First, it was great to see Carl Landry again, the stadium PA ran a nice retrospective montage, the crowd welcomed him warmly and showed their appreciation. Joey Dorsey got less love, but I suppose he basked in Carl's warm glow. Garrett Temple, perhaps, just sat and glared at Will Conroy. I think everyone here wishes Landry the best, and hopes for his success. We could have done with a little less of that success tonight, however.
Tom was right on the money calling for patience, because I need it tonight. If this game looked choppy, inept and bad on a broadcast, I can assure you it was worse in person. Much worse. Neither team seemed to really want to win, but in the end Carl Landry closed us out with two clutch FT while Brooks was unable to tie the game with two of his own.
Brooks and Martin were both open for 3pt attempts in the closing seconds, Brooks happened to miss it, but honestly, while I'd dearly love to have stolen a win tonight, I'm sort of glad I didn't have to watch overtime. Yes, it was that ugly.
The Rockets were simply abused on the offensive glass, which made a pretty amazing defensive effort by Battier on Evans worthless. By amazing I mean ROY-In-Waiting Evans went out with 9 pts on 4-22 shooting, and Battier recorded 7(!) blocks, most of them seemingly on Evans. If your one play, impressive though it is, happens to be driving the lane for a layup, Battier has an app for that. Another lesson on the NBA for the incredible Mr. Evans, who's just freakishly large and fast for a PG/Combo/Whatever.
The Rockets heaved away the ball like it had cooties on many occasions, or just watched go out of bounds, or let the likes of the generally Charmin-soft Spencer Hawes take boards from them at will. When the team ends up losing a game by 3, all that stuff really weighs heavily. Maybe one less Hayes-on-Landry drive. Maybe a couple more correct calls, or calls where the ref didn't blow the whistle whilst, literally, looking the other way. Maybe a few less putbacks on us. Maybe a lot things, but no maybe about this, the Rockets looked bad tonight.
One positive, Luis Scola put up a good game 19pts, 18 rbs. Jared Jeffries, also, played a good defensive game. It's hard to see what all the negativity surrounding him is all about. Taking away the obvious issue that his contract is terrible, this is a guy who legitimately plays great D, and gives a good effort. He has little offense to speak of, and you'd think a 6'11" guy could dunk it two feet from the hoop, but he's not a stiff.
I'm going to complain about the refs a bit more now. Tune out if you like, but I don't think they were biased, they were just terrible. Amateurish. Clown-like. Easy calls were blown. No thought about why what looked like a shot might fly straight up in the air, for instance, was given.
REF: Tweet! Out of bounds!
ME: Well, yes, but why?
REF: Doh, not my job! Ball went out!
I'm sure Sacramento fans have complaints too, and they're probably equally valid.
The refs were as out of synch as the Rockets, who went from really, honestly, being able to put up 150 if they had chosen on an undermanned Toronto, to both teams barely breaking 70pts combined at the half. Patience. This is a team with 4 new players, and two crucial players still hurt.
With this loss the playoffs got a little farther away. A couple more like it and we're going to be writing draft columns sooner rather than later at TDS. That was always a possibility, but this is an ugly way to go out.
To Coach Adelman - We all love you, but would it kill you to run out the unit that closed to within one 3pt shot (that Garcia simply pulled out of his butt) at halftime? The Kings apparently had no answer for Andersen. All the more reason to leave him glued to the bench in the 2nd half, I suppose.
Neither team really seemed to want to win this one, Sacramento happened to be ahead when time ran out in a desultory, choppy, ugly game. Let's hope we can somehow muster the will to defeat the Nets at home Saturday.