Sunday , Apr , 20 , 2008 Basketball John

The Rockets Are Done

The Rockets Are Done

The Rockets are done.  This isn’t just an arrogant prediction after the Jazz took game one from Houston, 93-82.  It’s based on Tracy McGrady’s actions at the end of the game.  With 1:05 left in the game and the Rockets down 10, McGrady checked himself out of the game, and possible his team out of the playoffs, by fouling Kirilenko.  Immediately after he fouled AK, he walked straight to the bench and sat down, covering himself with a towel.  The Rockets were in a fouling situation as they were trying to get make a last-ditch attempt to get back into the game.  But I think Tracy had given up long before that.  And I don’t buy that the game was out of reach.  Not when the Rockets have pulled off comebacks such as this.  He has no trust in any of his teammates and seems willing to throw them under the bus,

They’ve kind of taken away our first option [I guess he’s talking about himself here] and we’re a little stagnated on the offensive end and don’t know what else to do.  We’re all out of sync and we don’t have too many guys out there who can create their own shot.

This is a far cry from the McGrady interview last year when he stated "I tried" after losing game seven to the Jazz.  So Rocket fans, you can still hate the Jazz and Jazz fans.  But you should be furious with the man that wears #1 for your team.  Because if Boozer, Deron Williams, or anyone on the Jazz quit like McGrady has, I would be pissed.

Enough bandwidth wasted writing about McGrady.  Maybe that should have been a separate post.

The Jazz went into Houston and did exactly what they needed to do.  Nobody has given Houston a chance to win this series, but you really expected a lot more out of them.  But a win on the road for the Jazz, and especially one that delivers a pretty crushing blow to Houston’s series chances, is huge.

After Houston came back to tie the game at 57, the Jazz put on the defensive screws and held them to just 3 points over the last five minutes of the third quarter.  The Jazz pushed their lead to 8 with the help of two Kyle Korver threes and buckets by Williams and AK.  The Rockets never challenged Utah in the fourth.

Kirilenko led the way with 21 points.  He really kept the Jazz in the game early while the Jazz struggled at times to get things going.  Boozer added 20 points and won the rebound battle with Okur tonight grabbing 16 to Memo’s 8.  Memo was off tonight going just 2-8 for 4 points.  I still think that  Memo is the biggest factor for the Jazz going deep in the playoffs.  And the fact that he can have a bad night and the Jazz still win comfortably speaks volumes about the win.  And Deron turned in another "standard" performance with 20 & 10.  Price came in and played well despite only four minutes in relief of Deron.  And Korver had his 11 on 4-7 from the field.

I really thought that this series would go 6 or 7 games.  But from the body language from the Rockets players and McGrady giving up, this could be over in four.  Anything can still happen and there’s still a lot of ball left, but I don’t see this going on much longer.