After dropping both of their games to Western Conference rivals the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets are down but not out. These two highly anticipated Rockets-Mavericks match ups had been circled on my mental calendar for quite some time. I realized it was a potentially pivotal stretch where we could really help or hurt ourselves in the Western Conference playoff race.
I'd envisioned the Rockets taking at least 1 of 2 games from the Mavericks. I didn't allow myself to consider the worst-case scenario that transpired, the Rockets dropping, gulp, both games to the Mavs. After the Rockets lost the first game to the Mavericks in Houston, 101-99 in OT, I was frustrated with officiating, specifically the Nowitzki phantom call against Parsons; but even with said call, Rockets still had the opportunity to take the win from Dallas if Lee or Budinger had hit their shots at the end of regulation and overtime, respectively.
I had revenge on my mind. Payback against the Mavericks in Dallas. But first, we had to take care of business against the Sacramento Kings. After getting off to their slowest start of the season, the Rockets battled back to beat the Kings in OT 113-106, in a gritty but costly comeback win. Marcus Camby and Goran Dragic both went down late in the game for the Rockets, Camby with torn ligaments in his left wrist and Dragic with a twisted ankle. It still remains to be seen how these injuries will affect the rest of Houston's season. Dragic has been indispensable for the Rockets since Kyle Lowry, Houston's starting point guard, went down with a bacterial infection after the All-Star Break. The Rockets can't afford another injury at the already shorthanded point guard position.
In the Rockets-Mavericks second match up, Rockets started en fuego, leading 30-19 after the first quarter. With the Rockets leading by ten points in the second quarter, 43-33 there was another Nowitzki phantom call against Parsons that changed the complexion of the game. The Rockets went ice cold in the third quarter, scoring only 12 points and ended up losing 90-81 to the Mavs.
After going 0-2 against Dallas, I was dreading the damage that we'd done to ourselves in the standings. When I finally did check out the Western Conference standings, I realized that the Rockets playoff hopes are still very much alive.
As of right now, the Rockets are in a three-way tie for the 7th Western Conference playoff spot, with the Jazz & the Nuggets. Western Conference playoff seeds 4 through 8 definitely there for the taking, with the Rockets only 1 1/2 games behind the Mavericks & Grizzlies and 2 1/2 games behind the Clippers. But first the Rockets need to take care of business against the Grizzlies on Friday in Houston.
To make the playoffs this year, the Rockets need to continue to come together as a team and become good enough not only to beat the opposing team but also be mentally tough enough to overcome questionable officiating and take the win. Rockets, the ball's in your court.
What'cha gonna do Rockets?! What'cha gonna do?!
With 15 games left in the regular season, the Rockets are down but not out.
♥ ♥ ♥ GO ROCKETS!!! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ BEAT THE GRIZZLIES!!! ♥ ♥ ♥
— ♥ Becca :)