Sunday, April 10, 2005

Rockets Get Their Act Together

A couple of weeks ago when I was in the Singapore airport on my way to Calcutta, I caught some NBA action after a long time. It has been almost impossible to get any NBA on TV here in Melbourne (at least in the hotels), and that says something about sports coverage on TV in India. One can follow endless amounts of cricket of course, but also European and South American Football (soccer), Tennis, Golf, Rugby, Motor Sport and, quite a bit of NBA. Not so in Australia. Perhaps, it also has to do with the fact that there is really only one sport in India that is seriously followed, and it is international cricket. Anyway, this is not intended to be a blurb about regional vs global sports coverage. That NBA game featured the Houston Rockets (against the Cavaliers, I think) and it made me think how fortunes have changed for the Rockets since the early part of the season. Their turn of fortunes has been reaffirmed again with a couple of wins over the Phoenix Suns, who have dominated opponents this season. Houston is now playing solid defense that is a trademark of Jeff Van Gundy coached sides and has really improved on the offensive side. At the start of the season, with the acquisition of Tracy McGrady, the Rockets were really expected to take off and make a run for a play-off position. But it did take a lot of time for all the pieces to gel together, primarily T-Mac and Yao. But it is the support cast that was brought in more recently, Jon Barry and David Wesley, that has made a big difference. Both are veterans with skill and experience, adept on both ends of the floor. In Barry's case, Denver's loss has been Houston's gain. The Hornets' rebuilding exercise presented a good opportunity in Wesley's shape and the front office made another good move. Along with Bob Sura, these two provide a solid back court with options. And sure enough, as the season has progressed, both Yao and T-Mac have picked up their level of play and intensity, and the Rockets look like they are ready to make a run, not just for a play-off spot, but deep into the play-offs. - NK


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that there is NBA coverage on ESPN if you have Foxtel.

Scott Wickstein

12:42 AM  

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