This picture was too good to pass up. The AP caption was, "Andris Biedrins tries to slow down Yao Ming." Yeah, ok.
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
The Streak Part 2 has begun right on schedule. So if you had any doubts if we could win 15-22 games in a row again, our win over the Golden State Warriors should put them to rest. Prepare yourselves for greatness, my friends.
"WE'RE GOING STREAKING!!!!"
It's always in the Golden State game that we find out what works and doesn't work for our offense. Tonight, we discovered a few things:
- Rafer Alston's 1-8 shooting days are not behind him.
- If we go painting (aka drive in the paint), then good things will happen.
- Yao Ming is capable of drawing fouls. Which is good.
- Ron Artest may be our best 3 point shooter...seriously.
- It is indeed possible for a referee to call charging on three straight possessions. Thank you, Joey Crawford.
While the game remained close for quite a long time, the Rockets picked it up in the 4th quarter, for once. It was nice to see us build a lead late, as opposed to the usual 4th quarter let-down. Yao Ming was fantastic, but Ron Artest was even better. I'd almost forgotten that he's capable of scoring 20-30 points on any given night - maybe his shot is finally coming back to him after that horrid New York affair. While we only got 11 points out of Battier, Alston, and Scola combined, our benched stepped up big, scoring 47 points. And speaking of the bench, as soon as Tracy McGrady comes back, I'd like to see Rawn hit the pine for the first part of the game. It worked for a while, and I'm not sure why we abandoned the idea. But that's for another day. In my best Jim Rome voice, "Let's. Get. ToTheRecap."
Ron Artest - Rawn rained threes on Golden State, going 4-6 from long range en route to scoring 27 points. In addition to that, Artest also had 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Nice way to greet his old partner in crime, Stephen Jackson.
Yao Ming - It's always nice to see the league's best free throw shooting big man go to the line 10 times. And even better, Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf each had 4 fouls before halftime. Maybe they're just some hackin' fools, or maybe the referees decided to bring their whistles to the game this time. Whatever the case, it turned out well for Yao, as he got a nice dose of Rob Kurz to finish off the game. 25/11 is a nice way to bounce back after the Philadelphia game.
Aaron Brooks - While this could have easily gone to Carl Landry, Brooks stepped up big tonight with Rafer having a typical off-night. Aaron poured in 22 points and had an un-midget-like 9 assists. He also ran a 1 on 5 fast break and turned it into a three point play after being fouled on the layup. His plus/minus was +18, and he played 42 outstanding minutes.
Rafer Alston -- For all those that think Rafer is "back"...
Shane Battier -- I realize Shane doesn't fill up a stat sheet and does all of the little things right, but he didn't score a single basket tonight. At some point, he's going to need to pick it up a little bit more on offense.
Buzzer Beaters -- Is it me or has our opponent hit a buzzer-beater to end a quarter like every other game lately? CJ Watson chucked up a shot from near half court...and it went in without touching the rim.
Stats of the Night:
Fouls: Rockets 22 - Warriors 27
Rebounds: Rockets 48 - Warriors 35
FG %: Rockets 47% - Warriors 42%
Rob Kurz: 11 minutes played, +/- of -19. Poor guy.
Monta Ellis: 4-12 for 10 points. Just didn't look like himself out there.
Rockets Warm Up All-Star:
Chuck Hayes. Big Daddy hit about five three-point shots in a row in warm ups, all while using the same robotic shooting form that he employs on his free throw attempts. Where has this been, Chuck?! Are you really a
slap in the face to proper shooting form hidden offensive force?
Quote of the Night:
Dave to Lee via text message: "Luther Head in a suit? I like."
Don Nelson Almost-Heart Attack Moment of the Night:
Yao Ming put up a hook shot, and as it ascended towards the basket, over Ronny Turiaf's fingers, and began to fall short of the rim, Anthony Randolph jumped up and grabbed it. He just grabbed Yao's shot out of the air as it was coming down. It's not like that is totally against the rules in every level of basketball or anything. I'm sure Don nearly passed out when he saw it happen.
Next Game: Tuesday vs. Chicago. Let's show off T-Mac the best we can in the hopes that John Paxson makes a trade offer for him.