The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: October 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time to switch your bookmarks!!

If you are seeing this... well, you probably have the wrong link.

We are now at -- adjust your bookmarks accordingly!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voting for best blogs (Houston Rockets and others)

Daniel with LA Ball Talk has put together a poll/voting contest to determine what is the best (or at least most popular) blog for each team in the NBA. We have been nominated for best Houston Rockets blog along with Red Rowdies and Clutch Fans. Even though Red Rowdies is dormant and Clutch Fans isn't really a "blog" per se.

Please go VOTE HERE to inflate our egos even more!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Central Division Blogger Previews

chi.gif cle.gif det.gif

ind.gif mil.gif

Chicago Bulls
Nels: Give Me The Rock
Matt: Blog-a-Bull

Cleveland Cavaliers

Rock: Waiting For Next Year
FTS: Fear The Sword
David Friedman: 20 Second Timeout
Amar Panchmatia: Cavalier Attitude

Detroit Pistons

Brian Spencer: Empty the Bench
Natalie Sitto:
Matt Watson: Detroit Bad Boys

Indiana Pacers

Tom: Indy Cornrows

Milwaukee Bucks

Jeramey Jannene: The Bratwurst
Frank Madden: BrewHoop

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Announcement! An update!

A few weeks ago... okay a long time ago we tipped everyone off to the fact that we are moving this blog over to SBNation.

Well, the time is almost near.

Within the next 7-10 days we should be active over at SBNation. No need to change your links or anything - just be aware that things are going to look a lot different at the new location. It will still be us, and we'll still be writing about the same things as before. We certainly aren't selling out to be "real" or "professional" journalists now. F that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's called the "preseason" for a reason!!!

The Rockets lost to the Durants last night. Yeah, yeah I know - the Durants suck. A lot. But then again, it did not count for anything!! That's the beauty of the preseason: it is the one time in basketball where the final score does not matter. At all.

And yet....

the Chronicle has a headline talking about the Rockets being "unwatchable" in the preseason. Yes, really. I have no idea why. If the goal was to win, I can guarantee that Joey Dorsey wouldn't get much playing time. Certainly not 24 minutes worth.

I mean, seriously, Von Wafer was in the starting lineup. Von Wafer!!! That right there should be a signal that the Rockets care not about your entertainment value in a preseason game. And they should not care about us (yet). Now is the time to see who can make the *final* roster spot - not who is worthy of a starting spot. That is how you lose to the Durants by 6. That's about the only way the Rockets could lose to them.

Now, Mr. Feigen, I typically like what you write - but this was unnecessary. If there is ever reason to worry about the Houston Rockets, it won't happen until after October 29th. Unless Yao Ming gets injured... or Rafer gets cloned. Or something like that.

For what it's worth though - Yao had 16 rebounds in 24 minutes. Yeah, he's a badass!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Southwest Division Previews

To go along with our preview over at CelticsBlog, the rest of the Southwest Division previews are as follows:

Dallas Mavericks - Mavs Moneyball
Memphis Grizzlies - 3 Shades of Blue
New Orleans Hornets - Hornets 24/7, AtTheHive, and Hornets Hype
San Antonio Spurs - 48 Minutes of Hell

Seriously, the Hornets have a plethora of good blogs, Mavs Moneyball is always great, even when we disagree, 3 Shades of Blue somehow finds things to talk about the Grizzlies on a daily basis, 48 Minutes of Hell puts together a great site to go with a fantastic name.

Also, Dave and I will be at the March 16th Hornets game in New Orleans, you know if any of us still have jobs then thanks to this economy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Comments on the Rockets from Deadspin

Yes, I know, Deadspin isn't nearly as good as it was before Will Leitch left... it's disappointing on many levels most days now.

That said, they did post a season preview of the Houston Rockets today.

Using Brent Barry as the representative picture (!?!?!?). Odd.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

10 things Rafer sucks less than

I've been informed by many people that maybe - just maybe - I am being too harsh on Rafer Alston. He did after all start a majority of games for a team that won 55 games last year, and he was a big part of the Streak. He also had that memorable game against the Lakers, which just so happened to be the one day ever recorded when I actually encouraged him to shoot the ball.

So, on that note, here is a list of 10 people or things that suck more than Rafer Alston:

1. The English Patient
2. the 1990s version of Jenna Jameson
3. the Utah Jazz
4. J.R. Towles (that bastard owes me $20)
5. Sage Rosenfels in the 4th Q on 10/4/2008
6. Limp Bizkit
7. Pearl Jam's Vs. CD
8. New Coke
9. John Travolta
10. Hurricane Ike

feel free to add to the list in the comments...

No, no, no!! My head is about to explode

The Rockets like who they have at point guard? Right now?!?

Did we make a trade I was unaware of???

... because assault, drunk driving and all around sucktitude clearly isn't getting the message across!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rockets preview on

The 2008/09 Houston Rockets preview has been posted on Sports Illustrated -- well, more specifically, but it's all the same these days, right?

Here it is for your enjoyment.

And yes, that little sidebar on the page was written by yours truly. That was fun to write, but limiting myself to 200 words was difficult!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I expect to win... with flair!

In the midst of all the season previews, there is one prevailing theme: the Houston Rockets are going to be very, very interesting this year. Win or lose, this team now has personality.

A year ago, the roster was rather bland. People were mostly unfamiliar with Scola; Tracy and Yao were not exactly Agent Zero level personalities; Chuck Hayes was good, but bland (okay, he's still kinda bland which only amazes me more that he's got a Chinese shoe contract); Rafer not only sucked but was uninteresting in the process. And the only player with personality on the bench was Dikembe. Who didn't play much. Bonzi Wells was the most boring crazy person ever...

but something changed.

Now we have Crazy Pills.
We have a white dude who also used to be a Slam Dunk Champ.
We have a rookie that may or may not be addicted to strip clubs.
Alston at least is now interesting when he f--ks up.
Yao is engaging in beer drinking competitions.

Yes -- you read that right. Yao... beer... how freakin' awesome is that?!?!?

One thing I know - I will never lack for material this year.

NBA Blogger Previews: Your Houston Rockets!

Today is the Southwest Division bloggers entry day, and we were honored to represent the Houston Rockets.

Team Name: THE Houston Rockets
Last Years Record: 55-27
Key Losses: Bobby Jackson and maybe Dikembe Mutombo
Key Additions: Ron “No Lay-ups, Crazy Pills, Ron Ron” Artest

1. What significant moves were made during the off-season?
Steve Novak leaving this team will come back to haunt it. I have no idea how Daryl Morey can sleep at night knowing that he traded away the next Reggie Miller. Novak could average 30 in this league, you know, if he was always left open, didn’t have to create his own shot and was allowed to not play defense. It’s unfathomable to me that we could let that kind of player go for nothing but a pick swap!

I guess Ron Artest coming to the Rockets for Bobby Jackson, a rookie and a sure thing NBA first round bust next year is big news, but I just don’t see it. That guy can’t even shoot 60% or play defense for 49 minutes on average a game. Wait, just a second, my sources are telling me that he actually is pretty good.

The Artest trade will go down as one of the biggest steals in NBA history if you ask me, and since you did, that’s my stance. Even if Greene turns out to be a solid player, we got a top 30 player for a rookie, an old PG and a future very late round pick (I can only assume). That’s a steal as long as Ron Ron can play more like No Lay-ups and less like Crazy Pills. I believe he can. I don’t think anyone who has paid attention to the man thinks he is stupid, and this is a contract year. He will be playing to stay on the best team he’s ever been a part of. That’s right; it’s a step above the Pacers team that was ruined after the brawl. There are two players on this team better than anyone on that Pacers team, and Ron was the second best player on that team behind O’Neal. Plus, I love crazy on my team, just one guy can be crazy, but I really think you need that one guy.

2. What are the team's biggest strengths?

Defense – JVG installed a philosophy with this team and the greatest coaching move Rick Adelman could have made was to reinforce that philosophy. There are a couple of teams equal to the Rockets on the defensive end, but none of them are better, that’s not conjecture, that’s a fact. When you go down the lane, you won’t enjoy it, when you shoot a 3 pointer, someone will be in your face, and when you try to take your man one on one, someone will come around with the help defense. It’s the best part of our game, and it’s generally infallible no matter how poorly we play on the offensive end in a given game. We rarely get outplayed by a good offense and that is a testament to what JVG put in and to how good a coach Adelman is to not try and fix what wasn’t broken.

Coaching – I truly believe Rick Adelman is a fantastic coach. That’s not to say that JVG wasn’t, I still have a mad man crush on that guy’s basketball knowledge. But JVG getting a raw deal doesn’t change the fact that Adelman was a fantastic hire, that the offense got better throughout the year and was rolling when Yao went down, and that his staff is solid to very good.

Ugly Free Throws – No team in the league can boast a worse free throw shooter than Chuck Hayes or a center that shoots their technicals like Yao Ming. That means that 1. There are a lot of bad free throw shooters on the team and 2. Yao is one of the best centers at the stripe of all time. Watching Chuck shoot free throws is one of the guiltiest pleasures around, you know, provided it’s in a blow-out and the Rockets don’t actually need them to go in the basket.

3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses?

Offensive Consistency – Last year, with players in and out of the lineup, the Rockets could not keep things straight on the offensive end. If Rafer was having his 1 good game out of every 4 games, then the Rockets were likely to win. If Yao was playing and the others around him fed him the ball, we were likely to win. If Tracy was playing defense and turning it into transition points or magically hitting the 20 foot jumper, we were likely to win. All of those things were hit or miss though, and that’s what needs to change. I think that this will be fixed with the arrival of Artest, but it does mean that Bobby Jackson can’t come in to calm the team down when Rafer is not playing well. In all, the team’s consistency on offense will hinge on two things: 1. Can Rafer play as well as he did last year and improve on his decision making and 2. Can Ron Artest keep it together and fill in the gaps on offense. I think 2 is almost a certainty and the jury is out on 1. I really want good things from Rafer, but fool me once…

Injuries – It is very clear that Yao going down for the season ruined any chance of the Rockets getting out of the first round. That didn’t stop them from trying and putting up a fight, but it was not one they could win. McGrady goes down every year for some time and even Alston hurt the team by being out with an ankle injury in the playoffs. If the Rockets are injury free for the entire year, I will personally guarantee a championship. The issue at hand is that it is very unlikely for that to be true. I am hoping that they can limit them, that Yao’s injuries are just flukes and that McGrady can continue to play through the ailments that he has. The addition of Artest means that if TMac goes down then the Rockets can be okay for short stretches, and it means the same thing for Battier. With Shane already fighting an injury before the season has even started, Artest is going to need to be counted on to step in right away. A full preseason slate should help with that. I also think that clears the argument about which one of them will start.

4. What are the goals for this team?

Win the Championship this year; it can not be any simpler. Artest only has this year left on his contract and there are no guarantees after that about the team. Tracy isn’t getting younger and only has a few years left on his contract and Yao is a ticking time bomb of injuries. A championship this year is the goal and the team should accept nothing less.

Predicted Record: 63-19 1st place in the West, NBA Champions

NBA Final Standings:
The East: Playoff Teams

1. Celtics (win Atlantic) - Injuries will happen this year, they will figure them out
2. Magic (win Southeast) - Will be really good
3. Lebrons (win Central) - I just can't call them the Cavaliers, the only good player they have is Lebron
4. Pistons - Old, not getting much younger
5. 76ers - Got better with Brand, didn't lose anything
6. Raptors - Losing TJ Ford, adding the walking wounded in O’Neal moves them down for me
7. Heat - DWade will make them a 3 game above .500 team
8. Bulls - I think they play better this year

The West: Playoff Teams (Top 3 teams have a shot at 60+ wins)

1. Rockets (win Southwest) - We would have been #1 last year without Yao going down
2. Hornets - Exceptionally good and getting better. They have my two favorite non-Rockets in West and CP3
3. Lakers (win Pacific) - Good, will struggle a bit putting Bynum in but will be very good.
4. Jazz (win Northwest) - I hate you, I hate you so very much Utah Jazz, but you are pretty solid

5. Spurs - They have 2 more years left before they have to turn the team over to Parker, I can't decide if that is a good thing.
6. Mavs - I could see them winning anywhere from 44-55, they are a wildcard. It depends a lot on how Josh Howard handles this offseason. I think Dirkstatic will still be awesome though.
7. Suns - Old, very old, but have Amare for the future. Hill won't be as good and Shaq will have a big downturn. They'll make the playoffs because of Nash.
8. Trailblazers


East Semifinals: Boston, Orlando, Lebrons, Philly

East Finals: Boston, Orlando

West Semifinals: Houston, NO, LA, Utah - Advance

West Finals: Houston and NO

NBA Finals: Houston v Orlando

Champion: Houston - Yao shows DHo why he's the best center in the league

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Rockets and Hurricane Ike relief efforts

Part of the joy of writing for this blog every day is that I get to make fun of Rafer Alston. Constantly. Of course, it would be highly unfair to do that and then overlook it when Rafer actually does something really cool...

like this.

Chuck Hayes and Rafer Alston delivered 2,400 pairs of Crocs shoes and hundreds of boxes of food to 1,200 Houston residents who lost their homes during Hurricane Ike earlier this month.

a tip of the hat to Rafer and Chuck!

Atlantic Division season previews

We normally avoid talking about other teams here... but in the spirit of sharing and the commonly-held anticipation of the 2008/09 regular season, we've joined in with other bloggers to share various thoughts and commentary on each of the divisions. Even the Eastern Conference!

Today? The Atlantic Division.

Boston Celtics
Jeff Clark:
Jim Weeks: Green Bandwagon
FLCeltsFan: LOY's Place
John Karalis: Red's Army
Dustin Chapman: Celtics 24/7

New Jersey Nets
Dennis Velasco: About Basketball

New York Knicks
Joey: Straight Bangin'
Seth Rosenthal: Posting and Toasting

Philadelphia 76ers
Dannie & Pete: Recliner GM
Jon Burkett: Passion and Pride

Toronto Raptors
Ryan McNeill: Hoops Addict
Cuzzy: Cuzoogle

Thank Jeff over at CelticsBlog for the idea and the effort in organizing a bunch of team-specific bloggers for this task! (Don't worry, the Southwest Division preview with our Rockets commentary is coming soon!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sage makes Rafer look competent

For one day... Rafer's sucktitude takes a backseat to the Houston Texans. Specifically one Sage Rosenfels. FUCK YOU, Sage. I can only wish you meet these creatures:

Seriously, Fuck you, Sage - this is why your dumb ass is a back up QB.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Season previews have begun!

Matt over at Hardwood Paroxysm also now writes a few entries for the NBA Fanhouse. Matt must really, really like blogging because he seems to be everywhere these days! Nevertheless, he posed an interesting question to us and asked us to answer it in a few paragraphs.

"How is the Shane Battier/Ron Artest/Luis Scola thing going to work out and will it be enough to get the Rockets to the second round? Conference Finals? What's the ceiling for this team?"

What he got in return, well... you'll just have to see for yourself!

Season preview: The NBA's Southwest Division

(and yes, I had about 20 more quotes I was prepared to use. I did my best to show restraint!)

Crazy Pills = Maverick??

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hey, Rafer! You suck, ya jackass!

We are only 27 days from the start of the Houston Rockets' regular season (where we host Memphis at 7:30pm that Monday night). Which means we need to re-declare something:


Whew... that felt good!!
For some reason, I haven't felt compelled to say that in a while!

Why now? Maybe it's because John Hollinger agrees with me.

Biggest Weakness: Point guard
The Rockets have four-fifths of a championship starting lineup and a championship-caliber bench. Also, they have Alston. While he was better last year than in 2006-07, he's pretty clearly the weak link in an imposing starting five. Alston is a solid defender and dribbler, but he hasn't shot over 40 percent in four years and opponents feel free to gamble off of him to double Yao or McGrady. Finally, he's 32, an age when many quick guards start losing it.
You see, I'm not the only one who thinks knows he sucks...

Yes, I still say Rafer needs to be traded. The Rockets are going places this year, and I don't want drunky mucking everything up. I'll even risk the inevitable midnight threats from Rafer's mom -- Rafer sucks and we need to get value for him while we can.

Or, in other words... "don't pass to this guy, he sucks!"


(note: anyone who thought I might have softened my stance on Rafer in the offseason clearly hasn't been paying attention...)