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[Chron] Bowen gets 'em fired up

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by rhadamanthus, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/3400985

    Rockets forward puts on show in Laredo exhibition
    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

    LAREDO - The Rockets owed it to the locals to put on a show with one NBA night in town.

    Yao Ming, his left big toe still sore, had apparently made the trip to allow fans in Laredo to shout the customary, "Yo, Yao." Tracy McGrady, healthy but inactive, was there to keep Yao company on the Rockets' bench. The Seattle SuperSonics gave their starters no more than 16 minutes.

    So in desperate need of something more entertaining than the street ball of Laredo, the Rockets offered Air Bowen.

    Stromile Swift, after a sluggish start, threw down another pair of alley oops. But the flying leaps that had the Rockets' bench giddy came from Ryan Bowen, who might still run like an accountant on a lunch-hour workout at the YMCA but who injected high-energy effort and highlight moments to an otherwise lifeless exhibition.

    Bowen had a pair of first-half dunks — easily surpassing last season's total of zero — blocked a shot, had a pair of steals and generally flew around the court until the Rockets finished a 93-85 victory over the SuperSonics at the Laredo Entertainment Center.

    "I get joy out of watching him play," McGrady said, speaking for the 3,327 said to have taken in the game. "He runs to one end, runs to the other end, always as hard as he can. He's fun to watch."

    On Monday, he was also valuable. With the game tied late in the first half, Bowen finished a pair of breaks with hard slams that had his teammates on the bench dancing.

    He came from behind for a block. He turned another sprint toward the rim into a tipped offensive rebound back to Swift for a layup. And when he cut to the basket to, in one motion, catch a pass from Swift and lay it in, he gave the Rockets an 88-83 lead that sealed the win.

    "He brings intelligence and intensity, and on nights when you're sluggish, he's always ready to play," Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "A lot of that tonight."

    All over the place
    Although Bowen's role doesn't fill ESPN with highlights to scream about, in a sense his job description — whatever comes up — might be broad enough to include a slam. That might not be his specialty, but his value to the Rockets might come from finding a way to contribute without having a defined role.

    He got most of his time at power forward last season, and with Juwan Howard out, he even started three playoff games. But Howard is back, and the Rockets signed Swift and later added Lonny Baxter.

    McGrady grabs most of the minutes at small forward, but the Rockets also signed Derek Anderson.

    That would seem to leave Bowen to pick up scraps of minutes. But unlike last season, when the Rockets signed Bowen days before training camp, the Rockets wasted little time bringing him back, re-signing him Aug. 5.

    "He can be on my team," Van Gundy said. "I just like who he is. I just like him as a guy and as a competitor. They don't call him 'The Machine' for nothing. It's not a knock when people call you a hustle player. He's a great effort player."

    Making it stick
    Former Rockets Scott Padgett and Bostjan Nachbar hung "The Machine" tag on Bowen a year ago in China. Jon Barry made sure it stuck by often belting out the chorus to Welcome to the Machine.

    If the minutes would seem likely to be hard to find, Bowen said it was enough that the Rockets wanted him around, figuring that if he plays as he did Monday, he'll find some way onto the court.

    "I was happy to be wanted back," said Bowen, who finished with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. "That was a great thing for me. It was a no-brainer. I had a great time here last year. Sure, he's (Swift) at the same position, but he's a different player. For what I bring, I do different things. There may be some opportunity here and there to do my thing."

    ROCKETS SUMMARY

    The dress rehearsal
    Had the league's new dress code been in effect on Monday in Laredo, the Rockets' Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming would have been in violation for failing to wear jackets on the bench.

    The code, announced Monday but not in effect until the regular season, requires sport coats on the bench for players not in uniform. It also bars sneakers.

    Neither player wore a coat, and Yao wore sneakers.

    The NBA will also require that players at team functions wear slacks or dress jeans with collared shirts or sweaters.

    McGrady practiced on Monday but was held out of the game as the Rockets worked on different rotations. Yao missed a second consecutive game with soreness after losing the nail off his left big toe.

    But the loss of the nail could pay off.

    "I'm thinking of putting it on eBay," Yao said.

    Glover on the clock
    Rockets forward/guard Dion Glover, running out of time to make the team, was cleared to practice Monday in his first workout since spraining his right knee at the start of training camp two-a-days.

    He did not play Monday but should get several full practices under his belt before the Rockets' next game in Memphis on Saturday.

    "The MRI showed everything was negative, but it swelled up a bit," Glover said. "It felt fine at practice. I need the practice to get everything down and get my timing back."

    Alston taken aback
    While many around the NBA were shocked by the Toronto Raptors' Saturday loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv, Rockets guard Rafer Alston was especially stunned by what happened to his former team.

    "You have to win that game," Alston said. "They (Maccabi) are one of the best teams over there. They have some good players — Will Solomon, Anthony Parker. But still, you're an NBA team. Win by one. You have to."

    You want desolate?
    Dion Glover and Lonny Baxter began warmups in a chilly and dark Laredo Events Center and could not help but think of last season, when they played in locations considerably more remote than Laredo.

    "This is way upscale compared to some of the places me and Lonny played last year," Glover said, thinking of his season playing in Turkey while Baxter played in Greece. "We played on some courts you wouldn't believe, and when you came through the tunnel, the fans would throw things and spit at you."

    They also played one game against each other, with Baxter hitting a pair of late hooks to get the win.

    "I also drew a charge on Dion," Baxter said. "We've talked about that a couple of times."

    -- JONATHAN FEIGEN
     
  2. yaomania

    yaomania Contributing Member

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    Bull and Bill Worrell tagged him with a new nickname "Flyin'" Ryan Bowen. I'm going down to the Team Shop to order my Bowen jersey now.
     
  3. vunny1408

    vunny1408 Contributing Member

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    Yao: "I'm thinking of selling it on eBay"

    lol, I seriously wander how much it would sell on eBay!

    How much would you guys pay for it? :p
     
  4. WyoRox

    WyoRox Member

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    The funniest thing happened when Bullard was talking about Bowen's stats and Bull says, "They're not even giving the most important stat. Floor burns, Ryan has two of those!" Then a few minutes later, when his stats show up in a graphic it has Floor Burns: 2
     
  5. qrui

    qrui Member

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    it'll be worth a lot if it's really as "big" as Bill Worrell said it was during the spurs game - a 4' 2'' toe nail. :D
     
  6. sabonis

    sabonis Contributing Member

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  7. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Contributing Member

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    last night I was calling him the "Bowen 747"
     
  8. tikwanleap

    tikwanleap Contributing Member

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    Bwahaaha, I missed the game. They really had that on tv? Awesome. :D
     
  9. YallMean

    YallMean Member

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    Like Bullard said, Bowen might wish this had been a regular season game that counts.
     
  10. m_cable

    m_cable Contributing Member

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    After watching the video of the game, I can't believe that the best Bowen nickname hasn't been mentioned. The second I heard Bill referring to Bowen as "Vanilla Thunder", I absolutely lost it. That is an awesome moniker.
     
  11. Rfan

    Rfan Member

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    LOL! People will buy it for sure. If he does sell it on ebay, you'll probably see it at bayzarre.com . They show all the crazy ebay auctions and people actually bid on them! So this will probably go for a lot.
     
  12. backwardhead

    backwardhead Member

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    For some strange reason Ryan Bowen has become my favorite player on the team. The same way Mario was for a while back in the glory days. I think it could be because when I watch him run I can almost swear that he has put his shoes on the wrong feet. Because of this i almost feel compelled to start a "nicknames for Ryan Bowen" thread, but since only the true Ryan Bowen fans will be looking here I thought why not start one now.

    Captain Chaos.

    Any others?
     
  13. tikwanleap

    tikwanleap Contributing Member

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    As mentioned in last nights game by Bullard and Worrell:

    Flyin' Ryan
    Vanilla Thunder
     
  14. m_cable

    m_cable Contributing Member

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    Well there's "The Machine" of course.
     
  15. rkh-dog

    rkh-dog Member

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    RyBow is a favorite player of mine. If players with all of the "natural talent" had Ryans heart, work ethic, and "want to", they could be better players.

    He is an inspiration! He is the wind beneath my wings.
     
  16. m_cable

    m_cable Contributing Member

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    There you go Bowen. Yet another nickname. "The wind beneath rkh-dog's wings"
     
  17. rkh-dog

    rkh-dog Member

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    Ha, good one M-cable. Ryan needs the wind beneath my wings to play above the rim!
     
  18. rkh-dog

    rkh-dog Member

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    Is there such thing as a wind-aided dunk?
     
  19. macfan

    macfan Contributing Member

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    HyperAccountant

    He looks like your tax guy loaded up on caffeine
     

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