Dave called the game last night a scrimmage and they treated it more like a pick-up game. Luckily they decided to play in the last minute and win the game. Tracy McGrady seems more comfortable with his shot and his knee right now and that is most certainly a good thing for the rest of the season. TMac also had 7 turnovers because in pick up games you try stuff you wouldn't do in a real game. He was openly daring Minnesota to try and steal the ball, and they managed to do just that, but his shooting really made up for those turnovers.
This is the third game in a row that the early season Rockets would have lost. They led the entire game, sometimes by double digits and managed to blow the lead just like during our losing streak. Unlike the early season Rockets though, this team found a way to win a game they should have lost. With 1:38 left the T-Wolves took their first lead of the fourth quarter, a quarter that the Rockets once led by 10 with 7:09 left. After that lead change, McGrady took over shooting a 17 footer in traffic and then pulling up for a 25 foot 3 pointer that closed out the game. The Rockets outscored the T-Wolves 7-0 over the last minute and a half to finish them off.
I have to take a minute to personally apologize to Al Jefferson. It appears that he just had an off night against the Rockets last go round, those definitely happen. He played incredibly well last night, even scoring the basket that put Minnesota ahead. He was 14-26 and 5-5 from the line, scoring 33 points. He also pulled down 16 boards, had 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks. It was a man's game. I was extremely impressed. I even learned that he leads the league in 20 and 10 games, while Yao is 3rd. A lot of that is due to his teammates sucking, but kudos to him for recognizing that and going after the boards and the points. He has an offensive array of moves now, and I think he's only going to get better. He looked like Tim Duncan out there, but was having to play out of position. If he was being guarded by someone other than Yao he might have scored 50 last night. Great game Al, great game. Unfortunately it was much like a KG game of old, valiant effort from him, awful game from everyone else leading to a loss. The difference is that this Minnesota team has some players that just need to get some experience under their belt, they could be dangerous next year and contending for a playoff spot in two years.
Next up the Rockets take on Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday, February 7th, at the Toyota Center at 7PM CST. That is unless they change the game time on us again like they did last night. Cleveland will play Boston at home tonight and then have a day off before facing a rested Rockets team.
Prediction update: The Rockets have now won 4 games in a row in route to a 10 game winning streak. On Thursday they will get halfway there.