Thursday, April 30, 2009
Right now Von Wafer is on the floor, so I think he will play. I will probably have updates at the end of each period. Here are 2 keys for both teams:
Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle reports Rockets reserve guard Von Wafer is doubtful for tonights game against Portland with back Spasms. Wafer is averaging 10 points per game in 18 minutes per game in the series. He has provided instant offense off the bench for the Rockets, and not having him tonight would be a huge blow in what is close to a must-win for the Rockets. If Wafer cannot play, Brent Barry would get most of his minutes off the bench.
The games in this series have been brutal, but between what Erik Spoelstra said after the game about Josh Smith's attempted dunk and this stuff from Holman, the series could get interesting.
That was incredible. This video leaves out the part where Ron Artest says who Roy supplanted as the best player he ever played against, the guy is in jail coincidentally. They played the whole thing on Inside the NBA Wednesday night. I am looking for the video of that, it is hilarious.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
2008 1st round @Utah (Loss)
2007 1st Round @Utah (Loss)
2005 1st round vs Dallas (Win)
1997 West Finals vs Utah (Loss)
1997 West Semis @Seattle (Loss)
1995 West Finals vs San Antonio (Win)
1995 West Semis vs Phoenix (Win)
1994 Finals vs New York (Win)
1994 West Semis @Phoenix (Loss)
1993 West Semis vs Seattle (Win)
To be honest I think most of that doubt comes from the fact that this team hasn’t won a playoff series in 12 years, and every opportunity they lose the doubt starts to grow. They are now 0-4 in close out games, only one of those losses came at home (’07 game 7 vs Utah), so tomorrow night’s game 6 will mark the first time since the ’97 west semis vs Seattle that the Rockets play a close out game at home that isn’t a game 7. That was a game 5, and the Rockets lost that game only to comeback 4 days later and win game 7. Not sure if that erases the doubt, oh one more thing, Nate McMillan was on that Seattle team, but he didn’t play in the series. Does that help?
Speaking of doubt, Portland is 0-4 at Toyota Center this season. They haven’t won a game in Houston in a long time. They had chances down the stretch in 3 of the 4 games to win. Do they doubt that they can win in Toyota Center?
Now onto the game. Aaron Brooks has got too play better. He has been very frustrating, and you have to wonder if the Rockets regret the Rafer Alston trade right now. It is impossible to stay in front of him, but he has shot poorly in this series, and he can’t finish. Portland has shot blockers, and he tosses up finger rolls from a foot below the backboard. He needs to start finishing at the basket and getting to the free throw line. He also needs to be more decisive and stop dribbling out the shot clock. I would really like to see Ron Artest getting the ball on the low block a couple of times early and let him go to work.
I’ll have more keys to the game prior to tip off tomorrow night, but I leave you with this: Last year the Jazz led the Rockets 3-1 going into game 5 at Toyota Center. The Rockets blew the Jazz out of the building, but the Jazz did the same in game 6 back at Salt Lake to win the series. Don’t get caught up on one game. Home court is valuable.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The Rockets had to make 2 runs in the period. They were able to get within a point early in the period, only to see Portland get the lead back to 6, but then the Rockets went on an 8-0 run to grab the lead. The Battier 3’s came after that, the second came with the Rockets trailing, they never trailed again.
The Rockets simply wanted this game more. They had 16 offensive rebounds. A lot of those came in the 4th period. Landry had a couple, and even Kyle Lowry had 2. Portland was the best rebounding team in the NBA during the regular season, but they have been outrebounded in every game this series. Portland has lost 2 very close games in Houston; it will be interesting to see how they come out in an elimination game on Tuesday night in Portland.
I will post the audio from the postgame press conferences soon. I will also have more expert analysis of this game for you tomorrow.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Eric Mangini trades the pick to the guy who fired him. The Jets have finally gotten a quarterback. They wanted Mark Sanchez and they got him.
Matthew Stafford is officially a Lion. He was greeted by a rousing chorus of boos at Radio City Music Hall, which he laughed off. Since Barry Sanders retired before the 1999 season the face of the Lions has been Matt Millen. The face of the franchise is now Matthew Stafford. 10 years ago the Browns had the first pick in their first year back in the NFL, they took Tim Couch. The year before the Colts took Peyton Manning. Where will Stafford fall?
I will post the audio from the pressroom. Rick Adelman, Nate McMilllan, Brandon Roy, and Yao Ming took the podium.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Remember early in the season when he was hurt, Shane Battier was wearing a red blazer with the Rockets logo on it? They are everywhere tonight with many of the Rockets staff wearing one. General Manager Darryl Morey has one as do the entire Rockets TV crew. The PA announcer is also wearing one. I am praying that someone talked Rick Adelman and Tracy McGrady into wearing one as well.
The crowd has begun filing into Toyota Center for Game 3 of the series between the Rockets and Blazers. The teams split in Portland with Houston winning game 1 and Portland winning game 2. This is the first time since 1997 that the Rockets have split the first 2 games in a best of 7. In the 1997 West semis against Seattle they split the first 2 games at home. They won the series in 7, since then they have either taken a 2-0 lead or been down 0-2 in their last 5 best of 7 series.
One thing I am interested to see is how Portland reacts to playing a road playoff game. It is a lot different playing a playoff game at home than it is on the road. I also want to see if anyone other than Roy or Aldridge can put the ball in the basket. For the Rockets the key will be getting the ball into Yao, they have to figure out a way to do it.
The officials for tonight’s game are Dick Bavetta, Tony Brothers, and Jason Phillips.
There have been rumblings today that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking to play a Super Bowl in London. Goodell denies that the league has discussed it, which is a good thing because I think it is a horrible idea. It’s an American event, and taking it out of the country means taking a lot of money out of the American economy giving it to the Brits. Goodell also wants to expand the game worldwide like David Stern and Bud Selig have done over the last decade. I don’t think that American football will ever catch on around the world. The NFL tried with NFL Europe and it failed.
But lets have fun and pretend a Super Bowl is one day played in London. This would be my dream: The Raiders some how make it. How much fun would Raider fan in London be? And you thought soccer hooligans were bad. Just imagine 30 thousand Raider fans invading London pubs. Just think of the scene at Heathrow Airport. A plane full of Raider fans get off the plane dressed in their Raider gear. It would be reminiscent of when Fidel sent Tony Montana and the rest of his prisoners to Miami. Once the Raider fans are let into the country the just wreck havoc everywhere, like they do in this country. London would never be the same.
In the last 111 best of 7 series the team with home court won game one 83 times, 72 of those teams won the series (86.7%)
When the team with home court advantage took a 2-0 series lead they won the series 90.7% of the time (59/65)
In the past 111 best of 7 series the road team has won game one 28 times, half of those teams went onto win the series (14 of 28)
Just 4 of those 28 teams would go home with a 2-0 series lead, 3 of those teams held on and won the series (2005 Houston lost to Dallas in 7 games after winning games 1 and 2 in Dallas.)
Of the last 111 best of 7 series, 42 have been split after 2 games. The team that began the series with the home court advantage won the series 28 times (66.7%)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
#1 Cleveland vs #8 Detroit
Prediction before series: Cavs in 4
Prediction after 2 games: Cavs in 4
The first 2 games showed the Pistons are just not good enough. I think they will be competitive in the 2 games at home, but they will come up short.
#2 Boston vs #7 Chicago
Prediction before series: Celtics in 6
Prediction after 2 games: Celtics in 7
Its been the best series so far. I can see the Bulls winning it, but I think they will drop one of the next 2 games, and I don't think that they can win in Boston again, game 2 was probably their last chance to get another road win. It only gets harder to win on the road as the series goes on.
#3 Orlando vs #6 Philadelphia
Prediction before series: Magic in 5
Prediction after 2 games: Magic in 6
The Sixers have played well, and Orlando can't put together an entire game. I wouldn't be surprised if the series goes 7, but I think Orlando eventually wins it.
#4 Atlanta vs #5 Miami
Prediction before series: Hawks in 7
Prediction after 2 games: Hawks in 7
I am sticking with Atlanta, even though I hate the way they play. This series could go either way but I think Atlanta is better, and because of their size and athleticism Dwayne Wade won’t be able to carry Miami 3 of the next 5 games.
#1 LA Lakers vs #8 Utah
Prediction before series: Lakers in 6
Prediction after 2 games: Lakers in 5
I wouldn’t be shocked to see this series tied 2-2 after this weekend, but with Mehmet Okur I don’t think it will happen. I think the Jazz will win game 3 because they play so much better at home, but I don’t see them winning game 4. Remember the Lakers closed out Utah last season in Salt Lake.
#2 Denver vs #7 New Orleans
Prediction before series: Nuggets in 5
Prediction after 2 games: Nuggets in 5
I said before the series started that I didn’t understand how anyone who watches basketball could pick the Hornets to win this series, and after 2 games that assertion looks good. New Orleans just isn’t good enough.
#3 San Antonio vs #6 Dallas
Prediction before series: Spurs in 7
Prediction after 2 games: Spurs in 7
I think this series could go either way, but I will stick with the Spurs. I didn’t like the way Dallas played in Game 2. The Mavs are playing with a confidence they haven’t always had which is why I am not 100% solid with this prediction.
#4 Portland vs #5 Houston
Prediction before series: Rockets in 6
Prediction after 2 games: Rockets in 6
I have been underwhelmed by Portland’s supporting cast. They were all bad in Game 1, and Portland needed incredible performances out of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge to eak out a win in game 2. They are going to need other people to step up to win a game on the road, and I’m not sure if it will happen
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Atlanta Falcons: $23.67 million.
Baltimore Ravens: $968,000.
Buffalo Bills: $11.82 million.
Carolina Panthers: $2.69 million.
Chicago Bears: $20.96 million.
Cincinnati Bengals: $16.26 million.
Cleveland Browns: $20.27 million.
Dallas Cowboys: $10.35 million.
Denver Broncos: $16.3 million.
Detroit Lions: $10.72 million.
Green Bay Packers: $27.89 million.
Houston Texans: $10.75 million.
Indianapolis Colts: $7.10 million.
Jacksonville Jaguars: $16.94 million.
Kansas City Chiefs: $32.3 million.
Miami Dolphins: $13.19 million.
Minnesota Vikings: $17.32 million.
New England Patriots: $4.67 million.
New Orleans Saints: $4.29 million.
New York Giants: $4.37 million.
New York Jets: $12.62 million.
Oakland Raiders: $9.33 million.
Philadelphia Eagles: $37.44 million.
Pittsburgh Steelers: $440,000.
San Diego Chargers: $8.56 million.
San Francisco 49ers: $26.11 million.
Seattle Seahawks: $7.41 million.
St. Louis Rams: $10.67 million.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $35.54 million.
Tennessee Titans: $13.05 million.
Washington Redskins: $5.96 million.
Monday, April 20, 2009
- My wife hates when i am on the phone to much when driving. Almost side swiped a car today on the phone with a recruit.
- When you have to eat in a hurry but dont want fast food you can never go wrong with a authentic Mexican restraunt. A meal served in 5 minutes! HUGE!
- Unless there is something i missed YOUNG JEEZY will b performing at the little 500 next week. Bloomington is HUGE
- Has coach izzo shaved his head yet???? I still say no way
- Paul davis from msu and the clippers is trying 2 find the girl of his dreams on bravo. An indiana alum would never need a show 2 get a date
I was reading the Oregonian online and there are two major adjustments that the Blazers may make for game 2 against the Rockets on Tuesday night.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Blazers found out the hard way that a playoff game is just a little bit different than playing Memphis on a Tuesday Night in February. In Game 1 at the Rose Garden, the Rockets came out ready to play, seemingly catching Portland by surprise. The Blazers played like they were feeling their way through the early parts of the game, Houston didn't give them a chance to do that. Like a heavyweight fighter, they came after the young Blazers from the start, and never let up. Before the Blazers even worked up a sweat in the team's first playoff game in 6 years, they were down 7-0, and it only got worse from there.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Maybe this is the Rocket fan in me, but I don't understand why people seem to think Portland is a bad matchup for the Rockets. People seem to forget that they have played twice since the trade deadline, and the Rockets won both meetings, including an easy win just 2 weeks ago. I know Portland has home court, but I don't think that will be enough for them.
I think this is the biggest toss up of the first round out West. I think that both teams are very even in terms of talent now that Ginobli is out, but they each have guys that create serious matchup problems. First of all Dallas has nobody that can slow down Tony Parker, Jason Kidd has no chance, the Mavs also have nobody that can handle Tim Duncan inside. Erick Dampier can, but he will only be able to play around 20 minutes because of fouls.
I think this is a major mismatch, and I don't understand why so many people think this series is a toss up. I get that people aren't totally sold on Denver, but have you seen the Hornets play recently. I just saw them score 66 points in a game last week. They may have the best player on the floor, but the rest of that team in very average. They don't have guys that can score, even if Chandler plays what makes anyone think he will be effective? The Hornets are going to have to score 100 points to win games, and I don't think they can do it.
I want to take you back to the 1 vs 8 matchup in the West in 1998 between the #1 seeded Jazz and #8 seeded Rockets. Here are some similarities:
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Ended the inning ahead: 3
Ended the inning behind: 51
Now lets take out Tuesday's win over the Cubs out of the equation:
Ended the inning tied: 5
Ended the inning ahead: 0
Ended the inning behind: 49
The Astros are off to their worst start since 1984.
"Don't blame Cecil Cooper" says Richard Justice (I agree)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Ended the inning behind: 40
Ended the inning ahead: 7
Ended the inning behind: 40
Saturday, April 11, 2009
2. Hunter Pence (R)
3. Lance Berkman (S)
4. Carlos Lee (R)
5. Miguel Tejada (R)
6. Ivan Rodriguez (R)
8. Mike Hampton
9. Michael Bourn (L)
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
After two pitches the Astros trailed the Cubs 1-0, and while 4-2 doesn't seem like a bad loss, Cubs did the things that good things do, and the Astros did the things that bad teams do. Here is a list of mistakes/bad plays that the Astros made on Monday:
Its a bit on the chilly/windy side at Minute Maid Park as the Astros open the '09 season against the Cubs, but its opening day, so who cares. I love baseball's opening day, there's just something about it thats sets it apart from the other sports. I think its a April thing. Personally I think that everyone should wear suits to opening day. I'm not, but I would if everyone else did. Its my first opening day at Minute Maid Park since 2002, when it was called Astros Field. They are commemorating 10 years at Minute Maid Park/Astros Field/Enron Field. Lyle Lovett is singing the anthem, as he did 10 years ago when the opened the place.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
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I thought UConn would be Michigan State yesterday, but I’m not at all surprised that the Spartans won. The game really went all of the games that they have played in this tournament aside from the first round game. Michigan State has done everything right in the second half of their games, and when they have needed a basket they have gotten one, and they have gotten stops when the need them. They also show how much easier the game is when you rebound.
The other game went about the way I thought it would. North Carolina was just way too good for Nova. I thought Carolina would score 60 points in the first half and go into the locker room with a 20-point lead, but Nova did a great job, as they always do of fighting back and cutting it to 9 points. They got the lead down to 5,but then UNC followed with a 6-0 run, and you pretty much figured that Nova just didn’t have enough to challenge the Heels.
I don’t see North Carolina losing this game. They remind me a lot of the Michigan State and Maryland teams in 2000 and 2002. Both teams made the Final Four the year before only to lose, then made it back with a lot of seniors and won a championship. Michigan State has been underestimated all season, mostly because people have undervalued the Big 10, and they can win this game if they rebound on both ends. They need to slow North Carolina down, and really the only way to do that is to make them bring the ball in under their own basket. The recipe for a North Carolina blowout is for Michigan State to get impatient on offense. That will lead to dumb shots and turnovers that allow North Carolina to get transition buckets.