Look out, Luis. There’s a train called Dwyane Wade coming through. Oh, I see you got out of the way. Good for you. Too bad you can consider yourself clowned AND posterized. Such is the risk of playing in the NBA.
Seriously though, wouldn’t a foul be more prudent here instead of running away from the dunk?
See that picture? See Tracy McGrady in that picture? That’s the perfect visual representation for the amount of playing time he’s had for the Houston Rockets in about two seasons. Why, then, is he the second leading vote-getter for Western Conference guards in the NBA’s upcoming All Star Game? He hasn’t played a game for the Rockets since February of last season, but yet, there he is with almost 300,000 votes, which currently has him starting the game besides the leading vote-getter, Kobe Bryant. Are Rockets fans trying to stuff the ballots in an effort to send a message to the team about playing McGrady? Or are they simply trying to be cute?
The AP suggests McGrady’s vote total could be the result of a bleed over effect caused by Yao Ming’s popularity. If so, the NBA has no one to blame but themselves because McGrady is actually listed as an eligible guard to be selected, even though he hasn’t played a game in almost a year.
Meanwhile, the same fans can only vote for Yao if they “write” him in.
Granted, if these vote totals keep up and T-Mac is rewarded with a starting spot, another player will probably be selected as alternate — unless McGrady tries to send a message of his own by actually trying to play — but the point remains, if fans are so haphazard with their selections, should these vote totals be given such command over the starting line up of an All Star Game roster?
How about if it’s not a joke or fan-created ploy? That would mean the NBA’s voting audience isn’t very savvy when it comes to minor details like who has and who hasn’t be actively playing. Doesn’t that little fact make matters even worse? If the NBA is going to rely on fans to fill their All Star rosters, perhaps they should only list the players that are actually actively playing. Relying on the general public to make informed, thought-out decisions is a dangerous gambit.
Introducing Chase Budinger. Welcome to the NBA, rook. Way to introduce yourself to the world. Unfortunately, your maiden voyage with the Houston Rockets will probably be filled with lots of rough sailing, but keep your head up and keep taking it to the bucket in such a fearless manner. You never know, maybe next season, you’ll get to see what it’s like to play with a healthy Tracy McGrady and a healthy Yao Ming. I know, I know, lets not get crazy, but still, I myself would like to see a whole Rockets team, something that hasn’t happened since their long winning streak from two seasons ago. Even then, the duo of a healthy Yao and McGrady didn’t/couldn’t last the entire season.
There’s a troubling report over at Yahoo Sports discussing Yao Ming’s apparently-made-from-glass feet and there’s a worry his playoff re-injury could keep the Houston Rockets center out of commission next season, if not permanently. While there’s been no direct confirmation from the Rockets about Yao’s upcoming availability, the whispers about his fragile feet are growing louder and louder:
He delivers — thanks to an awesome pass from Chuck Hayes, who, since Michael Jordan has moved on, has become my favorite basketball player in the world. As for Landry, he just had a superlative game, scoring 15 points (look, the final margin of victory) on 6-6 shooting as well as nine rebounds and two filthy dunks, one of which is above. With the help of Landry, Hayes and a sterling game from Luis Scola, the Rockets absolutely dominated the Lakers in the paint, which brings me to an aside:
As for the Rockets paint domination, Hayes is entirely too physical for the finesse play of Gasol, and while Pau had an easier time scoring over Landry, he and the rest of the Lakers certainly couldn’t contain his athleticism on defense, hence Landry’s vicious baseline jam.
It’s too bad for Denver Nuggets fans that their home court advantage runs out if they play the Lakers in the Conference Finals. The reason being is because of Nene’s apparent Jekyl and Hyde routine when Denver hits the road. During Denver’s run to the Western Conference Finals, Nene has averaged 16 points at home but only 7 points on the road. Of the four road games the Nuggets have played (two against the Hornets, two against Dallas), Denver is 2-2.
They are undefeated at home.
So while Carmelo, Chauncey and to a lesser extent, fan-favorite Chris Anderson gets all the love — rightfully so, I might add — Nene looks like a very important x-factor for Denver’s continued postseason success. Last night, for instance, the Brazilian destroyer had 17 and 7 (not to mention a nasty put-back dunk, as seen in the lead video) and look: Denver won the game by 14. While the Carmelo Anthony 3-pointer followed by the technical foul is getting all the love, where would Denver be without Nene’s 17 points?
Great minds think alike, apparently. I’m just having some fun at “Creative Control’s” expense, because if Kobe decided to play lock down defense instead of roaming, Battier probably wouldn’t get many shots off. Nevertheless, Battier did help bomb the Lakers into a 2-2 series tie, thanks to 23 big points (5-10 from behind the arc), and his normal, hard-work defensive effort he played on his “He Can’t Guard Me” counterpart.
Busy weekend for the NBA. At least two of the four playoff battles currently underway will go to a Game 6, if not further. Granted, Denver and Cleveland look like they are in a class by themselves; although, one could argue Cleveland is by themselves — we’ll call it the LeBron class — while the Denver Nuggets look like the best team in the West. Does this mean you should pencil the Nuggets versus the Cavaliers as your NBA Finals series? In regards to Cleveland, the answer is a definite “probably,” and it’s moving quickly to the “I guarantee it” department. As for the Nuggets, they are, in all likelihood, still going to have to go through Kobe and the gang to advance; although, Houston — even without Yao — is doing their best to alter that storyline.