Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Rockets in the Head: Lenovo-rated 3rd Best!

Yao Central has the Rockets' Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Rafer Alston and Chuck Hayes in the top 3 of NBA.com's Lenovo Breakdown behind only the Suns' and Mavs' respective starting fives. But that doesn't quitet leave us longing for Yao's return... the Rockets' current starting 5 without Yao is number 4 on the list.

And if there was any doubt that Steve Nash is the frontrunner for a third straight MVP (he's Agent Hibachi's pick), just check out how many times his name pops up in the Lenovo generator... which we'll call the Lenovo-rator.

Is it too late for Vassilis Spanoulis give the Rockets the backcourt depth we thought he would? Maybe to him. It's gotten so bad, Clutchfans.net is headlining Spoons' "best practice of the season." And now, Spoons is feeling like he was bamboozled into taking a $5 million guaranteed contract.

Hey Abbott at True Hoop delves into the arcane personal life of the enigmatic Shane Battier. He's pulling the whole Single White Female thing on Chris Webber. The question is, who's gonna get that NBA jewelry first? Batt-man has a website, but it's being renovated with new Rockets decor.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Yao,T-Mac and Somehow... Shaq

NBA.com announced their All-Star starters yesterday. Yao, of course, led the West in votes, but won't be playing. T-Mac, however, will. Mac held off A.I. Western edition for the second guard spot in the Western Conference. Kobe, Garnett and Duncan round out the rest of the Western Conference starters.

Not one player from the league's two winningest records was voted a starter? Is there precendent for that? This is how the Toronto Sun puts the absence of Nash. Touchy Canadiens. Nobody snubbed Nashy, he's just not one of those guys. We're pretty certain he likes the two MVP trophies much better.

In the East, Lebron led all vote-getters (but gives no love to Yao). Gilbie beats out VC and he gives all the credit to AI moving West: “That was a blessing in disguise. It potentially opened years of getting in because of him going out West. He ate up all of the votes, along with Dwyane Wade. Now all I had to do is catch Vince Carter, and that is what I did."

It's all about exposure and Gilbie's publicity team, if not just himself, has been working overtime to bring "Gilbie" to the public... with the NBA blog and Tuesdays with Morrie or Ahmad or whatever, he's finally reaching the viewer at home with all kinds of crazy.
I can't help thinking Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock in just a few more years... but replace the paranoid insecurity-laden faux-gangsterism with some paranoid inferiority-laden eccentricity and you have the whimsical delusions we've all grown to love as Gilbert-isms. We voted "Gilbie" and he deserves it. But nobody deserves the All-Star bid more than Chris Bosh... except Dwight Howard. Yao Central has more on the irony of being Shaq.

• • •

Just before the Rockets @ Spurs game Wednesday, the San Antonio Express took the liberty of going Shakespearean on T-Mac. And the more you read it, as a Houston Rockets fan, the more it started making disheartening sense. But then Houston beat San Antonio, T-Mac dropped 37 and for now, all is right with the world.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Rockets in the Head: Forget Bonzi, We Want Kidd!

We know they wanted to say it. They were aching to say it, we would have said it, but in the twilight hour they thought better of it. Too bad.

5 to 1, Hoops World's story, In Houston: Van Gundy Says Team In "Peril," was suposed to be In Houston: Van Gundy Says Team In Yellow "Peril" in some misguided cleverness to referencing Yao. 5 to 1.

What they are saying is
there's a rumor of Jason Kidd going to Houston for Bonzi Wells floating around the blogosphere... but they have no source. No link. Nothing. Where is this rumor Hoops World? Why would you say something like that? Why must you tease us in this way? You can't just say Bonzi Wells for Jason Kidd and leave it at that. The contracts would never work. You're full of it. But we'd like to proliferate your desperately fabricated rumor, so we're officially submitting our endorsement for Jason Kidd. Sorry, Bonz, he's just fancier and he has his own website with acid jazz soundtrack.

Monday, January 22, 2007

G! Fashion: Rockets Dress Like Athletes

We know want you're thinking. Why haven't we done a fashion issue or celebrity gossip? Why don't we have candid shots of the Houston Rockets attending fabulous galas and celebrity events? Well, think no more.

Courtesy of Yao Ming Mania, we bring you Houston's very own pro basketball organization attending their annual Tux and Tennies Gala at the Toyota Center.

Tux and tennies? Who's the publicity genius that came up with this one? We know, token line, but what-EV. Honestly, this might just be the little metro in us all speaking--come on, you all watched
Prada, the box office returns say you did--but really... black tuxes and white sneakers?

They look like they just stepped out of a rented stretch limo for the 8th grade Sadie Hawkins. Mee-ow!

That just don't look right. Hell, black sneakers wouldn't look right. Only Skip pulls it off, going with the white jacket and the very fashionable patent leather Air Force Ones with the black trim. Looks like he's ready to jitterbug.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rockets in the Head: We Want Bonzi!

Yes, we wanted the Rockets to get Bonzi in the off-season... and we are not all the more careful what we wish for... but how could we know an increasingly absurd list of injuries and personal issues would keep him off the court for so long.

We know the Bonz was a playoff buy, but we still want to see him play with the others before the playoffs actually start.

Now, Hoops World is saying the Rockets are trying to move him. Like hell... the boy ain't even played yet. Let the boy play. Trading him now would probably take "pulling a Stro'" as we like to call it (or giving a player away--see Stromile Swift). Play Bonzi. Do it.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Off the Yao Wire: Yao Ming & Nia Long, It's Official

Yes, their names are mathematically proportionate... like some kind of Da Vinci code, so it must be destined by the powers that be. Yao Central has a link to Ming's reaction of MediaTakeout.com's report that he and Nia Long are dating, which needless to say, is dumbfounded confusion.

But we can't help thinking he was overcompensating in rejecting rumors of the lovely Miss Long with his girlfriend standing by. Too short? Are you serious? Never heard of her? Come on... she was Lisa on Fresh Prince!

Then again, we can't help also thinking this is a desperate and misguided attempt by Nia Long's people to get Miss Long some media attention by planting a love connection so absurd that it guarantees plenty of coverage and yet is easy to refute. But didn't two guys just beat themselves over the head over her at LA's The Grove shopping mall last summer? How much attention was one lady need? Maybe we've been watching too much Entourage.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Luther Head is Getting His Fan Club

When Luther Head was drafted by the Rockets last season, there was a lot of buzz about his athleticism. We heard talk about his 40+" verticle leap. But we never saw it. Head wasn't much of a dunker last year, even on the break. Eventually, we stopped believing the hype.

Then Luther went and did this (or that above) and had us spinning around, slapping our knees and hooting like old prospectors who struck gold. And we realized we should have done more research. And we would have found this below... from the Wendy's Chicago vs. New York All-Star Classic at DePaul University.

Now we know... and knowing is half the battle. "I Love Head" fan club is back on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Rockets in the Head: Deke and Juwan Bend Time and Space

Dikembe Mutombo is now #2 all-time in blocked shots, passing Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (or Hakim as we like to remember him), by racking up 5 blocks against the latter's former latter team. Add 19 rebs (7 offensive) and Chron.com's huggable Fran Blinebury reminds us Deke hasn't played like this since Philly in 2000... that's right, bandwagoneers... when they went to the Finals.

But neither has Juwan Howard... or maybe not as far back, but as far as we can remember. In fact, we don't think we've ever seen him play like this. He's sticking clutch jumpers and running the break like he never got all fatty over 100 mil. No, this isn't "Max Deal" Juwan. This is "Apex of Professionalism" Juwan--which means he's better than before he became "Max Deal" 'cause now he has all this veteran leadership stuff to boot.

Sometimes questions are more powerful than answers. How is this happening? What are they? Why them and not others? Why now? What does it all mean?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Playing with Sam

We found this little Flash game starring former-Rocket Sam Cassell, or a somewhat reasonable facsimile of him, on a thread in a Charlotte Bobcats blog (http://www.bobcatsplanet.com) Don't ask us how or why we were there. It would lead only down an inexorable spiral of despair. The thread has yet to be answered.

Play the game and then go tell the thread.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Off the Yao Wire: Done and done

From Yao Central:

We believe the two issues in question were: can the Rockets win a real game against a real powerhouse? And can Tracy McGrady carry them without Yao Ming?

100-86. T-Mac: 44.

And there you have it. Next up: T-Wolves in Minnie. SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

You gotta see the crossover Mac lays on Derek Fisher. Nasty.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Rockets in the Head: T-Mac's Back, Still Good

T-Mac's playing like old T-Mac again... or young T-Mac... or younger T-Mac and the Houston Rockets are 4-1 since Yao went down with his fractured tibial plateau. Indeed he has lit our darkest hour--or at least, the first ten minutes. Yao Central has it that Mac's play has gotten the national news media (and one of Houston's own) to forget about Yao. And a commenter takes it too literally.

Meanwhile, with Yao out, Dikembe Mutombo is using his suddenly bountiful playing time to catch Kareem Abdul Jabbar for 2nd on the all-time blocked-shots list. He needs seven more. We just like how he still has to wag his finger after every block, even at the cost of holding up a fastbreak chance. Sleeper agent?

The 40... something Mt. Mutombo has also been taking lunches with greatest-Rocket-of-all-time Hakeem Olajuwon to talk about how to bring more African players to the NBA and to give assurances that Deke will retire before catching Hakeem's no. 1 spot.

Even after a fractured tibial plateau, Yao still leads the NBA in All-Star balloting in votes. Give it to Amare or do the whole Vince Carter thing and wait until they announce you to give to him. With your crutches and stuff.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fractured Tibial Plateau

If you're like us, and we know you are, you probably found yourself wondering, "just what is a fractured tibial plateau?" Well, wonder no more. This is an X-ray of a Type II (out of six according to Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics) fractured tibial plateau.

Yao's is likely a Type I, it being a non-displaced fracture, so it shouldn't look quite as excruciating... we think. Or choose to believe.