Judging from the title of this article, one might assume that I'm going to go right into some kind of extreme bashing rant on why T-Mac and the rest of the Rockets are overrated. How we see this every year from this team blah blah blah and nothing comes from it. Fact is, I love basketball, and while records and/or streaks have never really impressed me that much, I do however, have to tip my hat to the Houston Rockets.
This team blows me away. The fact that they lose Yao Ming, YAO MING, the poster child of their franchise, the international icon, the 7’6’’ beast of a man, and still, somehow, continue to win is incredible. The fact that T-Mac, after years of individual success on bad teams, is finally showing his leadership ability on THIS Rockets team is absolutely great.
When people talk about NBA teams from Texas now, it's no longer just the Mavs and Spurs, but the Rockets as well, and I find that great. But records and long streaks mean nothing come playoff time.
Just ask the Dallas Mavericks.
This feat being performed now by the Rockets, has propelled them up to the front of the Western Conference Standings, behind the Lakers and Spurs. While 19 wins going on 20 (c'mon it's Atlanta) is certainly causing some in the West to be concerned, one team that has proven that records and streaks don't really matter is the San Antonio Spurs.
Yes, this same Spurs team that has quietly grown to become one of the most boring dynasty's of all time is secretly getting healthier and better as the month of March goes on. Parker's back, Manu's lighting it up, and Tim Duncan is being Mr. Fundamental once again, not to mention the addition of Kurt Thomas and the potential signing of Brent Barry.
While some "experts" on ESPN (and fans let's be honest) would love to see another team from the West go to the Finals (or just Kobe and the Lakers), Pop and company down in San An know how to win big series and championships.
And let's call a spade a spade here; T-Mac doesn't.
Has T-Mac ever led a team to the Finals, or even out of the first round of the playoffs in his almost 10 year career? Has T-Mac ever elevated a team by himself much like LeBron or Kobe has done over the past five years?
Even with the tallest center in the NBA T-Mac still hasn't accomplished the feat of becoming the next "Shaq and Kobe" of the West, which was suppose to propel the Rockets to dynasty comparisons of the 2000-2002 LA Lakers.
My point is this: Pop and Company each year apply the "Spurs rules of winning" when it comes to playoff time, meaning simply they could care less about records or positioning in the standings because each player on that team has the confidence that they can win a championship.
Tim Duncan, who should go down in history as one of the best C/PF AND leaders of all time, knows better than to get all caught up in the spotlight of being a dynasty or trying to win 60 games every year. They don't need to do that or need that kind of attention to win, which makes this team so humble and down to earth. Team basketball, yes TEAM basketball, is how you win playoff games (see 2004 Pistons or last year's Spurs team).
As for the Rockets, well it's a wait and see. While I think the streak is certainly good for Houston, and the NBA, in terms of getting on Sportscenter and morning talk shows every day, this team hasn't proven anything to anybody yet. That's the sad truth nobody will admit. Get this team out of the first round T-Mac.
That will show everybody something truly great.