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[CHRON] Rockets chase 21st straight win tonight against Bobcats

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Water Boy, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Water Boy

    Water Boy Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    March 14, 2008, 12:17AM

    Rockets chase 21st straight win tonight against Bobcats

    Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

    The newest members of the NBA's 20-win club, the Rockets could not help but look around.

    They were in fast, legendary company, occupied by some of the greats of their sport — Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, Hall of Famers and top 50 selections all.

    The Rockets checked out their new surroundings and did not question whether they belonged as much as celebrated the unique way they got there.

    Whether theirs is a great team or a team with a great accomplishment no longer mattered.

    They had become just the third NBA team to win 20 consecutive games in a season, and the more their worthiness of such a rare feat was questioned the greater the achievement seemed.

    "I'm willing to concede we're the worst team in NBA history to have a 20-game winning streak," Rockets forward Shane Battier said. "I'm willing to concede that.

    "People ask 'why?' I ask 'why not?' Why not? Why can't you? There is no rule in sports that just because you don't have the superstars, you don't have a certain look that other teams have, it doesn't mean you have to be a certain team. Our team is still developing. It is fun to see the growth of this team together. We're playing so well together and we have such great chemistry, anything is possible."

    They had just earned membership among the most exclusive clubs in sports with the 1971-72 Lakers, who won an NBA record 33 consecutive games and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks who, like this season's Rockets, won 20 in a row.

    "For sure, it is a great accomplishment," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "Time will tell if we have a great team. We have a great team of people who are playing together and winning, but our goals were larger for the year, winning in the playoffs.

    "There is an obvious bias of the GM to like the players he's brought in. With that said, I would say the goal of the league is winning. With each win you have to adjust where your estimate of the quality of the player is. Ours continues to go up."

    Will to win shows through

    Rather than debate their abilities, the Rockets talk about values, about qualities such as teamwork, chemistry and effort to explain their success.

    They are not offended by the suggestion that they are the answer if someone asked which of these teams does not belong. They welcome and embrace that. They believe it says more about the accomplishment that it has been done by the team that wins with superior willpower rather than manpower, especially now that they have won eight games since losing their walking mismatch, Yao Ming.

    "We're a good team," guard Rafer Alston said. "What makes us good is we play together. We play unselfishly. We play hard. We're not afraid to go into any building and compete. We're good."

    They don't seem to mind that they are not categorized as "great." They do, however, object to any suggestions that would diminish the accomplishment.

    "I kind of laugh," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "This is not as easy as people make it out to be. Some of the national media people I listen to say, 'Oh, you haven't played that many winning teams.' You know what, everybody in this league plays the same schedule. If it were that easy, why hasn't somebody else done it?

    "We're playing the regular season. We're not playing the playoffs right now. Why don't you give credit at this stage? We could turn around and run into a real tough time. But I don't see what the problem is saying 'that's pretty remarkable what they've done.' I give these guys a lot of credit."

    The Rockets have not played any of the other top five Western Conference teams — the Lakers, Spurs, Jazz or Suns — during the streak, but they had already beaten each of those teams this season. Instead, during the streak they have beaten teams that had previously dominated them.

    Contributed to Hornets' fall

    The New Orleans Hornets, who they have beaten twice in the streak, led the Western Conference when the Rockets beat them. The Rockets were 0-4 against the Hornets and Dallas Mavericks this season, before beating them three times during the streak, including twice on the road.

    The Rockets' opponents during the winning streak have a .469 winning percentage (excluding the losses in the streak). The record-setting Lakers' opponents had a .474 winning percentage, the Bucks' foes .508.

    "I sit at home and watch the highlights," McGrady said. "I think, 'Damn, that's 19 in a row.' Do you know how many great teams have been in this league? The thing that really kills me is, 'Oh, they haven't really played anybody.' Come on, man. Everyone has the same schedule. If it was that easy, how come that many people haven't done it? MJ (Michael Jordan) went 72-10 and never did it. Just give us a little bit of credit."

    They don't deny they are surprised to have dominated in 2008, going 28-3 since their Jan. 3 loss in Boston.

    "People who want to downgrade it, they can do that," Adelman said. "But it's the regular season. We've played very well in 2008. It's not just the streak. We've lost four games this year. We've been playing very well for a while."

  2. Kim

    Kim Contributing Member

    Feb 17, 1999
    Likes Received:
    That last sentence is the truth. This team is going to be legit title contenders next year (possibly favorites), and I hope will make noise in this year's playoffs.

    The Rockets are 29-4 in 2008.

    The 4 losses are a 4 point loss to Boston, 5 point loss to New Orleans, and a 4 point loss to Philly all without T-Mac. The 4th loss is an 8 point loss to Utah without Yao. Those are all close games and none of them had both T-Mac and Yao. In all cases, the Rockets fought and competed and were never blown out. This team has fire. There have not been any 20 point losses in 2008. It's not only 20 in a row, but also 24 wins in 25 games, and also 29 wins in 32 games.

    It's just stupid for all this criticism from the haters. The Rockets aren't claiming to be the greatest team ever. They play and try to win and it's like if the Rockets were 18-2 over the last 20 games, less people would be writing and hating on them. So forget all the BS and just love this team that is so full of fire and competitiveness since the start of 2008.
  3. AzNaNsZ

    AzNaNsZ Member

    Dec 21, 2007
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    But man i loved the game vs boston even though we loss it really got me inspired
  4. Jd1

    Jd1 Member

    Jul 2, 2006
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    I guess the best way to mute all the haters is to beat Kobe &co. and Boston.
  5. Thefabman

    Thefabman Member

    Nov 14, 2007
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    or to win it all :D
  6. kwng

    kwng Member

    Jan 1, 2003
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    We need to beat the Bobcats first then psyche up for the multiple battle of TITANS.


    Jul 23, 2000
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    We could have had 33 game winning streak of our own to match the Lakers of 1972 and the media would have hated us more.
  8. Hayesfan

    Hayesfan Contributing Member

    Nov 3, 2006
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    Kim!!! I've missed you!

    I hate doing it, but I have been thinking ahead to next year as well! Yao, get better. Carl, make sure that knee is good. Tmac, continue to see that wacko in Waco.

    This team in its current form, barring injuries, is special. Very special. And they are going to get better the longer they are together.
  9. Jeff Who

    Jeff Who Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    21 sound really great. It would be amazing to make it happen and we have a big chance.

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