The Houston Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks.

I don’t really know what to say. It’s been such an up and down season. Having an actual defense. The injuries. Harden taking another leap to a true superstar. The injuries. Motiejunas becoming useful. The injuries. Josh Smith, the good. Josh Smith, the bad.

And now, the Houston Rockets have beaten the Dallas Mavericks. Not so much with Harden heroics but with solid, real team defense that was not there last year. And the result turned out to be so much different from last year.

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in game coverage

Q&A with Tim Cato of Mavs Moneyball

Ahead of Game 5 and another chance for the Rockets to close out the Dallas Mavericks, we caught up with Tim Cato of

MF – Rockets fans adored Chandler Parsons. Half still do, while half blame him for leaving even though thats pretty much Daryl Morey’s fault for underestimating the troll inside of Mark Cuban. How hard did you fall in love with him this season, and how did it change your outlook to lose him so early into the playoffs? [read more…]

in conversations
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Do you believe in jinxes?

Because to me, worrying about them always seemed so silly.  In high school, guys who wouldn’t wash their socks after big wins weren’t insuring a repeat performance, they were only making their shoes stink.  As Chris Webber says (and to which I agree), believing in such things just means you don’t trust in yourself and your training.  I personally just never had much use for superstition (and certainly didn’t need any help making my shoes stink).

But jinxing was on my mind when I wrote the headline for Game 3’s post-game coverage, “You may or may not want to consider thinking about possibly pulling out your brooms”.

As you can see, I was a little timid with the headline at first, afraid to outright upset mystical forces that I don’t understand and/or believe in. But as I got to writing and re-watching some of the game, I couldn’t help but notice how dominant the Rockets looked; Dwight snatching every rebound, Harden slicing and dicing the Mavs defense.  Even though it was a wire-to-wire game, the Rockets had absorbed two 30-point performances by Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis, and saw every trick in Rick Carlisle’s toolbox and still came out on top.

So if i was a little concerned at first that perhaps I was being too cavalier with the title, by the end it was all I could do to not out-and-out guarantee the sweep.

But I was wrong: maybe jinxes really do exist, and Rick Carlisle definitely still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

First off, Carlisle made the obvious decision to start JJ Barea and my new least favorite player in the whole world, Al-F@$#% Aminu, [read more…]

in game coverage

When the Daryl Morey brought Dwight Howard to Houston to join James Harden, even the most pessimistic Rockets fan surely had fantastic daydreams of nights just like last night.  The two best players at their positions, together on the same team, doing the things they do better than anyone, at the same time, on the same night.

And be sure, when Dwight plays the way he did last night, and all series really, he is still the most dominant big man around.

It may seem strange to anyone who watched last night that this article begins with Dwight Howard and not James Harden,
who scored 42 points on 15-24 shooting (5-7 from deep), dished 9 assists and grabbed 5 boards.   [read more…]

in game coverage

With the Mavericks seemingly exploding before our eyes (KNOCK ON WOOD), I thought it was time for something fun. All the talk about hacking has resurrected conversation about the differences between American and foreign big men. Conventional wisdom has us believe that American big men are more physical but less skilled. Foreign big men, on the other hand, get pushed around easily but are more adept with the ball in their hands. In the current times of hack-a-you, this means that American big men are characterized as being dunces from the free throw line, while foreign big men conduct symphonies from the same spot. To what extent are these stereotypes true? Let’s use data to find out.

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in musings