The Psychology of Greatness

As I write this, the Houston Rockets are on a six-game winning streak and are entering an eight-game stretch in which they should be at least even odds to win every night; they currently occupy the 8th seed in the playoff standings.  Barring some catastrophic injury, I fully expect them to make the postseason.

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Why, against my better judgment, I’m excited about this team

It’s a strange thing to care about something that doesn’t have anything to do with you personally, to live for a city or a song, a book or an artist’s work, to love something that can never reciprocate. But we do it. We do it because even though we know none of it really matters, it does matter. It matters because we’ve decided that this thing, whatever it is, is important to us.

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Houston Rockets @ Minnesota Timberwolves – January 23, 2012 7:00PM

The gist: The T’Wolves dropped a 108-98 decision at the Energy Solutions Arena a day after escaping  Staples Center with a 101-98 win thanks to back-to-back triples from Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love. They host the Rockets, who are tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for the longest active winning streak at six games. Their six consecutive wins is also their longest in four years.

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Post-game interviews: 1.22.12

It’s been bothering me all season.  I absolutely had to find out what Samuel Dalembert thought about being called ‘The Bear.’  I hate the nickname.  Apparently, he hates it too.

Then I needed to know how Parsons felt about being called ‘Chandler Bang.’  I actually like that one.  In fact, I like it so much that I wish my name were Chandler Parsons simply so that I too could be referred to as ‘Chandler Bang.’  He doesn’t seem to care though.

We also talked a little bit about the videos of him on the internet dunking on people.  He’s aware.  I wasn’t rolling tape though.

Finally, I spoke to Patrick Patterson about his ankle surgery.  This was something that had actually been bothering him for some time.  Judging by that PER last season, I never would have guessed it.  Patrick Patterson is this team’s starting power forward.  Luis Scola is just borrowing the title.

By the way, that was Terrence Williams in the background politely asking me to move.  Really nice guy.  Note my sarcasm.

That’s all for today, folks.  Hope you enjoyed.  And remember, never again to ‘The Bear.’

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Rapid Reaction: Rockets defeat Spurs 105 – 102

San Antonio Spurs102FinalRecap | Box Score105Houston Rockets
Luis Scola, PF 27 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +5Scola took a backseat tonight to the backcourt but did hit the shots he took, scoring 12 on 6 for 8 shooting. Luis’ year has not begun especially auspiciously, his PER slipping nearly 5 points from its career high water mark last year. Hopefully the Rockets best scooper can pick get back on track in the next few weeks.
Samuel Dalembert, C 33 MIN | 4-6 FG | 4-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +12Even though he only posted an unusual 4 rebounds for the night, Dalembert was more than essential to this win, spectacularly blocking 6 shots and contributing some timely offense down the stretch.
Kevin Martin, SG 34 MIN | 10-21 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 25 PTS | +4Kevin Martin again didn’t make it to the line as much as fans of the left leaning sharpshooter are accustomed to, but that didn’t matter in this one as he looked for his shot (and hit it) from the opening tip, putting up 25 efficient (and needed) points for the men in red.
Kyle Lowry, PG 39 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 14 PTS | +6Kyle was largely quiet offensively for the majority of the game before pulling up for a pair of (his now patented) parking lot – “you can’t guard me!” – three pointers in the final minutes to lead the late push (with Dalembert) to put the game away.
Goran Dragic, PG 24 MIN | 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 14 PTS | -3Dragic is my favorite back-up point guard on the Rockets’ roster. He’s exciting to watch every night and, while I genuinely hope Lowry doesn’t miss even one more game this season, I also genuinely love to watch this man play basketball.

Three Things We Saw

  1. 6 in a row, you guys! No matter how distraught you(read I) have been following the lockout, the David Stern Kaiser veto, and the inevitable realization that the best outcome for your beloved team is to lose as many games as possible, it is nice to see them win a few. With Dalembert providing doing his best Deke impersonation, Kevin Martin scoring from all over the court, and Lowry leading the team like Chris Paul (check their respective numbers, no joke), the Rockets are rounding into form in a way that they don’t traditionally until this time in a normal season. The real question remains as to what Houston can/will do when the competition gets tougher.
  2. Despite the fact that Tim Duncan didn’t play in this game (and they lost), the Spurs did get a chance to show off some of their young talent. Kawhi Lenard looks to be the rebounding (11 boards) presence he was billed as coming out of San Diego State, and Tiago Splinter ripped off some of those post moves he conspicuously lacked last season, blowing up for 25 and 10 on 11 for 13 shooting.
  3. Where was Chase Budinger tonight? I looked all over online to see if he was out with an injury but couldn’t find out anything. Has he already fallen so far out of McHale’s good graces that he’s not even playing a single minute? Anyone with an answer to this, please enlighten me because I’m at a complete loss for answers on this one.

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