Apr 2, 2011; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard/forward Jeremy Lamb (left) shoots against Kentucky Wildcats forward Terrence Jones (right) during the semifinals of the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA men
This might be a premature statement to make at this time but I’m going to say it anyway. Daryl Moreyis a genius. After watching last night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder I am convinced that the Houston Rockets have pulled off the greatest “Kansas City Shuffle” ever. Much like the planning and execution that went on in the Bruce Willis classic film Lucky Number Slevin, The Rockets made the entire world look one way and then pulled off what is sure to be one of the greatest heists in the modern world.
I watched a team play last night that looked confident, talented, determined, and poised. That was a surprise to me and even appeared to shock Calvin Murphy as he was at a loss for words during Comcast SportsNet Houston’s post game show. Terence Jones was a man amongst boys on the court and Jeremy Lamb showed flashes of a young Tracy McGrady. Chandler Parsons was as solid as ever. Kevin Martin looked like the K-Mart of old just two seasons ago and Omer Asik is as good in a larger role as he was in Chicago.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the way Marcus Morris, Toney Douglas, and Gary Forbes played. Everyone in Houston knew Morris had potential but no one was sure if he could play the small forward position. Well before his injury he sure was looking like he could push for a starting job on most teams. Hopefully the injury which came at the hands of an ex-Rocket was not serious enough to keep him out long. Toney Douglas is a true point guard in the Kevin Johnson mold. He made a number of phenomenal passes and kept the pace just where this young team needed it. Mr. Forbes is a scorer, and if I had to compare him to somebody I would be hard pressed to say anybody except Penny Hardaway, but a half step slower.
There was so much to be excited about after watching this game that people didn’t notice that Jeremy Lin went “Linsane” with a few of his passes while racking up three turnovers. It’s not a sign of him not having the right ideas on plays but rather driving every coach crazy by jumping to pass and defenders closing off the lanes that were previously open. Donatas Motiejunas struggled a bit too last night but I expect both of them to recover quite nicely, so Rockets fan’s don’t panic. With Greg Smith, Scott Machado and Royce White not quite showing what they are bringing to the table this team is scary good. Their Defense will be what makes or breaks them, so much for analysts saying Lin and Martin will have to carry the offensive burden.