Yes. Mariano Rivera. I know he's a baseball player, but work with me.
The Rockets need a closer. A good one. For the last three games, they have done quite the impressive "Brad Lidge in 2007" impression. It's as if there is reverse Ewing Theory with Yao coming back. In every game... the Rockets take a lead... fall asleep in the third Q and let the opponent get back... and then in the fourth Q... BOOM!
Lead... gone. Confidence... wrecked.
The Rockets are now 0-3. And short of someone poking Rick Adelman with a stick until he gives Jordan Hill and/or Patrick Patterson playing time -- the mindset of a closer is what is needed. Right now, that's not Yao. Kobe Bryant is a closer. As is Carmelo Anthony. As is Kevin Durant. ABZ is the anti-clutch (as proven over 3+ years so far) and Kevin Martin never really has been on a winning team, so - unfortunately - he's kind of used to this. Luis Scola is a badass... and he's putting up some ridiculous statistics so far, but he's also not exactly a closer because the ball isn't in his hands at the end of the game.
So we need the basketball equivalent of Mariano Rivera. Now.
It's not panic time by any means, but there are a lot of things that are bothersome 5 days into the season. A lot. Someone better have some answers real soon. No, "Erick Dampier" is not The Answer. I promise.