Monday, November 27, 2006

Rockets in the Head: Novak Saves

In the first game that wasn't quite a blowout, but wasn't quite not a blowout, in which the Rockets actually held off a late surge from the opposition (in this case, Memphis) and held on to a lead... the difference was Steve Novak. The rookie forward played just under three minutes in the first half and made 1-of-2 three pointers but he was the cure to the Rockets' disease. Despite not touching the hardwood in the second half, Novak single-handedly pushed the Rockets to victory. agrees... though we sense some inconsiderate irony.

Inconsiderate to the loyal followers of the cult of Novak, which includes most of Houston and the fundamentalist faction of "Red Rowdies," who merely call now for what is only the inevitable ascendance of our young savior, Steve "Brown Deer" Novak. Is you or is you ain't his constichiency?

Coach and heretic, Jeff Van Gundy, says no.

All the way down in the Rockets Notes section of, Houston's only paper news source, Novak teammate and heretic, Luther Head, receives the supposition that he was the reason the Rockets won. So what if he's 16-for-28 from three in fourth quarters this season?

Also included in the Notes is T-Mac's bid for a new stat: the would-be assist, designated if Chuck Hayes is on the receiving end.

Minnesota in town tomorrow, 7:30p. Mike James, bitch. Sorry, Oprah says no more bitch.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Yao Lands New Endorsement Deal
Gatorade subsidiary finds niche success in pop sports media

SHANGHAI -- Yao Ming has successfully parlayed his new-found status of "player everyone loves to hate" to a two-year deal with Gatorade subsidiary, Haterade. Normally reserved for particularly outspoken or demonstrative professional athletes such as Terrell Owens, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer or Charles Barkley, Yao has somehow secured the title with none of these qualities--displaying once again the inimitable abilities of Shanghai's No. 1 son. Ironically, it has been former Haterade cover model, Charles Barkley, who has led the "Everyone Hates Yao" campaign.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rockets in the Head: No Question

We used to record every Yao-Shaq matchup that came on television, beginning in Yao's rookie year up until our VCR broke in '05. A VCR is a video cassette recording device that stores data linearally onto a cassette of magnetic tape. It was analog. There were ups and there were downs and we cheered every point that Yao could muster. But we've never seen anything like this. Rockets beat the Heat 94-72. Yao laid the smackdown... and Yay!NBA agrees.

A key point of discussion this weekend on reporter Jonathan Feigen's Rockets blog and Yao Central was an Op-ed piece by Michael Ventre on that basically questioned Yao's ability (or willingness) to dominate. Yea, Ventre... good timing.
Again, Rockets 94, Miami 72; Yao 34 and 14, Shaq 15 and 10. And we won't even mention Yao's 35, 17 and 7 (blocks, kid) night against the Knicks on Friday... darn it, we did.

There's no more question here. Yao ain't no overgrown Charlie Chan... he is a dominator. Shaq looked silly... like silly putty mushed on the floor as the noticeably more agile 7'6"er was just quicker than the... less than gracious Big Ol' Aristotle. But Yao Central has more on that.

Not suprisingly, we've also been preoccupied with Tracy McGrady during this last 4-0 stretch. This is what he had to say about Sunday night:

"Now, I know what it feels like to sit back and watch a great player right before your eyes. Guys I played with in the past got caught up in the moment of just watching something great. That's what I'm doing right now, watching something great."

T-Mac is really deferring to Yao. He kept saying he would, but a lot of people say stuff (Kobe's another one, he's actually playing team ball this year... Kobe.). Mac's gotten a lot of criticism for his shooting this season and his reluctance to attack the rim, but he's become more of a playmaker and set-up man. We're loving those assist numbers. And we have a feeling that when Mac's confident that Yao's gonna get his any which way that he'll find his touch.

Not to keep to stickin' it to Shaq, but we couldn't help noticing that a couple of weeks ago... well, the title tells it all: Shaquille O'Neal Was Present at Botched Kiddie Porn Raid. ...enh, the story doesn't live up to the title.

"With Sunday's win, the Rockets have beaten last season's NBA Finals teams—Miami and Dallas—by a combined 53 points (F. Blinebury," All back aboard the championship bandwagon?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Rockets Lose Opener, China Ready for 'Next Yao'

The title was already used at Yao Central but we just liked it so much...

Yea, we looked right past the season opener to the far more interesting home opener versus the Mavs tomorrow night, but we did write an Opening Day piece about the Jazz-Rockets debacle for new blogger, Jim Dunn's Opening Day Fiasco on Detroit Pistons Today. Yep... that was before the game.

So, in perhaps related news... China has taken this opportunity to announce that they are ready to unveil to the NBA the "next Yao Ming," Yi Jian-lian, even though we're not quite done with this one. Anyone who's seen Yi play should know that he is really nothing like Yao Ming. He's a decently mobile forward (6' 11" 225 lbs) that has slightly above-average athleticism (for the NBA) and limited offensive ability, but this little vid is what's generating all the hype.

Yi might be a, uh... Tyson Chandler... or optimistically, a Jamaal Magliore... is that not optimisitic enough? The guy was an All-Star... albeit controversially... anyway, Golden State of Mind has other ideas.