THURSDAY, 11/10/05 – This is getting ridiculous. In my last post after Tuesday night’s game (see entry directly below), I mentioned maybe the Rockets might eventually regret trading point guard Mike James during the off-season because they could really use his offense right now. Well, I don’t think we have to wait any longer: trading Mike James was a mistake. When I first heard about the trade on October 4th, I cringed. But I thought we should give it a chance because the Rockets usually know what they are doing. But without Tracy McGrady in the lineup, these Houston guards are ‘offensively’ terrible right now, no pun intended.
Thursday night in Miami, Rafer Alston was 1-of-9 (3 points) and Derek Anderson was 6-of-17 (20 points, but several of them were garbage baskets down the stretch). David Wesley had six points and Jon Barry had zero. And once again, Houston’s offense collapsed in the fourth quarter. What’s sad is that I marked the point in the game where I thought the collapse might occur, right at the time when Houston had a whopping 71-63 lead with 10:15 remaining. Wouldn’t you know it, after that point they got outscored 11-1 and 22-8. That’s sad when I can set my clock to a Rocket drought.
Yao was dominant in the first half, taking Alonzo Mourning to school by scoring 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. I would love to describe in more detail the dunk he had in Mourning’s face, but it doesn’t matter because the Rockets lost again, and in the second half, Yao virtually disappeared by not scoring for a 17-minute stretch and only scoring two points in the last 20 minutes. Credit Mourning for good defense or whatever. Yao finished with 24 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 14 rebounds, and had some opportunities to make some shots in the lane when Houston needed them late, but he missed (1-for-4 in the fourth quarter). When Yao gets fatigued, his shooting accuracy takes a huge hit. That’s not good for an offense that is struggling and needs points from someone. Anyone.
The Rockets were also only 4-of-17 from three-point land, and missed their first eleven 3-point attempts. I felt when the Rockets traded James and didn’t sign Scott Padgett during the off-season, we would miss their 3-point shooting ability, especially Padgett’s. But I didn’t think we would miss it that much. So while we’re clanging it from behind the arc, Miami’s Jason Williams gets hot and makes 2-of-5 treys in the fourth to help Miami finally pull away.
Now the Rockets are 1-3, and would be 0-4 if Jon Barry hadn’t scored 24 points against Sacramento on opening night, one point from his career high.
I’m frustrated, people. I can’t describe another Houston collapse in detail to you, so I’m going to make tonight’s entry short. It’s getting tiring. Someone step up, PLEASE! And prove me wrong that trading Mike James was the right thing to do.
The good news is that T-Mac may be able to play Saturday depending on how well he recovers from a hard workout he had on Thursday. But I’m sorry…if we have to depend on one guy to make shots in the clutch, that’s putting too much dependency on one player, because T-Mac is not going to be making shots in the clutch every game.
To see the boxscore from the game, click here.
To read the Houston Chronicle’s story of the game, click here.