the second time this season in scoring, both times against the Wizards.
Shane Battier was the player of the game for me with 9 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks. He did everything you could dream of him doing when the Rockets traded for him, proving once again to me that the trade was a damn good one.
No post about a Rockets victory would be complete without a Luis Landry update. They combined for 12-13 shooting for 26 points in 44 minutes. They also pulled down 10 rebounds and had 2 assists and 1 steal. Scola started the game off dominating, showing that he could be a big difference maker down the stretch. I think people forget that he was an MVP overseas and in the Olympics, he is a potential star in this league. Landry was a great Big 10 player and is proving the Rockets Daryl Morey is a GM genius. I love both of these guys.
Next up the Rockets take on the Grizzlies at home Friday at 7:30PM CST. I won't be able to check it out, but will probably put up a preview today or early tomorrow morning. For an early preview: Signs point to 14
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Dear Rockets fans,
It is with a very heavy heart that I must inform you that your adopted son Yao Ming was [figuratively] killed in battle on the morning of February 26, 2008, at the Toyota Center in Houston. This season has taken something from all of us, and, although your son seems to be the only casualty so far, know that we all share your pain. Your son did not die in vain. I shall persevere and make San Antonio and Utah my slaves. Because I hate those guys. I hate them so very, very much.
General Cartman Lee
I've now had about 3 hours to digest the Yao Ming news.
A few things I have concluded:
1. The Rockets are going to make the playoffs. Even without Yao.
2. "Luis Landry" is going to step up huge for us.
3. When Yao returns in October 2008, he's going to be very, very angry. This is bad news for the rest of the NBA.
While I am still heartbroken and pissed off and confused and dealing with an entire range of emotions commonly associated with grief and mourning - do not doubt for a second the talent still on this team. The Rockets will compete every night (okay, maybe not Rafer). The Rockets will make the playoffs. And, just for good measure, the Rockets will win tonight.
They still will win 16 in a row. On pure adrenaline if necessary. Scola has an abundance of it.
Washington (sans Agent Zero and Tuff Juice?). Winnable.
Memphis (sans NBA talent at all positions?). Winnable.
Denver (sans team players?). Somewhat winnable - but tougher without Yao.
Indiana (sans Jermaine?). Definitely still winnable.
Each of our next four games are at home. We can do this. As Hollinger stated in his chat today, if the Rockets finish 12-14, they still finish the season with 48 wins. That should be enough to at least limp into the playoffs and avoid the lottery. This will be done.
Yao will be missed. But we will win for him. Go Rockets!
Yao is a huge part of this team, and in my mind its unquestioned leader. But all is not lost. Let's not forget that Golden State and Denver are just okay, they really aren't better than the Rockets, even without Yao.
I'm sticking with my prediction, 16 in a row. Let's kick some ass tonight
Hey, kids, ear muffs!!
(and now I can say whatever I want... but, no, I will not celebrate it):
Yao missing tonight's game with foot injury.
edit: now he's out for the whole season? There is no God.
Another game up for the Rockets tonight against Washington at 7:30PM CST in the Toyota Center. I just realized that when the guys pull off their 16th victory in a row, they will be 20 games over .500, pretty impressive considering that they've had a losing record this season as late as January 4th at 16-17.
Washington Wi--rds:27-29 (11-17 on the road) 3-7 in their last 10
Houston Rockets: 36-20 (18-9 at home) 10-0 in their last 10
Our only other meeting of the season, the Rockets were in the middle of a 5 game winning streak that started the season turnaround. McGrady was still out and Luther Head and Yao carried the load. Rafer even came within 3 rebounds of a triple double. Carl Landry wasn't even playing yet.
The Wizards have played much better at home this season and have beaten the following above .500 teams on the road: Dallas by 2 in November, Boston on Jan 12, New Orleans last night by 3 at the buzzer. Not a huge resume of giant killing, but those are three pretty big names.
Caron Butler is still out the last I've seen and it better stay that. Tough Juice is a bad mofo and I don't want him playing. The Rockets have caught some breaks in this recent run and I'm a big fan of these good fortunes continuing.
Note to Shane Battier, fuck DeShawn Stevenson up tonight.
My prediction? 13 in a row
Check out BulletsForever for more
Lee and I were invited to participate in an NBA MVP and ROY ranking by other notable NBA bloggers. Here's the most recent rankings and results:
Blogger MVP/ROY Rankings: Round 7
and yes, I feel a little dumb not voting for Carl Landry at the time. But I do believe my "Mitch Kupchak" entry on the MVP ballot was inspired.
Dave and I were asked for a second time to join in on the Bloggers MVP/ROY Rankings. This is the 7th edition and we were honored to participate.
The host of this edition is Celtics Blog and the results can be seen here.
Our ballot was as follows:
1. Chris Paul
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Yao Ming, Yao Ming, Yao Ming, Yao Ming...Yao Ming, Yao Ming
7. Dwight Howard
8. Deron Williams
9. Mitch Kupchak - For starting the best trading deadline in NBA history
Monday, February 25, 2008
I knew Carl Landry was like good and stuff, but...
and Holy Shit Wow!
Note to self - do not try to dunk or shoot on Carl Landry. He will hurt you. Even if you are an All Star. Ask David West.
Mr. Landry (for all intents and purposes) was introduced to the NBA on January 11th. The Rockets beat down the Minnesota Timberwolves bad. And I mean really, really bad. Like we were Secretariat and Minnesota was everyone else at Belmont. So, Ricky decided to give Landry some run.
In those 20 minutes of action, all Carl did was score 15 points - without missing a shot - grab 11 rebounds (6 offensive) and serve notice to Chuck Hayes that his days are numbered and that Chuck might want to re-read the terms of his soon-to-expire Chinese shoe contract. Landry was here to stay.
(and, consequently, "Luis Landry" was born.)
Since that fateful day, the Rockets have lost exactly three games. Two because Landry didn't play enough, including the Philly debacle. And the third to Utah, which just so happened to be Carl's only "bad" game so far.
Wages for Wins says that Landry is the best shooting, scoring and rebounding rookie forward (per 48 minutes). Landry also leads in WinScore and WP48. And while I do have a degree in applied mathematics (surprise, surprise), I'm too lazy to break down the formulas today. Just go here.
While Kevin Durant is giving us consistent 7-21 performances (in losing efforts), Mr. Landry is giving a workmanlike 62% FG shooting, a PER of 22.71 - which leads all rookies. He's also Gorilla Dunking on anyone who gets in his way. [edit: Here we go!] Ask Cleveland for verification. For some reason his dunk isn't on YouTube yet. Durant will win the ROY probably, but he'll be watching Luis Landry play in May and hopefully June.
Now, if only I/we/someone could get Scola and Landry to actually make free throws, we'd be absolutely unstoppable. Two non-first round rookies. Having more of an impact than anyone taken in this year's 1st round? Daryl Morey is like a genius or something.
Not because it was a tough game, but because I'm dumb and sliced the mess out of my index finger on my dominant right hand. As stated previously, I'm prepping for the Rodeo BBQ cook-off coming up and apparently you are not supposed to grab a knife by the blade. Good to know.
The Rockets won in fantastic team minus Alston fashion. Although Rafer shot 50% he was 3-8 at the three point line and had 6 turnovers. The 3-8 isn't that bad, but how he shot 4 of the 5 he missed are. I need the Rafer of the last 11 games back, I actually miss him. That Rafer wasn't forcing bad shots or throwing dumb passes. Last night's Rafer got a little full of himself, hopefully Tuesday he will come back to earth and realize shooting in traffic from the three is not his game. Don't get me wrong, he's been a huge part of this turnaround, I just hope he can continue that way the rest of the season, he's proved that it is within his game, and that my expectations of him are reasonable.
As for the rest of the team, everyone else played great. We shot 50% overall and 54% from behind the arc, 62% if you cut out Rafer. Seven players were in double digits and seven players had 4 or more rebounds. We shot about as well as a blind one armed child could from the free throw line at 54% but maybe we just wanted all of our shooting in the 50% range, who knows. Landry and Scola have too good of a shooting technique respectively to be shooting 50% or less from the line, by the end of the year I think that is fixed. Mostly I think it is because they are so active and they are just too tired by the time they get to the line, the form is there, the accuracy will get there I believe.
Tracy had pretty much a perfect game with 24 points on 7-13 shooting, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and only 1 turnover and 1 foul. He was driving to the hole, playing with the other guys and seemed to be smiling again. Thank you for coming back man, that's 2 games like that, and it's what I want from here on out. This Tracy doesn't lose games, I like this Tracy.
Yao was flustered for the most part but kicked the ball out well when he got it, he just had a bad game overall. These games happen for any big man, he'll bounce back. Chicago was able to get away with a lot of slapping because they have no one with height guarding him and everything happens down low in traffic. That's just the way it is.
Luis Landry was 9-15 for 23 points, 3 offensive and 6 defensive rebounds, 1 block and only 2 turnovers. They also led the league tonight in most bullshit fouls called against. They both completely deserved 1 each of their fouls, Landry slightly deserved another, and they had 5 others called they were completely phantom. It really was ridiculous, and all 5 were called by the same referee, coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so. They were penalized for hustle and that's just not right, again, don't call something unless you actually see it.
Bobby Jackson was everything I hoped he could be when the trade was announced. He shot over 50% and had 11 high energy points to go with 2 assists. It was an impressive showing in 19 minutes. He got the team up and down the court efficiently and he drove the lane when it was there. He also doesn't have an ugly tearput in his arsenal. I hope he can keep this up for the next season and a 3rd.
Great game overall, I was proud of the guys. They didn't play extremely well, but led by 7-9 most of the game against a Bulls team that really tried hard. Luckily that team hasn't gelled yet and they are still very young. I was impressed with Noah as usual and Tyrus Thomas showed me more than I thought he would ever have. I would not expect too many more 50+% nights from Larry Hughes though.
That's 12 in a row of 16, kicking ass, and forgetting names.
Next up for the Rockets is the Washington Wi--rds, again, no Agent Zero, no A or Z, Tuesday night at 7:00PM CST at Toyota.
What the hell is this? I'm all for the Gerald Green trade. He's a native Houstonian. He's young and athletic. He can blow out candles and dunk at the same time. All good things.
There is only one player who deserves to wear #25 with "Houston" or "Rockets" on the front of the jersey. His name is not Gerald Green. It's this guy:
This is almost as insulting as the Oakland Raiders letting LaMont Jordan wear Bo's #34. Yes, it's true - someone else is wearing #34 for the Silver and Black. It's blasphemy. Just like the Rockets letting someone else wear Robert Horry's number.
I realize that Horry isn't retired yet, and that's why his number hasn't been retired officially by the team. Nevertheless, if we can retire Carroll Dawson's "jersey" (with the number "CD"?) - how we haven't retired all of the numbers from the Championship Team is beyond me. Horry played 4 years for Houston. He's going to contribute more than Gerald Green ever will. Of this I have no doubt.
It's insulting enough that Chauncey Billups is trying to infringe upon Horry's should-be-trademarked nickname of "Big Shot ___". Chauncey has made ONE "Big Shot" in his entire career. And that somehow gives him claim to Horry's nickname? Gerald Green has even less of a claim to Horry's number.
Hey, Rockets equipment manager -- fix this egregious mistake before it's too late!!!
Posted by Unknown at 9:55 AM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Rockets clearly the hottest team in the NBA right now. And with four more home games in a row, the streak could conceivably reach 16. Which would be the longest in the NBA this season, and would also be a franchise record.
Just imagine if we could shoot free throws!
or if Luther Head could learn how to make a post entry pass!
or if they'd stop calling B.S. fouls on our foreign guys!
or if Rafer would stop taking stupid shots and turning the ball over 6 times!
With the Rockets winning Friday night, that would push my predicted winning streak to 16 in a row. Tonight the guys take on Chicago and try and live up to at least 12 of those. 16 would be the longest winning streak in club history, but first things first.
Chicago Bulls: 22-32 (10-18 on the road) 4-6 in their last 10
Houston Rockets: 35-20 (17-9 at home) 10-0 in their last 10
The Bulls scored 135 the Friday night against the Nuggets. The Rockets have held 8 of their last 9 opponent under 90 points, something has to give.
With the game coming up in 15 minutes I'll keep this nice and short. The Rockets have won 9 of the last 10 versus the Bulls and the last 4 overall.
My prediction? 12 in a row
For another great NBA blog, check out BlogABull, their preview is here
Rockets riding an 11 game winning streak into the matchup with the underachieving Chicago Bulls tonight. This after beating down the New Orleans Hornets and CP3 on Friday night. Oh, and that was in New Orleans. Rockets kicking ass and taking names when they hit the road.
Tonight's mission? Stop Ben Gordon. Ben Wallace is no longer there to f--k up the Bulls' chemistry. Joakim Noah is actually going to get playing time. Fortunately we have the "Luis Landry" combination to match his energy level for 48 minutes.
Yeah, I like our rookies better than Chicago's... just look at this guy!
Scola even dresses up better than Noah. (And we do like Noah here, he just acts like a jackass sometimes!)
Meanwhile, I'd be remiss in overlooking this latest quote from the Fat Ass. Shaq to Yahoo:
“Amare Stoudemire is the best big man in the game right now,” O’Neal said. “I didn’t know he was that good. But talking to him and watching him play … he’s the best big man in the game.”
Yo, Shaq - how many times does Yao have to kick your ass before you show him some respect? It's okay, now that you are in the West again, you'll get to see Yao up close and personal a few more times each year. Next time he's going to run you over.
Ahhhh, forget Shaq. His new team just got blown out today. Again. Giving up wayyyy over 100 points. Again. Yeah, nice D there, Shaq. Time to go for an even dozen there, Yao.
It's like Gary Potter says -- harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. It's like a carousel. You put the quarter in, you get on the horse, it goes up and down, and around. Circular, circle. Feel it. Go with the flow. Get thee to the Happy Place, Yao!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Not only did the Rockets win last night, but a lot of teams in their way lost:
Portland lost 99-87 to Seattle: The Trailblazers are out of the playoff picture now, but they are a winning team, and a loss is still good to solidify one less team to worry about
Golden State lost 117-110 to Atlanta: Somehow they lost this game at home, that's awful. That's losing to Philly at home awful. Atlanta was previously 6-19 on the road. Wow
Denver lost 135-121 to Chicago: This Chicago team was without any of the awful players it traded for, so maybe that actually helped them. Hey! Look at that! You let your young guys play and get back to letting Ben Gordon be awesome and you win! I still have no clue why they are so lukewarm on Gordon, I love that guy.
Utah lost 114-104 to the LA Clippers: This is my favorite loss of them all. Not only is LA terrible, but I hate the Jazz. The game wasn't even that close as the Jazz were down by 20 at the end of 3. Boozer and D-Will both showed up, but no one else did. Plus that now puts them at 18-4 in the New Year, and the fact that I left them out of the hottest team in the league debate yesterday no longer matters. The Rockets now own that outright at 20-4 in the New Year. And we are both tied at 35-20 on the season.
That's 3 bad losses and one not so good loss (Denver), good night overall for the Rockets!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Dave got on me for not using that earlier, but I didn't want to jinx the guys. Now? Fudge it! Eleven wins in a row, and the greatest win of the entire season!! 100-80 and a completely dominating performance, the game really wasn't that close. I have to say, I'm a little surprised, not that they won, but that they won like that. CP3 was shut down. Scola and Landry were everywhere and completely in David West's head (not saying he didn't play well, but he got distracted at times). Yao dominated Chandler every second they were on the floor together as the Hornets inexplicably guarded him 1 on 1. That's just stupid, no team in the league can do that, a team with an undersized "center" is just stupid to try it.
Tracy McGrady from 3 years ago, welcome back, and thanks for finally showing up. Only Kobe can guard this Tracy, that's it, no one else in the league can do it. 34 points on 14-26 shooting with 6 assists and 3 rebounds and only 2 TOs. Great game Tracy, he drove the lane extremely well, ran the fast break and had exceptional elevation on his jumper. All that on back to back nights, simply fantastic to have you back man.
Yao was his normal dominant bad ass self, scoring 28 on 12-21 shooting with 14 rebounds (5 offensive), 2 assists and a block. And he also only turned it over 2 times. And they weren't calling crap tonight, Yao could have about half of those misses back if the refs had been calling it tighter. Not that it bothered me, just saying that a lot of contact was let go. That style of refereeing helps the Rockets overall if called both ways and it was, and consistency is all you can ask for.
Luis Landry combined for 15 points, 20 rebounds and a steal, I love this PF combination! The energy was there, the dunks and layups were there, the good hands and solid defense were there as well. David West had a really good game with 20 and 10, but Luis Landry was in his head at times, causing him to get a technical and bitch a lot at the refs. It was everything we need from these guys come playoff time.
In the first quarter this game was like a playoff game, and the Rockets responded and there was nothing New Orleans could do about it. We cut off the passing lanes with solid defense. It's really impressive that they only had 9 turnovers. All of that can be attributed to the fact that CP3 is a golden god with the ball and just doesn't make bad passes. Of course while there weren't turnovers there were a lot of bad shots at the end of the clock. The defense was suffocating pretty much from beginning to end.
Great game gentlemen! Next up, the Chicago Bulls on Sunday at 7PM CST on ESPN. I'll be cooking for the Houston Rodeo BBQ cook off, so I can't go and will probably be watching it on tape delay.
Let's go Rockets!!
And to the Bulls, thanks for taking out Denver tonight, great job guys! 7 guys in double figures, impressive! Don't expect to put up 135 on the Rockets though. I'm betting BlogABull is riding high right now.
The Rockets take on the New Orleans Hornets tonight at 7PM CST in Louisiana.
New Orleans Hornets: 37-15 (18-8 at home) and 7-3 in their last 10
Houston Rockets: 34-20 ( 17-11 on the road) and 10-0 in their last 10 (Ed Note: F YOU DAVE, you could have just changed it!)
The Hornets have won 5 in a row after a rough 3 game losing streak against Golden State at home, then Sacramento and Utah on the road. They are 17-4 to the Rockets 18-4 in the new year making them the second hottest team in the new year. Tonight both team have the ability to claim hottest overall team and the Rockets have a chance to gain a full game on the first place Hornets.
The Hornets stole a game, or rather they kept playing hard in the 4th and the Rockets forgot to do so at home the last time they played. It was brutal, Dave was there in person and I think he almost cried after the game.
My man crush on David West and CP3 has been documented, both of them are everything that is right about the NBA. They play hard every night and are better than anyone could have imagined. I'm nervous about tonight, but for some reason I think we figure them out.
Check out At The Hive for analysis about the Bonzi, MikeJ and Bobby J trade here
What's my full of myself and the Rockets prediction? 11 in a row, cause why not??
Meant to do this earlier, but I suck and forgot. The Hornets have two great blogs, AtTheHive, already linked above and Hornets 24/7 game preview
Rockets win ten in a row. 10! TEN!
Lee even called that shit shortly after New Year's Day. Impressive. Of course, when I told him I was going to do a bookend photo essay once we hit the magical ten, he claimed that was his idea, too. I called bullshit.
Anyway, after the Rockets dropped a big dime on the rest of the NBA, I present you a Photo Gallery of a Ten Game Winning Streak!
(Mary Lou Retton... hell yeah! And she's a Houstonian, too!)
I had to be careful researching this. Google Images finds some, uh, interesting things!
The NBA schedule maker sets 'em up... the Rockets knock 'em down.The 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not call Yao "soft".
and how could we ever forget the most important #10 in Houston Rockets history?
Sam I Am!
10 wins in a row. 34-20 on the season... moving ever closer to the top of the Western Conference. Go Rockets!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
That's 10 in a row, not to toot my own horn, but I did predict this. Actually, fuck that, I will toot my car horn, my trumpet, my trombone; I'll even toot some stinky stuff. I predicted that. THAT JUST HAPPENED!!
Luis Scola and Carl Landry combined 30 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Why do we need Bonzi again? Yao was 10-11 for 21 points to go with 9 rebounds and a block. Even Tracy found his way to 23 points after starting out very hot, then when he got cold, instead of jacking up shots he drove the lane and dished his way to 10 assists.
I know it was just the Heat, but they played extremely hard, the Heat were in no way just laying down. We played great defense and they still shot 47 % from the field and 50% from the three point line. Our forcing of turnovers is where we built and kept the lead.
Just a sidenote, but Miami is extremely stupid if they don't sign Marion long term.
The Rockets are now 19-4 in 2008 and 34-20 overall on the season. They are in the seventh spot with no tie, one game out of the six spot and only 4 games out of the first overall spot in the conference. And they have a chance to guarantee a one game swing by winning tomorrow night in New Orleans.
Seriously, 10 games in a row, that's fantastic. I had exactly one other person email me telling me I wasn't crazy. I know that we didn't play a hard schedule, but everyone plays the same teams for the most part, and 10 in a row is 10 in a row. And a 10 game winning streak prediction is bad ass. I think that is number 2342 on my list of most awesome things I've ever done, and there are some pretty bad ass things I've done in my life, so that's not a knock on the prediction.
If we can find a way (maybe ask Bobby Jackson for some pointers) to beat New Orleans in Louisiana tomorrow night, we should have a 16 game winning streak going into the game at Dallas on March 6th. We play: NO on the road then have 5 home games in a row with Chicago, Washington, Memphis, Denver and Indiana. Only NO and Denver should really be games in that schedule.
I'm just going to enjoy 10 in a row for the rest of the night, it's a wonderful thing!
Somehow the Rockets acquired Gerald Green - a 22 year old native Houstonian dunk champion with lots of talent but a 10 cent head - for Kirk Snyder (whom we never used) and a 2nd round draft pick that will probably be used on some 6'11" awkward white power forward who never makes it to training camp.
All in all, quite the day of wheeling and dealing for young Mr. Morey. We like it.
Of course, his trade partner in the Green deal was none other than Kevin McHale. I can only imagine how that phone call went. Actually, I'm quite certain that it would have been patterned after the Eric Cartman School of Negotiation Tactics:
Morey: (calling McHale) Hello, Kevin - hey, it's Daryl Morey.
McHale: who? I'm pretty busy right now. My fantasy baseball season is about to start and I just realized that this Albert Pujols fella isn't a pitcher. I've got an offer from this moron to give me Randy Johnson for him. Can you believe it - Randy Johnson!!
Morey: [signaling to Rick Adelman and Les Alexander to come in - puts McHale on speakerphone] Wow, Kevin, that's quite a steal you got there. Say, I hear you might be looking to make a few deals for the Minnesota Timberwolves. What are ya gonna offer me?
McHale: Well, I really like Antoine Walker, but he's killing me on the nightly catering. I can't afford to feed him much longer. Can you take him off my hands?
Morey: Ahhh, you're breakin' my balls, Kevin. Breakin' my balls. What am I supposed to do with Antoine?
McHale: Well, what about Marco Jaric? He has this really skinny girl he brings around. I don't know why but the other players keep asking him about her. It's really distracting. Even my buddies ask me about this girl.
Morey: (giggling) Sorry, Kevin, I can't take on that kind of distraction here either. Besides, we've already got a couple foreign guys in Yao and Luis.
Morey: Uhhh, Yao Ming. You may have heard of him? No? Uhhh...
Say, Kev', what about Gerald Green. Would you possibly be interested in trading him?
McHale: I guess. What use do I have for a guy who can't even remember to wear shoes when he plays basketball? How 'bout you give me that Yao fella and a 1st round pick and we call it a deal?
Morey: Awww, you're breakin' my balls, Kev'... breakin' my balls here!
McHale: Well, gosh, I gotta do something... what about just a first round pick?
Morey: Awww, you're breakin' my balls Kev'... you're hurting me!
McHale: Jeez, what about a 5th round pick?
Morey: Kevin, our draft only has 2 rounds these days. But since you've been so kind, what about a 2nd round pick. And you know what... I'll even throw in Kirk Snyder to make the salaries match!
McHale: Kyle who? What can he do?
Morey: Wow - Kevin - you're missing out. This Snyder kid can do it all. He can run, jump, play defense... do you know no one has scored on him all year?
[Adelman (whispering): Daryl - that's cause he hasn't played all year!]
McHale: That sounds great! They are really getting on me here about KG. I miss that guy. He even sent me a Thank You card for Christmas this year! Isn't he the nicest guy?
Morey: So... Kirk Snyder and our 2nd round draft pick for Gerald Green? Deal?
McHale: Well, what about that McGrady guy?
Morey: Awwww, you're breakin' my balls, Kev'!!!
McHale: Okay, okay - Deal!!!
According the David Aldridge, the Rockets traded Kirk Snyder and a second round pick for Gerald Green. Do I like it? Hell yes, I think Green has a ton of upside and is only 22 years old. He's extremely athletic and can dunk in socks, I hope this is true
Oh, the gentlemen, wait, they aren't gentlemen, the guys over at Hardwood Paroxysm have a great trade thread going. It's where I got the above nugget of info from: Trade Thread
The Sports Guy is convinced that he could be a good NBA GM. Sometimes his proposed trades and deals do make complete logical sense. Then he throws this one out there:
Houston trades Shane Battier, Kirk Snyder and its 2008 No. 1 pick to Sacramento for Ron Artest and a 2008 No. 2 pick.
Why Sacramento does it: That's a pretty good haul for Artest when he could bolt four months from now -- a valuable supporting guy at a fair price, along with a pick in the low 20s. So what if Battier went to Duke? You can't hold that against him. He didn't know any better when he signed there.
Why Houston does it: The deal knocks them under the luxury tax and makes the Rockets a little more interesting as a title contender -- they could go small with Artest at the 4 and/or run plays for him at crunch time, and he'd give them a fiestiness and an edge they don't quite have right now. The Rockets seem a little soft to me. I'm not saying it's Battier's fault, but he's the best trade chip for them because of his contract and his pedigree. You could always use Shane Battier on your team. I like this deal for both teams, actually.
The Rockets seem a little SOFT?!?!
Granted, we just traded our one token crazy guy who might actually beat you up after the game. But contrary to popular opinion, Yao is not soft. Ask Chris Kaman, Kevin Garnett... and especially Malik Rose.
T-Mac is soft. So, I'll move on. But it's Yao's team now.
Carl Landry is soft? Yeah, ask the Cavaliers about that. And review Tuesday's Gorilla Dunk in traffic. He got the "T" just to prove a point I bet.
Luis Scola is soft? Hell no. I won't even dignify that thought with a response.
Rafer is soft? Uhhh, maybe, but he's also got gang connections, so I will recuse myself from an opinion here.
Shane Battier is by no means soft. Even if he went to Duke.
Aaron Brooks is not soft... you can't be a midget and get to the NBA if you are soft.
Hell, aside from T-Mac the only "soft" personality associated with the Rockets is our coach. But the players still have a lot of JVG left in 'em, so I'm not worried about Ricky infecting the Rockets with any leftover softness.
That said, I like Crazy Pills. Artest could be a great player. But he might scare McGrady. And T-Mac already has a big enough mental block about playing strong. Artest might have a miscommunication with T-Mac in the locker room and beat his ass. We can't risk that.
Simmons, thank you for the motivation. Yao is getting angrier and angrier. Calling him "soft" a few more times might just turn him into the NBA's Cloverfield Monster.
Posted by Unknown at 9:25 AM
I have listened to a decent amount of talk radio this morning and read a decent amount of message boards, and here's the overriding feeling I keep seeing: "I can't believe we traded such a great player for nothing, he's been fantastic this year". To which I have the following to say:
What the fuck are you talking about? Bonzi was alright this year, far from anything special. Far from a good chemistry guy. I wish I knew somewhere that tracked missed lay-ups and ole defense, because I can just about guarantee that he leads the league in both. I can remember all 9 times he played defense, because I made a point to say to whoever I was watching the game with that "Holy crap, Bonzi just played defense". He is averaging 9.2 PPG and 5.1 rebounds, most of which were garnered while Tracy was out. And I know Tracy could go down any minute, but face facts, we are screwed either way if he does, so keeping Bonzi doesn't help us at all. Are you really telling me that Scola and Landry can't make up for his minutes and split up his stats 4.6 PPG each and 2.525 rebounds each per game? I'm betting they can, and so is Daryl Morey.
In his last 20 games he's had one that was great, and 2 that were good, the rest were easily replaceable. And I think the 3 that weren't easily replaceable were still able to be replaced. His "great" game came against Cleveland last week at 13 points and 10 rebounds. That was a game that 3 of his 9 good defensive plays came in. I'd personally rather have Landry and Scola, hell even Head in the game in his place giving more every night than an occasional good night from Bonzi.
I like every single part of this trade. I even like that New Orleans has Bonzi and that we can now take advantage of it. This trade is about now, and Bobby Jackson might be able to help us now, and it he can't, the trade can be about tomorrow as well. Can you imagine having to pay Mike James for two more years? That's insane.
So to recap: It's good because 1. Bobby Jackson might be able to help with instant offense 2. Bonzi can no longer miss lay-ups or not play defense or jack up 30 foot 3 point shots for us or make a costly turnover because he's lazy 3. He will be doing all of that for the number one team in the West 4. Scola and Landry will be our crunch time guys no longer allowing Adelman to live in the past with Bonzi and 5. We are out from under Mike James' contract 6. Bonzi is not a chemistry guy, I truly believe the team tunes him out. They probably like him as he seems like a fun guy, but he's not going to be missed. Especially by Scola or Landry.
It is bad because: 1. It's not at all, even a little bit 2. See number 1
Plus maybe Bobby will get under McGrady's skin and make him drive to the basket more:
Next up, go quickly and sign Nick Fazekas
(you too, Mike James!)
Hello, Bobby Jackson!
Trade one former Rick Adelman favorite for another. But I like the one we are getting. For the first time in what seems like forever... we have an actual legitimate 6th man off the bench. I'm okay with Rafer starting so long as Bobby Jackson is the closer. That does kill a lot of playing time for Aaron Brooks, but he'll get over it.
Of course... odds are Bobby will get hurt on the plane flight to Houston. I'm willing to risk it.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
A while back Dave and I were tossing the idea around of putting up our predictions for the rest of the season. I came up with the idea that the Rockets could win 10 in a row. It seemed preposterous at the time, but just seemed like it could come true so I went with it. Now here we are on the precipice of TheDreamShake history. We could be right TWICE and by we I mean me, Dave said we'd go 7-3 in this streak, but I think he started to believe after win 1, so I'll let him pile on. I know, y'all never thought it could happen, but we might actually know what we are talking about (about some things anyway).
On Thursday night the Rockets take on the Miami Heat, I know they never make it on TV, so just some history. They are from Miami, FL and used to have the "Human Get fouled even without Getting Touched Machine" and the "Big Fouls Every time He Plays Defense or Offense and never gets called for it". Now there is no more Shaq, but they added the Matrix who I won't make fun of because I think he's one of the most underrated players in the league. The game is at 7PM CST at the Toyota Center. I keep thinking about going, but haven't found anyone else that can make it and don't really feel like going by myself.
Miami Heat: 9-42 (4-21 on the road) 1-9 in their last 10, including 9 losses in a row
Houston Rockets: - 33-20, (16-9 at home) and 9-1 in their last 10, including 9 wins in a row
On the road, their 4 wins came against: The Knicks by 3 in November, the Nets by 4 in November, the Clippers by 6 in December and somehow, inexplicably the Suns by 4 in December. Those two wins came on back to back nights on the 9th and 10th, so they haven't won on the road in 71 days. They are 1-21 in January to the Rockets 18-4. With that being said, it's been well documented here that the Rockets are one of their 9 victims, and their first at home all year, so I'm not taking this game for granted at all. But, if the Rockets lose this game, I don't know if I can handle it. If you think I melted down after the two Philly losses, you don't want to see me for about two weeks if we find a way to blow this game.
With both teams on opposite ends of the spectrum one on a 9 game winning streak, and the other on a 9 game losing streak, my choice should be obvious, right? So what's my prediction? 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row, 10 in a row. I seriously can't wait for tomorrow night
LeBron had a triple double. His 5th on the season.
Luis Scola had 15 points, 8 rebounds, a lot of flying hair and made all the women in Cleveland swoon. He even made all 3 of his free throws!
Holy hell, even Rafer Alston had 22 points. AND he shot over 50% from the field. But he still can't shoot free throws, so no women swoon for him.
Rockets 2, the LeBrons 0 for 2007-08.
Oh, and that's 9 in a row. One more win and Lee will be unbearable to listen to for a month!
note: Today would have been Kurt Cobain's 41st birthday. Wow. Happy b-day, Kurt!
Posted by Unknown at 8:40 AM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The Rockets played a horrendous game for three quarters, then turned it on in the fourth. They overcame one of the worst field goal percentage days of Yao Ming's career. Some of that was done by Yao going a perfect 10-10 from the line and pulling down 14 rebounds. They also survived a triple double from Bron Bron, who basically set out to tell Dave to suck it. He had 11 assists and the rest of his team made 23 shots, so without his help they were only able to make 12 shots. That's just sad. I now agree that his teammates are awful (Except for Gooden, I like that guy) and understand why he is begging for new ones. Of course Dave has a great point, he also begged for Big Z to stay and to get Larry Hughes, so he reaps what he sowed. Maybe they should just tell him to shut up and not let him player evaluate.
There isn't a ton to say about the game, both teams shot horribly, the Rockets just found a way to close it out, they are the better team, plain and simple. That makes the streak 9 in a row on the road, 18-4 in 2008 and 9 in a row overall. The 9 in a row on the road is the longest streak in club history, tying the streak set in the first championship season.
Next game up is against the lowly Miami Heat on Thursday night at 7:00PM CST to make it 10 in a row. Of course I probably shouldn't get too excited as the Rockets are actually one of their NINE wins on the season, so maybe I shouldn't be so cocky, but come on! It's the freaking Heat!
Now we just need GS to lose (Utah would win, again putting me in a dilema) and Boston to take out Denver
This here blog has been operational for not quite four months now.
In that time, we've managed to dedicate about 35% of our time to telling you that Rafer Alston sucks (he does. He really, really does. Trust me.). We've also spent another 35-40% of our time telling you how much of a badass Yao Ming is (and in contrast, how much of a coward T-Mac has become).
That leaves about 25-30% of our time - which we dedicated to abstract, obscure and totally off-the wall pop culture references. Like... here. here. here. here. and here.
And yet, I see this completely unoriginal and obvious movie comparison link:
and then I see that it has been linked by SI.com's "Hot Clicks" today.
Really? Comparing the Houston Rockets to Rush Hour 3? Not even Rush Hour 1 or 2? How obvious and unoriginal does one have to be? Yao is Chinese... ooh, that's new!
What about us?!?!?
Keep it up. Make Yao any angrier and the appropriate movie comparison will be this one:
THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
I smell an Academy Award. And a huge post-season.
Posted by Unknown at 9:31 AM
Rockets v. Cavaliers tonight in Cleveland. 6pm CST
(that's really early guys - I'm still going to be at work. Can we change this? No??)
Oh, well - anyway, the Rockets are riding an 8 game winning streak and yet would not be in the playoffs if they started today. Fortunately for all of us, the playoffs DO NOT start today - so we can save all the mathematical "what ifs" until early April.
Moving along, over the past year or so, I've noticed something. LeBron James is starting to irritate the #@(&# out of me. His first two years in the league - he was great. I made time to watch him play whenever he was on TV. Now? Let's just say I'm putting him ON NOTICE:
A few caveats before we begin:
1. I firmly believe that LeBron James is the second best player in the NBA, behind Kobe Bryant. (Yao Ming excluded from conversation for obvious bias issues I have.)
2. I realize LeBron is only 23 years old.
3. I have no doubt that LeBron will win at least one championship before he retires.
That said... LeBron, you are coming dangerously close to being categorized among the "Players I Despise" along with Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Emmitt Smith, Mike Piazza, Donovan McNabb and Hines Ward. Yes, I despise Hines Ward. That f--ker smiles all the time and yet his TD dances/celebrations consist of nothing but imitating someone else's signature dance. Get some originality, asshole.
Why is LeBron pushing the limits?
First, he's been handed the keys to the NBA without ever really doing anything. Yes, he's been to the NBA Finals. Where he lost. Say, Karl Malone can say the same thing - and we all consider him to be a huge choke artist still. Yes, LeBron is a two-time NBA All Star MVP. (Ray Allen should have won it Sunday, btw.) Yes, LeBron is always a threat to achieve a triple-double.
Nonetheless, I have one important question, Bron Bron - have you ever made any of your teammates better? The supposed knock against Kobe is that he never made anyone else play better alongside him. Yet it's pretty clear that his pushing and prodding have made Bynum, Farmar, Derek Fisher, Ronnie Turiaf and even Chris Mihm... play better than they ever have before. LeBron? Name one player who has improved because LeBron is his teammate?
Larry Hughes? All Star for the Wizards, unfortunate namesake of a blog dedicated to futility now.
Big Z? Was an All Star before LeBron. Now reduced to begging for shots and time on the court.
Donyell Marshall? Was a huge contributor for nearly a decade. (Do you realize he co-owns the record for most 3s made in a game... with Kobe?). With LeBron - Donyell is now reduced to forgetting to even put on a jersey before the game.
Damon Jones? Important contributor to a Miami team... comes to Cleveland and immediately becomes a bench scrub.
Drew Gooden? Hahahahahaha... I can't even finish the thought. LeBron didn't even have the decency to tell Gooden to cut that duck tail hair thing off last year.
Hell, even Carlos Boozer may have been held back by LeBron. Boozer is a prick but he's a stud PF for Utah now. Hard to say he made the wrong choice in leaving the Chosen One behind.
Meanwhile, LeBron James has referred to himself as a "Global Icon" - or has at least expressed an interest in this being his true goal in life. Yet when a teammate asks him to take part in a campaign to stop the death and destruction in Darfur, LeBron claims ignorance and wants no part of it.
Hell, even Tracy McGrady is getting involved in the Darfur issue!
Then there is this. There is absolutely no explanation for this:
Yeah, taunt your home fans! Good plan!
I'll be out of pocket all day, but wanted to toss this up real quick. The Rockets play the Cavaliers tonight at 6:00PM CST in Cleveland.
Cleveland Cavaliers: 29-23 (15-9 at home) and 6-4 in their last 10
Houston Rockets: 32-20 (16-11 on the road) and 9-1 in their last 10
The Cavs are decidedly less hot than they were when they came into Toyota just a few games ago, losing 3 of 5 including games to the Rockets, Nuggetts and Spurs. They beat Atlanta and Orlando.
Can't say much more, need to go.
My prediction? Win number 9 in a row of 10. Let the rest of the season begin!
Monday, February 18, 2008
So in my haste to put up the tie-breakers I neglected to find the rules for a three way tie. A tie of which we currently find the Rockets, Warriors and Nuggets in.
(Editors Note: I was wrong and so is ESPN, the Rockets are actually in 9th place right now, or at least they are until tomorrow night.)
According to ESPN, here they are:
In the event two or more teams are tied in the standings, a series of tiebreakers are applied to determine which team receives the higher seeding.
1. Better record in head-to-head games
2. Higher winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
3. Higher winning percentage in conference games
4. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference
5. Higher winning percentage against playoff teams in opposite conference
6. Higher point differential between points scored and points allowed
1. Best head-to-head winning percentage among all teams tied
2. Highest winning percentage within division (if teams are in the same division)
3. Highest winning percentage in conference games
4. Highest winning percentage against playoff teams in own conference
5. Highest point differential between points scored and points
Hey everyone, this is Kenny Smith, here to give you a little review of the NBA dunk contest! For some reason this contest really turned me into Stephen A. Smith and I wanted to scream my joy from the top of Mt. Everest.
I'm just going to skip over Rudy Gay's dunks as they were nice, but made me want to go home so that I didn't have to watch them. Those dunks just weren't going to get it done son.
JAMARIO, JAMARIO, JAMARIO, STARTS US OFF WITH A SENSATIONAL DUNK DOING A 360, THAT'S RIGHT A 360 DUNK THAT HE SELF ALLEY-OOPED OFF THE FLOOR, I WANTED TO GO HOME THINKING THE CONTEST WAS OVER RIGHT THEN AND THERE
THEN D-HO COMES OUT AND MAKES ME SHOUT, I WAS GOING TO GO HOME, PUNCH MY DOG AND THEN MAKE SWEET LOVE TO MY WIFE ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER AFTER HOWARD JUMPS FROM BEHIND THE BASKET BANKS IT OFF THE BACK, AND DUNKS IT WITH HIS HEAD STILL BEHIND THE BASKET LEFT HANDED. THAT'S A 7 FOOTER, IT'S EASY FOR HIM, THAT'S JUST CRAZY, HE'S LIKE A KID OUT THERE.
AFTER THAT GERALD GREEN COMES OUT, PUTS A CUPCAKE ON THE BACK OF THE RIM, BLOWS IT OUT AND DUNKS THE BALL. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? HE DIDN'T DO THAT, THAT'S CRAZY TALK; THE SLAM DUNK CONTEST IS BACK. THAT DUNK CONTEST MADE ME WANT TO GO HOME, EAT SOME CUPCAKES AS I'M NAKED IN A BUBBLE BATH, ALL WHILE GETTING FELLATED BY THREE STRIPPERS. HE BLEW THE CUPCAKE OUT PEOPLE, BLEW IT OUT, THAT IS INCREDIBLE. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING NOT GIVING HIM A 50 ON THAT DUNK??
JAMARIO TRIED TO TOP IT ALL BY PUTTING A PIECE OF TAPE 6 FEET BEHIND THE FREE THROW LINE. If he had actually completed it from where the tape was I'd still be yelling now, I would have had to have left and gone home to eat some beignets probably out of hooker's belly button while pleasuring myself with some Huey Lewis and the News on the stereo and American Psycho on the TV. But he didn't, so I stayed.
I liked, but didn't love Gerald Green's next dunk, McCants held the ball up as Green put his head above the rim and caught the ball and did a windmill dunk. It was nice, but I can't see obviously because I wanted him to actually take the ball out of McCants hands instead of McCants actually throwing it higher and making it a more difficult shot.
DWIGHT HOWARD THEN WINS THE CONTEST, THE BIG FELLA WON, SUPERMAN WAS IN THE BUILDING, IT WAS INCREDIBLE, DID YOU SEE IT, THEY EVEN PLAYED THE MUSIC! CHARLES EVEN WANTED TO KNOW IF THIS IS WHERE ARE YOU KIDDING ME HAPPENS. I'M GLAD I DIDN'T GO HOME THEN, BUT I WANTED TO SO I COULD GO LOOK FOR BIGFOOT, OFFER HIM SOME BEEF JERKY, THEN TAKE IT AWAY. THEN I WOULD GIVE IT BACK TO HIM THEN TAKE IT AWAY. THEN I WOULD INVITE HIM OVER TO HAVE A THREESOME WITH ME AND TYRA BANKS. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EPIC, BUT I COULDN'T GO HOME JUST YET SO THE POOR BIGFOOT BIG FELLA HAD TO WAIT FOR NEXT TIME.
GERALD GREEN MADE ME GLAD I STAYED AS HE GOT A PASS FROM BEHIND THE BACKBOARD, PUT IT BETWEEN HIS LEGS AND DUNKED THE BALL DOWN THROUGH THE RIM AND NET. IT DIDN'T MAKE ME WANT TO GO HOME, BUT IT MADE ME WANT TO GO TO THE HOTEL AND SNORT SOME COKE OFF OF SOME CHICK FROM NEW ORLEANS MAMMARIES.
BIG FELLA, BIG FELLA, BIG FELLA, I CAN'T BELIEVE DWIGHT HOWARD DID HIS NEXT DUNK. I HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN A VIDEO GAME!!! HE BOUNCED IT OFF THE GROUND, HIT IT WITH HIS LEFT HAND OFF THE BACKBOARD THEN DUNKED IT WITH HIS RIGHT HAND!! I ACTUALLY QUIT MY JOB AND WENT HOME FOR A FEW SECONDS. I THOUGHT THE SUPERMAN WAS TOP 5 ALL TIME, THEN HE WENT AND DID THIS AND NOW HE HAS TWO TOP 5 OF ALL TIME DUNKS!!
I WAS PACKING MY BAGS TO LEAVE WHEN GERALD GREEN DUNKED BAREFOOT, BUT I WAS STILL READY TO GO HOME FROM HOWARD'S DUNK. I WAS READY TO GO DOWN TO BOURBON STREET, DRINK SOME HURRICANE'S, KNOCK UP TWO DIFFERENT CALL GIRLS, EAT SOME MUFFALETTA, THEN DRIVE TO THE AIRPORT, ALL WHILE I WAS TEXTING B FOR DWIGHT HOWARD TO WIN THE WHOLE MAMA-JAMA. I ACTUALLY GAVE DWIGHT MY VOTE FOR MVP OF THE LEAGUE BECAUSE HE WON THE DUNK CONTEST.
THE CRAZY THING IS THAT AFTER ALL THOSE LEGENDARY, AWE-INSPIRING, SPLENDIFEROUS DUNKS, D-HO HAD ONE MORE THAN BLEW MY SOCKS OFF. HE PUT A SMALL BASKET UP THEN PUT A BALL ON IT. HE GRABBED THE BALL FROM UP THERE, DID A WINDMILL AND WON THIS THING GOING AWAY. I MEAN, HE COULD HAVE DONE THIS LAST YEAR, BUT WE MISSED OUT BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN'T COUNT TO 12'6". IF I ACTUALLY TOOK A SECOND TO THINK OF ALL THESE DUNKS AT ONCE WHILE I WAS THERE, I'M PRETTY SURE THAT I WOULD HAVE BEEN ON A PLANE BEFORE I KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING, HAVING SEX WITH A STEWARDESS IN FIRST CLASS, WHILE DRINKING FREE FIRST CLASS HURRICANES MADE FROM MIX I BOUGHT AT PAT O'BRIENS, THINKING OF DWIGHT HOWARD INSTEAD OF THE STEWARDESS, EATING BEIGNETS, GETTING READY TO PUNCH MY DOG WHEN I GOT OFF THE PLANE, AND HAVING BIG FOOT SIT NEXT TO ME WATCHING THE WHOLE THING.
Oh, yeah, the All Star game.
I guess I should do a token analysis. We did have a few players there. I can't figure out what Dikembe was doing there though. Other than cheering for every dunk, even the ones that suck. Gotta love the cookie monster.
The Dunk Contest. Yeah, Dwight Howard was impressive. The self-alley-oop off the backboard. The behind-the-backboard left handed dunk. The little basket prop. And the non-dunk Superman Dunk. All insanely impressive.
Gerald Green had two impressive dunks as well. But he showed a complete absence of anything resembling charisma. Except for that "Houston" tattoo he has.
The contest itself was sorely lacking in this though:
Dunking Power Dancers. You can't beat that Dwight.
But you have proven that you can knock them up!
We will not discuss the Rookie Game. Scola has a gold freakin' medal. He has no use for standing around to watch former University of Texas players chuck three-pointers. Boobie shot TWENTY 3s in one game?!?!?
What about the All Star Game itself?
Hmmmm, no Kobe. No KG. And no one would pass the ball to Yao. Boring. I think I only watched about half the game. Ray Allen misses two FTs, but makes the important 3-pointers? Yeah, that makes sense.
Rockets v. Cleveland tomorrow night. Going for 9 in a row. That's what matters!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
The first game out of the break for the Rockets is against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is also know as win number 9 of 10 in a row. Dave and I did a little Q&A with Carolyn aka Q Town Mayor over at the And One blog for Cleveland.com.
Check out our answers to Carolyn's questions here
1. What was the worse free agent decision in the summer of 2005 - Larry Hughes (a bad contract to go with bad shot selection), re-signing Z (even though LeBron wants to run and Z can't run), or Donyell Marshall (who I am still mad at for ruining my NCAA tournament bracket when he was at UConn and lost in round 2)? I think it's gotta be Hughes, but...
Answer: I love my guys and like to think everyone brings their own set of skills to the table. The problem is whether those elements mesh into a cohesive team. I'm worried Larry isn't happy with his situation and that is never productive but I'm not willing to criticize any of them. Also, Larry Hughes may have just needed more time; he's been playing well lately.
2. What is the most important thing the Cavaliers need to do to get back to the NBA Finals (i.e., acquire a player, fire a coach, fire a GM, etc.)?
Answer: Stop falling, tripping, twisting and breaking body parts. What players should be acquired/traded? As opposed to acquiring a new player, I would like to see the Cavs cultivate someone like Devin Brown or Cedric Simmons. Positive criticism, mentoring, a general feeling of belonging go a long way to creating confidence which is the key to success on the court.
3. What do the Cavs need to do to make sure that LeBron doesn't go play for Jay-Z and New Jersey when he's a free agent in 2 years?
Answer: Drop off his mom, Gloria, at Exit 13 on the NJ Turnpike for a day or two. Maybe free tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and one of Akron's famous Hummers would entice The Kidd to Ohio. Also, see my Open Letter to LeBron (http://blog.cleveland.com/andone/2008/02/an_open_letter_to_lebron_james.html).
4. Who is your favorite Cavalier of all time? I've read your background on your injury and getting into the playoffs that year, but did you have a history with the team?
Answer: At the moment, it's Austin Carr. As a former player and now as a commentator, it's clear he cares about the Cavs - their history, their reputation, their future, their health – almost as much as I do. I personally have no history with the Cavs. Grew up in NJ and came to Ohio by way of Iowa, Western New York and Hotlanta. As a kid, I watched a lot of baseball and played soccer and basketball with my older brother. As an adult, I became somewhat sedentary; first due to work obligations and then due to medical complications. Discovering the NBA world and LeBron and the Cavs has done more for my well being than any surgery I've had.
5. I'm a firm believer that LeBron should average 10 assists a game. No player in the league gets more triple teams and no player in the league is allowed to travel more to get through those triple teams. That should lead to more assists. He's averaging over 7 the last time I looked, and that's great, but why isn't he at 10? I know Larry Hughes can't shoot, but Jones and Gibson can.
Answer: Again, I agree with the basic premise. 10 assists per game from a player of LeBron's caliber is not an unreasonable goal. I've seen LB's game evolve over the past two years and I'm sure there is more to come. Additionally, passing the ball depends on the active players at any given moment. There's definitely chemistry between LeBron and Boobie (Gibson) which works when Boobie is on the floor and open for a pass. Our injury rate has painfully reduced passing options which is part of the "healthy team as a necessity for success" argument. My guess is that we'll see more assists per game in the playoffs and future seasons.
6. What's your hope for the rest of the season? I think you need to get healthy as a team and need to have Larry Hughes have more 40 point games like he did before he got there.
Answer: A healthy team is a necessity. One or two injured players is a minor aggravation; five or six makes you want to default or call a do-over. If our injured guys can heal during the All Star break, we have the ability to win 50 games for the third season in a row and be ready to rock the Playoffs.
7. What's your final season prediction?
1. Detroit Pistons
2. Boston Celtics
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Orlando Magic
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Atlanta Hawks
7. New Jersey Nets
8. Washington Wizards
1. Phoenix Suns
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Dallas Mavericks
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. New Orleans Hornets
6. Utah Jazz
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Houston Rockets
That ends the Q&A, thanks again Carolyn!!
Wikipedia has a bunch of rankings. Things I believe 1. JFK was a shitty president; any ranking with him in the top ten is bullshit 2. As much as I love Ronnie Ray-Gun and believe he is a top 10 president, I don't want controversy. 3. As much as Bill Clinton the person makes me laugh and I actually like him, he is not a top 20 president
I kind of like the Wall Street Journals list and even though it made number 2 an issue, I said screw it. I don’t agree with it completely, but it’s the closest to what I do believe to be the top 10 in US History. So here it is, the Presidents of the Houston Rockets.
10. Otis Thorpe as Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was nicknamed "Old Hickory" because he was renowned for his toughness. I’m actually a little pissed off that I never called Otis Old Hickory. That would be a perfect nickname for him. They are also in the top 10 of all time in odd categories, Jackson in most bullets left in him from duels, and Thorpe is 10th all time in personal fouls. A few items of note about Otis, taken directly from Wikipedia:
18th in games played (1257)
20th in minutes played (39822)
58th in field goals (6872)
14th in field goal percentage (.546)
13th in offensive rebounds (3446)
20th in defensive rebounds (6924)
31st in total rebounds (10370)
25th in turnovers (2774)
10th in personal fouls (4146)
61st in points (17600)
35th in true shooting percentage (.584)
9. Elvin Hayes as James K. Polk
Polk was the 11th president, and in his first stint with the Rockets Hayes wore number 11. Am I stretching it with this comparison? You bet your ass I am. I have to admit, I really don’t know much about Polk or Hayes. They both accomplished what they set their minds to. Polk completed the manifest destiny of the US and Hayes made it to college as the first African American alongside Don Chaney on the Houston Cougars. Considering he didn’t start playing basketball until right before High School, that shows some pretty good will power. I never got to see Elvin play, and he only had 5 or so seasons with the Rockets, but he’s a Hall of Famer and played college ball in Houston as well, so he’s on this list.
8. Robert Horry as Dwight D. EIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIsenhower
My favorite non-Hakeem, non-Yao Rocket of all time and my favorite president of all time, pretty fitting. I like Ike and I like Big Shot Rob (Bob is bullshit, his name is Robert). DDE is a Texan and the first Texan born president, Horry started his career in Houston both had extremely successful. Eisenhower tried to get into the Naval Academy and was denied, he then went into the Military Academy at West Point, graduated then managed to kick German ass all over the place after graduation. Horry came to the Rockets as most people wanted Harold Minor, but kicked ass quickly and as a young guy won our first two (and so far only two) championships. Both were appreciated more in history than they were when they were actually around, Horry after he left the Rockets and Eisenhower after he had been out of office for a while. Plus Ike is Al Bundy's favorite President, and Al Bundy knows all.
7. Clyde Drexler as Harry Truman
Clyde was only with the Rockets a few years, but his total career and his contribution to the Rockets second championship are enough to make this list. Much like Truman his career accomplishments were much more impressive as you look back on them. He was always a great player, but Jordan overshadowed him his entire career. Truman was a very good president (for a Democrat) but was sandwiched between FDR and Eisenhower. Truman effectively ended World War II with the atomic bomb and was around for the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall plan, the Truman Doctrin, the creation of NATO and the Korean War. Clyde was named one of the 50 greatest of all time, has a top ten nickname (The Glide), played in 10 All Star games, 35th in minutes played even though he is 54th in games, 26th in field goals, 39th in offensive rebounds, 26th in assists, 7th in steals, 26th in points, and 17th in Win Shares.
6. Rudy T as Ronald Reagan
My favorite president of my lifetime and my favorite Rockets coach of all time. Both had two different successful careers. Reagan as an actor and politician and Tomjanovich as a player and then a coach. And as Dave put it when I was tossing this idea around, “They are both hugely popular and head shots still can't kill them as Kermit Washington and that Jodie Foster fan proved”. I had written something pretty similar in my notes, but not quite as straightforward. I still think that Reagan’s Alzheimer’s and Rudy’s health problems late in life had to do with these two events. They were both good guys by all accounts and cared about others.
5. Tracy McGrady as Teddy Roosevelt
Both were relatively young when they started, Tracy straight out of High School and Roosevelt was only 42 when he took office and is the youngest to ever do so. Tracy was one of the first successful straight to the NBA players, and Roosevelt was the first Vice President to succeed a President in turn elected on his own to office. Both have nicknames that start with a T, TMac and Teddy. Both were successful with different roles, McGrady as a member of the Magic and then the Rockets and Roosevelt as Vice President/President and then Governor of New York. Tracy has been outspoken about Darfur and Teddy was one of the first presidents to appoint African Americans to governmental duties. My favorite ridiculous association is that the Teddy Bear came about because of Roosevelt and lots of kids use them to help them go to sleep, and TMac always looks like he’s sleepy and needs Clutch to help him get a nap.
4. Yao Ming as Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson is the author of the Declaration of Independence bringing independence to the United States of America and Yao Ming is the first Chinese born player to contribute and be drafted highly in NBA history. Jefferson was a member of Virginia royalty and Yao was born of Chinese basketball royalty in the form of both his mother and father. Jefferson was in college at the age of 16 and Yao first played professionally on the junior Sharks team at the age of 13. Yao started his basketball career in China and played on the Chinese National team and Jefferson started as a state legislator and then as Governor of Virginia. In Jefferson’s political career and in Yao’s early NBA career they had tough times. Virginia was invaded twice by the British as Jefferson served as Governor and Yao had to start his career on a team that prominently featured Kelvin Cato, Moochie Norris and Cuttino Mobley. The final connection for now comes in the fact that Jefferson first played second fiddle to John Adams as his Vice President and then became President on his own. Yao played second fiddle to Steve Francis and then to Tracy McGrady, but now is the sole All Star on the Rockets, leading the team on a daily basis.
3. Calvin Murphy as Franklin D. Roosevelt
The greatest comparison I can make is that FDR created Welfare, and Calvin has about 30 kids by 35 different mothers, or something like that. Calvin shot the ball from about 30 feet half the time and in my mind helped create the idea for the 3 point line, FDR made the US institute a term limit after he was in office for 4 consecutive terms. FDR is from NY and Calvin played college ball at Niagra. Norwalk High School where Calvin attended is at 23 Calvin Murphy Rd and countless High School’s in the US are named after FDR. Calvin was only 5’9 but never let it stop him overcoming his height to become an NBA All Star and Hall of Famer and FDR overcame Guillain-Barré syndrome and paralysis, never letting it stop him and was one of the greatest Presidents of all time.
2. Moses Malone as Abraham Lincoln
Moses was the first player to go straight out of High School to the ABA/NBA, Lincoln had little formal education, but self educated his way to becoming a lawyer and legislator. After a successful but not particularly awe inspiring beginning to his career, Lincoln returned to politics with a vengeance, ultimately becoming President. Moses started out his career in the ABA and had a good one, but it wasn’t until he became a Houston Rocket that it really took off, killing the league with his offensive rebounding, his third year in Houston making his first of 12 consecutive All Star teams. Lincoln was in office for 5 years, and Moses was on the Rockets for only 5 years, though the Rockets turned the pick they got for him into Ralph Sampson. I couldn’t come up with a comparison for the Emancipation Proclamation because, well come on, the guy freed America of Slavery, there aren’t many things in history better than that, Moses is African American though, so in the long run, it certainly helped him.
1. Hakeem Olajuwon as George Washington
The greatest player in Rockets history and the greatest president in US history, pretty simple really. Olajuwon is a Houston institution, our Nation’s capital is named after Washington. Olajuwon lost the NCAA championship but won the NBA championship twice and Washington lost many battles, but won the ones that counted, helping the US win it’s independence from Great Britain. Hakeem presided over the Rockets only two championship seasons, and the greatest season in Rockets history. Washington presided over the birth of the United States, and creation of the US as a world power. Washington’s face is on the one, was the first president and was originally a British citizen. Hakeem is the face of Houston basketball, won the first championship in Houston history and was originally a citizen of Nigeria.
That wraps up this edition of “Houston Rockets as…”.
Thanks for stopping by and again, Happy Presidents Day!