Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thank God For The Preseason

The NBA is back! Thankfully, this means I won't have to search the inner chambers of my brain (and the internet) for ideas for these daily posts, mostly because most of them are bullshit (team captains?).

Anyhoo, the Rockets tipped off their preseason schedule last night against the Hornets in Oklahoma City. The Hornets won 94-92, continuing their recent domination of the Rockets, though our first team completely dismantled their first squad in the first half. A few notes from the game:

- The Rockets outscored the Hornets 30-9 in the first quarter, which should be the best evaluation of how good the team is.

- The Rockets starting lineup: Yao, T-Mac, Battier, Chuck Hayes (?) and Rafer. Don't expect that to stay the same over the next few weeks.

- Yao ran well in the first half and kept up with the quicker pace of Adelman's new offense. He had 13 points in the half and looked good in the offense. He hit one long jumper just inside the 3-point line that, if he hits consistently, will make him 5.7 times more dangerous.

- There was a lot of fast-breaking last night, which makes Trey go happy.

- Bonzi Wells, welcome back to the NBA. We missed you.

- I know it was just the first game, but Luther Head and Kirk Snyder were trying their best to play themselves out of the rotation. Head struggled getting the ball up the court sometimes and looked worthless in the half-court.

- Steve Francis caught one tip dunk off the rim on Hilton Armstrong that was just nasty. It was waved off because he had his other arm on Armstrong's back. Shame.

- Don't expect Luis Scola to be the savior just yet. He looked good in the offense, showed some presence on the boards, but was struggling with the change from international rules to NBA rules. He got called on at least three moving screens.

- I hate to admit it, but Rafer is still the best pure point guard on the roster. He looked improved last night. He knocked down some 3s and made some nice passes (including a one-handed fast break assist off the dribble to Mike Harris in traffic).

- No sign of Aaron Brooks last night. I'm disappointed. Mike Harris got some nice burn, though. He knocked down a few mid-range jumpers and ran the floor well. Still don't see a roster spot for him.

- Mike James and Francis give us that "we don't give a fuck" attitude we need to overtake the elite Western Conference teams in our way. Say what you want about Steve, but during his first stint in Houston, the Rockets never backed down from anybody.

- Chris Paul is almost unstoppable. He had one in-and-out crossover that turned Scola completely around. CP3 definitely makes the All-Star Game this year, especially since it's in Lilweezyana.

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