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Utah Jazz 98, Houston Rockets 85

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Game recaps, The NBA Playoffs by alleyoop on Sunday 29 April 2007 at 9:11 am

The Rockets had a hard time last night against the swarming defense of the Utah Jazz and that’s why they lost last night.  Yao led the way for the Rockets with 20 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists.  Tracy McGrady was only 6 for 18 from the floor but he still finished the game with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.  Rafer Alston was very active with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.  Shane Battier didn’t add much to the Rockets effort with 10 points, 5 assists and 0 rebounds.  The Rockets and Jazz are now tied 2-2 in this series.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270428026

Utah Jazz 81, Houston Rockets 67

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Game recaps, The NBA Playoffs by alleyoop on Friday 27 April 2007 at 11:52 am

The Rockets played a poor basketball game last night and they deserved to lose.  Only 4 players scored last night for the Rockets and that’s the least amount ever in an NBA Playoff game.  The Jazz bench outscored the Rockets bench 33-0!  The Rockets were launching bricks towards the basket at an alarming rate as they only hit 32.8% of their shots from the floor!  Yao led the way for the Rockets with 26 points and 14 rebounds but he turned the ball over 8 times!  T-Mac also had a decent game with 24 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.  Shane Battier (11 points, 5 rebounds) and Rafer Alston (6 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists) didn’t add much to the offense last night.  They must do better because it’s hard to win a 2 on 5 game of basketball.  The Rockets still lead the Jazz 2-1 in this series.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270426026

Houston Rockets 98, Utah Jazz 90

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Game recaps, The NBA Playoffs by alleyoop on Monday 23 April 2007 at 11:29 pm

The Rockets only shot 36.1% from the floor tonight but they won because of their aggressiveness.  They outrebounded the Jazz 50-42 and they had 21 more free-throw attempts (38-17) than the Jazz did and that made a big difference in the outcome of this game.  T-Mac led the way for the Rockets with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists despite hitting only 9 of 29 shots from the floor.  Yao also had a rough night shooting (9 of 24) but he still wound up with 27 points and 9 rebounds.  Chuck Hayes had a good game on offense with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but Carlos Boozer abused him for 41 points.  Rafer Alston had a solid game running the offense with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.  Shane Battier pitched in with 10 points.  The Rockets now lead the series 2-0 over the Utah Jazz.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270423010

Houston Rockets 84, Utah Jazz 75

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Game recaps, The NBA Playoffs by alleyoop on Sunday 22 April 2007 at 8:01 am

Things were not looking good at halftime as the Rockets were down 42-33 and Tracy McGrady only had 1 point.  But the Rockets came out of the locker room inspired as they outscored the Jazz 26-11 in the third quarter and never let their foot off the gas pedal.  Yao Ming was unstoppable for the Rockets as he scored 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.  T-Mac came alive in the 2nd half of the game and he wound up with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists.  Rafer Alston logged 47 minutes yesterday and he wound up with 9 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals.  Alston only hit 3 of his 11 shots from the floor though.  The Rockets now have a 1-0 lead in this series.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=270421010

The Houston Rockets vs. The Utah Jazz

Blogged under Big Rockets News, Bloglockers, Front Page, The NBA Playoffs by alleyoop on Saturday 21 April 2007 at 3:53 pm

This should be one of the best first-round series in the NBA playoffs this season.  They have contrasting styles so it will be interesting to watch.  Watching Jerry Sloan and Jeff Van Gundy coach against each other will be like watching a chess match.  Here’s the breakdown of the matchups:

POINT GUARD:  The Jazz will look to use the size difference at point guard to their advantage in this series.  Deron Williams has become a fantastic point guard for the Utah Jazz as he can do it all.  He averaged 16.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists per game.  Look for him to post up Rafer Alston if he gets the opportunity to and that will be a huge mis-match in the Jazz’ favor.  Rafer Alston of the Rockets is a speedy, shoot-first type of point guard.  He has a nice three-point stroke when he’s not selfish with the basketball.  He averaged 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game this season.  EDGE:  JAZZ

SHOOTING GUARD:  Tracy McGrady is determined to have the Rockets win a playoff series, because it’s something that he’s never done in his NBA career.  McGrady should be able to really go nuts on the Jazz, especially if the Jazz use Derek Fisher against him on defense.  I have a funny feeling that Andrei Kirilenko will be covering T-Mac most of the time.  It won’t matter who’s guarding him because he’s going to go off in this series.  He averaged 24.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game this season, but look for him to improve on all of those numbers in this series.  Derek Fisher did a good job for the Jazz this season as he averaged 10.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.  He has a nice outside shot, but he’s likely to get shut down in this series.  EDGE:  GIGANTIC FOR THE ROCKETS

SMALL FORWARD:  Andrei Kirilenko had an off season with his offense, but his defense stayed strong.  He averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.  Look for him to pick his game up in the playoffs because he’s a much better basketball player than he showed this season.  He will hit the boards hard in the playoffs and play his usual stellar defense.  Shane Battier of the Rockets is a good team player as he averaged 10.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists.  Still, Battier will have problems with the Jazz’ forwards because of their size and strength.  EDGE:  JAZZ

POWER FORWARD:  Carlos Boozer of the Jazz did his best Karl Malone imitation this season as he averaged 20.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.  Look for Boozer to have a great series against the Rockets as Chuck Hayes and Juwan Howard will have a hard time keeping Boozer away from the basket.  Young Chuck Hayes has his work cut out for him in this series.  He did play very well when he was elevated to the starting lineup in April.  He averaged 5.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists this season.  He will need to do more on offense to make Boozer work on the defensive side of the court, or else Boozer will have a big series.  EDGE:  HUGE FOR THE JAZZ

CENTER:  Yao Ming is the best center in the NBA and this season he took his game to a new level.  To be a superstar you have to do it in the playoffs and he will starting tonight.  Yao averaged 25.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season as Coach Van Gundy convinced Yao to be more selfish with the basketball.  Yao will probably be guarding Carlos Boozer a lot as the Jazz’ center, Mehmet Okur likes to shoot a lot from the outside.  Okur averaged 17.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.  This will be an interesting matchup.  EDGE:  ROCKETS

BENCH:  The Jazz have a huge edge here.  Matt Harpring led the NBA in floorburns as he dives for every loose ball and his enthusiasm rubs off on his teammates when he’s on the court.  He averaged 11.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.  Gordan Giricek is a soft player but he’s a good outside shooter.  He averaged 7.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game this season.  Rookies Paul Millsap (6.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists) and Ronnie Brewer (4.6 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.4 assists) both will give the Jazz good minutes off the bench.  Veteran Jarron Collins will provide a couple of minutes of rest for one of the big men on the Jazz, but dont’ expect much from him as he only averaged 2.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game.

The Rockets bench will not play much in this series with the exception of Luther Head and Juwan Howard.  Head is a great shooter and he provides instant offense off the bench.  He averaged 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game this season. Juwan Howard will be important in the paint as he averaged 9.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game this season.  Kirk Snyder will likely get a chance to contribute some in this series as he only averaged 4.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game this season.  The Rockets will need the minutes from Snyder that would have went to Bonzi Wells if he didn’t quit the team.  Dikembe Mutombo will replace Yao when he needs a rest.  He’s still an elite defender and a good rebounder.  He averaged 3.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game this season.  EDGE:  JAZZ

PREDICTION:  This will be a hard fought series, but the Jazz’ teamwork will prevail in 7 games.

 

The rookies on the Houston Rockets get a D-

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Rookie Reports by alleyoop on Friday 20 April 2007 at 9:52 am

The Houston Rockets are not a very deep basketball team and there were minutes to be had if the rookies were good enough to earn them, but they didn’t.  Point guard Vassilus Spanoulis played in 31 games this season and he averaged 8.8 minutes, 2.7 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game.  He also shot a horrible 31.7% from the floor.  Forward Steve Novak played in 35 games for the Rockets this season and he averaged 5.4 minutes, 1.5 points, 0.7 rebounds and 0.2 assists per game.  He also shot poorly as he only made 36% of his shots from the floor.  These guys might both have a hard time making the Rockets next season.

The 2006-2007 Houston Rockets by the numbers

Blogged under Big Rockets News, Bloglockers, Front Page by alleyoop on Thursday 19 April 2007 at 5:39 pm

The Rockets finished the season in 3rd place in the Southwest Division with a 52-30 record, 15 games behind the Dallas Mavericks.  The Rockets were a very solid 28-13 at home and they were 24-17 on the road.  They were 28-24 against the Western Conference and 8-8 against their Division foes.  The Rockets have averaged 97.0 points per game and allowed only 92.1 points per game.  They won 6 of their last 10 games of the season.

The Rockets need three key players to step up

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Need to step up by alleyoop on Thursday 12 April 2007 at 1:17 pm

Starters Shane Battier and Rafer Alston need to get back on track after a slow start to April.  In six games this April, Battier is averaging 7.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game and he’s only shot 31.9% from the floor.  Alston is averaging 13.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in April, but he’s only shooting 34.7% from the floor.  Juwan Howard is the 6th man on the Rockets and he’s also having a poor month.  He’s only averaging 7.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game and he’s only shooting 37.2% from the floor.  If the Rockets want to beat the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs, all three of these guys need to get their act together….and soon!

The Houston Rockets will be without Bonzi Wells indefinately

Blogged under Big Rockets News, Bloglockers, Front Page, Injuries by alleyoop on Tuesday 10 April 2007 at 12:58 pm

Bonzi Wells has left the Rockets indefinately due to personal problems.  This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Rockets as the playoffs start in less than two weeks.  The Rockets bench isn’t very deep and they will need Wells veteran presence and experience in the playoffs.  Wells has played in 28 games this season and he’s averaged 21.1 minutes, 7.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Chuck Hayes playing well of late for the Houston Rockets

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, Steppin Up by alleyoop on Tuesday 10 April 2007 at 12:43 pm

Chuck Hayes has started 6 of the last 7 games for the Rockets and he’s been giving them quality minutes.  Over those 7 games, Hayes has averaged 6.9 points, 10.0 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game.  Hayes shot also shot 59% from the floor over those 7 games.  If Hayes stays in the starting lineup and continues to rebound and play good defense the Rockets are going to be hard for teams to deal with come playoff time.

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