Full Rockets game coverage
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 29, 2009
Ok, this comes few hours late, but it will be worth the wait.
For the 93-95 W over Houston, “the most important win of the season”, as Kate Fagan said, (22-22, .500) you will basically get FOUR ARTICLES IN ONE POST, so that at the end of this text you will (hopefully) party, just like our players in the pic.
The four stage-sequence will be:
1) the Q&A session I did before the game with the guys over at The Dream Shake, one of the finest NBA blogs you can find. I couldn’t post it in time, but it’s a nice reading, you’ll see.
2) Sixerdave’s recap of the win
3) links to The Dream Shake’s recap and my answers to their Sixers related questions
4) some of my thoughts after the game (that I will watch now, replaying, knowing already the score, but anyway…)
Let’s start, stage #1, Q& A SESSION WITH “THE DREAM SHAKE”.
1) can TMG still be considered an NBA player? Last time I watched him, in the game at Philadelphia, I felt sorry for him, he could barely move. Then I read some quotes in which he was explaining his frustration for the fact that he realizes he can’t be the player that he was, that was extremely sad to read as well, for any bball fan I mean. Which will be his role in the Rockets of this year and of the future, given his clear decline?
There’s no doubt Tracy McGrady can still be considered an NBA player. He still puts up 15/5/5 per game, even if those numbers aren’t up to his normal standards. What bugs most Rockets fans, most notably myself, is how he affects the Rockets with his play.
I couldn’t tell you how Mac would do with a different team, but it seems like the Rockets tend to do better in most areas of the game without Tracy on the floor. True, McGrady is our clutch-shooter at the end of the game, but aside from that, we don’t get a whole lot more out of him than we would from a guy like Von Wafer, who is better suited for our offense.
That said, McGrady has proven that he can win games in Houston, and if he is healthy, he can help us. But if he tries to play through pain like Ron Artest does, he’s nothing but a handicap that everyone else has to put up with.
2) can you update us about your point guard situation? Issues, solutions?
Our point guard situation has gone from bad to decent to WTF. I really don’t know what to make of it at this point. TDS gives Rafer Alston a hard time on a daily basis because of his poor decision making and bad shot selection, and on most nights, that’s what you will see out of him.
Recently, however, Rafer had a nice stretch of games in which he was reaching double digits in assists and keeping the turnovers down. Hell, even his shot was going in. But then he stunk against the Knicks, thus bringing him back down to earth like Chris Rock, his illegitimate twin. As for Aaron Brooks, he has been very effective at times this season, and he has also gone through multiple slumps.
I don’t think the point guard position is our biggest concern – that distinction belongs to the health of T-Mac, Yao, and Ron, but it is something that needs to improve for us. I don’t see us making a trade because I think Aaron Brooks can still be a solid backup, but you never know what Daryl Morey and his mathematicious minions are thinking.
3) Do you see Rockets making a move before the trade deadline? Do you HOPE they will? In case, which move?
I think signing Dikembe Mutombo was indeed our last move. There have been rumors spreading all season about Carl Landry, Luther Head, and even McGrady. But none have come close to being true. Personally, I don’t even think we need to make a trade or signing, unless of course someone important goes down for the season (*knock on wood*). Pending good health, our roster should be set. But reference the end of my answer to #2; you just don’t know – he’s too smart.
4) on my blog I started a petition to retire Moses Malone’s #2 Sixer uniform. Rockets already did that. What’s your fav Moses Malone memory, or story (this obviously doesn’t request that you saw him playing), of course Rockets-related, that you would like to share with S4G readers, especially the young ones?
I’m pretty young myself, so I don’t have many memories of Moses. Wish I did, but I don’t. However, I do remember this commercial of Moses. Found it on YouTube just a minute ago actually. This is how Moses became great – by grabbing the offensive boards and going up strong every time.
5) any chances to see Allen Leavell back? I liked his weird shooting form !!
Though I do not have the power to bring Leavell back, I do have the power to enrich Sixers fans with even worse shooting form. Ricky and friends, I present to you: Chuck Hayes.
Not bad uh? And the two videos are simply great.
Stage #2, SIXERDAVE’S RECAP.
Andre Iguodala can’t hit big shots… Elton Brand is injury prone and past his prime… Samuel Dalembert is a useless bum.
The three highest-paid Sixers haven’t exactly worked out this season the way many Sixer fans have expected. But tonight at Houston, in a game where at times the offense didn’t click, the defense didn’t click and the transition game didn’t click, the Sixers got key contributions from their three big money men to top Houston, 95-93.
Iguodala scored 20 points and hit two key high-arcing shot in the closing moments, one with 37 seconds left, and Samuel Dalembert tipped Tracy McGrady’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer to give the Sixers their ninth win in 11 games. Brand came off the bench for 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 first half blocks and Lou Williams came off the bench for 17 points and 6 assists to help the Sixers.
With 41 seconds left and the Sixers up two, Iguodala took a pass on the right wing from Andre Miller and dribbled right against Battier with Yao blocking off the lane. Iguodala dribbled to the baseline and put up one of his patented high arc shots and it hit the bottom of the net.
After the Rockets scored and the Sixers could not, the Rockets took a time out and inbounded with 5.6 seconds left. The ball went right to McGrady who got a screen from Yao Ming. McGrady dribbled left, using the screen by Yao. Dalembert picked up McGrady who pulled into a 3-point shot from the left wing. Dalembert leaped and tipped the ball with a finger right before time expired.
Thaddeus Young started the game and finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds but was in foul trouble most of the game. Luis Scola torched the Sixers for 18 points and 10 rebounds and was too much for Young to handle.
The Sixers played even with the Rockets in the first half, trailing 51-45 at intermission. Andre Iguodala hit the first shot of the game over Shane Battier and then had a monster dunk over Yao, but disappeared for the rest of the first half on offense totalling just six points. The Sixers seemed content with open 15-18 foot jumpers on several possessions, many of which they hit.
The lone bright spot offensively in the first half was Williams who had 13 points. On his first possession in the game, Williams pulled up and nailed a 26 foot three-pointer from the wing. He followed that up with a nice layup on the break. Lou needed a game like this after seeming lost at times against New Orleans.
The Sixers shot nearly 50% from the field in the first half, but trailed because of 14 turnovers. Brand came off the bench for 4 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots. Who says Brand can’t play defense?
The bright spot for the Rockets in the first half was Luis Scola, who had 10 points and 7 rebounds in 17 minutes. Scola played like a Reggie Evans but with skills. Rafer Alston looked pretty bad in the first half, scoreless in nearly 14 minutes. Miller couldn’t take advantage though, only scoring 6 points.
Scola started the second half with another bucket and a rebound, but Iguodala got back in the scoring column with a nice baseline jumper and one from the wing. Scola added a couple shots of his own to push the Rocket lead to 11 at 62-51.
The Sixers came back as two Miller free throws with 4:57 remaining in the game gave the Sixers the lead, 87-86. Alston came back and nailed a 3-pointer, but Brand hit a tough shot on the baseline over a double team to tie the game at 89. Two more Miller free throws led to the heroic shots by Iguodala.
The Sixers made 20 of 21 FTs in the game and ended up needing every one of them. Dalembert had a huge game for the Sixers, only scoring 6 points, but pulling down 13 boards with 3 steals and 4 blocks while battling the 7’5″ Yao all game. The Sixers blocked 14 shots in the game. McGrady scored 24 points with 6 assists and 5 rebounds, but had 5 of his shots blocked by the Sixers.
The Sixers have a back-to-back coming up this weekend at home against Washington and New Jersey. They enter a nice stretch of 7 games at home leading into the All-Star break.
Not satisfied yet? Fine, let’s move to STAGE #3.
Here is The Dream Shake recap of last night’s game, the game thread, another funny post by their crazy crew, to get the complete Rockets fans’ perspective. And my answers to their questions about the Sixers – just in case you care….
STAGE #4 to come soon in the comments. Now I can go watch the game. Happy.
SIXERS4GUIDOS: WHERE LATE-BUT-DEEP COVERAGE HAPPENS.