The curtain has finally closed on the strangest, most exciting Houston Rockets season in years. All the games have been played, all the scores tallied. The Rockets weren’t able to pull off a historic upset of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, losing at home in a wild game six. They might not have broken out of the first round of the playoffs, but they broke out of the three year funk they had been mired in. This season might be over for Houston, but this team is just getting started. Read More
- To begin, it was pretty disappointing to see how many people left the game before the final buzzer sounded. By the 1 minute mark, 75% of the arena had emptied out. On a Friday night, on the last game of the season, I thought it would have been a nice gesture to stick around until the end and give a show of appreciation to the team for exceeding all expectations, making the playoffs and almost forcing a Game 7. But in Houston, it wasn’t to be.
- From the get-go, it was deafening in Toyota Center. For maybe the first time I can remember, everyone had already arrived before tipoff and was standing. When Kendrick Perkins and Francisco Garcia had to be separated on what was pretty much the very first play of the game, it was enough for the capacity crowd to completely lose it. Things stayed that way until the 4th.
It sounded LOUD in the Toyota Center. Looked great with everyone dressed in red. The crowd was all set to will their team to victory, and for a long time the Rockets looked like they were capable of obliging them. But unfortunately the team was unable to pull it off and the Thunder escaped from Houston with the win.
I can’t feel too bummed about it, because frankly at 3-0 down it looked like it was going to be a sweep. Harden et al. have shown so much potential over the course of this series that it’s difficult not to feel incredibly optimistic about what the future holds. And yet, for large parts of this game it felt like it was there for the taking before the Thunder pulled away in the final frame. The Rockets will have to take solace from pushing the #1 seed so far, and look to come back stronger in the Autumn.
What’s My Name? – So, after Houston’s win on Wednesday night, a reporter asked Chandler Parsons about a mental lapse from Kevin Durant regarding Omer Asik. Parsons response was classic.
Reporter: After the game, Kevin Durant said ‘We hacked whatever-his-name-is.’ Didn’t know his name. Does that surprise you?
Parsons: He knew his name. That’s ridiculous. The guy’s had two double-doubles in a row. He’s one of the best centers in the NBA. He knows his name. If he didn’t, then he does for sure now.
Excellent. Now we have the biggest setup for an athlete to scream “What’s my name?” since Ali whooped Floyd Patterson. Come on, Omer–float like a butterfly; sting like a bee.
Hack-A-Turk – The Rockets have been the toast of ESPN since the Game 5 victory, and Asik’s resilience at the line has been a popular talking point. For instance, every contributor in a 5-on-5 called the strategy a bad call, with Ethan Sherwood Strauss writing the clincher:
Ethan Sherwood Strauss, ESPN.com: Bad call. As ESPN stats whiz Alok Pattani points out, such a strategy would only make sense if Asik were a 45 percent free throw shooter or worse. The big man shot 56 percent on freebies this season, well above that threshold. There just wasn’t a firm logical basis for what Scott Brooks did. It conveyed a lack of trust in his defense while not helping Oklahoma City in any tangible way. Awful move.
1. Houston could be the first team to come back from a 3-0 deficit because…