Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Yao Line 01.13.09: Kobe Good, Refs Bad

19 pts | 9-18 FGs | 1-1 FTs | 17 rebs | 5 asts | 3 blks

I'm just going to say it... NBA referees are terrible this year. It's not just for the Houston Rockets though Rockets fans acutely feel the pain, NBA "officials" been terrible everywhere. Dirk Nowitzki hollers 'cause hears me.

Sure, I'm biased.. I think they're always terrible. I'm convinced only terrible people want to become NBA officials. But they're worse this year than I can ever remember. It's as if every official convened in some clandestine double-door garage in the off-season and game-planned on just how unreasonable they would be this season, how grossly pompous and arrogant, how drunk with power and worse, how they would proceed in stifling any possibility of enjoyment for the fan by flubbing the most obvious of calls. And that symposium on the flop? A joke, a terrible joke by terrible people. Refs are no more perceptive of the flop than ever before. Thanks again, Vlade.

In Houston's 105-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Luis Scola was again rendered useless; his an inexhaustible will to power eschewed for the lazy flopping of the Lakers. Yao and Landry both penalized for standing around, which this season, is also a foul. To "officials": the Los Angeles Lakers do not need your help.

Nevertheless, through the incomprehensible sabatoge, the Rockets played a hell of a game through 47:30 min. Yao was dominant as facilitator of the Adelman offense and everyone else just made shots. No scoring drought for this one, Von Wafer had a point to elucidate for Los Angeles, something about guaranteed contracts. But then Kobe did what Kobe does. He's good.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tao of the Underdog

There's a trend among elite teams today (the Patriots and Celtics being perfect examples). They are able to cast themselves as underdogs no matter what their situation. Through transference, method acting or sheer delusion, they have a collective chip on their lengthy shoulders. They form an insular fraternity with a concentrated dedication to a singular goal. To win and prove everyone else wrong. They convince themselves it is them against the world. And no matter what happens beyond them, they remain focused.

Their thing, their power animal, whether it be their offense or their defense, is their own. It's blessed and sacred and no one is above it. Bigger egos than McGrady and Artest have bought into this competitive tao. Now is as good a time as any for the Rockets to start. The media is unconvinced and so are the fans. The Rockets can unite and follow this path of underdog. And they won't even need the use of devices or delusion. They are underdogs.

The "good loss" shouldn't be thrown around loosely and last night's 103-100 loss to the Hawks, contrary to popular opinion, was a game that should have been won. So not really a "good loss" but if nothing else can be gleaned from it, at least Yao and the other role players look like they have bought in, if even just for one game. That's underdog effort. Close to Rockets against the world but not quite. Every player has to get their chips in. Rockets are a lunch-pail team with no attitude. Now they have a reason to get one.

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On a lighter note... Welcome back John and Raymond to the digital world. As of January 1st, Yao Ming Mania is back online. Congrats! You guys have definitely earned it. See you at YMM real soon.