By Craig Kwasniewski
First off, let's give a rousing golf clap to the Houston Rockets for winning all those games. The regular season is a long and arduous journey and for a team to remain so focused for such a long time is very impressive (especially with their "superstar" out for the remainder of the season with Olympic aspirations). As we're seeing with the Spurs and Lakers right at this moment, many teams tend to coast during portions of the long season, waiting to crank it up for the playoffs. So, cheers to you, Houston... thanks for not mailing in the season when Yao Ming quit on you for the Olympics!
Is a streak against meager competition really worthy of all the attention? Just look at who they beat over the past six weeks (quality W's in bold):
- Jan 29 vs. Golden State (Good win... and a SHOCKING T to Boom Dizzle for complaining to the refs)
- Feb 1 at Indiana (Lottery bound with the worst point guard in the NBA)
- Feb 2 at Milwaukee (Yao vs. Yi Jianlian, The Chinese SB = most overrated game ever!)
- Feb 4 at Minnesota (Do I REALLY need to say anything here?)
- Feb 7 vs. Cleveland (Finally a quality W against the league's MVP)
- Feb 9 vs. Atlanta (Is a W against the 10th best team in the east newsworthy?)
- Feb 11 vs. Portland (Not the Portland team of December)
- Feb 13 vs. Sacramento (A W thanks to a clutch three by Steve Novak... WHO????)
- Feb 19 at Cleveland (How did LBJ let the Cavs lose to HOU twice?)
- Feb 21 vs. Miami (The worst team in the NBA not coached by Pat Riley!)
- Feb 22 at New Orleans (Good W against the 5th best team in the west, see below)
- Feb 24 vs. Chicago (This team is in complete turmoil, very 2002 Clippers-esque)
- Feb 26 vs. Washington (No Butler, no Arenas... no problem)
- Feb 29 vs. Memphis (The Washington Generals of the NBA)
- Mar 2 vs. Denver (Not THAT impressive considering the choke job by George Karl)
- Mar 5 vs. Indiana (How/Why the hell did they keep Tinsley?)
- Mar 6 at Dallas (No Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs are lacking confidence)
- Mar 8 vs. New Orleans (Spurs, Lakers, Mavs and Jazz are better than New Orleans!)
- Mar 10 vs. New Jersey (Why they hell didn't they ship VC to the NYK's?)
- Mar 12 at Atlanta (Could possibly make the playoffs, only to be swept by the C's)
Notice not a single solitary game against the Spurs, Pistons, Celtics, Lakers or even the Jazz?
So before we crown the Rockets The Greatest Team Ever!, I have a few questions:
How long before T-Mac’s back gives out? How long before Rick Adleman starts to realize he's Rick Adleman and chokes in the playoffs (like in Sacramento)? Will T-Mac go into “here I go again” mode if they lose back-to-back games in the first round? (BTW - both T-Mac and Yao have never advanced in the playoffs... are they still "superstars?") Can they keep winning with a 75-year old center? They’re playing at such a high level of confidence, but can they continue at this pace for the next 6 weeks? Their starting point guard was an And-1 grad!!!! Can we seriously believe that Tha Professors’s protégé is capable of hanging with the likes of CP3, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Jason Kidd or Baron Davis?
The Rockets are a great mid-season story, but I can’t buy into them. Such a first round loss.... again.