Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Playoff Hustle: We're Still Unbeatable

... maybe we didn't play hard enough. maybe utah played harder. maybe boozer & deron played over there heads. maybe we weren't ready. maybe we need another penetrator...maybe we suck.......i don't know. i love the rockets & i love cheering for them. these moments are tough, but i understand these things happen. hearts get crushed...shit, we did it to new york in 94'. we did it to san antonio in 95'. we did it to L.A. in 86'. we did phoenix the worst..two do it to other teams, & it happens to your team...but if i learned anything growing up watching hakeem, its that you don't bury yourself in the maybe's, you learn from them, and build.

in 1993, after the rockets lost in game 7 to the sonics, the locker room was stagnant with sorrow. hakeem looked up at his teammates and said, " we go from here". ...2 championships later, the whole world knew never to underestimate the heart of a champion...

yes, touching story, blah blah blah. what does that have to do with these rockets? not much, but give a die hard rockets fan a little hope.. hope needs food though, you still need something. a little something to hold on to..tmac said he tried. i believe him. i also believe he'll try harder next year.. yao said, "There is no short cut. The only way to go through this is if you get the next chance, don't let it pass."....that's something. i'll take that.

you can't achieve anything meaningful in life without adversity. this is some tough adversity as far as basketball is concerned...if the rockets are destined to be champions, then they will have to overcome this. -- D.H.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Playoff Hustle: To Duke, I Call Bullshit!

In our, what now appears to be ongoing, debate on how to appropriately watch the big game, Duke responded to my criticism of his actions during a Game 4 Houston loss in Utah through his Duke Hogwild's Rd 1 Observations on the I Love (Luther) Head blog. He sums it up as something to the effect of: when your team is playing bad, sometimes you need to distract yourself for them to win. Then he proceeded to call me out for going to play with my girlfriend that ate into the first 3 quarters of the Rockets Game 6 at home. Very classy. You see, I'm a man of principle. My girlfriend and I made those plans before Game 6 was ever scheduled. I wasn't going to back out on them, and I never said otherwise.

The truth is, the first post I wrote was just a set up for this bomb right here. I didn't want to have to do it, but Duke couldn't let it drop. Bullshit. I call bullshit. You made that up, dude. You left to go play pool at halftime of that game, when the Rockets were only down 5. Yea, they were really terrible being down a whole 5 points.
And even if, for some odd reason, that was what you were thinking, what matters is that you broke our flow of viewership. Whatever you had going on consciously or subconsciously, you didn't bother to tell us about it, so the flow was broken.

And really, what it comes down to is the Rockets lost that game, that's it. The game which I arrived late, the Rockets won. That's all that matters. But on principle alone, I didn't break the flow by showing up, creating flow, then leaving, disrupting flow and returning. I don't know why Duke went to play pool that night at halftime, but it cost us Game 5. We could be preparing for Golden State right now. My actions have had no such negative implications.
In fact, the Rockets made a run right when I showed up to Game 6, so one could only surmise that I only boosted the flow in that win. Game. Set. Match.

Duke will only live this down when Houston wins the series.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Playoff Hustle: Too Good to be True...

WARRIORS 112-118 DALLAS (GSW leads series 3-2)
Yes, it was too good to be true. We thought Dallas was all but shamed for the year. And not to overstate it, but the Mavs by winning, saved the franchise as it currently stands, like it or leave it. If Dallas gets eliminated by the Warriors at home in 5, then only indiscriminate upheaval would have followed... the whole roster gets dumped with no intention of any workable return, those nifty locker rooms get torn down and Cuban puts the team on the market. Yes, like Major League. Jerry Jones then moves in to buy the team and he'll in turn move the franchise to Vegas just to piss off the Super Malouf Bros. 'Cause it's
like that between them. Actually, it isn't. Just made that up. But let it be known, Dirk "previously clutch, then strangely unclutch, now clutch again" Diggler saved the Mavericks franchise... at least, until Game 6.

NETS 98-96 RAPTORS (NJN leads series 3-2)
The Raps just can't get a boost. As moral victories go, this one was phenomenal... for the Nets. It just let the young Raps know that they'll always be there--you're gonna have to play that well every game just to scrape by with a victory. Toronto held a 20-point lead after the 1st quarter. But the Nets, as old men typically do to high school kids in the rec. league, just let the Raps play themselves tired and exhaust their adrenaline high.

This brings us to Vince Carter. With everyone in the arena from the ticket takers to security chanting VC sucks and booing the hell out of him every time he touched the ball, the man played more lackadaisical then Tracy McGrady with a 2-0 series lead. We thought, he's just biding his time to make his move, to go on a scoring barrage and shut up all the haters once and for all, or at least, for the rest of the season. But he didn't. It was the most half-assed 30 points I'd ever seen--except for the last 3. Points 28-29-30 made me stand up. A three-pointer to bring the Nets within 1-point in the final minute. The entire arena gasped at once as if to say Holy shit, not this motherfucker! And right then, I thought it was the Nets game to lose. With no point guard (Calderon's sprain was a result of his extra minutes--freak injuries come from being tired, and he was exhausted from extended minutes he's rarely had to play all season) the Raptors looked done. Chris Bosh, though, hit enough free throws to keep the Raps up two in the final possession, but the ball was in the Nets' hands. Vince Carter's hands.

This is it, we thought. VC's redemption. His chance to do that "shush" thing with the index finger to the lips the players seem to love so much. Instead, he drove to the basket (first mistake) and then kicked it out to Bostjan Nachbar (second and final mistake). Of course, Nachbar missed it, but even if he made it, you have a man in Vince Carter that has no imagination. No flair for the dramatic. No appreciation for
the finer (petty) things in basketball like showing up your former team or being personally responsible making tens of thousands of hostile fans cry. If he takes the three at the buzzer, it was win-win. If he makes it, it's legendary status, if he misses it, the Raptors fans still hate him, but game 6 is back in Jersey. Believe that Kobe would have taken that shot if he had to rip the from Bokie Nachbar's cold dead hands.

Is this man a Zen god or is this exactly the reason Raptors fans hate him so much? Good enough to reach into the pocket, but not great enough to pay the bill.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Playoff Hustle: And Everyone Rejoiced... Except Utah

Finally, some playoff-calliber fire from Houston. It wasn't pretty, and the Rockets looked outplayed at times, even outsmarted, but not outdone. In the playoffs, a W really is a W no matter how you Ginzu that shit.

All this with Yao struggling from the field this series. Yao Central has more on that. But finally, Houston, we have a bench. Luther Head finally did something this series--hitting two big shots in the 4th. I Love Head Fan Club shows him some love. And Chuck Hayes, our favorite unlucky so-and-so, drew the charge late in 4th that pretty much sealed the deal.

The fire T-Mac showed in Games 1 & 2 finally returned for Game 5. As well as the "ugly face," lesser known as the "something smells face," but brought to fame by Lebron James in last year's playoffs. Hopefully, it's there to stay.

We're all gonna watch the Golden State Warriors in Dallas tonight. If not for the Warriors' offensive spectacle that obliterates all that is good and fair in the eyes of basketball purists worldwide, then for our sheer hatred for Dallas itself. It can't be exaggerated how much we are enjoying this.