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Let’s win this one for the fans, yourselves, and for Rick

May 16th, 2009
by John

We all know the Rockets are playing to win for the fans and themselves. But one thing I can’t believe that hasn’t been discussed at all among the local or national media (maybe they will after they read this post) is that in four attempts, Rick Adelman has never beaten Phil Jackson in a playoff series, going 0-for-4.

The first series loss was in the NBA Finals in 1992 between TrailBlazers and Chicago Bulls. Then Adelman lost 3 playoff series in a row to the Lakers as coach of the Sacramento Kings in 2000, 2001 and in 2002. That 2002 series was the Western Conference Finals, a series in which disgraced referee Tim Donaghy said wrong calls were intentionally made in Game 6 to force a Game 7.

So let’s win this game for Adelman, too, because he’s probably too soft-spoken to ever admit that he would like to beat Jackson at least once in a playoff series.

It’s still amazing to think how the Rockets defied the oddsmakers who marked Houston as 9-point underdogs before Game 6, and had them down as 70-1 favorites to win the championship. I don’t know what their odds are now, but something tells me it’s better than 70-1 now. Funny how one stunning win can change everything. I bet there are a lot of people who wished they had put money down on that game and the Rockets’ chances of winning a ring.

One of the stats that I thought was amazing is that the Rockets are now 13-2 this season after suffering double-digit losses. Also, the Lakers have only scored 36 points in a first half only twice all season long, and those two games happened to be in Games 4 & 6 of this series. And the Rockets only had 1 TO in the 4th quarter. They have matured and evolved so much the past few months. Remember just a few months ago how we were talking about how they didn’t have poise in the 4th quarter?

And did you hear how the Rockets-Lakers game on Thursday was the most watched NBA game on ESPN in that network’s history?

This is the obviously the most anticipated Game for the Rockets in 12 years. One thing for sure is that Houston fans will remember this team for a very long time, win or lose Sunday afternoon. This year’s Rockets team reminds me, when I was a kid, of the 1980-81 Rockets making an improbable run to the NBA Finals with a 40-42 record led by Moses Malone. And people forget that in the playoffs the 1981 team unbelievably BEAT THE LAKERS led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a best of 3 series!

I think the reason why the first round playoff series were “Best of 3” back then is because the disparity between good and bad teams was so large, they thought there was no way a top seed would lose to a lesser-seeded team in the first round.

This year’s Rockets team is like that 1981 team, except with Yao now out, imagine that team without Moses! No way that 1981 team could have gone as far as this one has without Moses, which makes the last two victories this team has had over the Lakers in this series even more impressive.

Outside of Moses, that team had the following players (I’ve noted who their 2009 counterparts would be):

Calvin Murphy/Allen Leavell (Aaron Brooks/Von Wafer — scorer galore, quick to the basket)
Billy Paultz (Chuck Hayes — shorter, but tough as nails and nice defender)
Robert Reid (Ron Artest – tough defender, can hit the jumper)
Rudy Tomjanovich (Shane Battier, a decent outside shooter, not as good as Rudy, and a much better defender than Rudy)
Mike Dunleavy (Kyle Lowry – tough playmaker, can hit the outside shot)
Bill Willoughby (Carl Landry — great dunker who attacks the rack)

No one on that team really matches Luis Scola, who has so many moves down low, except when he shoots from the top of the key, there are some Rudy T. similarities.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, the Rockets need big games from Aaron Brooks, and I’d love to see Carl Landry rattling some rims like he did on Thursday night, and Scola dominating down low. It would be nice if Artest had a bounce-back game statistically. If he did, and the other players come through, then this game is a lock.

So here we go! It doesn’t get much bigger than Sunday’s game! This is what it’s all about – these ‘unknown’ players showing how good they are on the world stage. All I know is that if the Rockets win Sunday, it could be one of the greatest series upsets since the #8 seed Golden State Warriors defeated the #1 seeded Dallas Mavericks two years ago. If the Rockets do win, do you think their win would be bigger than the Warriors beating the Mavericks in that series? If so, why? (without citing the obvious reason that Yao is out).

If the Rockets win, I can’t wait to hear Jim Rome’s show Monday morning. I like Romie, but he’s an unabashed Laker fan and cracked down on the Lakers after they lost to the Rockets after Game 4 and Game 6.

9 Responses to “Let’s win this one for the fans, yourselves, and for Rick”

  1. Ree Says:

    Of course this is a bigger upset. Before the Mavs & Nuggest, actually a lot of people talked about an upset because Mavs were just not a dominant team, they were a streaky shooting team. A lot of people were saying if there was one eighth seed upset over the first seed, that would be the series ripe for taken.

    After Yao went down, everyone, I mean EVERYONE with a sound mind (excluding the crazy insane home town fans) talked about how the Rockets would win a game maybe then succumb to the Lakers.

    Let's face it, Dirk is no Kobe. Avery Johnson is no Phil Jackson, Mavs are no Lakers. If the Lakers fall the the Rockets, it's the END OF AN ERA, the end of the Kobe is close to MJ talk (how sad, I always thought he had as much talent and dedication), the end of Phil's 10 ring quest, it's going to be the most shocking upset ever.

    In all sports, I can only think of the 2004 Red Sox upset of the Yankees from 3-0 as a comparison.

  2. gMac Says:

    Big-shot Bob killed the Kings in that series. I was rooting for the Kings, what can I say natural born Laker HATER!

    Remember last year when Rox were on their way to that amazing 21 game wining streak, without Yao, they defied all odds and beat the lakers on a ABC sunday game. That was also one of the top game on ratings. I suppose it had more to do with the number of bitches that follow Kobe…

  3. YaoMingMania Says:

    Very nice comments! Good stuff!

  4. YaoMingMania Says:


  5. Terrance Says:

    Let's face it, David Stern and the NBA is just trying to milk this to game 7 for more rating. They're going to fix a NBA final of Kobe vs. LeBron. I'm disgusted with the rigged NBA for rigging games for higher TV rating. The NBA has no integrity. I'm done with the NBA. Everyone should boycott the NBA to teach these greedy buffoons a lesson. The fans had enough!

  6. Ree Says:

    Congrat, John! I jus saw the first page article on ESPN today is about how Rick never won a playoff series against Phil, I'm sure they've followed your blog.. =)

  7. YaoMingMania Says:

    Finally they say something! Thanks!

  8. Ree Says:

    Congrat, John! I jus saw the first page article on ESPN today is about how Rick never won a playoff series against Phil, I'm sure they've followed your blog.. =)

  9. YaoMingMania Says:

    Finally they say something! Thanks!

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