The Houston Rockets were caught slipping by the Boston Celtics. Riding a 22 game win streak looking to make it 23, the flow was just not present.
Winning 22 straight games takes alot of skill and luck. But when it comes down to it the spark was not there. Houston's amazing defense met an offense that was fresh even without starter Ray Allen.
Like I said before all great streak must come to an end. Some other examples include Julius Ceasar, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro. All of them were great powers who eventually came to an end.
What the Rockets were able to accomplish is very inspiring, because now they can look forward into the playoffs and know what they can do. The ability of the starters and bench is remarkable, because they all can play the game and they win when they are not at their best.
With the loss of Big Ming, Tracy McGrady has to find more ways to score. When you take away 22 ppg, and 10.8 rpg, someone has to step up and take over. McGrady is finding ways to get his team involved, which is allowing them to spread the floor and create lanes. Although Tracy has to remain a consistent scorer at the same time, because the Rockets depend on him to atleast put up double digits.
The bench is playing a huge part in the success of the rockets. Players like Mike Harris and Bobby Jackson are creating sparks off the bench. They have the ability to fire up the offense and put points on the board.
The Rockets put on a poor show, they seemed tired which is expected when the your under the microscope, and everyone is questioning when you will lose. Yet the Rockets have had a long schedule the last week, having four games, in which they played against 3 teams that are playoff spot holders.
The Celtics outscored Houston 32-16 in the third quarter and built a 72-56 lead, the largest deficit the Rockets have faced since the last time they met Boston, who had them down 20 in their first meeting. Houston went 7-for-16 from the field with six turnovers in the decisive quarter.
It was only Houston's second loss in 28 games and its fourth since a 97-93 loss in Boston on Jan. 2, a game in which Tracy McGrady did not play due to a knee injury. The Rockets also lost for the first time in 11 games since Yao Ming went out with a season-ending foot injury on Feb. 26.
After the game McGrady gracefully respected the team saying "It's a hell of a team over there. They outplayed us. I've never seen a defense like that. I mean, if they play defense like that, night in and night out, the NBA is in trouble because that was defense at its finest."
Which is exactly the truth, the Rockets were out played and the defense shutdown T-Mac, and the rest of the squad.
I still feel that this Rockets team is prime and now is back in reality. They need to keep playing basketball at the level they are, and play their hearts out for 48 minutes.