According to VegasInsider.com, Houston’s current odds to win the NBA championship are 100:1, same as Utah, Portland, and Atlanta. Their chances of winning the West, and simply making an appearance in the Finals, are 40:1. Now, obviously those odds aren’t the best, and with Kyle Lowry—the team’s most important player—out indefinitely with a freak illness, they’re somewhat appropriately marked. For all we know the fumes this courageous bunch is currently running on could evaporate tomorrow, and the Rockets could miss the playoffs altogether.
(According to John Hollinger’s most recent Power Rankings, the Rockets have the ninth highest probability of making the postseason, placing them on the outside looking in.) But doesn’t it feel like if they can just get there anything could happen? With multiple shock waves from the infamous “Veto” and lingering lockout still reverberating throughout the league, some absolutely insane, totally unpredictable outcomes could be brewing in the months ahead. Veterans are wearing down, key players who have moved are shifting tides, and some franchises appear to have already set their sights on next season.
If you make the playoffs this season, especially in the Western Conference, the NBA’s current circumstances will give you a great chance to not only make a little noise, but force your neighbors to call the cops. [read more…]
The Houston Rockets will honor their all-decade team of the 90’s, selected by fan voting, tomorrow at halftime. Otis Thorpe and Vernon Maxwell will not be among the players honored.
- Ron Artest was in the lockerroom before the game last night, just shooting it with L.A. traveling media. I guess he was sort of injured because someone asked him if he would be playing. “Yeah I’ll probably get in for at least a minute or two,” he replied. “So you’ll be playing?” responded the questioner. Artest: “Yeah, if you’re in for a minute, that’s it. You’ve played that game. You can’t go back and take it out.” Hilarious.
- Yao Ming has gained quite a bit of facial edema.
- I have ESPN Classic on in the background as I write this. It’s Mavs-Lakers. Then I’m going to watch Mavs-Lakers on ESPN tonight. Seriously though, I could watch Kobe play all day. And this is coming from a guy that just wrote a Dime Lead on Bryant losing the game for his team. He’s not anywhere near the best. He’s actually never been the best. But he’s certainly the most skilled, talented, and most pleasing to watch. I think that distinction is lost on far too many people.
- I think losing Demeco Ryans is like losing Chuck Hayes if Hayes had fallen off.
- I’m not sure what to say about Chandler Parsons right now. David Thorpe wrote today that he was the best defender against Kevin Durant he had ever seen. This after he won the game last night, locking down Kobe Bryant. If you had a veteran producing like this, you’d feel fortunate. This is a rookie. And not only that, but he’s going to get much, much better because the biggest weakness in his game is his shooting and that’s the single easiest thing to fix.
- I’m getting extremely worried right now about Goran Dragic because he is pricing himself out of our pay range. I prefer Kyle Lowry long term. I think he’s more in control and better at running an offense. But you might have to trade Kyle to keep Goran because you simply cannot allow just losing Goran for nothing at this point. Goran and Lowry’s trade return is preferable to Lowry alone.
- I didn’t touch on this yet, but the Rockets pulled off another great stroke with Fisher’s buyout: none of the cap hit from the player option extends to next season. It should also be mentioned that draft picks will be much more difficult to purchase under the new CBA than in years past, due to the new annual limitations on cash inclusion in all transactions. Good work, Rockets.
Hard as it may be to admit, the Houston Rockets are not a particularly good NBA team. Do not misunderstand; they have a fair amount of talent, skills that usually show up on both sides of the ball, and Houston has won several more games than it’s lost in this farcical slight of a season. Instead, what I mean is simply this: the Rockets can simply not overpower any team with its talent on almost any night. Never can this team take a game off in regards to either its defensive or offensive schemes and expect to not be staring at a double-digit defeat. Eh… such is the function of winning through a strategy of calculated risk.