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jacktruth
03-23-2007, 08:51 AM
I know it's not that big of news, but I wonder if Flip is still liking his underdog status. Good strategy, right. Lose games to best teams so that you fall under everyone's radar.

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HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets built a big lead on Detroit on Thursday, playing at the level coach Jeff Van Gundy wants to see when the postseason begins.

Then came the fourth quarter.

Yao Ming scored 27 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made a key block in the final minute as the Rockets hung on for a 91-85 victory over the Pistons.

"We all played great for three quarters," said Yao. "We didn't play well in the fourth, but that's a good lesson for us and we're going to learn for the playoffs."

The Rockets have won eight of 10 games since Yao returned from a broken leg, but Van Gundy says it's Yao who needs to pick up his play late in games if the Rockets are hoping to make a deep playoff run.

"He needs to be a killer if we're going to do anything," Van Gundy said. "We've got to be able to go to him late. He's got to be able to get good, clean looks. He needs to develop a finishing mentality."

Tracy McGrady added 20 points and eight assists and Rafer Alston went 3-for-5 from 3-point range and scored 16 for the Rockets, who've won five in a row and eight of their past nine games. Houston trails Utah by a half game in the race for the fourth-best record in the West.

"Whenever you beat a championship-caliber team like them, it says a lot about your ballclub," said Alston.

Antonio McDyess scored 16 and Chauncey Billups added 13 points and six assists for Detroit, which had its six-game road winning streak snapped. Billups was back in the lineup after missing two games with a strained groin.

At one point, Billups shed a wrap on the injury and played better without it.

"It was tight early and then it started loosening up after the half and then I attacked the basket," said Billups, who scored 11 points in the second half.

The Rockets shot well at the start and again early in the third quarter to build double-digit leads.

Billups converted a three-point play, then swished a 3-pointer to cap Detroit's rally and trim Houston's lead to 86-82.

Alston scored and McGrady hit a jumper from the corner to put Houston up 90-83, but McDyess answered with a free throw. After McGrady lost the ball, Detroit got it to Carlos Delfino, who drove the lane but had his shot blocked by Yao with 22 seconds left.

"We played catch-up all game," McDyess said, "and eventually, you run out of gas when you are in an uphill battle."

Alston hit a free throw with 17.3 seconds left for the final margin.

"I was happy Yao got that last block," Alston said with a relieved smile.

The Rockets opened the game with a 16-2 run, even though Yao picked up two fouls in the first 90 seconds. McGrady drove past Tayshaun Prince for a one-handed dunk, then beat him again on an acrobatic layup and Shane Battier hit a 3-pointer from the corner during the spurt.

Detroit missed its first seven shots before Hamilton raced for a fast-break layup. The Pistons started 2-for-14, then found their range and trailed 20-15 after the first quarter.

The Rockets went 11-for-14 from the free-throw line in the second quarter to maintain their lead.

McGrady sank two long jumpers and found Chuck Hayes for a layup late in the half to start an 18-6 run that bridged the second and third quarters.

"I was very happy with the first three quarters," Van Gundy said. "We defended well early, we got quality shots on through the half and the start of the second half."

The Rockets hit 6 of their first 7 shots out of halftime and led 60-41 after Yao flipped in a turnaround jumper with 9:23 left in the third quarter.

The flustered Pistons trailed 66-47 when Billups received a technical foul for complaining about an offensive foul on Hamilton. Yao sank the free throw to give Houston its first 20-point lead.

McGrady scored Houston's last six points of the quarter and the Rockets led 73-56 heading to the fourth.

But the Rockets nearly collapsed and hung on to snap a six-game losing streak to Detroit.

Van Gundy said his team has a month to learn how to put teams away. Otherwise, he fears a first-round exit from the playoffs.

"We don't have a finishing mentality," Van Gundy said. "That lack of a finishing mentality, if we can't correct it within the next 27 days, it will come back to bite us at the most inopportune time."

Game notes
The Pistons lost for only the sixth time in their past 24 games. ... The Rockets are 24-3 when they lead after three quarters. ... The Rockets' five-game winning streak matches a season high.

Flacolaco
03-23-2007, 08:54 AM
"We don't have a finishing mentality," Van Gundy said. "That lack of a finishing mentality, if we can't correct it within the next 27 days, it will come back to bite us at the most inopportune time."

See you in the 2nd round chumps. Bring your inability to finish and we'll bring our 4th quarter D.

Underdog
03-23-2007, 09:39 AM
See you in the 2nd round chumps. Bring your inability to finish and we'll bring our 4th quarter D.


If they get past Utah...

Flacolaco
03-23-2007, 09:40 AM
They will. Utah is overrated. except for when they play the Suns for some reason.

Underdog
03-23-2007, 09:41 AM
They will. Utah is overrated. except for when they play the Suns for some reason.


Funny, I thought Houston was overrated too... :D

Flacolaco
03-23-2007, 09:51 AM
Take a look at Utah's remaing schedule.

Mavs. Suns. Spurs. Rockets twice. Denver. Warriors.....they're going to have a tough time holding that one game lead for home court advantage.

Rockets will probably take that from them, and the two will start in Houston for their guaranteed to happen first round series.

Personally I think that all equals Mavs/Rockets 2nd round, and mucho foul trouble for the mavs big men.

alexamenos
03-23-2007, 09:56 AM
the rogets are playing some pretty good ball lately....their d in the last quarter v. indiana a couple of games ago was pretty impressive. sure, the pacers have the worst offense in the history of ever, but still, the rockets can d it up a bit.

Underdog
03-23-2007, 11:14 AM
The only difference between Yao & all the other breakable junk we import from China is the fact that he isn't inexpensive...

mqywaaah
03-23-2007, 12:39 PM
Year of the Yau!!!

mffl03
03-23-2007, 02:44 PM
God I want to see Damp post up on Yao so badly....just take it to the rim hard......try and get him in foul trouble, who cares how many we get blocked or swatted...

and for some reason that sentence just seems awfully gay...

Flacolaco
03-23-2007, 02:47 PM
God I want to see Damp post up on Yao so badly....just take it to the rim hard......try and get him in foul trouble, who cares how many we get blocked or swatted...

and for some reason that sentence just seems awfully gay...

I think it's pretty safe to say you're going to get like 6 chances to see that in the 2nd round.

And1
03-23-2007, 08:59 PM
Take a look at Utah's remaing schedule.

Mavs. Suns. Spurs. Rockets twice. Denver. Warriors.....they're going to have a tough time holding that one game lead for home court advantage.

Rockets will probably take that from them, and the two will start in Houston for their guaranteed to happen first round series.

Personally I think that all equals Mavs/Rockets 2nd round, and mucho foul trouble for the mavs big men.

No, I don't ever want to see the Mavs in the playoffs again:eek: Presuming the roxs finally get past the first round and hopefully crush the jizz.

Wow, that will be a an adrenaline filled series.

And1
03-23-2007, 09:00 PM
The only difference between Yao & all the other breakable junk we import from China is the fact that he isn't inexpensive...

that is just dumb, sorry...if for no other reason than this: The mavs front office in a heartbeat...would give up damp,diop,mbenga and future 1st round/2nd round pick and cash considerations for Yaoza. Of course the Roxs would laugh and say hells no.

Yao,Mutombo,T-Sak > damp,diop,mbenga

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/PHO/AAHA171_16x20-2005-2006Action~Yao-Ming-Posters.jpg

http://english.people.com.cn/200504/04/images/y4.jpg

http://www.armchairgm.com/mwiki/images/a/a4/DanceDunk15.jpg


>


http://www.chieftain.com/archive/2006/may/23/sptMAVERICKS-SPURS.jpg

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2006/players/06/12/questions0619/t1_diop2.jpg

http://www.cowboysplus.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/misc/wallpaper/img/mavericks/0618mbenga800.jpg

And1
03-23-2007, 09:02 PM
God I want to see Damp post up on Yao so badly....just take it to the rim hard......try and get him in foul trouble, who cares how many we get blocked or swatted...

and for some reason that sentence just seems awfully gay...

Damp will get a few of his shots here and there, but not so much one-on one with Yao.

Yao will destroy any 5, one on one.

dirno2000
03-23-2007, 09:25 PM
Damp will get a few of his shots here and there, but not so much one-on one with Yao.

Yao will destroy any 5, one on one.

...except Amare.

And1
03-23-2007, 09:32 PM
...except Amare.

well, he won't destroy amare per se, but he renders him normal if you will.

dirno2000
03-23-2007, 09:39 PM
well, he won't destroy him per se, but he renders him normal if you will.

14 and 7 on 35% shooting is normal? Yao is useless agains the Suns.

And1
03-23-2007, 09:56 PM
14 and 7 on 35% shooting is normal? Yao is useless agains the Suns.

Yao does make amare look normal... and yes the suns give the roxs/yao/the whole league tempo problems.

Amare will still get his.

Yes Yao is bothered by their fast pace, but it is more our/vangundy's inability to dictate tempo against them the way the pistons did...if they can slow the game down and if rafer,head, battier and company can hit their threes...this is quite possible in the playoffs.

btw, all 3 games against the suns this yr have been the second nite of a b2b. on 4-16 roxs play them with 1.5 days rest and Yao will have been back from injury almost 1.5 months.



I don't recognize those stats you quoted?



no b2bs in the playoffs, though.
The Suns, McGrady said, are not a team to play on the second night of consecutive games.

"It's tough, man, especially when you've got to play a team as fast as they are on a back-to-back,'' he said. "You've got to be fresh mentally and physically strong to face them

This is a more desirable outcome of a couple yrs back.:

Houston Rockets beat Phoenix Suns 127-107
Tracy McGrady scored 38 points and Yao Ming had 27 points and a career-high 22 rebounds, helping the Houston Rockets rally from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Phoenix Suns 127-107 Friday night.


but over a 7 gamer, phoenix will be a nightmare.

dirno2000
03-23-2007, 10:11 PM
Yao does make amare look normal... and yes the suns give the roxs/yao/the whole league tempo problems.

Amare's numbers against the Rockets this year are pretty close to his season averages.

The suns do cause all teams problems with their tempo but the effect seems to be magnified against the Rockets. You guys are a top five team but you're not even competitive against PXH. You can blame JVG if you want but facts are facts.

The only saving grace is that you probably won't have to face them in the playoffs.

You should, however, be ready for a steady dose of small ball against Dallas in the 2nd round.

btw, all 3 games against the suns this yr have been the second nite of a b2b. on 4-16 roxs play them with 1.5 days rest and Yao will have been back from injury almost 1.5 months.

That's kind of a lame excuse. Back to backs are tough but you should get up for top teams. The Rockets are not an old team.

I don't recognize those stats you quoted?

Those are Yao's number in two games against PXH.

And1
03-23-2007, 10:26 PM
U bring up good points. I don't want to face the suns or the mavs...but I think we can hang with the mavs over a 7 game series

The suns, no.

as far as the lame excuse, vangundy would agree with you 100%

Dirkadirkastan
03-23-2007, 10:33 PM
Rockettes will find a way to choke up the first round again.

And1
03-23-2007, 10:39 PM
Rockettes will find a way to choke up the first round again.

so, is this where I say.."the Maverettes will find a way to choke in the finals"

you say: "Better to get to the finals and lose than to exit first round"

I say: "whatever"

u say: "troll"

I say: "where does it end":confused: :) ;)

Dirkadirkastan
03-23-2007, 10:41 PM
It ends when the Rockettes choke up the first round.

And1
03-23-2007, 11:18 PM
we shall see^^

you're real confident talking about choking after the mavs finals performance.;)

Dirkadirkastan
03-23-2007, 11:22 PM
Game 3 was the only "choke".
Game 4, they never had anything to begin with.
Game 5, Dirk had two of the most clutch plays you'll ever see at the end of both regulation and overtime.
Game 6, two of the most bullshit calls you'll ever see gave Wade his first freebie title.

Mavs got their together after Game 4, so shut the up.

mavsfan1000
03-23-2007, 11:40 PM
I fear both the Rockets and Warriors. The warriors with Baron Davis are a completely different monster as well as the rockets with Yao.

Flacolaco
03-23-2007, 11:41 PM
yeah well not so fast... take a look at what the spare Jazz are doing tonight

Clippers 94
Utah 59

How they're holding onto the 4th seed is beyond me.

Jazz @ Rockets in round 1. Rockets @ Mavs round 2.

bring it.

Dirkadirkastan
03-23-2007, 11:43 PM
How they're holding onto the 4th seed is beyond me.

Seeding rules are a bitch aren't they?

Flacolaco
03-23-2007, 11:47 PM
Really their hot start is still helping them. They evened off after a while but that smoking hot start bought them the 4 vs 5 matchup, whichever seed they end up with.

I watched them beat GS the other day, and they looked good. But tonight the Clippers are destroying them bad.

And1
03-24-2007, 12:07 AM
The clippers had us in a dogfight on March 14th. The Roxs had the game won comfortably, then the clips made it interesting at the end. I was very impressed how the roxs pulled off the win. It was a playoff type intensity.

http://www.nba.com/games/20070314/LACHOU/recap.html

Rockets Fend Off Clippers, Hand L.A. Fifth Straight Loss
By CHRIS DUNCAN, AP Sports Writer
Rockets 109, Clippers 105
Houston held off the Clippers thanks to a clutch 3-pointer from Luther Head.
Haier Play of the Day: Corey Maggette
In Wednesday's Haier Play of the Day, the Clippers' Corey Maggette flips in the circus shot for the hoop and the harm.
Tracy McGrady had 21 points and nine assists to help the Rockets hold off the Clippers.
Houston 109, L.A. Clippers 105
HOUSTON, March 14 (AP) -- Luther Head was never shy about taking clutch shots in college, and he's still not afraid to take them in the pros.

Head hit a 3-pointer with 12.2 seconds left and Yao Ming deflected a pass and created a game-sealing steal as the Houston Rockets beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-105 on Wednesday night.

Elton Brand scored a season-high 37 points for Los Angeles and drove for a dunk with 1:01 left that put the Clippers up 105-104.

Yao was whistled for an offensive foul barreling down the lane, but Brand missed a shot from the wing to give Houston another chance.

Tracy McGrady, who led the Rockets with 21, drew the defense to him and found Head wide open in the corner for the go-ahead 3-pointer.

Head came into the game shooting 44 percent from 3-point range in the fourth quarter, and during a late timeout, Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy told Head to be ready in case McGrady got into trouble.

"Whenever your coach has confidence in you, it just puts confidence in yourself,'' Head said. "That's why I love playing for the guy. When he trusts you, he usually shows that he trusts you.''

Head finished his college career as Illinois' 19th leading scorer and its fourth-best 3-point shooter.

"My coach in college (Bruce Weber) said I had a lot of confidence in taking the last shot,'' Head said. "I don't know. I just don't get excited about much. Maybe that's the thing.''

The Clippers had one more chance to tie it after Head's shot.

After a timeout, Brand tried to find Corey Maggette cutting to the basket, but Yao batted the ball to Rafer Alston, who raced down the floor and was fouled with 5.9 seconds remaining. Alston hit the free throws and finished with 20 points.

"I am very disappointed we couldn't get the win,'' Brand said. "We had too many turnovers late in the game.''

Brand also had 10 rebounds to get his 29th double-double of the season. Chris Kaman added 16 for the Clippers, who've lost five in a row and six of their past seven.

The loss was costly - the Clippers fell out of the eighth playoff spot in the West, and are percentage points behind Golden State.

"It's satisfying to play well, but we have to get victories,'' Brand said. "We had opportunities and we just didn't finish. We just wanted to win this game so badly and we let it slip away. It's a tough loss.''

Chuck Hayes added 16 points for the Rockets, who've won four of their past five and 13 of their past 16 meetings with the Clippers.

The Rockets nearly blew a big advantage after building a 17-point lead in the first half.

"It went three ways,'' Alston said. "It started as a blowout win, then went almost to a devastating loss, and then into a nail-biting win.''

The Clippers missed 10 of their first 11 shots and trailed 25-9 eight minutes into the game. The Rockets hit 9 of their first 11 shots.

Hayes, Houston's power forward, had 10 points in the first quarter, reaching double digits for the fourth time in five games.

The Clippers regrouped and shot much better in the second quarter, hitting 11 of 20 shots. Cuttino Mobley had eight points in the quarter to lead the comeback and Brand hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 57-52 by halftime.

Alston and McGrady opened the third quarter with 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 11. Both teams played a sloppy quarter from there, with wild passes and missed shots. McGrady did have one highlight-reel play, a behind-the-back assist to Hayes for a layup.

The Rockets headed into the final quarter with an 87-76 lead.

Brand scored 12 points in the third quarter and swished back-to-back jumpers from the wing over the 7-foot-6 Yao early in the fourth to trim Houston's lead to 93-88.

Yao scored with 7:18 remaining, but Hayes, the Rockets' second-leading scorer to that point, fouled out trying to guard Brand. Daniel Ewing then made a 3-pointer to draw the Clippers within four.

Juwan Howard hit a free throw with 5:26 to go, but Kaman scored twice from close range, drawing a foul on Shane Battier after the second basket. Kaman's free throw with 3:56 left tied the game at 96.

Maggette turned a steal into a fast-break layup and a three-point play to give Los Angeles its first lead at 99-96. The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes before Head's clutch shot put the Rockets ahead for good.

"He's been knocking those shots down pretty much all season,'' McGrady said. "He is one guy who seems to always be open in situations like that.''

Yao had only 14 points in his sixth game back from a broken leg. He cracked his right tibial plateau in the first quarter against the Clippers on Dec. 26.

Notes: Brand became the Clippers' leading rebounder, passing Loy Vaught. Brand now has 4,478 rebounds, surpassing Vaught's 4,471. ... The Rockets are 8-2 in games following double-digit losses this season. They lost 103-82 in Phoenix on Monday. ... Former Rocket Sam Cassell missed his second straight game with an abdominal strain.

And1
03-24-2007, 12:11 AM
Game 3 was the only "choke".
Game 4, they never had anything to begin with.
Game 5, Dirk had two of the most clutch plays you'll ever see at the end of both regulation and overtime.
Game 6, two of the most bullshit calls you'll ever see gave Wade his first freebie title.

Mavs got their together after Game 4, so shut up.


u don't have to explain anything to me, I know the mavs are good and I don't need to put them down nor their fans by calling them chokers and maverettes to make myself feel better about my team.

And by the way, nice language there at the end, classy. Did I hit a nerve:rolleyes:

Dirkadirkastan
03-24-2007, 12:21 AM
u don't have to explain anything to me, I know the mavs are good and I don't need to put them down nor their fans by calling them chokers and maverettes to make myself feel better about my team.

And by the way, nice language there at the end, classy. Did I hit a nerve:rolleyes:

You should be banned. I believed this the minute you signed up for an account on this board.

You and your OCD insist on replying to every single post about the stupid Rockettes. Usually the result is 45 posts that don't contribute anything in under ten minutes. All you do is clutter the board, piss people off, follow up with another mavs-are-good-and-I'm-a-literate-poster suckup speech, and butter it up with a bunch of happy little emoticons and act like everything is ok.

Now please, leave the board, format your hard drive, and cancel your internet subscription. Then lock your doors and windows and never leave your house again.

And1
03-24-2007, 01:11 AM
Get a life. Dont worry about me. Pathetic:rolleyes:

:) ;) :confused: :cool: :rolleyes:

btw, you're one to talk about getting banned using fu*k in your posts...classy.

I bet some here won't even claim you.

EricaLubarsky
03-24-2007, 01:26 AM
And1 you really dont bring a damn thing to this board but condescension.

And1
03-24-2007, 01:32 AM
And1 you really dont bring a damn thing to this board but condescension.


where have I been disrespectful and patronizing? Tell me.

tmac1yao11
03-24-2007, 08:10 AM
Go Rockets!

We should be able to go on a Maverickesque roll for the next few games. At least a 10 game winning streak and hopefully tomorrow we clinch a playoff spot with a win over Nookie.

kingmalaki
03-26-2007, 09:00 PM
I think my Rockets could take the Mavs in a series, but everything would have to go right. Mainly the role players would really have to step it up, as I would fully expect Yao & T-Mac to get theirs.

We obvioudly wouldn't be favored to win, but we have 2 superstars and play good defense, so I wouldn't be shocked to see us beat any team in a series.

The only team that really scares me is the Suns as they have been the only team to completely make Yao a non-factor.