The game against the Bucks in Milwaukee was such a joke, I won’t even bother getting into many details other than to say the Rockets were outplayed again by a sub-.500 team, and played no defense as the Bucks racked up the most number of points against the Rockets this season. And they did it without their leading scorer (Michael Redd), rebounder (Andrew Bogut), and assist man (Luke Ridnour).
My oh my. How far we’ve come since last year’s 22-game winning streak. ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC.
It’s weird how all the players know they are sucking right now, but no one is doing anything about it.
Yao Ming’s psyche hurt more than his temporary arm pain
in an embarrassing 124-112 loss to Milwaukee Wednesday night.
Yao only scored 7 points on 2-of-8 shooting. Click here for
After the game, Yao said, “Now is not early in the season. It’s not 20 games into the season. Now it’s 50 games into the season. We’re still stuck in here and talk about we still have time to fix it, from first game of the season and 10 games in the season and 50 games into the season. We still talk about we need to fix it.” Click here for Raymond’s full translation of the interview.
Luis Scola said of the Bucks, “They played with more energy, they ran faster, they played harder. I don’t know why it’s happening. I wish it doesn’t happen anymore. It’s really embarrassing.”
Rafer Alston summed up their matador defense after he himself played horrific D against Ramon Sessions: “We don’t try to play ‘D’. That’s just the bottom line. It’s coming to the point we’re not even trying. Then we have the audacity on offense to race the ball up the court. The mind-boggling thing is how do you race around on offense and walk around on defense. To me, that’s not even trying. It’s embarrassing.”
McGrady: “We can sit here and pretty much talk about what we talked about a couple days ago after the game — defense. We don’t know how to play. We don’t execute defensively. We’re just right now a team that doesn’t know how to play defense. The first quarter, second quarter, third quarter — they got whatever they wanted. You’re not going to win that way.
“The offense is not fluid. There’s too much one-on-one, no ball movement. We’re just a team that doesn’t have an identity. We don’t know who we are. We’ve been talking about this for so long.”
Ironic that he would say there is no ball movement.
To me, the players shoulder a big responsibility, but the coach must receive a big part of the blame, too.
I am sick and tired of seeing the Rockets get burned on defense, and the coaching staff just sits there stoic with no emotion. Dikembe Mutombo shows more intensity on the bench after the Rockets blow a defensive assignment for a bucket than the coaching staff does! How about we make Dikembe a player-coach for the rest of the season, kind of like Celtic great Dave Cowens once was! I’ll try anything at this point.
Congratulations, Adelman. In just 2 seasons you have managed to decimate the Rockets’ top-flight defense into rubble. Not that I would want JVG back as coach, but I’ll admit I even miss his ability to inspire a defense.
I am almost hoping that the Rockets play one more stinker of a game Wednesday night against Sacramento so no one will get delusional headed into the All-Star break that the Rockets are finally turning the corner on this season. That’s fool’s gold. Let’s put this team out of its misery with one more loss, then put ourselves out of our misery by finally pulling the trigger on some trades or a big coaching change.
With all their inconsistency this season, it’s not a matter of “if” a trade or big move will happen, it’s a matter of “when” and “who.”
We know it won’t be Yao. He’s to blame to some degree for this let-down. He hasn’t seized the leadership role this team has needed. But everyone knows his work ethic is unquestionable, that these losses are eating him up more than anyone, and how he can really dominate if his teammates get him the damn ball.
I trust that Daryl Morey, Sam Hinkie, and the rest of the front office are pouring over all the data they collect on every player in the league, and will try to make a move for a replacement for McGrady (1-for-9 for 3 points), Shane Battier (0-for-3 for 3 points, and whose defense is now overrated IMHO), and maybe Ron Artest (6-of-11 for 20) or Alston (2-for-8 for 9 points).
We know the head case we have in McGrady, as well as the hot dog who went up for an unnecessary reverse jam in the first quarter, only to get blocked by the rim. That one play typified McGrady’s season so well. The crowd laughed. His teammates laughed. In frustration, McGrady lost his head and fouled the rebounder in retaliation, again thinking about himself — not about what that foul did for the team.
During a timeout soon thereafter, even McGrady smiled over at the bench, who was still messing with him about his botched dunk.
The player(s) the Rockets get in return in a trade won’t be superstars. They will probably be solid, emerging players who have a bright future, as they should. I just don’t see them bringing in some aging superstar, unless the contract expires at the end of this season to free up some cap room for next season.
It’s not like the Rockets have to “blow up” this team and start over. I think they can continue building around Yao and keep their nucleus of young stars like Scola, Landry, Brooks, and Wafer, and maybe even keep Artest around. To trade Artest would be giving up on the Rockets’ playoff chances this season.
I’m an optimist and still think they can make a run in this year’s playoffs. After all, they were playing so well without McGrady just a few weeks ago before he returned from his mid-season rehab. I don’t think they’re that far off from getting their intensity level and ball movement back. They just have to get rid of some dead weight.
I’m torn about keeping Artest when his trade value is still extremely high. He could fetch some nice talent in return. Although he may have off-nights offensively, he’s more intense on defense, can hit the three (4-of-5 Monday night) and brings some heart to this team, which is in short supply.
As far as their next game Wednesday night is concerned, I wish Adelman would grow a pair, make a statement, and finally bench McGrady, Battier, Alston, and start Yao, Wafer, Scola, Landry, and Brooks. I don’t care if they lose — SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE.
Then they can head into the All-Star break where it’s usually quiet on the trade front, and after Sunday’s game shake things up on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday with a big trade (or trades) before the Thursday deadline.