Sunday, March 16, 2008

Catch 22

With "The Streak" likely to end on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics, I thought it was about time for me to put up a celebratory post of the Rockets' historic streak this season. Along the lines of the terrific NBA ad campaign centered around the slogan "where _____ happens," this has been a Houston season where the completely unexpected happens.

In an offseason where GM Daryl Morey brought in seemingly every PG except the Franchise to elevate the team's play - it is the incumbent starter, Rafer Alston, who has continued to elevate his game to a stage where he is PLAYING like a legitimate top 5 PG in the West. And that's saying quite a bit when you consider that elite Western PGs include Nash, Paul, Williams, Davis, Parker, and Kidd. In today's hyped matchup against the Lakers, with T-Mac's jumper AWOL for the first half, Rafer turned the game into his personal showcase, raining 8 3pters and playing his usual stingy defense.

When the team was hit with the devastating news of Yao Ming's season-ending injury two and a half weeks ago, they only grew stronger. Since Yao's injury, Clutch City has reeled off 10 consecutive wins with a cast of T-Mac and a new star each and every night.

How long will this last? With Boston, New Orleans, Golden State and Phoenix on tap in the next four games - the answer is probably not for long. But let's enjoy the ride while it lasts!

EDITOR'S NOTE: after posting this, I realized that some readers might think, "Hey, Morey did bring in the Franchise, and he got hurt." Well, casual DudeSpin fans, the Franchise whom I speak is not of Takoma Park legend Steve Francis, but rather the DudeSpin's own Franchise!


Head Dude said...

It's truly astonishing what the Rockets have done. It's no slap at the Rockets to marvel how they keep winning with such seeming mediocrity on the court at times. I watched bits and pieces yesterday, and you have one guy on a 10-day contract, Jackson with his 273 injuries, Chuck Hayes, and, of course, Deke. And while some still say they haven't had a tough schedule the last few months, and got to play the Lakers without Gasol and Dallas without Dirk, as Kobe himself said yesterday: if it was so easy, why haven't other teams done it? At this point, even the biggest critics have to tip their hat.
Houston's biggest challenge will be responding after they lose. Keeping focused while in the midst of the streak will be much easier than playing the next game after their next loss. And with the schedule they have coming up, as any West team will tell you, you lose a few in a row and you can end up in 7th place in a hurry. (see, e.g., Dallas two weeks ago).
But there's no denying what Houston has done.

The Franchise said...

I WAS waiting by my cell for a call, but it never came. And now The Streak has no doubt ruined my chances of joining the team...