Tuesday, September 30, 2008

For Beer Pong, I Pick Yao.

Not even going into the crazy angle from 7 feet in the air or the insane free throw percentage, just look at him down this beer.
I was thinking: Yeah, he really didn't do much for us last year, but wouldn't it just be -so- nuts if Steve Francis gets back into a really good groove and helps lead us to a Championship. He's really come out as a huge Houstonian, just like JVG. Steve, TMac and Yao bringing the title back down to H-Town.
And as long as we're talking about the Rockets crossing over into other activities (beer pong), I've always wanted to see Tracy launch a driver in disc golf. I could watch YouTube's of disc golf or the Rockets any day all day. The one I linked to about "putting with confidence" could really just be a free-throw training video. If you're still confused, why don't we let this hippie explain it.
Adelman from an NBA.com article.

"I never had a team where I had four starters have surgery,'' said Adelman, starting his 18th season as a head coach. "That's been one of my major concerns, how these guys are going to come to camp, where they are physically and how we are going to monitor that as we go through this first month.''

There is a God.

Media Day (more at CLUTHFANS youtube account)

"I don't like anybody!"


TMAC! he aint scared

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chron.com Rockets Coverage

If you haven't visited yet, go check out Chron.com's Rockets section. They've got a whole slew of video and audio clips with great quotes. For the most part, I don't think anyone over there at the Toyota Center has stopped freaking out about the Shane + Artest defensive possibilities.

Oh, I almost forgot. When you listen to Shane talking about switching off tough defensive assignments, note the "it's not about trying to make the all-defensive team" line he drops. I wonder if he was asked something about it, or is he still rightfully bitter about Kobe and Duncan getting first team all-defense instead of him.

Kobe already got his lifetime achievement MVP award last season, he didn't need 1st team all defense - just because he guarded Leandro Barbosa and other dudes in the FIBA tournament last summer.
"Wow. Kobe can really play defense when he's committed." - shut up. So can Tracy. Give him an award. Shane does play defense and he is committed, every night, every game.

Yao owns Duncan on the low-block, and T-Mac just kills Bowen - no contest. I almost want to play the Spurs in the first round.


I promise to post less about whatever happens on my NBA video games, but I have to comment on one lineup. The possibilities for new rotations next year are just fascinating. I had Alston, Barry and Tracy all in together at the 1, 2 and 3 spots, and they were killing people. They could all hit the open three, and they're all superb passers. Maybe a little sub par on the defensive end for each of their positions, but against the lesser teams it could really work. Think Toronto Raptors' ball movement, but with Yao in the middle.

Also, Artest at the four next to Yao at the five is looking more and more... awesome.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

NBAtv - on basic cable?

While exciting to me, this might not affect too many of you.

Contracts for the league’s out-of-market package, NBA League Pass, also expire this fall, and the NBA is trying to use League Pass to induce cable and satellite operators to provide better penetration for NBA TV.

According to multiple sources on both sides of the talks, some cable operators are warming to the idea. NBA TV’s distribution has stagnated on sports tiers at 12 million subscribers. A move from a sports tier to digital basic would add between 6 million and 10 million subscribers, depending on the operator.

“It’s going to happen,” said one cable operator executive, of NBA TV’s pending move to digital basic. “It will happen in the next year.”

Shane Posts

Shane posted about his injury on his blog:

"When I started to rehabilitate my ankle, the way that I walked, ran and jumped was slightly altered. During one rehabilitation session, I believe that I tried to jump too quickly and forcefully and jarred the bones in the back of my ankle. This trauma caused the area to slightly swell.

There is not a lot of room for swelling in the foot joint, so when there is swelling in the foot joint, it becomes very painful and sore. The best medicine to treat this type of injury is rest. The doctors told me to reduce the amount of impact and force that I apply to the joint to allow the joint to return to normal. That means no training camp or preseason for me this year."

Probably for the best. Shane doesn't need any floortime in the preseason. This just means more time for Artest. While any injury sucks, this seems like some early rest for Battier. Come playoff time, let's hope all of our players are fresh and rested. Lebron and the Celtics have ensured the Eastern Conf. Champ. is going to be almost as battle weary as the West's in the Finals. Our depth needs to keep us winning in the regular season and peaking in the playoffs.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Love Affair Continues

-The Toyota Center, Landry's first game as a Rocket-

The Rim: "Car-r-l-l... Car-r-r-r-l-l-l..."

Landry: "Huh, whu?... who said that?"

The Rim: "Carl, you know you want to jump up and hang on me.."

Landry: "Stop distracting me! I'm trying to play here, man!"

The Rim: "Carl.. Come on. Just wait around me. T-Mac will find you... He doesn't come to hang on me any more. He loves his precious 'jump shot'. When's the last time Bill Worrell's yelled, 'T-Mac to the rack!' I miss those days... But you, Carl, you know you want to dunk on me."

Landry: "Oh, you know me too well. I just can't wait to jump up and touch you in the game. I know when that ball bounces off of you, you want me to grab it and slam it back in."

The Rim: "That's right, Carl. Look. Here comes T-Mac, now. Just wait for it... wait for it..."

Landry: "Oomph!" -catches pass- "Rrrrahhhkakaka!" -dunks-

The Rim: "No! Don't let go! Just hang on me a little more. Ahhh, that's nice. Swing your legs around and hit everyone else with your knees. Perfect."

Landry: "I won't ignore you ever again. I'm going to try to dunk every play, even if I blow my knee out."

The Rim: "I love you, Carl."

Landry: "Wait for me, I'll come back to you!" -runs back on D-

-end scene-

Landry's dunks as a Rocket

Most Dunks in 07-08

Carl dunked more in his limited playing time than the likes of Tracy McGrady, Tim Duncan, David West, Chris Kaman and many more big-time finishers.

I was so ready to hate Landry for leaving. Now that he's ours again, and the more dunks I see, the more the joy starts to seep in.

If Dike re-signs, God help the other teams.

Here's a prediction: Just like what we ran with Bonzi, our third unit is going to wreck other team's third units. Last year we had Aaron Brooks, Luther Head, Bonzi, Landry and Scola all subbed in to play the other team's bench. They'd come in and either keep our ten point lead solid, or actually make a run against the other team. This year it's going to be Ron Ron in there instead of Bonzi. Artest, Landry, Scola is such a killer front court. And we can throw in Dorsey, Chuck, Shane, Brent - whoever. But man, oh man, Landry just makes us that much better.
Cool. Our first link!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Q&A with Dorsey

Jason Friedman interviews Joey Dorsey

JD: Well, the Texans were actually at my basketball workout.

JCF: Really? Did they ask you to do any football drills?

JD: Yeah, they gave me a couple football drills...


JD: You know, my mid-range jumpshot is coming along pretty well. We had a [shooting] drill today where it was me, Brent Barry, Mike Harris and DJ Strawberry against T-Mac, Luther Head, Chuck Hayes and somebody else, I can't remember who it was. But they thought the teams were even by having Chuck on one side and me on the other (laughs). They didn't know I could shoot the ball like that. We were shooting threes and mid-range jump shots and we beat them 4-1.


JD: I would have to say Carlos Boozer. Yeah, I like Boozer; I like his game. He's more of a power guy and he can shoot the little 18-footer, so I like Boozer's game. I'm a rebounder. I love rebounding the ball and getting in there and doing the dirty work, but a lot of people don't know I can score the ball, too.

The Landry Dilemma

It is one week before training camp and we still do not have Carl Landry locked up. The reasons are understandable for both sides, and it’s really going to take some honesty and compromise to solve it.


Buddy Baker, known for being a relentless money grabber, feels the Rockets owe Landry (and him) lots of money for Landry’s second-half run last season. Landry would box out huge centers, rebound and dunk all in the same motion! He had a decent outside shot and used it properly. His personal passion can be used to ignite any team. This is the Landry that Buddy Baker is trying to sell, but it may not be the Landry he has.


Daryl Morey really looked like a genius picking this guy up in the second round, but there are risks that come with genius picks, and Landry's major knee problem was enough for 30+ teams to pass on him. Landry missed his entire Junior Year at Purdue because of knee surgery, but had a resurgence in his Senior year - with a big brace on his knee. At first it seemed we had won on our gamble, but then, 17 games into the streak, he was gone. We went on to win five games without him, and he was back two games after that. Landry all of a sudden was not Baker's Landry: He was tentative. His dunks turned into layups. His offensive boards became kick-outs instead of put-backs, and his And1's became jump shots. Although still effective, he was not the player he was before the injury. Landry depends on his athleticism and his spring and is merely average without them. He came through at times in the playoffs, but it was a spotty showing at best.


Daryl Morey knows how good Landry can be, and that is why he has Landry restricted and there have been no deals made yet. However Baker is asking for a lot, and it may be too much for the Rockets to afford, given the risk. Morey challenged Buddy Baker, asking Landry to get a complete scope on his knee. Baker denied the request, claiming it was a desperate attempt to scare other teams’ offers away. It is obvious that he is as worried as the Rockets are about Landry's health and he was trying to belittle the issue to make other teams offer more money that the Rockets would have to match or Landry would have to take. Smart for business, but if you don’t have a product it will be tough to sell. Daryl does not want to pay big bucks for post-March 8th Landry, and Baker is making the original gamble too much for Morey to risk. On this issue, and almost every issue, I am on Daryl Morey's side. No matter what jersey Landry has on next year, he will have A LOT to prove. Can he use his aggressive attitude and his immense athletic ability in a way that doesn't risk his whole career? Who knows!??!?!?!?!?!?

Chron.com Story

Submitted by Earnie Banks

Artest Youtube Account

I think this is Ron's youtube account. He only has one video, unfortunately it is not about basketball. He talks about mix tapes and what not if you want to save some time and not watch it.

The account said he is 28 and he just started it on september 22nd. On top of that, there is a webcam picture of him and the webcam video. So ye, it is his account. Hopefully, when the season starts up he will start posting videos of him talking shit. That would be great. Maybe Shane can get in on it too since he likes technology so much.

Monday, September 22, 2008



This dude is kind of annoying but whatever. Ron Artest makes up for him.

I am sooooooooo giddy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Low Ballers

A bunch of times when I ask people about their favorite teams, they're all like, "Lakers. Because of Kobe." or "San Antonio. Because they play team ball." or whatever.

Even a bunch of 'stonians I've asked have out-of-town favorites.

Well, I'm not really trying to talk about them. I'm trying to talk about teams that just aren't very good and about liking them for something other than winning. I'm talking about enjoying the pre-Maggette Warriors play (play everyone except the Rockets: they could really swarm Yao with Biedrins and Harrington and run over our guards with Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson). Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright are going to be pretty fun to watch I guess, anyway.

But for this upcoming season, there are a few teams out there that I really feel like I'll be rooting for:

In the West..


Al Jefferson is great to watch. He's a hard worker who puts up ridiculous inside shots that kill most PFs and Centers. Kevin Love is also a hard worker. He's got a great touch and is going to add so much to a team full of scorer-slashers. You've got a big in Al who can really hold down the middle and a big in Love that will get the young guards involved.

Then there's Mike Miller.

I know my friends and I joke about Shane and Mike having sleep-overs when they play each other, hanging out in Memphis together, etc. You know Tracy loved Miller's 3point touch in Orlando.
All in all, he would have been a great fit here in Houston. I still love having Artest, but can't you just see Miller opening the game up for everyone?

LA Clippers

Al Thornton was one of the most impressive rookies last year. Scola was new to the scene, so, yeah, maybe you say he was a rookie. Horford and Durant, yeah, everyone knows they're good.
Thornton is going to be a starter for a long time, and he didn't even get voted onto the rookie team for the All-star weekend game vs. the sophomores.

I feel sorry for Mobley, he's never really been around a great point guard. And for a shooter, that's got to take a toll on your game. But with Baron, Cuttino will really see some space for those jumpers. And don't get me started on Baron. He's always worth watching, and he doesn't let up in any part of his game. With a new coach and a new team, I think we might see a new Baron. But that's not to say he'll change the way he scores, maybe just the decisions he makes throughout the game, defense and offense.

I've got a league saved on NBA Live07 with all the trades updated (minus all the nonexistant rookies) and the Camby-Kaman-R. Davis-Mobley-B. Davis lineup is tough, even with Artest. They rebound and play D, and there's no shortage of perimeter scoring.


This team may come the closest of the lower-tier punk upstarts to contending with Houston's record, and I shouldn't really root for a team that could knock us into a bad playoff spot. But I can't help gravitating toward their roster.

Brandon Roy is like a taller, more shooting-guardish Andre Miller; so what's not to love.

Watching LaMarcus is like watching your kid brother or nephew or whatever finally shake out his lanky awkwardness and really put it all together for his sport.

Their role players are worth your attention. At least they come to play hard and play to win: Steve Blake, Outlaw, Pryzbilla, Webster, etc.

Then you add in three brand new, never-before-seen-in-the-NBA players: a #1 pick 7-ft. center, a Euro All-star, and a college standout. If I lived in Portland, I'd be buying tickets.

TBR # 2 Luther Head (AKA Alston 2k8)

There is nothing more pleasing to me than Rafer knocking all of the haters off his back last year. Unfortunately Rockets fans’ negativity is like an itch that travels to different spots in your body. Once you have satisfied one itch it will itch somewhere else.

In 05/06 the Rockets drafted Luther Head with the 24th overall pick from Illinois. I am not much of a college basketball follower, given I am a Houston loyalist, but Luther made a name for himself playing alongside Deron Williams all the way to the Final Four. Still in need for athletic and young guard play, the Rockets were really impressed with Head, mainly his shooting ability and quickness.

When T-Mac and Yao went down in 05/06, and Alston took over the lead PG role, Luther was inserted as a starter for 27 games at the SG position. For a team that was in the playoffs the previous year, this speaks volumes about our injury situation and Jeff Van Gundy's intentions to rebuild our supporting cast around his superstars.

Watching Luther that season was a treat. He was completely unfazed by the situation. He truly was a breath of fresh air. He ran around with the energy found in a college basketball system and played every play like it was an elimination game. It is the first time I saw this kind of talent and energy on a Houston Rockets team, maybe dating back to Vernon Maxwell. As previously mentioned in my Alston testament, the Rockets’ record that season was very misleading. We lost many close games that year that we should have been blown out of. Rafer and Luther were the most impressive on the floor.

The following year the team was healthier, and Luther's minutes went down. He still was a major contributor off the bench and found his role as our #1 backup for T-Mac. He shot a stunning 44.1% from the 3 point line! This was by far our best shooter on our team. He still is, with small competition from newly acquired Brent Barry.

In the playoffs we ran into Utah that year. It is true that he went into a slump, but watching every game that year it was easy to understand why. Somehow the referees allowed Yao to be guarded solely by Mehmet Okur’s pushing and pulling, while Yao would get punished for turning his body. This single coverage allowed Utah to man up with Luther, and every single shot was a contested one. Jeff Van Gundy didn't adjust, and Luther's role became an impossible one. JVG just kept pounding it in to Yao. Our whole game plan is for his shooting to relieve Yao of his double teams, yet there weren't any double teams for most of that series. Either you blame Yao for not taking control and demanding the double or the referees for pre-determining the series. As news and comments keep coming, I am a strong believer in the latter. No matter the reason, this series gave Luther his "choke" title that is FAR from deserved.

Last season was Luther's worst in terms of shooting. He was off at the beginning, and it was a real slump. Once again Yao went out and his role had to adapt to something he wasn't. At times he was the PG, which really isn't his position. It's not like he ever had to worry about that at Illinois (I think D. Williams had it covered).

My favorite thing about Luther, and in my Addict opinion his most important asset to our team, will be hitting big time three pointers late in games. You can just go ahead and translate that into being "clutch". He has been absolutely amazing in the 4th and it’s no fluke. He has hit at least 3 game winners in his short career and probably close to 10 stake-in-the-heart three-pointers. If you watch his interviews and see his work ethic, it’s not surprising at all. He has a very soft-spoken, cold-faced and hard-working persona. He loves the game of basketball in a way that JVG couldn't resist. He never seems to lose his cool no matter how bad he is struggling, or how intense the game situation is.

My final point involves last year's playoff series against the Jazz, where he did not make a shot. Now, Houstonians are asking for his head (no pun intended). Once again, we did not have Yao and even Alston at times. Luther was forced to dribble and run around more than he should. On another note, he was being refereed very unfairly. I have never seen Luther so upset, than I did in Game 4 of that series while he was on the bench. It wasn't a mad at himself act, it was a complete hatred for the referee's calls. In my opinion, referees target young players like Luther, and they know people will be quick to blame him without much investigation. Believe me, if Yao was not our main guy, and we didn't have the type of superstar talent we have, then Luther would not be the championship piece that we need. But we rest our whole future on Yao and T-Mac and Luther fits PERFECTLY in that plan. When Yao goes down, Luther does too. When Yao is here, Luther is a valuable 8th man this season.

Everyone thinks he needs to be traded. Radio broadcasters joke that we can't even "give" him away. This is how they justify the fact that Daryl Morey loves Luther. These are the same people that thought Steve would steal Rafer's job after being bought out for 30 million. Here is my prediction: Luther will hit some of the biggest shots of any Rocket this season, playoffs included. I just wish people would stop talking so badly about these players, including T-Mac.
It will really be shame if the Rockets win a championship despite Houston instead of for Houston.
Submitted by Earnie Banks

Post-Hurricane Post

So I've survived Ike, and while many 'stonians are without power or worse (slideshow), I managed to drag myself back to work. The AC and the internet were only minor incentives, promise.

And, after rushing through as many NBA stories and blurbs as possible, there's the Gilbert thing and all this:

Funny Video

Coming to see the Rockets in L.A. just got more expensive (first cup):

The premium to be levied on individual Lakers tickets will range from $10 on a $35 seat to $55 for a $260 seat and be in effect for home games against Boston (Dec. 25), Cleveland (Jan. 19), San Antonio (Jan. 25), New Orleans (Feb. 20), Phoenix (Feb. 26), Dallas (March 15) and Houston (April 3)."

TrueHoop's litany of "loose ends"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rockets News Roundup

Jason Friedman interviews two of our point guards:

Rafer Alston (TrueHoop's article on the Rockets)

"This will be the second time in my career I get to play with a fellow Queens, New York guy. We knew and heard so much about each other growing up, so it’s going to be exciting. I had a chance to play with (Queen’s native) Lamar Odom in Miami and we had a wonderful year – ended up going to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, so I look forward to advancing with Ron this year."

Aaron Brooks

"The reality is that, everyday, Ron works the hardest out of anybody here. He's right up there with Yao - he's a gym rat. And he's a good guy; from the time I've been here he's been real nice. Honestly, he's been real cool; smiling, laughing and joking like a regular guy.I think he just likes the situation here. He's got Mac and Yao, and he gets to team up with them and his buddy, Rafer."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Live it! It's Time! (To) Get Red!

As a younger kid watching the championship years, the Rockets organizations would come up with crowd-pleasing, catchy slogans, usually designed to promote the upcoming season. You can't help but picture those bright yellow signs that say "Believe It" and of course the sequel, "Believe It Again". Maybe the most famous and my personal favorite is "Clutch City". "Clutch City" was an actual response to the "Choke City" title we earned by blowing 20-point leads in two consecutive home games against Barkley's Suns and maybe for that reason it has stuck to a certain extent. It is more of our nickname than our slogan.

Now, I take strong pride in our organization's themes. This year is no different. “GET RED!” I love it. This is more than a slogan this year; it is a call for action. It is an attempt to unify this city’s sports fans and make Houston's color Rockets’ Red.

It is no longer an opinion to say Houston fans have been disloyal as a whole. Seats have been empty for years. IF you go to a game, the only cheers you hear are during the timeouts when the free stuff goes flying, and the only discussions going around are "trade this" or "blame that" or "The Spurs are better."

Maybe last year's "It's time" slogan was a bit premature. It would’ve been right, but people did not believe it and probably considered it business propaganda. The year before offered a little bit less confidence and asked fans to "Live it". I liked this, and adhered to it, but it wasn't for the city. It was nothing measurable, and I have a feeling if it were, it would be a huge failure.

This year slogan paints a beautiful picture: different but just as rewarding as those championship years. The Toyota Center packed seat to seat in a sea of Red, rowdy fans booing and yelling at the top of their lungs, and a sense that everyone knows what’s going on. In fact, maybe we can use the early timeouts to rest our legs or get food? Imagine a 4th quarter with MORE people than the 3rd quarter. Imagine a tip off as loud as a fourth quarter buzzer beater. I love this year's slogan.
Submitted by Earnie Banks

You don't kiss nobody's rear end, because it stinks.

Big fan of Basketbawful's The Tao of Ron Artest

We 'stonians better relish the opportunity to get so much national coverage. Artest is going to bring almost nightly Rockets plugs on ESPN.

Also, anything as similarly marketable as the Celtics' big three or the Celtics/Lakers rivalry will consume the League's promos.

Stop Reading Our Blog. Read Battier's

^nice tuxedo shirt

It's kinda funny cause we pass by his house all the time.

open house

Open house at Toyota Center this saturday 11am-2pm. Guests will be able to meet with a Rockets sales representative to select their seats for the upcoming 2008-2009 Houston Rockets season. Full season tickets, half season, 14 game, and 6 game plans will all be available.

That's right lets pick some good seats ADDICTS!! We should try and get as many people to get the outskirts of the front row... that way only Rocket's ADDICTS will be that close...ALSO in case RON goes nuts and tries to jump in the stands again we can "TRY" and hold him back. Chances are that is not gonna happen again because of Ron's Comments.

"Whatever Yao Ming wants me to do, I'll be there. Whatever Tracy McGrady tells me to do, that's how it's going to go down. Ultimately, whatever Rick Adelman tells me to do is exactly what I'm going to do."

Hopefully they dont tell him to run in the stands and beat the shit out of this guy for talking shit.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Interview with Pistons owner Bill Davidson

I sure am a sucker for NBA interviews of any kind. Getting to read the actual words straight from the mouth of an NBA player or coach or owner is such an insight into the makeup of the league. That's why I love Eric Mussleman's Basketball Notebook and, to a lesser extent, player-blogs like Gilbert's.

I also love hearing knowledgeable and cantankerous old men give their honest opinions. Looks like I lucked out with this:

Mitch Ablum, sportswriter and author of 'Tuesdays With Morrie,' interviews Bill Davidson, owner of the Detroit Pistons and the WNBA's Detroit Shock.


Here are some excerpts: (Q = Ablum, A = Davidson)

"Q: What do you look for during a game?

A: Well, I look for certain things, which are mainly fouls ... and, unfortunately, the referees are not what they should be -- although they're getting better. So I watch the referees. I watch who they are. There are certain referees -- when they come to our game -- you know you're gonna lose. And that should never be.

Q: What do you think of the whole Tim Donaghy scandal?

A: That's the tip of the iceberg with referees.

Q: Do the refs' calls upset you that much?

A: Yeah, it's what they call and when they call it -- and on whom they call it. And when you see what they do, you know that they're kind of taking over the game and making the outcome certain -- all they have to do is call a couple ticky-tack fouls on say, (Chauncey) Billups, and you're not gonna win that game.

Q: Have you voiced that concern to the commissioner?

A: (He laughs.) Daily!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Modern Art

And my favorite Knickerbocker just blogged. (And, no, I did not read this before attributing "my favorite" to the link, he really has been my favorite. not much competition - 2nd place? david lee)

Gotta love them Lithuanians
"The Rockets also announced the hiring of Arturas Karnisovas as director of global scouting and international affairs.

"Karnisovas, a former European player of the year after his college career at Seton Hall, played professionally in Italy, Greece, Spain and France and was a two-time Olympic bronze medalist for Lithuania."

True-Blooded Rocket: Rafer Alston

(left: a true "point" guard)

Not many people had heard much about Rafer Alston, the NBA player, when he was acquired from the Toronto Raptors before the '05-'06 season. Being 'Skip to my Lou' was his claim to fame, and the AND1 stigma was hard to shake off; just as others had tried and failed in the past.
Could a flashy guard have a strong enough head to run an NBA offense?

This was the year after our disappointing first round exit to Dallas. That team was filled with veterans: Bob Sura, David Wesley, John Barry at the guard positions, and the organization quietly and quickly realized that they needed to begin rebuilding slowly but surely towards their goal of a T-Mac and Yao-led championship.

Jeff Van Gundy was beginning to recruit his "type" of players and set his sights on a solid passing point guard to defer to T-Mac and Yao - while still playing great defense. Rafer always had the speed and the handles, and over the course of the last 4 years he has proven that he was the perfect man for the job. Thank You, Jeff.

Rafer's success and his spot in our starting lineup is a concrete example of one the very FEW advantages to having an injury-plagued team. Bob Sura went down for good, and David Wesley began shooting himself into retirement; All of sudden Rafer was the best choice and the only choice the Rockets had.

In a year where Yao played only 57 games, and T-mac a mere 47, Jeff realized a championship was not a reasonable season goal. He began to work on the players he planned to use in the future. Injuries, the 40-point game-7 loss and the bad season record were alienating fans. All the while Rafer was showing that he was the best player on our depleted roster. A very important thing to understand is that our record was extremely misleading that year. Almost every single game was competitive and with almost nothing on our roster. Van Gundy's coaching was beginning to shine. In fact, he probably was completely happy with what his team gave him that year.

Heading into the '06-'07 season Rafer was our top runner, and we really felt that with a healthy team and what we built in '05-'06 we were already playoff material. Rafer went on to start ALL 82 games that season averaging the most minutes per game (37.1 minutes) on the team. His durability and reliability really made it possible for him to get better and our team to get completely comfortable with him. Unfortunately, Yao was injured again and only played 48 games. Although we would lose to Utah in 7 games, moving into the playoffs and being a few minutes from advancing was a step in the right direction from what was a rebuilding year just one year before. However, the Houston fans saw this as a huge disappointment and combined the last two years of let down with the previous 6 years - our team was unfairly criticized. Injuries were obvious reasons, but Rafer was always there, by proxy setting him up to be the scapegoat.

He is a very spotty shooter and always has been, but Jeff did not bring him here to be a third option scorer. There were still two positions (SF,PF) that were better suited for that role and Jeff began asking too much from Rafer without much choice. In the offseason Rafer was absolutely murdered by the Houston media and fans. His arrests and the Rockets' acquisitions: Steve Francis and Aaron Brooks, led many to believe that the Rockets organization was as ignorant as the fans themselves. But the facts always overshadow unfounded opinions, and Rafer EASILY beat out all competition. I emphasize easily because Rafer had an advantage. His two years of experience and the continuous lack of respect he received were two driving forces for Rafer's success that training camp - no one came close.

It wasn't until the 22-game winning streak that Rafer was finally absolved from the AND1 stigma, and all the haters really couldn't find anything to complain about. It is true that he was at his best, but his tough NBA journey led him to this inevitable year.

I first noticed how vital he was to this team in a game against New Orleans on Feb. 3 in the '06-'07 season. In the first quarter, Rafer was ejected along with a New Orleans scrub. An unusually healthy Rockets team had no flow or chemistry or any chance to win that game. This wasn't the New Orleans of last year or even the Chris Paul of last year. If that wasn't enough, then everybody could see his impact when a "better scoring" guard (Bobby Jackson) was forced to lead the Rockets in the first two playoff games last season. He led us right into an impenetrable 0-2 deficit.

My final point is understanding the value in terms of money with a player like Alston. Unselfish, intangible-driven players like Alston are usually undervalued and underpaid in the NBA. We now have 3 superstars and a rising star in Scola. Oh, and Battier isn't exactly a scrub either. Who could we possibly get that would be better? Everyone you could name would be either an elite point guard who plays the role of T-Mac for their respective team while getting paid near the same, or a better scoring point guard who is 3 years behind Rafer's experience and chemistry with the our team. Trading Rafer will never work out for the best. We have the best point guard in the league for the roster we have and that we can afford. We are not the Yankees, and this is not baseball.

'05 -'06 was not only the year we found our point guard, but the same year we brought in two rookies that would get a similar opportunity to succeed due to injuries...

...And the Rockets select Luther Head from Illinois to be the next True-Blooded Rocket.

Submitted by Earnie Banks

Yao, T-Mac Wireless at Rookie Game (last year)


Notice Scola is not singing. He definately doesn't know the national anthem, he probably does now but i give him credit for tryin to mouth it then.
I wonder what Kevin Durant's shoes are going to look like.

Basketbawful: Weed, Plyometric Jumpsoles and Kevin Mchale's post moves.

The polls are in, and here's what we've got. Ron and Rafer dominate the "most minutes" category, while Yao and Tmac could both be looking at some bench time. Luis is somewhere in the middle. The most overwhelming vote was for Shane to play the least. I'm sure I voted like three times for Shane to play the least, but do we really want to kick this dude off the court?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This song didn't make me laugh, just cry with pleasure from the crazy defense he plays.

I don't enjoy bragging about my prediction about Dennis Rodman.......okay, alright, maybe I do, but when I posted that, I really felt the need for that kind of player on the court for us. And it looks like Ron Artest is the answer. We need a new nickname for him.

Raise your hand if you're giddy!!

Chemisty is in fact Rocket Science

It obvious now that Houston fans are satisfied with our core group of guys: T-mac, Yao, Artest, Battier, Scola, Brent Barry and Skip. Our core of eight has proven its skill and is without question comprised of championship talent. The issue now is putting it all together and having championship chemistry.

Fortunately, the Rockets have been quietly building a solid bond. That cohesion may have been the main reason for our 22-game winning streak and our 55-win season. If you remember, we only had about four of those core guys through the streak and pulled off the unthinkable - How is this possible?

The answer isn't as easy as just Adelman's system or a soft schedule. Adelman would be the first to tell you the answer is found in what was there BEFORE he got here, with the small exception of Carl Landry (who is just a freak).

This Rockets team is more than our mega-stars and all-stars. We have built strong chemistry over the years with our younger, unproven players. These players will be as vital to our future success as any of our core guys.

Championships are not just the playoffs or your playoff positioning. It is through practice, early season chemistry and withstanding the rigged 82 game season that we will see our championship-caliber team emerge.

In the wake of training camp, I am going to remind Rockets fans who these vital pieces are and why they will be playing important minutes for the Rockets in the 2008/09 season. These players are far from being "question mark players" and have been underrated and over-ridiculed for a long time now. In my Addict opinion, this championship-caliber team began taking shape during the 05-06 season.

Check back this week for the first true-blooded Rocket(TBR) to be profiled on Addicts: Rafer Alston.

Submitted by: Earnie Banks

New Look

If you haven't noticed, we here at RA are trying to keep it g-a-n-g-s-t-a by adding some throwback colors.

About two months until the season tips off. When that glorious time comes, we'll be going through game-by-game coverage, rankings, ramblings - very gangsta.

Enjoy the videos and sporadic blurbs. Let's get psyched for '08-'09.

NBAtv Olajuwon On His Title Run

Jason Friedman interviews D.J. Strawberry

I'm not personally too opinionated on the matter, but I know my friend Steve and fellow addict Rob have had this discussion before:

"JCF: Are you a Live or 2K guy for basketball?
DJ: I’m a Live guy, personally.
JCF: Oh no.
DJ: (laughs) I can’t get into the 2K. I don’t know why. Probably just because I grew up with Live. I’ve heard 2K is good, I’ve just never really played it much. Maybe I’ll have to check it out.
JCF: You have to. It’s way more realistic than Live."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tracy McGrady


top 100 TMAC DUNKS....

I think I only pick videos that make me laugh with the music. So please if your making highlight vids put something that will catch my attention.

Tracy is gonna be so sick this year with ron on the court. It is going to open up his game so much.Quick Question:::: When he had on Vince Carter on the court with him, do you think it opened up the lane for him more? I am trying to find his game highlights from when they played together.

If it DID open up the lane for him more, I am thinking Tracy is going to have 86 dunks this year! That is 43 more than he had last year, and 224 less than "Superwoman" had last year.Dwight Howard is no threat at all for Yao Ming. He lacks "killer instict" says Ewing.

Tracy has had better dunks than Dwight Howards.....throw downs.... I still don't think that was a dunk. He deserved to win, but it wasnt that crazy spectacular flying through the air BS.