Yes, a failure to launch. I realize I just referenced a horribly shitty Matthew McConaughey movie that co-stars a horse and Terry Bradshaw's bare ass, but that's how I feel about my favorite team this morning.
First a few thoughts:
That's the Luther Head I remember. Timid and prone to bad decision making.
Steve Javie and Scott Wall are the two worst officials in the league (non-Violet Palmer division). To have these two clowns on the same unit is a travesty. Example: Aaron Brooks tried to walk away from a bad call....... Javie stares him down and Ts him up anyway, just daring him to react so he can double-T him. Pathetic. Wall and Javie also have no idea what a blocking foul is. My only guess is that if the player wears red/white - it's a foul. If the defender wears blue/white - it's a charge. Simple, right?
Chauncey Billups remains the most overrated player in the NBA, but when you get to face Rafer Alston (and have "help" in the form of Scott Wall and Steve Javie), you basically get the numbers Billups put up last night. But that's not my concern today.
Ron Artest is never going to get a call and he appears *thisclose* to just exploding on an official. I think there is collusion among the officials to get him to do just that.
Finally, FU schedule makers. First we have to play a night-game in HOUSTON. Against San Antonio. Then we immediately have to jump on a plane to fly to DENVER to play the Nuggets in a city notorious for it being difficult to run and play extended minutes? Seriously, FU. There was no need to make Denver the site of the back end of a back-to-back.
Nonetheless, my real concern is that the Rockets are a ground-based team. There is no "above the rim" action from any of the key contributors.
Look at our rotation:
Yao Ming - 7'6" - Displays a tendency to get blocked by the rim.
Luis Scola - 6-10" - only gorilla dunks in international competition apparently.
Ron Artest - 6'7" - only plays below the rim and takes off balance layups.
Tracy McGrady - 6'8" - The NBA, where this will never happen again.
Rafer Alston - 6'1" - can't even make layups.
Chuck Hayes - 6'6" (?) - dunking is way in his past.
Aaron Brooks - midget-sized - can dunk, but not in traffic.
Brent Barry - 6'8" - yeah, the dunk competition was a LONG time ago.
Shane Battier - 6'8" - still proving that white men can't jump.
Luther Head - 6'3" - I don't even want him playing, much less playing above the rim (which he can't do).
which leaves us:
Carl Landry - 6'9" - okay, so he can dunk, yet on defense he is the prototypical "below the rim" player who rarely blocks shots.
Joey Dorsey - 6'9" - also can dunk. Also never allowed to play.
Von Wafer - 6'7" - had a very pretty dunk in traffic against Denver. The Rockets never ran a play for him again.
Steve Francis - 6'3" - the Franchise used to be able to fly. Now he's not even allowed to travel with the team.
This team is not "small" - and yet we play small.
This is why Denver (and every other team) continues to have block parties against the Rockets. There simply are no high-fliers on offense. And on defense, the only shot-blocker is Yao.... but with the likes of Javie and Wall still being employed, teams can run into Yao with impunity because Yao will always get the foul called on him. Because of this, the Rockets have to play perfect defense to shut a team down. And then we can only hope the bal doesn't bounce funny and we can secure a rebound. Rebounding has all of a sudden become a major problem (which would be solved if Ricky would let Scola play more, but I digress.......)
Because of the Rockets' inability to play above-the-rim, this is why teams pack it in and make guys like Rafer, Luther and Artest shoot all those fadeaway 3s. The percentages just are not in our favor there. But we keep doing it. Which is what frustrates me more. Mistakes are okay... making the same mistake repeatedly every game is not. I mean, come on, you have a 7'6" guy on your team. Learn how to make a post entry pass and then cut to the basket. Easy layups. We have yet to even attempt a play like that this year. Instead the play is "Pass to Yao, stand around, look surprised when Yao passes back out... turnover." Ugh.
Daryl Morey needs to acquire 2 pieces: A backup C (the Marcus Camby suggestion is nothing short of brilliant) and an "above the rim" type - which I thought we had in Gerald Green last year, but his 10 cent head couldn't keep up. We still need that young, athletic guy to just give opposing team's a different look from time to time.
I just never want to see a game like I watched last night. Ever again.