Marissa: [after seeing Frank running naked along the streets, she slows down her car] Frank, what are you doing?
Frank: [out of breath] We’re… We’re going streaking! We’re going up the quad and to the gymnasium.
Marissa: Who is?
Frank: Th… W… There’s more coming.
Marissa: Frank, get in the car.
Frank: But… everybody’s doing it.
Marissa: Frank! Now!
Frank: [still out of breath] Ok
The Houston Rockets have now won 7 games in a row! It’s official people, the Rockets are streaking! The Rockets have reeled wins against the Kings, Blazers, Wizards, Pistons, Hornets, Spurs, and most recently the Timber Wolves.
It’s been an interesting mix of players that have got it done for the Rockets, and various rotations have been the most fascinating part of this streak. Rockets new head coach Kevin McHale, has certainly played the role of the mad scientist, experimenting with all the different players he has. The Rockets have always been criticized as that team without the superstar. That criticism is logically fair, but they are a team with depth and talent. Coach McHale has ample options to work with, and has certainly played it by ear during this win streak.
A multitude of players have stepped up for the Rockets this season. Some the obvious ones, and others not so much.
Let’s start with the anchor in the paint. The man that has proven why a center is so vital to the game of basketball. Samuel Dalembert who has been averaging 9 points and 8 rebounds this season has gone above and beyond what anyone could have expected. I think it’s safe to say the Rockets would have a handful of losses without Sammy D, The Haitian Sensation, The X Factor, The BERT…. look call him what you want, just know that his defensive presence has been a huge reason why the Rockets have won close games. During the 7 game win streak Dalembert has piled up 92 points, 83 rebounds, and 18 blocks!
Wanna talk about steals? Chandler Parsons the second round pick, has now found himself in the starting lineup and playing extremely important minutes in the NBA. Chandler “BANG” as they now call him, has turned into an incredible spark plug for the Rockets. What separates Chandler from Budinger, is his all around ability to be effective. Offensively he knows where to be, and he gets high percentage shots, while on the defensive end he anticipates plays instead of assuming what they will be. Budinger has found his way towards the bench, but that’s alright. The Rockets have options and they are using them.
Kevin Martin, and Luis Scola fall in the same bracket for me. Both are vets, and no matter how much criticism these two guys get on the defensive end, they are consistent every year on the offensive end. K Mart started the season slow, but as of late he’s had the hot hand. Both players really kick start each game for the Rockets, and the rest of the bunch chimes in. Starting the game on a positive pace is extremely important, and easily under appreciated when it comes to late game situations. It’s easy to forget without the hot start, the cold streak would be even harder to sustain. Martin and Scola may not fall under that superstar category, but both hold tons of responsibility on the offensive end for the Rockets. I mean seriously, without that tango it just wouldn’t be as fun.
You gotta save the best for last right? Kyle Lowry has been nothing short of fantastic for this Rockets team. He’s played like an All Star, he’s led like an All Star, and he’s shown incredible dedication to the sport of basketball. You have to remember this league was threatened by a significant lockout, and it’s more transparent now who came ready to play; Kyle Lowry is right on top of that list. After flirting with multiple triple doubles this season, Kyle finally got the big one tonight! 16 points 10 assists and 10 rebounds on a resounding defensive effort to end the game against the T Wolves. Kyle Lowry deserves to be an All Star, so please Rockets fans show him all the support you can by voting for him.
The Rockets bench has been stellar. Though Terrence Williams, Chase Budinger, and Jonny Flynn have been ousted for the time being, guys like Courtney Lee, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill, and Goran Dragic have all stepped up in a timely fashion during this 7 game winning streak. Lee is looking solid after his injury woes, Patrick Patterson is slowly but surely getting his confidence back, and Goran Dragic has created match up nightmares for opponents when he and Lowry are on the court together. Jordan Hill is still a work in progress, but the potential still remains.
This bunch is streaking, and it’s been a fun ride so far. Kevin McHale’s unorthodox style of rotations have worked over the past few games. Sure at times they seem crazy, and unreliable, but what it has led to at this point is a 10-7 record. A record that competes with the Grizzlies, Spurs, and Mavericks.
At this very moment, Rockets fans have good reason to be proud of this groups competitiveness.