Rockets Daily: Friday, December 10th, 2010

  • Andrew Unterberger of The Basketball Jones currently finds himself involved in both the most awesome thing that has ever happened and a really, painfully long road trip: he’s visiting all 30 NBA arenas (well, if you count Staples Center twice for both the Clips and Lakers) in 60 days. For arena #18, Unterberger made his way down south to check out the Toyota Center and its many amenities (he notes that he had not yet seen a stadium with so much suite seating or as fantastic of a spread as is offered to the upper-crust), plus catch a little bit of Tracy McGrady hatred. From the awesome shot of a Rocket fan decked out in a McGrady jersey with a black-taped-X over the number 1 to the video for Curren$y’s “Breakfast” (the best verse the Hot Spitta’s ever spit), make sure to read Unterberger’s ode to the Toyota Center (and keep up with his fantastic series) Quick note: he complains about the Red Rowdies, the Rockets’ answer to the common team-sponsored cheering section, a notion Unterberger has found quite annoying throughout his travels. None of that pertains to my note: do these sections often have some kind of supervisor, making sure the Rowdies are keeping up their humiliating (but undoubtedly necessary) end of the bargain or else?
  • Milwaukee’s established, high quality True Hoop affiliate blog, Bucksketball, breaks down tonight’s match-up with the Deer and, outside of the Bucks’ two studs in Jennings and Bogut, does not see too many advantages for its Bucks to exploit, predicting a low-scoring affair that will end in a Rockets victory. While this seems well and good, the Rockets have not fared well against teams as frugal as the Bucks, which currently ranks sixth in defensive efficiency league-wide (other teams in the top 10? New Orleans, Dallas, Indiana, Chicago… a lot of teams to which the Rockets have lost). In such games, I generally hope for tons of Luis Scola, as dependable and aware of his limitations as any NBA player; let’s hope we get him by the scoopful tonight.
  • Henry Abbott of our umbrella blog True Hoop wrote a quite interesting analysis of the “active player”, the one who looks like the Jolt Cola he guzzled pregame just won’t wear off (basically, Kevin Garnett). His juxtaposition of Andre Miller and Brandon Roy as the “active” and “non-active”, despite their huge age gap that would invite opposite assumptions, left me wondering whether our preconceptions of whose game relies on what can be too influenced by box scores. Abbott describes the fear and discomfort caused by a team of “actives” quite eloquently: “Now, all that hyperactivity can be dumb, wasteful and bewildering. It can mean broken defensive schemes and excessive fouls. But it can also be a thing of beauty. For instance, witness the Boston Celtics’ defense the last three years, where bodies are flying all over the court at all times, but in coordination. A little pet theory I’ve been cooking up, late at night when I really should be sleeping, is that there is special benefit when you play a lot of active players together. Having a couple of wing players flying all over the court can be wasted if their teammates are watching, standing still. But get four or five guys really hustling and moving, and it can rattle the other team. It can make them feel, and look, like they’re playing against a windstorm.”
  • The Houston Rockets are kind of on a roll right now (four wins out of the last six played, what qualifies as a run in a 8-13 season), and they don’t care when it started. They just want to keep it going, as Jonathan Feigen lets us know: “In December’s four games, the Rockets have averaged 112.3 points, making 50 percent of their shots and 51.2 percent of their 3-pointers while averaging 24.3 assists. They held double digit leads in three of those games. ‘We’re executing better,’ Courtney Lee said. ‘We’re taking our time on the offensive end and getting what we want as far as Kyle having the ball on the top in pick-and-roll and reading the roll and Luis (Scola) popping. On the defensive end, we’re starting to get stops. We’re realizing in the fourth quarter, it’s about how many stops you get. That L.A. game was a turning point. We saw what it takes to finish games. The last couple games, we were able to execute down the stretch.’”
  • Rony Seikaly has been making the blog rounds in the past few years as a disco DJ, but getting in the New York Times because of a hobby-turned-career may give him something about which to brag to Rik Smits and his crotch rockets: “’The most important thing is to capture that moment where all of a sudden everybody is in a great mood, everybody starts dancing, and all of a sudden you feel it click between you and the crowd,’ Seikaly said. ‘And as soon as that click happens, it’s not something that anybody else can feel except that person playing the music. As soon as you feel that connection to the crowd, then you know you’ve got them. And then you can take them on any journey you want.’”

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