Posts Tagged ‘Houston Rockets’


As you all know, less than 24 hours ago marked the beginning of the 2010/2011 NBA season where the opening day featured three games: the new look Miami Heat losing to the Eastern champs Boston Celtics, the Portland Trailblazers defeated the Phoenix Suns, and the defending champs Los Angeles Lakers rallying from a 15 point deficit to knock out the Houston Rockets.

Miami's center Joel Anthony and their lack of frontcourt made Shaquille look like he was 27

In the most watched regular season game EVER on cable, the Boston Celtics hosted the Miami Heat in the first game of the season. Everybody was waiting to see the Miami Heat in action, rather the presence of MVP LeBron James and Chris Bosh alongside to Dwayne Wade. As usual, the TD Garden’s crowd was merciless, shouting overrated everytime the Heat had the ball and booing LeBron James upon possesion. The Heat had one of the most sluggish and rusty first quarters in their history, scoring only 9 points in the first 12 minutes to trail the Celtics by 7. The second quarter started and the turnover party of the Miami Thrice, well basically James and Wade, kept on going on eventually helping the Celtics to gain a lead as much as 19 points and making Shaquille O’Neal looking younger than ever and Marquis Daniels play like a superstar, eventually ending the first half leading 45-30.

James started to make more of his shots, and slowly, he and Carlos Arroyo brought the Miami Heat back into the game, making the most anticipated game as interesting as it should be, with James scoring 15 of his 31 points in this quarter, with the Heat only trailing by six by the end of 3 quarters. However, Paul Pierce wouldn’t let his Celtics fall, and made one of the biggest statements in the game by standing in James’ way as he was running on the fast break, committing a blocking foul and making sure that the East champs are not ready to surrender their Eastern title yet. Pierce sat out a bit and came back in, knocked down two straight three pointers and drew a foul off a three point shot to kill the Heat, who were shooting abysmally throughout the game, starting with a miserable 23% in the first half and eventually only 37%, leaving the Celtics to hold off a late Heat charge and win the game 88-80. LeBron James had 31 points, yet 8 turnovers for the Heat, in addition to Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh having miserable games, with Wade’s 13 points off 4 for 16 shooting  and 6 turnovers and Chris Bosh scoring a measly 8 points. Ray Allen led the way for the Celtics with 20 points, getting help from Pierce (19 points, 9 rebounds) and an astonishing performance from Rajon Rondo (17 assists, most ever in an opening game). The Celtics fly to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers, while the Heat finish their first back-to-back in Philadelphia against their 76ers.

The opening night continued with another rematch of last year’s playoffs, this time in Portland with the Phoenix Suns visiting the Trailblazers. As expected, the game started as a really close one, with no team being able to get in control, despite the fact that the Phoenix Suns were playing their first official game without Amare Stoudemire since losing him to the New York Knicks in free agency. The Blazers led by 2 at the end of the first quarter, and finished the first half up by 4 behind the good play of Brandon Roy and newcomer Wesley Matthews. The Phoenix Suns started the third quarter strong, behind Jason Richardson’s excellent play, giving the Suns a ten point advantage in the third quarter and end up by 6. Pprtland came back from the dead in mid fourth, ending the game on an 18-1 run to win it all 106-92 behind Roy’s 24 points, Nicholas Batum’s 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Matthews’ 13 points off the bench. Steve Nash had 26 points, 6 assists, but 9 turnovers for the Suns as well as 22 points from Richardson.

The night ended with a ring ceremony where the Los Angeles Lakers received their 2009-2010 championship rings and started their title defense with a tough game against the Houston Rockets, who were playing their first game with Yao Ming, who eventually played 23 minutes as planned, after an absence over a year. The Rockets started out strong in the first half, leading by as much as 11 by halftime (62-51). Then the Lakers stormed back, behind a collaborative performance, starting with Kobe Bryant ( 7 assists, 27 points, 11 on free throws) and Pau Gasol (29 points and 11 rebounds) and eventually Shannon Brown going off like a loose cannon after the Lakers trailed by as much as 15, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and eventually Lakers new acquistion Steve Blake putting the icing on the cake, scoring three 3 pointers, including the go ahead, to win the game 112-110. Houston Rockets were led by Kevin Martin’s 26 points and Aaron Brooks’ 24 points, while Yao Ming had 9 points and 11 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant kissing his fifth ring - hopefully not last.

TnT’s Excellence of the Night: Paul Pierce (BOS, 17 points, 9 rebounds), Nicholas Batum (POR, 19 points, 11 rebounds), Shannon Brown (LAL, 16 points).

TnT’s Must-NOT-See Players of the Night: Miami’s bench, Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh (44points on 15 for 49, 9 TOs)

TnT’s Leaders of the Night: LeBron James (MIA, 31 points), Luis Scola (HOU, 16 rebounds), Rajon Rondo (BOS, 17 assists)



As you all know, at 2:30 AM Beirut time, the 64th NBA season kicks off with a rematch of one of last year’s first round playoff series with NBA East Champs Boston Celtics hosting the new look Miami Heat. Well, the Boston Celtics also had made a lot of adjustments, including adding the two O’Neals (Shaquille and Jermaine) to boost their frontcourt and former Cavalier Delonte West, now that starting center Kendrick Perkins is out until January due to an injury sustained in last season’s NBA Finals Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Miami's new Big Three vs Boston's not so new Big Three

The bigger story of the game however, is going to be the debut of the Miami Thrice, that includes Dwayne Wade in addition to Miami’s two new signings, 2 time reigning MVP LeBron James and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh. As you all know, LeBron James received a lot of backlash after his infamous ESPN special “The Decision”, where he decided to screw over the entire city of Cleveland by declaring that he is taking his talents to South Beach (the Miami Heat) rather than playing for his hometown Cavaliers.

This may be one of the most anticipated openers ever, due to having a lot of other storylines, including:

  • Shaquille O’Neal playing against his former Miami Heat after delivering a championship there in 2006 with D-Wade’s help. Shaq will also be facing Chris Bosh, who he called the NBA’s RuPaul.
  • Delonte West and LeBron James, both former Cavs, will be also playing each other, after rumors surfaced the internet that had something to do with Delonte West sleeping with LeBron James’s mom, which made many people think was the main reason LeBron turned away from Cleveland and “quitting” in the last 4 games of the East conference semis vs. Boston.
  • How well can the Miami Thrice function together? In the preseason, they only got 197 seconds of playtime together before Dwayne Wade injured himself against Detroit.
  • Could this finally be the year LeBron James gets to win his first title? If he does, will he be playing as many expected Robin to Dwayne Wade’s Batman?
  • This could be the last chance for the Boston Celtics to win it all, with their Big Three all hitting the twilight of their careers and may not get another crack at it in a while.

I am expecting it to be a historical opener, and think that Miami will beat the Celtics tonight.

The night continues with another rematch of last year’s first round series, this time from the Western conference though. Western conference finalists Phoenix Suns, playing their first season with Amare Stoudemire, will be visiting the Portland Trailblazers, who were hacked all year by their stars dealing with injuries.

Who will Nash find this time now that Amare is gone?

Despite reaching the Western conference finals last year, the Phoenix Suns have a very dim chance of repeating so, after losing Stoudemire in free agency to the New York Knicks, killing the Suns’ run-and-gun fast paced offense. Instead, they acquired Hedo Turkuglo from the Toronto Raptors and brought back Josh Childress from Europe. Meanwhile, the Blazers had a bit of dilemma with Rudy Fernandez during the summer, who was asking to be traded and even threatened to leave the NBA to play back in Spain. Yet all seemed to work out on both sides, with Fernandez showing up to training camp and everything back to normal. Portland also traded Jerryd Bayless to New Orleans for a future draft pick and signed Fabricio Oberto.

This should also play out to be an interesting game, and I pretty much expect the Blazers to win the game tonight.

The final game of the night will be the first game of the champions’ title defense. The Los Angeles Lakers will be seeking their third straight title this season by starting off their season hosting the Houston Rockets. Also, many storylines come into play with this matchup, making it also a very interesting one:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers have had a not-so-good preseason, including losing both games in Europe to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Euroleague champions FC Barcelona. I know, Kobe was injured and was having a couple of lousy shooting games and didn’t play much, and that is what worries all Lakers fans. Kobe Bryant says he is ready to play, but as he hits 32, one can only wonder if he is still as good as he was at 30 and even 31. I still have faith in Kobe, as he has built motivation off LeBron James joining his Super Friends in Miami and all the critics who are saying Kobe doesn’t have it in him anymore.
  • Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will be making his return after missing out a full year due to an injury sustained against the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs. According to the Rockets’ management, Ming will have a cap of playing no more than 24 minutes per game and will be monitored by team doctors. His playing time may increase, but all depends.
  • I am personally expecting the Houston Rockets to surprise the NBA with their great lineup. Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, and Yao Ming. They have a great team on paper, which makes the Western conference interesting, although I don’t see any team threatening the Lakers in the West, which brings us to
  • The Lakers have improved their team and according the team owner Dr. Jerry Buss said back in August that this may be the “greatest Lakers team fielded ever” since he owned the team. And no, Buss didn’t own the team five years ago, he actually has been in charge for over 30 years, in other words, the Showtime Lakers were on his watch and he still thinks that this team is better. I mean, they are returning 9 players from the team that won last season, and they added an amazing point guard in Steve Blake, another tough-minded defensive player in Matt Barnes, and a veteran back-up center in Theo Ratliff. With those three additions, their bench is all toughed up, in addition to the rookies drafted, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, who will be seeing some playtime this year according to 11 time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson, which leads us to our next point:
  • Will this be Phil Jackson’s last season? The only thing that seems to stop Jackson from coming back next year will be his health. After all, he’s collecting a very decent salary and is dating Buss’s daughter Jeanie. I think Jackson, like Bryant, is now more motivated than ever to coach this season in order to trump the masterpiece Pat Riley has created in Miami by adding James and Bosh.
  • One final point: Will Andrew Bynum be just a role player, or will he able to return a full time player? After suffering injuries in the past 3 years, many, including Jackson, are wondering if Bynum will be able to go through a full NBA season and play full minutes like any other NBA center and deliver performances as he did before hitting the injury bug. I hope he can, after all, he has a lot of potential and I hope him and Blazers’ Greg Oden get to finally get back on track and play amazing basketball without getting hurt.

    Are we going to see this for the third straight year? I think so

  • On an unrelated note, the Lakers will be receiving their rings for winning their 16th NBA championship, but not all of the players are keeping their rings. Why? Ron Artest decided to give away his ring, first in an auction but recently in a raffle (lottery), to promote the cause of metal health awareness and according to him it will serve as motivation to strive for another ring. Tickets for the raffle cost $2 and you can a buy a minimum of 5 at http://www.ronartest.com .

I expect the Lakers to start their title defense with a win despite the strength of this year’s Rockets.

I am really excited about this season, as David Stern said earlier this summer, this season we might be experiencing the “greatest basketball ever”. All 30 NBA teams are loaded, with teams being better than others of course. Every NBA team has at least one superstar and most have former or current All-Stars, which makes this season more tempting than ever. I advise everyone to watch the three games tonight, and if not all, at least the Heat-Celtics and Rockets-Lakers games.

NBA…Where Amazing (and a bunch of other cool stuff) Happens


The Miami Heat got primetime treatment from the NBA schedule-makers.

No shit.

With the release of their partial schedule, the new-look Miami Heat open their season October 26th on national television against the team that knocked them out last season, Eastern Conference champs Boston Celtics, while the NBA Finals MVP Kobe Bryant and his NBA champs the Los Angeles Lakers tip off their season after the ring ceremony against  last season absentee Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets.

Christmas day will have continue to have the “five live games”  with the main event being the awaited match-up between the trio of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat vs. the NBA champs, preluded by a rematch of the ’10 Eastern Conference finals, the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic.

It is rumored that LeBron James will be making his long awaited return to Cleveland on December 2nd as the second game of a back-to-back games for the Miami Heat.

Other must- see games:

October 27th:

Chicago Bulls vs.Oklahoma City Thunder: Two of the top six teams in the NBA will be facing each other on Day 2 as the revamped Bulls with former Utah Jazz players Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver and new coach Tom Thobideau facing the stable Thunder who had a quiet offseason.

Portland Trailblazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Both teams had to go through the agony of seeing their #1 Draft picks miss their first season due to injury. Will Greg Oden of the Blazers and Blake Griffin of the Clippers play this game and how good will they be?

October 28th:

Washington Wizards vs. Orlando Magic: Two big reasons to watch the game: First, this will be the awaited debut of the 2010 #1 Draft pick John Wall for the Washington Wizards, and the second big reason will be the Orlando Magic’ debut in their new Amway Center.

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz: After going through major makeovers, including both teams losing big-name power forwards this summer, this matchup could be an interesting one with the Suns acquiring Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress after losing Amare Stoudemire and the Utah Jazz trading for Al Jefferson after losing Carlos Boozer.

October 29th:

Orlando Magic vs. Miami Heat: The Miami Heat will be playing their first home game against their state rivals Orlando Magic. While the Miami Heat have the Miami Thrice, they do not, however, have a big center to defend Dwight Howard. Will the Magic take advantage?

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns: Rematch of the 2010 Western Conference finals, although it won’t be the same after the departure of Stoudemire but with all that it will remain to be an interesting game.

Full partial schedule that was released (Note: Schedule taken off ESPN.com):

2010-11 NBA Opening Week Schedule

Date Matchup Coverage Time
Tuesday, Oct. 26 Heat vs. Celtics TNT, ESPN Radio 7:30 ET
Tuesday, Oct. 26 Rockets vs. Lakers TNT 10:30 ET
Wednesday, Oct. 27 Bulls vs. Thunder ESPN, ESPN3.com 8 ET
Wednesday, Oct. 27 Blazers vs. Clippers ESPN, ESPN3.com 10:30 ET
Thursday, Oct. 28 Wizards vs. Magic TNT 8 ET
Thursday, Oct. 28 Suns vs. Jazz TNT 10:30 ET
Friday, Oct. 29 Magic vs. Heat ESPN, ESPN3.com 8 ET
Friday, Oct. 29 Lakers vs. Suns ESPN, ESPN3.com 10:30 ET
Date Matchup Coverage Time
Saturday, Dec. 25 Bulls vs. Knicks ESPN, ESPN3.com Noon ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Celtics vs. Magic ABC 2:30 ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Heat vs. Lakers ABC, ESPN Radio 5 ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Nuggets vs. Thunder ESPN, ESPN3.com 8 ET
Saturday, Dec. 25 Blazers vs. Warriors ESPN, ESPN3.com 10:30 ET

2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Schedule

Date Matchup Coverage Time
Monday, Jan. 17 Bulls vs. Grizzlies ESPN, ESPN3.com 1 ET
Monday, Jan. 17 Magic vs. Celtics TNT 8 ET
Monday, Jan. 17 Thunder vs. Lakers TNT 10:30 ET

Almost every week, TnT will be giving updates about what’s going on regarding free agency in the NBA.

This is our second update:

NBA Free Agency

PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS signed Wesley Matthews.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES signed Luke Ridnour.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS re-sign Richard Jefferson.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS sign Jeremy Lin.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERs signed Tony Battie.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS obtain Jon Brockman from SACRAMENTO KINGS in exchange for Darnell Jackson and 2011 second round pick.

Winner: Milwaukee Bucks need a player like Brockman who can defend the 4 and 5 and can bring energy to the court, hence making them winners of this trade.

MIAMI HEAT have signed Juwan Howard.

HOUSTON ROCKETS have signed Brad Miller.

DALLAS MAVERICKS have re-signed Dirk Nowitzki.

L.A. CLIPPERS have re-signed Craig Smith.

MIAMI HEAT have re-signed James Jones and signed Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

BOSTON CELTICS agreed to terms with Nate Robinson.

MIAMI HEAT signed Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman.

ORLANDO MAGIC re-signed J.J. Redick.

BOSTON CELTICS re-signed Paul Pierce.

DENVER NUGGETS signed Anthony Carter and Shedlen Williams.

MIAMI HEAT signed Mike Miller.

UTAH JAZZ signed Raja Bell.

HOUSTON ROCKETS re-signed Kyle Lowry.

PHOENIX SUNS acquired Josh Childress through a trade for a 2012 second rounder from ATLANTA HAWKS.

PHOENIX SUNS acquired Hedo Turkuglo from TORONTO RAPTORS in exchange for Leandro Barbosa and Dwayne Jones.

Winner: While not making up for Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns got two good players in these trades while Atlanta didn’t get much and Leandro Barbosa isn’t going to make up for the loss of Chris Bosh.

PHILADELPHIA 76ERS re-signed Evan Turner.