My thoughts are somewhat scatter brained right now, So I apologise greatly for that. The next few paragraphs are some general thoughts and venting on my behalf and for other fans of Houston (like RV) they might not ring true entirely.
Am I suprised that they lost to the Celtics the other day? No. Am I upset? Yeh, a little. They were 3-0 and it was on their home floor.
Still, its very, very early in the season and Rondo got his pretty much the whole time in the 1st half. That can be adjusted.
The rockets were dominated on the boards early on (Boston had 6 offensive boards... in the 1st quarter!) and nobody could get anything going except Yao (who then preceeded to pick up 2 fouls in the 1st quarter and struggled mightily after that).
In the 4th, the Rockets made a strong run and actually played proper basketball for almost the entire quarter. Only problem was that Ray Allen was on fire, drilling jumpers from all over the place and keeping Houston at bay for long enough to drag out a gritty win.
Against Dallas, it was like the Rockets only wanted to play half-court defense, allowing Kidd to run rampant on the break and getting Josh Howard and Brandon Bass easy stuff out of secondary fast-breaks, pinch hitters and Dirk was just being Dirk the whole game (35 through 3)Dude only had 1 point in the 4th thanks to some great defense by Chuck Hayes.
Its interesting to note that, despite the Rockets inability to shoot straight from the field, they are almost unstoppable when they get to the line. Now just get there more often fellas.
It would have been great to get that win against Boston because a hellish road-trip is coming up. They've got Portland next up (@ Portland).
If the Rockets can stay around 50-60% W/L for the next 10-15 games then that is very good in my eyes.
They need to defensively get back in sync too, guys aren't rotating properly out to shooters and aren' getting back to cover the middle when guys go flying out to 3pt shooters. People may say that 'oh, the opposition is still only scoring 90ppg' but thats mostly because teams are missing the 3 pointer and can't convert because Yao is still standing around in the middle.
I wouldnt say that overall I am frustrated at the way the team is playing, because I know there is a long way to improve especially defensively with Battier to come back into the fold. That means guys like Ray Allen dont get to light up a hobbled Tmac in the 4th- Tmac can focus on offense and Artest can lighten his load a little bit too.
Portland? It should be an easy win for the Rockets on paper and Artest should be able to pindown Brandon Roy just enough to get a 10-12 point lead through the third quarter. But, the Blazers are improving. I do hope that Yao gets his touch back, I have this unfortunate feeling that he may force shots and try to shoot himself into the game at the expense of the other players. The thing with Yao though, is that he is TOO unselfish sometimes, so finding a middl line is important. Still, he had a 20+ point game just the other day, so we'll see what happens.
Anyways, sorry for the stream of conciousness type writing, but I wanted to get all these thoughts down on 'paper'.
So, have a good one ladies and jellybeans.
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