Quick Hits Recap
Summary: The Big 3 finally were the Big 3. I also think that "Ron Artest: 6th Man" is the right thing to do for our lineup when everyone is healthy. He'll be on the floor at the end of the game when it really matters, and this allows him to come into a game fresher than everyone else and wreak havoc from the top of the key (filter Ron's name to see his ownership of the top of the key). Great adjustments made by Houston at halftime contributed to the defensive shutdown that we saw in the second half. One thing you can always count on with Adelman is some sort of adjustment immediately after halftime.
Tracy McGrady -- Triple-double for T-Mac, the kind of thing that people expect him to shoot for on a nightly basis. Less scoring, more passing (he's an excellent passer), and the rebounding is a nice touch as well. He also succeeded in yelling "AY!!" on three straight drives to the rim trying to attract a foul call. Kevin Garnett wants his shriek back.
Yao Ming -- Lee pointed out Yao's shot chart to me near the end of the game, and it summed up his fantastic night. While I can't/am too lazy to link you to the chart, I can tell you that all but three of Yao's shots were in the deep paint, many of those being dumps or dunks off of great passes. Kudos to Yao's hands as well - he did a great job holding on to some hard passes.
Aaron Brooks -- Tonight's question mark came through in a big way. Brooks had 18 points, 6 assists, 2 LONG three pointers, and a couple of Rafers on his way to a productive night. And because I have nowhere else to say it, great job by Aaron and all of the other Rocket defenders in completely shutting down Chauncey Billups.
Charges -- Charges were largely ignored tonight, at least on the Rockets' side of the ball. I mean, what else is Chuck supposed to do?
Insanely Biased Broadcasters -- I'm sorry, but this was too much. According to Bill Worrell and Clyde Drexler, who I usually commemorate, 20 of the 38 fouls in the game were bad calls, those 20 belonging to the Rockets. Earth to Bill and Clyde: Yes, you can try to support the Rockets on tough calls, but no, don't try to convince us that Chuck Hayes running right into J.R. Smith should have been a no-call or charge.
Birdman -- We gave up 11 points to Chris "Birdman" Andersen. What the hell.
Stats of the Night:
In short, we had 26 assists and shot 55% from the field. Sound like the two fit together? If you saw the game, you may have noticed our newfound ability to make skip passes. They really do come in handy for catch-and-shoot players such as Battier, Rafer, Brooks, or Rawn when available.
Almost-Injury of the Night: T-Mac went down after being kneed in the stomach by Kenyon Martin, but he quickly got up and played marvelously. As for my stomach, I needed a few deep breaths and a drink of water to recover from the intense moment.
Quote of the Night: Bill Worrell, after J.R. Smith drove into the lane, jumped into the air expecting a foul, and fell to the ground without hearing a whistle:
"Clyde Drexler would have just dunked that."
What now, J.R.? You hear that - you're not as good as Clyde Drexler. Hope that stings for a while, buddy.
Arrogant Showoff of the Night: J.R. Smith, who just has to stand there and flash his gooseneck to the crowd after making a three every single time. Just hit the shot, turn around, and run back to play defense.
Classy Broadcasters of the Night: Usually I reserve this for offhand or sarcastic comments, but tonight's classy broadcasters are legitimate. So long and farewell to Gene Peterson and Jim Foley, two of the most well-respected and talented radio personalities ever to grace the headset. Unfortunately, as a result of my young age, I never got to hear much of these guys, but I got a small taste tonight, and even in that brief period of time, I could already tell what made them so special. I'm sure you'll find more touching send-offs elsewhere, but I figured I'd pay my respects.
Next Game: Friday vs. Sacramento. Go Rockets.