Orlando Magic 104, Houston Rockets 95; Dalembert glorious in debut while the Kevins struggle

Here were some of my initial thoughts right after the game:

Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic: postgame thoughts

Here was our game thread.  Join us on Thursday.  It’s fun.

Game 1 in the books and the dream of 66-0 is over.  But the equally compelling dream of 0-66 is still very much alive.

In all seriousness, despite the complete collapse, I came away very surprised by the team’s play tonight against a solid, veteran Orlando group that used to be on people’s radars as a contender before SuperFriends and Dwight Howard-wanting-to-be-Shaq happened.

This team will make the playoffs, I think.  Then again I’m the guy that predicted that DeMarcus Cousins would be in pinstri….errr, the Chinese National team’s threads last June.  But yeah, after seeing Dalembert close gaps and be long, I think after Kevin McHale learns that Luis Scola is not a center (seriously, what was that in the 4th quarter?), and figures out other rotation nuances, the team should roll towards the 8th seed or slightly higher.  Too much talent.

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Talk of the Moment: Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic

  Monday, 6:00pm CST @ Orlando

  Game thread for in-game discussion.


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Houston Rockets @ Orlando Magic – Dec. 26, 2011 6:00PM

The gist: The Rockets open the hectic season on the road with a visit to Disney World. The Magic will be coming off a road game the previous night against the Thunder.

Key matchup: Luis Scola vs Glen Davis/Ryan Anderson

Scola has been a preseason weapon offensively and has gotten rid of the rust sooner than everyone else. A defensive sieve as always, he will be tasked to guard Big Baby, who is expected to have gotten over his forgettable performance during the last postseason. Look forward to a scoring spurt when Scola and Anderson get into their offensive rhythm at the same time.

X-factor: Courtney Lee

Can the former Magic steal the show and spell Kevin Martin for extended stretches?

Code Red: In a condensed season, it is more important than ever to have a strong start, as fatigue will make it difficult to make up for lost time. After all, it takes one win to get to 22 straight. These are two teams with players (Martin and Dwight Howard) who are frustrated to be stuck on both teams and want to get traded sooner than later. Watch Stan Van Gundy’s juggling act as he balances playing time for four shooting guards (J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson, Quentin Richardson, and Larry Hughes).

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On the Samuel Dalembert signing

As is well known by now, the Houston Rockets signed center Samuel Dalembert yesterday, solidifying their frontcourt rotation.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I don’t like the acquisition.

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From Yao to Pau and back to now: the 2011-2012 Houston Rockets season preview

I’m not completely sure where to start.  Whereas the front page should be littered with discussions ranging from “how many good years does Pau have left?” to “is our big man duo better than Randolph and Gasol?”, instead, cold silence.  I still don’t think we’ve completely overcome the collective shock that was last week.

Yes, this essay should have entailed a sincere look into the Rockets’ odds at winning the West in the next three years, during the duration of Pau Gasol’s contract.  Instead, we scramble to assess what we have and what our objectives should be during this challenging season.

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