Reasons to be Optimistic: A Renewed Hope

When Yao went down with another broken foot I lost all hope for the season. I will admit that freely now. I even began going through trade scenarios in my mind about ways to obtain Dwight Howard by trading Yao Ming and T-Mac to the Orlando Magic (I'm sure they won't trade Howard but I was upset, and rightfully so.) At lunch this morning after church while my girlfriend and I were walking out of the restaurant I gave a half-hearted "Go Rockets!" to a guy wearing a shirt with the team logo on it. He responded with a super enthusiastic "HELL YEAH! We're going to win today!" That put a big smile on my face but I was still nervous and doubtful.

I climbed into bed to take a nap and I slept through tipoff, but I woke up just in time to see the end of the first half...

The Rockets (MINUS YAO) were absolutely TORCHING the Los Angeles Lakers! The rest of the game lifted my spirits immensely and as Brooks caught Ron's half-court alley-oop pass for the lay-up my emotions finally exploded out with a huge "YEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

We Have Liftoff (Again!)

The Houston Rockets were 4-5 point underdogs in their home arena against the vaunted Lakers today and completely blew L.A. out of the building, leading by as much as 29 points at time. The Lakers failed to play any sort of legitimate defense and their leader Kobe Bryant shot a dismal 7-17 from the field for only 15 points. Unfortunately that's not going to last, but I now feel as though we will have lots of confidence going into Game 5 at the Staples Center. (I just hope Jack Nicholson doesn't give Kobe head go postal on us)

With that said, we have reasons to be optimistic for Game 5. They are as follows:

-Ron Artest was AWFUL offensively. He kept clanking 3's off the back of the rim (perhaps he just shot with a little too much edge, a little too much emotion) as Ron-Ron went 0-6 from 3-point land and 4-19 overall. Just like Kobe will bounce back on Tuesday, I expect Ron to do the same.

-Von Wafer only scored 4 points on few minutes, but thankfully we didn't need him much today on offense, nor Artest.

-We all miss Yao terribly, obviously you can't replace a player of his caliber, HOWEVER...

Now that Yao is out, we'll no longer have to worry about struggling to get the ball in to him. We have so many speed players that will be able to give the Laker Defense fits. (like they did today.) If Brooks and Battier can repeat today's performance while Artest and Wafer step up as well, say hello to the Western Conference Finals.

-The Rockets are so resilient and play with so much HEART! They had a really tough offensive game in game 3 but today, I will say again, TORCHEDDDD the Lakers' defense! It was a pleasure to watch.

I predict that the Rockets will play hard the rest of the series and hopefully they will be able to beat all odds and come out victorious. It will be an enormous challenge, and I predict that this series is going to go to a game 7. I don't think the Rockets will win Game 5 (I think they are CAPABLE of doing so, but I expect Kobe Bryant to come out and drop 40 on us again)

Go Rockets. Don't EVER Underestimate the Heart of a Champion.

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