Sunday , Mar , 16 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Why Tracy McGrady & Houston Rockets Aren’t Getting Respect

Aretha Franklin can relate to the Houston Rockets. Twenty-one consecutive wins and no R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Few believe the surging Rockets, who have strung together the second longest winning streak in NBA history, are capable of capturing an NBA Title or even pushing deep in the post-season …

Why Tracy McGrady & Houston Rockets Aren't Getting RespectThe AM Take: Aretha Franklin can relate to the Houston Rockets. Twenty-one consecutive wins and no R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Few believe the surging Rockets, who have strung together the second longest winning streak in NBA history, are capable of capturing an NBA Title or even pushing deep in the post-season.

Such a feat deserves recognition, but, for several reasons, Houston’s accomplishments have been mostly ignored. Here’s why:

  • History is hard to overlook. Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady have never led the Rockets past the first round of the post-season. Fair or not, most expect T-Mac to break down in another post-series press conference like last year against Utah.
  • Their role players don’t get enough credit. Rafer Alston’s And1 days overshadow his emergence as an under control table-setter. Shane Battier, the Duke graduate, speaks like a CEO, but defends like a blue-collar factory worker. And Dikembe Mutombo’s true age is irrelevant because the veteran blocks shots, rebounds, and anchors a defense.
  • Their coach, Rick Adelman, has always been underestimated. He led Portland to two NBA Finals and kept Sacramento competitive for years. In Houston, he’s maintained Jeff Van Gundy’s trademark defense, while opening up the offense. Still, Adelman is remembered in NBA circles as the coach who never won big games.
  • Of course, the Western Conference is highly competitive. Fifty wins doesn’t guarantee a playoff birth and the smallest of losing streaks can knock a team out of contention for the second season. So the Rockets have gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle.

In a few minutes, Houston takes on L.A. in a nationally televised showdown. A win would push their streak to 22 games, but also get the Rockets respect.

Do the Rockets deserve respect? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts and click here to read Oly Sandor’s NBA blog.

The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe NBA Blog. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee. (image appears courtesy of flickr.com)