The Rockets managed to lose on Saturday night to the Sacramento Kings, I wrote some notes while I was watching and planned on blogging about it right after the game. I didn’t, however, expect them to lose. I mean, the Kings were 5-10 coming into the game. I surely didn’t expect them to be 6-10 after the game. A couple of observations after I’ve cooled off:
Coaches in the NBA need to tell players to stop saving balls like morons; they keep throwing it right to the Rockets. Actually, scratch that, as long as the Rockets don’t start doing it they can keep it up.
Brad Miller trying to guard Yao one on one in the first half was hilarious. His "effort" in trying to do it on Yao’s back was phenomenally hilarious. On that note, Miller has been in the league ten years. He’s a good player, but he’s put in more work than he is naturally good. I’m still mad at my mother for not making me drink more milk. All I wanted was 7 more inches to get to 6’10, is 9% more height really that much to ask???
Yao starts off with 8, 3 and 2, in less than 4 minutes; and was 7/8 and 2/2 for 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in only 10 minutes of play. He came out wanting to prove that the GS game was not really indicative of his game. Yao had a spinning dunk that showed how athletic he really is. He poster-ized the entire Sacramento team on that play, but I never saw that replay once on ESPN. You only get to see Yao highlights when he comes over at the last second when some little guy was already going up for a dunk and he gets "dunked on".
Apparently you’re allowed to completely block Yao’s turning radius and fall down, then get an offense foul call. The referees were poorly prepared to do their jobs on Saturday night. In the first half there were 5 no calls on guys guarding Yao, and I have no idea why. They were all extremely obvious and right in front of referees, I hope Adelman goes after that fine that Van Gundy did. This is horrible; he is going to get hurt like this if they keep allowing it. And don’t give me that "Shaq was poorly ref’d" bullshit either. Shaq initiated contact every time down the court; Yao has a finesse game more in line with this site’s name-sake, he gets hammered on almost 8 feet worth of arms, and then nothing gets called, it’s really pathetic.
This is what I wrote in my notes around the middle of the second quarter:"There has been some seriously lazy referring tonight; they aren’t even looking like they want to be here. Especially Gary Zielinski, he has that old Steve Javy look when he always wanted to T up Hakeem. I’ll be surprised if Yao doesn’t get one tonight" And sure enough, Yao got tossed after yet another horrible foul call on him. At least this one could have gone either way unlike 3 of the 6 fouls they called on him.
Yao finally got one borderline foul call his way, I guess better late than never as it came with 3:57 left. Of course he promptly got tossed 56 seconds later.
There’s not a lot about Yao that I would change, but I really wish he had stronger hands. Though I wonder, if he did, would he shoot as well as he does? Also, when Yao commits a foul, he typically acknowledges it, why isn’t this looked at more by the league? When he gets pissed off, there absolutely is a reason for it. He’s one of the best players in the league at jumping straight up and down, and yet never gets credit for it. What is going on? I always thought because of the China angle he’d get more calls, not less.
The only player I asked for in the off-season was Artest. I know it was a pipe dream, but damn he would look good for the Rockets.
McGrady was extremely lazy with the ball through the first 2.5 quarters. He was guarded by the aforementioned Artest to be fair. Then TMac completely turned his game around with only 1 turnover after that and it really wasn’t his fault. He also ended his bad free throw shooting streak as well, missing the first one then hitting nothing but the bottom in 7 straight free throws after that. I also made a quick observation: Tracy’s rebounding always goes up on a second missed shot, it’s like he takes it personally. He played an excellent game overall and has been great every game he has played save the GS game where everyone sucked.
The Kings really, really suck. At one point in time in the second, the Rockets had played defense on about 3 possessions and still had a 6 point lead. Overall, the Rockets sucked a LOT worse than the Kings on Saturday though. They only forced 5 turnovers all game against a team that averages about 15 a game. They also let them score 30 in the third and 28 in the fourth. They played a total of 10 good defensive possessions, and I’m not exaggerating, I counted. I honestly can’t remember the Rockets playing a worse defensive game in the regular season, and I only remember Game 7 of the Dallas series a few years back being close.
One last thing: I realize it doesn’t cost me any money, but why can’t I open multiple Game Cast windows on ESPN without tricking the system? I just wanted to see the Missouri vs. OUsucks game and watch the Rockets stats at the same time.