Thursday April 2. I'm sitting at my computer still thinking about the Rockets game last night. Still thinking about a game which the Rockets lost and really, they should have won. No one roots for the Rockets more than I do, so sometimes I feel that no one else sees the things that I see when I watch a Rockets game. Let me share some of the things I noticed from last night's game while they are still on my mind.
First, the Rockets played no defense last night. NONE!! They looked like they were all in a daze last night. Aaron Brooks may be a liability on defense but he was guarding Steve Nash. Granted Stevie can create his own shot and all but guarding him after facing the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Tony Parker over the past few weeks, should seem like a walk in the park. And yet they couldn't keep him out of the lane and they couldn't keep him from racking up 25 points and 13 assists. I was disgusted by this defensive showing considering that the best defensive teams seem to understand that if you can take Nash out of the equation then the Suns usually stand little to no chance.
My second point is something I just can't seem to get over. All of the fans seem to realize it, all of the broadcasters seem to realize, and even opposing coaches and players seem to realize it but it just keeps slipping Rick Adelman's mind at the end of games both big and small. The Rockets seem to have no interest in getting Yao the ball in the fourth quarter. This seems to be the one thing that all of buddies can agree on. GET YAO THE BALL!! The Rockets will feed the big man steadily in the first half and sometimes well into the third quarter but when the fourth quarter rolls around I see Ron Artest holding on to the ball looking all to much like Tracy McGrady used to at the end of games. I have a big problem with this and you should too Rockets fans. Yao has had continued success against Shaq throughout his career. He has been just amazing on the low block as of late and yet when the game is close, or slipping away as was the case last night, Rick Adelman seems to forget to call Yao's number. Granted I'm not a coach in the NBA but if I've got a guy who's 7'6 and an offensive threat when he touches the ball my offense is going through him for the last seven minutes of any close game.
You see Rockets fans, it's games like this one that lead me to believe that the Rockets aren't going anywhere in the playoffs. How can you be expected to win a seven game series against one of the top eight teams in the west when you can't even beat the ninth seed without, arguablly, their best player? I'm dumbfounded by the Rockets this year, really I am. I get so much hope built up when they get a gutsy win over the Cavs and Spurs but am so disappointed when they can't even hold on to leads. I seriously doubt that this team makes it past the first round but I seriously hope that they can prove me wrong.