Well...that was easy. Looks like the only team that we can go Aubrey Coleman on right now is the New Jersey Nets. Two of our largest victories this season have come against NJ. Among other things, we match up extremely well against them, with enough point guard depth and speed to contain Devin Harris, an exceptional perimeter defender in Shane Battier, and the top center in the NBA to counter Brook Lopez down low. On this night, there was some extra buzz added to the game. Was Ron Artest being introduced to a Houston crowd for the last time? Will Vince Carter make Toyota Center his home? This was a particularly ironic time for these two teams to play, given all of the trade talk surrounding Vince and Rawn. We'll see what happens, but by no means can tonight be a measuring stick. Daryl Morey knows this, and he knows our roster still needs a shakeup. The only question will be how exactly he decides to go through with that, if at all.
Shane Battier -- Shane did everything tonight, including giving us a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Vince Carter. After reading that Michael Lewis article on Battier, I looked purely at Vince's efficiency tonight on the offensive end. And he was pretty damn efficient. 11-21 for 30 points is a great night against a guy like Battier. Normally, if you're going to get 30 on Shane, it's going to come on 30 shots. Vince did it in 21. However, we also saw Vince's shortcomings on defense. On multiple possessions, Vince left Battier wide open in the corner for threes, and not only did Shane make 5 tonight, but he took 7, which ties his season high. Which must have meant he was wide open - as Lewis noted, Shane is quite picky, and will only take the most efficient shot. While Shane had a wonderful game, he also gave us a brief look into Vince's game.
Von Wafer -- Nice to see Hot Grease find his outside shot again; he went 4-6 from three point range. He also threw himself some sick alley-oops in warmups.
Rafer Al...eh, Yao Ming -- I had to pick one, so I chose the superstar. Yao had a great game tonight, going 20/12. He had about 3-4 dunks and 2 blocked shots. He also shot well from the field, going 9-15. And for a quick note on Rafer, he looked good tonight. He got into the lane, and instead of throwing up the lob, he found the open man for a wide-open jump shot on numerous occasions. If only he did this every night...
Rick Adelman -- Didn't put Deke in the game. Fire the bastard.
Carl Landry's Ankle -- Please get better soon. Thanks.
Stats of the Night:
Rebounds -- Rockets 56, Nets 30
Assists --- Rockets 27, Nets 17
Bench Points -- Rockets 38, Nets 22
Three Pointers -- Rockets: 15-27, Nets: 9-15
Free Throws -- Rockets .826, Nets .833
Devin Harris -- 10 points on 4-13 shooting. Nice!
Brook Lopez -- 21/9/4. He's going to be a solid player in this league. And better than Nenad Kristic solid.
Post-All Star Game Makeover of the Night:
Shane Battier. Was it just me, or did he look like he had just paid a visit to Darque Tan? He looked like a legitimate African-American at times. As in, I mixed him up with Von Wafer. It was that dark.
Matchup of the Night:
Oh, wait. There was that whole "Yi vs. Yao" thing wasn't there? Right. Well f-that.
Next Game: Friday vs. Dallas. Will we have a new big three by then?