Tag:Houston Rockets
Posted on: February 4, 2011 7:40 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 8:04 pm
 

David Stern names Kevin Love to NBA All-Star team

NBA commissioner David Stern has added Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love to the 2011 NBA All-Star team as an injury replacementyao-ming-kevin-lovefor Yao Ming. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Silly NBA fans: you voted Houston Rockets center Yao Ming into the Western Conference's starting lineup for the 2011 NBA All-Star game, even though he has only appeared in five games this season and is currently sidelined with a season-ending injury.

Thank goodness for NBA commissioner David Stern who stepped in to make things on Friday right by adding Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love to the team, in place of Yao.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has been named by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace injured West All-Star center Yao Ming (stress fracture, left ankle) of the Houston Rockets in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. This is Love’s first All-Star Game selection. 
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who earned the right to coach the West squad by virtue of the Spurs clinching the best record in the conference through games played Feb. 6, will determine who replaces Yao in the starting lineup. 
As we noted yesterday, Love was one of the most high-profile snubs left off the original All-Star reserve lists. And, as we noted this morning, Love was pretty disappointed that he had been left off the list.

Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash was reportedly one of the favorites to replace Yao, and Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis and Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph were also said to have been finalists.

The Timberwolves actively campaigned on Love's behalf, releasing a viral campaign video with a cologne theme, entitled "Numb#rs."

Love, a third-year forward out of UCLA, is averaging 21.4 points and an NBA-best 15.5 rebounds per game. 

The 2011 NBA All-Star game will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Feb. 20.
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:29 am
 

Game Changer: LMA drops 40

The Rockets keep bugging the Lakers, DMC gets into it with KG, and LaMarcus Aldridge has the game of his life, all in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

THE BIG ONE: LMA TAKES OVER TO KEEP PORTLAND ALIVE

LaMarcus Aldridge has become a complete player this season, and has gone from good player to star. No further proof is needed beyond the performance Aldridge gave Tuesday night in the Blazers' 99-86 win over the Western-Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge dropped 40 on the Spurs, with a barrage of inside layups, dunks, and perimeter mid-range jumpers. See for yourself, in the shot chart from our GameTracker: 



7-13 on jumpers? That'll do, LMA. That'll do. Aldridge made a strong case for All-Star reserve in front of the coach for the Western team, not only with his shooting display to go along with 11 rebounds.  Aldridge has become the focal point of the Blazers, and he's the reason they're hanging onto the 8th spot in the West. That Aldridge has become the focal point after so often being passed over by Blazers management and fans is equally notable. First it was Brandon Roy, then Greg Oden, then Andre Miller, and most recently sophomore Wesley Matthews. But with Roy and Oden on the shelf, Miller marginalized by age, and Matthews still learning consistency, it's fallen upon Aldridge to shoulder the team. And he's risen to that challenge. 

Patty Mills at one point lobbed a dangerous, ill-advised pass into traffic for Aldridge. Mills knew it was a poor pass, but trusted in Aldridge to make a play. Aldridge nabbed the pass and nearly threw it down, drawing a foul. That's trust in your star, and the Blazers have it. That Aldridge has had to wait so long to reach this level must make it all the more worth it. Always the consolation prize, with the Blazers hopes for a title run with their young core vanished into a mist of lost opportunities, Aldridge is now the Blazers' best hope moving forward. He's a legitimate star to build around. 

For the Spurs, this game serves as a warning. The Spurs had no one to extend their perimeter defense against Aldridge with.  DeJuan Blair is not mobile enough and Duncan is unable to cover the distance and recover. As a result, Aldridge dropped the array of mid-range top-of-the-key shots you see above.  It's his sweet spot, just as Dirk's is the corner elbow, and David West's is the 16-foot baseline. All give the Spurs problems. Stretch fours are a problem for the Spurs, and they're going to be seeing a lot of them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, their offense sputtered and their defense wasn't able to hit the gear they're going to need in the playoffs.

Not the way they wanted to start the rodeo road trip. 


GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Aldridge, obviously.

Runners-Up:

Kobe Bryant: 32 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists

Luis Scola: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists

AN UGLY COIN FLIP

The Celtics and Kings engaged in a pretty brutal standoff with the officials Tuesday night. The Celtics played their usual brand of brutal, physical, abrasive style, swiping, clubbing, shouldering, and creating so much contact the officials couldn't call everything. And when they did call something, the Celtics reacted with their usual outpouring of incredulity. What the Celtics weren't expecting was for the Kings to attempt the same approach. The Kings sped the pace up, which the Celtics hate, and then got aggressive down low, repeatedly blocking Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and Glen Davis. That helped the Kings to a three-possession lead, which of course the Kings blew down the stretch when their entire offense came unglued as the Celtics buckled down. 

The most interesting part of the game was the interaction between DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Garnett. Garnett did his usual "Look at me, I'm so crazy" act, hitting himself and mumbling obscenities. Cousins, for the most part, seemed off-put by Garnett's defense of him in the post, which involved a lot of slapping at the ball, missing, and hitting Cousins, then predictably getting the call because it's Kevin Garnett versus a rookie.  Cousins did mouth off to Garnett once, prompting Rajon Rondo to try and ease him back with his hand, which caused Cousins to slap the hand away, ending in Rondo shoving him and drawing a technical. It was a weird mirror image to Garnett's own behavior, if obviously less mature. 

Cousins was brilliant on offense, hitting everything from tap-backs and fadeaways to three-pointers.  But on defense, he too often lazed around getting back, didn't commit off-ball, and wound up in poor position. Imagine if the kid had a work ethic. 

LAKERS FINALLY FIGURE OUT THEY'RE TALL

The Lakers needed a win, and an injured, short-handed, small, poor defensively Rockets team was the perfect cure for what ails them.  Of course, for 48 minutes, the Lakers refused to take their medicine, and the Rockets used crack perimeter shooting and savvy ball movement to outwit the Lakers on their way to overtime. The Lakers would make a run by being tall and very good at basketball, the Rockets would call timeout, and then the Lakers would completely go away from everything that worked previously. Sure, the Lakers were missing Andrew Bynum. But the Rockets were missing Yao Ming, obviously, so it's not like they were full strength.

Meanwhile Pau Gasol drifted and drifted until overtime. Kobe Bryant dished seven assists before he scored 7 points in the first quarter, then started to take over offensively again.  Guess when the Rockets came back?  Meanwhile, he went back to distributing and finding Lamar Odom late, which allowed the Lakers to close the deficit and force overtime. In the extra period, it was simple physics.  The Lakers are tall and long, the Rockets are short.  The end. 

It wasn't a great win for the Lakers, but it's a win, and it's a start for their way back.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Lakers C Andrew Bynum out with bruised left knee

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum is out with knee soreness on Tuesday night. Posted by Ben Golliver. andrew-bynum

I've been consistent in advocating patience and calm in assessing the Los Angeles Lakers this season, as the mid-season ups and downs are inevitable and the Lakers remain the most talented and tested team in the Western Conference. But if you're in the market for a good reason to freak out about L.A.'s title hopes, Andrew Bynum's health is as good as it gets.

Bynum, who didn't return from offseason surgery on his right knee until Dec. 14, is out for Tuesday night's game against the Houston Rockets after an MRI revealed "a bone bruise on his left knee," according to Lakers.com. This after Bynum missed practice due to knee soreness on Monday. Going forward, Bynum is officially listed as day-to-day.

Bynum is averaging 11.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 24.6 minutes per game so far this season, and he managed 11 points, six rebounds and a block in 28 minutes against the Boston Celtics on Sunday. He is a talented, big body that causes problems for the other Western Conference contenders and he would be a critical piece in a potential Finals match-up with either the Celtics, Orlando Magic or Miami Heat.  

While it's not clear whether Bynum's left knee soreness is a compensation injury stemming from his surgery and rehab on his right knee, or if it's entirely unrelated, I'm sanctioning a raise of the Lakers panic level from 0 to 1 based on this news. The Lakers are talented enough to beat Boston with Bynum, but not without him. As championship-or-bust is the ridiculously high standard that the Lakers operate under as back-to-back champions, any knee issue related to Bynum, who has dealt with them in the past, is enough cause for Lakers fans to get a little nervous. That the MRI came back clean otherwise, however, prevents this from being anything except an issue worth monitoring closely in the short-term.

Following Tuesday's game against the Rockets, the Lakers next play the Spurs in a nationally-televised game at Staples Center on Thursday night.
Posted on: January 26, 2011 9:04 pm
 

Knicks most valuable, but LeBron biggest impact

Posted by Royce Young

If you were ever wondering what kind of impact a couple big name players can have on franchise value, you have your answer. Forbes released the estimated values for all 30 NBA franchises and taking the top spot from the Los Angeles Lakers are the New York Knicks who are worth $655 million, up 12 percent from last season. (Last season the Knicks were valued at $586 million.)

Maybe more interesting than that though are the tales of Cleveland and Miami. Who would've thought LeBron James would have such an impact on the dollars and cents of a franchise? According to the report, no player in the NBA's 64-year history has had quite the impact on a franchise as LeBron.

LeBron's decision to go to Miami accounted for the biggest gain and drop in team values. The Heat bumped up 17 percent to $425 million (seventh) while the Cavs fell 26 percent to $355 million (15th). That's pretty incredible.

The report made mention of the elephant in the room, meaning lockout talk.
However, if NBA commissioner David Stern gets his way, an imbecile would be able to make money running a team. Stern wants to lop $750 million off of player costs, lowering the portion of basketball-related revenue that goes to players from 57 percent to around 40 percent.

 If Stern succeeds, even teams like the Hornets, who were thought to be headed for bankruptcy before the NBA rescued the franchise, would immediately rise at least 30 percent in value because potential buyers would know they don’t run the risk of writing checks to cover operating losses.
So the Knicks are No.1 and the Lakers No. 2. They are followed by Chicago ($511) million, Boston ($452 million) and Houston ($443 million). The bottom five are the New Orleans Hornets ($280 million), Indiana Pacers ($269 million), Memphis Grizzlies ($266 million), the Minnesota Timberwolves ($264 million), and the big “winner” is the Milwaukee Bucks ($258 million).

If you remember, the NBA purchased the Hornets for a little more than $300 million according to reports. So they overpaid, at least according to Forbes.

One interesting thing of note: The average NBA team is now worth $369 million, one percent more than last year. But don't get too pumped about that. Several of the league's 30 teams haven't fully come back from the recession as values are still 2.6 percent below the average of $379 million two years ago. So the league's value is coming back, just not totally.
Posted on: January 24, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Nene eyeing three teams: Dallas, Miami and who?

Posted by Royce Young

This was a Shootaround item, but I felt the need to extrapolate a bit more on it. Ken Berger reported that Nuggets center Nene is unhappy with the protracted Carmelo Anthony situation and could be looking to move on from Denver.

Nene, like Carmelo, has an early termination option and could make himself an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Nuggets might be looking at a similar situation with Nene: they need to move him and get something back, rather just watch him walk for nothing.

Berger said Nene has three teams that he's eying and listed one as the Heat. It's probably unlikely the Heat have the pieces to put together a realistic trade for Nene that Denver would go for, but still, Nene on the Heat is a scary thought.

Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted that a second team on Nene's list is the Dallas Mavericks. He also said the third remains a mystery right now, but assured that the Rockets would be players in trying to acquire Nene.

But who could the third team be? The Mavs have some good pieces to make such a move, but why would they? Tyson Chandler is having a great year and behind them they have Brendan Haywood, who's making a lot of money to play backup. Even if the Mavs were just renting Nene for a few months, that's a pretty good logjam inside.

One team that could be a player for Nene is the Oklahoma City Thunder. They have assets in future first-round picks, a nice expiring contract in Morris Peterson and could potentially offer back a quality young player like Cole Aldrich or D.J. White. The question would be if the Thunder would be interested in re-signing Nene to an extension though, seeing as they still have to solve the Jeff Green contract situation and also extend Russell Westbrook this summer.

More than likely, Oklahoma City doesn't make that move because of the way Sam Presti approaches the future. He prefers to draft and develop, rather than trade away young players. If Nene could be had just for an expiring contract and a pick, it's a possible move for OKC. But Denver's going to want more than that.

Another potential third team on the list? the Trail Blazers. Portland has Joel Przybilla's expiring contract, and decent young assets like Luke Babbitt, Eliot Williams and Patty Mills, plus future picks. Or toss in Andre Miller, who the team wants to move. (Though Miller and Chauncey Billups together doesn't make a ton of sense. Maybe they could flip Miller again for something else.) Again, the Nuggets would probably ask for Nicolas Batum, who they've had a fascination with lately, but Portland's not budging on him.

The Blazers could certainly use Nene though, you know, because of the injuries and all. Nene would have the opportunity to remain a starter and really would become an offensive focus for Portland. He'd probably have to live in fear that his knees might spontaneously combust, but the Blazers would be a nice fit.

Lastly, two other teams I'll throw in that could be fits: Phoenix and Golden State. Nene would work well in both systems and both teams would love to have a player of his caliber. The question is whether or not either could put together a satisfactory trade for Denver.

In the end, Denver is going to have to look long and hard concerning its future with Nene. He might be willing to re-sign, but apparently he's soured on the team a bit now and might be looking for something else. Denver's got to figure out his future, along with Carmelo, and make a decision.

It's been a fun first few months for Masai Ujiri, hasn't it?
Posted on: January 19, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 7:14 pm
 

With the Nets out, who's left to chase Carmelo?

Posted by Royce Young



I'm not sure the Knicks have felt this lucky since the 1985 draft lottery. But really, something tells me all along that Donnie Walsh knew. He knew that Carmelo Anthony wasn't going to end up in New Jersey. That's why he kept the Knicks so low key in the Melodrama.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov shocked most Wednesday by announcing his franchise was withdrawing from the Melo chase, citing that it was exhausting and taking up too many resources. He also said it was costing his team wins on the floor. I really think that Brook Lopez's desire to not rebound is probably doing that, but hey, he was looking for reasons.

(Now of course I have to mention that this could just be posturing or a threat to get Denver's attention, but general manager Billy King and Prokhorov seemed emphatic in saying it. These were public statements. It didn't seem like Prokhorov was trying to save face, even though that's what he really did. He knows Melo doesn't want to sign there. He feels like he's wasting time. So I don't buy the bluffing theory.)

With New Jersey pulling out, where does that leave the Nuggets? What does this mean for Carmelo? Denver had its best deal on the table with the four-team Nets deal that would give them assets in first-round picks, a young player in Derrick Favors and a lot of cap relief and savings. But that's gone now. Just like that, it's killed. Poof. Gone.

The hangup was always that Carmelo wasn't committed to signing an extension in New Jersey. If he was, this thing would've been done two months ago. But we kept hearing it over and over. Melo hasn't ever said he's willing to sign an extension with the Nets . Heck, Melo was basically saying it in every interview he did, but we just weren't listening. We were assuming that he was dancing around things. But he maintained he didn't know about the New Jersey stuff. All he ever said was he wanted to play in New York.

And now with New Jersey out of things, the Knicks are looking like the next, and really only option. Carmelo will sign an extension there. The Knicks have a decent package they can put together for the Nuggets. It all kind of makes sense now that the report dropped today about the Bulls re-entering the chase. The Nuggets are looking for leverage again and if the Knicks are the clear and only option, Denver won't get near the deal. Donnie Walsh sensed it when he said he was done talking about it. And Prokhorov was feeling it too. Everyone was starting to get played.

So here are the Melodrama options right now:

1. The Knicks spring into action. A New York offer will likely include Danilo Gallinari, Landry Fields/Wilson Chandler, Eddy Curry's expiring deal and a first-round pick. At this point, this looks like the absolute best deal out there, but with other teams, well the Nets, backing off, that deal may not be as sweet. The Nuggets lost a lot of leverage today.

But it's been clear from the beginning that Carmelo wants to play in New York. He'll sign the extension there and the Nuggets can get a decent amount back. This clearly looks like the top scenario unless of course Denver just doesn't approve of what its getting back or the Knicks decide they'll just wait for the summer.

2. Someone tries to rent Melo. Ken Berger talked about the Mavericks getting into the mix a bit to rent Anthony. With the injury to Caron Butler, this makes a lot more sense. What it'll take is Dallas being willing to take on a big contract (like Al Harrington) in return. Dallas doesn't have a ton of assets so they'll likely have to bring in a third team, but Mark Cuban isn't shy about making moves. And this is something he'd likely see as a deal to get his team back in prime contention.

Another candidate for this would be the Rockets, but with them slipping out of the playoff picture a bit, they might not be willing to give up good assets just to make a run to the eight-seed. Dallas is the clear candidate to make a rental out of Melo.

What this scenario doesn't require is "approval" from Carmelo, because he won't sign an extension with his new team. But that's what he wants. This means the Nuggets will get far less because the Mavericks (or whoever) don't get Anthony for the long-term. Again, more indication the Nuggets will turn to the the Knicks to take over and make the deal.

3. A dark horse steps up and Melo approves. Chicago has already been looped in, but that just seems like a leverage ploy. The Bulls have never been rumored to be high on Carmelo's list and the Bulls have never appeared to be that interested in dealing.

The real dark horse here seems to be someone like the Clippers. They have a good package they could put together (Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and some picks) and maybe Anthony gets excited about playing with Blake Griffin, who is taking over the league. Los Angeles is a big time market, the team is rising and with Anthony, they could even make a little run this year.

Probably pretty unlikely because Melo hasn't never wavered on his New York wishes, but in terms of scenarios, I think this is at least possible. Chances are slim, but it's an option. The Clippers can top New York's deal, but we'd likely be right back to square one with the "Will Melo sign an extension with the Clippers?" game. That's why it's going to end up being New York.

4. The Nets try and get back in right at the deadline. Again, with the way Prokhorov and King backed off, this doesn't seem likely. They know Melo doesn't want to sign with the Nets. It's that simple.

But walking away is the best negotiation tactic out there. The Nets are trying to buy a new car and the dealership isn't budging. So they got up and left the lot. Maybe this kicks Denver's rear into gear and talks fire up again in a few weeks. Maybe this was a ploy by Prokhorov to get the media off his team's back for a bit.

The fact is, New Jersey has the best deal for Denver. But Melo doesn't want to sign there. If Denver can't get anything it likes by the Feb. 24 trade deadline, the Nuggets might turn back to the Nets and the Nets might convince themselves that they can convinve Carmelo to sign.

5. Nothing. Melo wants that extension. He said recently that he's positive there will be a lockout and if he doesn't sign that three-year $65 million extension, he could lose as much as $80 million over the life of his next contract. I doubt he's willing to risk that much. However, if the Knicks aren't budging, because they know they can hold out for the summer and just let Melo sign with them as a free agent, and Melo doesn't want to go anywhere, else, we might just see the season get played out.

I don't see that as likely at all because if it comes to this, Denver will trade Melo to Dallas as a rental and get something back. But maybe Denver decides it can sign Melo itself again. Maybe they try and convince him that extension is better than waiting and signing with New York but losing money. I guess it's possible, but really unlikely.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 7:33 pm
 

Rockets get Yao Ming disabled player exception

The NBA has awarded the Houston Rockets a disabled player exception for center Yao Ming. Posted by Ben Golliver. yao-ming

Back in December, we noted that Houston Rockets center Yao Ming suffered a left ankle stress fracture that required season-ending surgery. While Yao's expiring contract has come up in trade talks in the interim, the Rockets have received another potentially valuable trade asset as a result of Yao's injury. 

The Associated Press reports that the NBA has awarded the Rockets a disabled player exception for Yao's extended absence due to injury. 
The disabled player exception allows the Rockets to acquire a free agent, or trade for a player without having to match salaries, up to the value of the midlevel exception (about $5.765 million). KRIV-TV first reported that the Rockets had been granted the exception. Houston must use it by Jan. 31 or it will expire.
We noted back on Dec. 21 that the Rockets would pursue this exception, which requires approval of the league office.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets also possess a separate trade exception worth more than $6 million that doesn't expire until the summer. While the exceptions cannot be combined, they can each be used to accept salary in an unbalanced trade, allowing the Rockets to receive a player's contract without necessarily sending out a player in return.

While the clock is ticking for Rockets, with just two weeks to go before the exception expires, they have found themselves linked to a number of trade scenarios recently, including the Carmelo Anthony trade talks.  At 17-22, in last place in the Southwest Division, the Rockets are surely tempted to explore all their options with this exception. In addition to their two exceptions and Yao's expiring contract, the Rockets also possess the expiring contracts of Shane Battier ($7.4 million) and Jared Jeffries ($6.8 million). If GM Daryl Morey is compelled to mix things up, he certainly has some flexibility and options. 

Here's one thing to keep in mind, though: the Rockets are currently on track to be luxury tax payers, so using this exception simply to take on additional salary without moving out any of their current players is unlikely, as any new incoming salary would wind up costing owner Les Alexander double. Lottery-bound teams don't often make that type of financial commitment mid-season, unless it's as part of a blockbuster-type move.

Earlier this season, the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers also received disabled player exceptions for forward Udonis Haslem and center Greg Oden, respectively, but both teams allowed their exceptions to expire. 
Posted on: January 11, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Game Changer 1.11.11: Rose goes airborne

Game Changer, where Derrick Rose got up, got on up. 

Posted by Matt Moore

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

SWEET MAMMAJAMMA: Derrick Rose and the infinite oop-ness

Let us begin with this ending-of-all-life-as-we-know-it dunk from Derrick Rose. 





Note that Rose makes the pass then immediately calls for the alley-oop. For whatever reason, no Pistons give their teammate a heads up on it. Either they didn't see it or couldn't react fast enough. Certainly understandable, considering Rose moves at approximately the speed of sound. 




29 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block for Rose in the win.

THE BIG ONE: Boston struggles against the high-speed offense again

Remember when we told you that Boston has issues with high-pace offenses ? Houston is fourth in the league in pace. Again, the Boston defense was unable to clamp down on a team that worked early in the shot clock. The obvious excuse is that Boston was without Kevin Garnett. But Boston had its chances and couldn't quite get a grip on a team who is likely unsympathetic to injury concerns in their own right. 

Aaron Brooks was able to hit a series of tough shots to keep the lead extended, and in the meantime, Paul Pierce struggled in the clutch once again. Most perplexing was a pull-up transition three with Glen Davis setting the screen right in front of him. Rondo missed a screen-splitting Ray Allen on a key possession late and threw it out of bounds. When you look at all the things Celtics normally do, they did almost none of them. 

For the Rockets, Kyle Lowry is really showing his value, even playing at off-guard in the absence of Kevin Martin. Patrick Patterson very quietly had a good game with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists, along with one very well-timed block on Pierce in the fourth. Chase Budinger was huge as a spot-up shooter, which for some reason the Celtics were fine with granting him.

For the Celtics? Marquis Daniels was brilliant, attacking and taking Rockets off the dribble using his length. But too often the Celtics wound up with trusting Glen Davis to hit jumpers. And while Davis has proven he can hit that mid-range, it's not something you want to trust in as many times as the Celtics did. The Celtics also could have used more of Shaquille O'Neal to slow the Rockets down, considering they had no way of stopping him. But the big fella only played twenty minutes and was a -8 in that time regardless. 

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Derrick Rose: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers

RUNNER-UP:

Luis Scola: 12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com