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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Tough night in Houston

Not that I usually have much sympathy for folks in Bush-land, but I do feel badly for the Houston Rockets basketball team, which lost the seventh game of its best-of-seven series with the Utah Jazz last night, 103-99. It was the sixth time in his career that Rockets star Tracy McGrady has been on a team that was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. After the contest, which his team lost on its home court, McGrady could barely speak, he was so shattered.

T-Mac's co-star, Yao Ming, didn't have what it took at the end of the game. Utah definitely got to him. Yao's neither fast nor athletic by NBA standards -- just gigantic -- and his team could have used some speed and quickness down the stretch.

I'm not surprised that Houston didn't go all the way, but I expected them to get further than this. I would be surprised if Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy comes back to Houston next season. I suspect he'll be coaching some team back east before too long.

Watching the Jazz play is liking watching the old East German Olympic teams in the Soviet days. Guys like Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur, Gordan Giricek, Matt Harpring. So... you know... Caucasian. Perfect for Salt Lake City. Now they'll play the Golden State Warriors, whose on-court lineups tend to look quite a bit different. It promises to be a particularly loud series, as fans in both Oakland and Salt Lake have been starved for success for many years. Golden State has shown some hot tempers, which could make for interesting viewing when they're in Utah. In any event, whoever wins that series will probably be eliminated by San Antonio or Phoenix in the Western Conference finals.

Utah against San Antonio would be a particularly deadly finals to have to watch, whereas Phoenix vs. Golden State would be a screamer, with scores like 140-139. It's hard to predict who will wind up in that matchup. My best guesses would be Phoenix and Utah.

Over in the East, Detroit will mow down the Bulls, and then clobber whoever comes out of the New Jersey-Cleveland series. With Chris Webber added to the already strong Motown mix, and playing like he cares, Detroit seems a lock for the league finals. And if the Western Conference champ comes into that series beat up and tired (which seems likely), Detroit will win itself another trophy.

But best of all: Kobe, Shaq, and Phil Jackson are now but distant memories.

Comments (4)

I do feel bad for TMac...I thought he really did give it his best, especially in tonight's game. He just doesn't have enough help. Yao is really inconsistent on offense these days, and rarely takes over games anymore. I don't get it.

I think the Spurs will grind the freewheeling Suns down and finally win it in six games. I predict lots of foul trouble for Amare and Shawn Marion.

I think we're in for some more of the 'ol Pistons/Spurs finals. Blechh.

Jack, you missed your calling. You should have become a sports analyst for ESPN or some other sports program.

Yea, I was really disappointed since the Rockets are my team.

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