Dec. 17, 2012; New York, NY, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) dribbles on a fast break as New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) falls during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
As I chugged along on a 7.4 mile run down some newly discovered trails in Seabrook today, jamming to Creedence Clearwater Revival, I thought about bacon and eggs. I thought about the little baby Jesus. I thought about the pain in my left pinky toe and right knee cap. I thought about running. As I thought about running, I thought about our little baby Houston Rockets. After watching the recent dismantling of the Memphis Grizzlies, it appears that our young Rockets are born to run.
The Rockets flew up and down the court, wearing out the Grizzle from start to finish. Not only did they move their bodies, but they also moved the ball. This, of course, resulted in a significant advantage in assists, fast-breaks, layups, free throws, open shots, and points in the paint. Instead of handing the rock to James Harden, watching him grind down the shot clock, and conjuring up a ghost of Rocket past in Steve Francis, these Rockets actually became unpredicatable. The Rockets are the youngest team in the league at 23.6 years old (average player age), and it shows when they decide to use this strength. Kevin McHale has lived up to his word regarding playing to the strengths of the players on the team, and hopefully he will continue to now that their strengths are becoming evident.
We are fortunate to have a point guard in Jeremy Lin who enjoys sharing the ball, dishing out assists, and watching his teammates score. However, he needs the ball in his hands in order to make those things happen. We are fortunate to have players like Greg Smith, Marcus Morris, and Toney Douglas (among others) who seem to be on a mission to earn more playing time by good old-fashioned hard work. We are fortunate to have a budding superstar in James Harden who is determined to earn his paycheck. We are fortunate that all of these guys appear to like running with each other.
Hopefully the victory over the Grizzlies and the two beatings of the Knicks will provide a blueprint for this young team. Hopefully they will continue to run. In a season of giving, hopefully they will continue to share the ball. These are exciting times for the Rockets, a season of change. Maybe they will even decide to wear those sweet ketchup and mustard throwback uniforms all the time. While Kris Kringle is undoubtedly charging through blizzards right now to bring me a new Rockets t-shirt or snow-ski cap for Christmas, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. I wish everyone hope and love. Keep running Rockets. Do what you were born to do. If I can do it, surely the youngest team in the NBA can.