The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: Rockets/Hawks - the Best of Both Worlds!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Rockets/Hawks - the Best of Both Worlds!

Last night's game was not only our 20th (!?!?!!) win in a row... it was also the best of both worlds for me as I write today's recap. And no, I am not referring to Randal Graves' movie selections when I say "Best of Both Worlds." I promise.

No - it's a twin killing, because not only did we win - and win ugly - in a very classic "trap game", but now I also get to insult, cajole and ridicule Rafer Alston mercilessly after actually saying something nice about him yesterday afternoon. I think a chick-with-a-dick could have outplayed Rafer last night.

Seriously, 3-18? What convinced you that taking eighteen-freakin'-shots was actually a good idea, Rafer? Was it when you finally managed to hit the rim on shot #7? I mean, usually an 0-8 first half shooting display would encourage me to tone it down in the second half. But no, you chucked up ANOTHER ten shots! An impressive display of hubris!

Hey, Rafer - you suck! Ya jackass!

I can't believe you are a professional basketball player, Rafer. You should have been working in the snack bar during the 2nd half! What the hell was that shooting display last night?!?!?

Okay, okay - enough about Rafer. It's pretty clear he sucks again and the "old" Rafer re-emerged after two months in hiding. I sorta liked the new Rafer, but last night reminded me why I still hate the mere concept of "Rafer Alston, starting point guard."


As for the game itself - the win was absolutely freakin' necessary. And thank God we have T-Mac, Luis Scola and Chuck Hayes. Carl Landry would have been MVP of this game, but unfortunately he and Yao were back in Houston playing cards. For the first time in the streak I actually thought the outcome might be in doubt.

Let me put this in a different perspective. Richard Justice will probably rip this off later today, but whatever. Let's look at the standings. Right now the Rockets are 44-20 and on a 20-game winning streak. We are still one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for #1 in the Western Conference. Everyone knows this.

BUT - what if, for some crazy reason, we "only" went 15-5 over the last 20 games? I mean, it wouldn't have been all that surprising to lose to Cleveland once, the Hornets once or twice, the Mavericks or even the Atlanta team we saw last night. Not to forget about Denver. If we somehow dropped five of those games, we'd be 39-25. Still respectable, right? And yet, we'd be in 8th or 9th place in the West and still scrambling just to make the playoffs. Especially if one of the hypothetical losses was to Denver.

Think about this: We needed every single one of the games we won during the streak. How ridiculous is that?

Last night's game is why we love the Rockets though. To explain it using a poker metaphor - it was a classic night of being card dead and yet grinding out a profitable evening anyway. We couldn't shoot. We had trouble rebounding. We couldn't pass the ball either (thanks, Rafer). And yet we just found a way to stay in the game and somehow steal a victory. The NBA equivalent of a successful bluff.

Of course, it helps when the Hawks decide to try to guard Tracy McGrady with Marvin Williams. Yeah, that makes no sense. Thanks for the gift, uhhh, who is the Hawks coach again? I forgot his name. Do they even have a coach right now?

Well, a win is a win. And I'll definitely take it!

Friday night - the Charlotte Bobcats. Another young, athletic team.
Win #21 in a row!

Go Rockets!


Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...

Geez. I know Rafer was horrendous (the six assists were nice on a night no one could hit anything, but 18 shots?!) but it almost sounds like you're giddy that you get to rip into him again.

grungedave said...

that's because I am.

we continue to win AND I get to point out that Rafer sucks? Beautiful.

Forshizzzle said...

This was by far the worst Rafer played in a very, very long time. His play during the streak has been a huge reason for the success, and his play last night could have been the end of it as well. He took far too many bad shots, and he hasn't been doing too much of that lately.

The athletic guys down low for the Hawks really shut off the scoring inside. Made it very difficult for Scola, and without Landry, the Rockets struggled to get anything going inside. Lately, they've been able to get some post scoring from Luis, but just couldn't make it happen last night. Gutsy win, but that performance definitely won't get it done against the Lakers and Celtics and other elite teams.

Have to keep winning though. Only three game lead in the loss column over the 8th place team. Going 2-4 over the next six could put the Rockets back at the bottom of the pack.

UofTOrange said...

This is the game I thought they were going to give us back in Houston in February, I'll take the Rockets dominated one out of two and just getting by on the other. I pray you are not right forshizzle, but i believe you are about this being the end of the good Rafer. Maybe he can have a short memory this time. You know, for once

Zoabe said...

man, ive been looking for a good rockets blog that updates consistently forever, and i thought i found it with yours. its even a pretty smooth read. but you rip into rafer so needlessly it just seems that you don't really understand the game. im no rafer fan either, but i at least understand why hes on the court. of those 18, 16 were good shots. and in our offense, passing up a good shot is as bad as taking a bad one. hes not a good shooter nor the best starting pg in the game, and never will be, but you have to understand the difference between him in the last two months comes from an improved shot selection, not just some fluke.

congrats, you lost a reader.

UofTOrange said...

If you haven't figured it out, a lot of what we (mostly I) say is said in jest of Rafer. I've jumped on the Rafer bandwagon more times than I can count and every time I do he tosses up a 3-18 night. And no, 16 of 18 were not in the flow, but I will grant you that 11 or 12 were. It's more of a running joke than anything, I can't say anything good about him for feeling that it jinxes him every time I do. And I'm a really superstitious guy. It's just kind of a crazy coincidence that every time Dave and I come around he has a game like last night. I love the passion he plays with and the way he runs the offense. There are about 18-20 teams in the league that would think about trading their starter straight up for him. I even like his nickname, but damn man, how do I compliment him if every time I do he reverts to the bad Rafer? For the sake of the Rockets I have to keep on him. Behind closed doors my compliments have to be