1 game? 1 game on Monday? One stinkin' game?
I don't care if it's Dallas vs. Houston.
Okay. You know what? Fine. I can do this. I'm better than this. Time to man up.
15 reasons to watch Houston at Dallas tonight on NBATV.
1. There's a new Sheriff in town. And his name's McGrady: TMac has risen from the dead. And he's Pissed. Off. McGrady's averaging 32.3 ppg, shooting .500 from the field, and the Rockets are undefeated. It hasn't just been the scoring, that's always been TMac's schtick. It's been the ruthless way he's taken hold of the team. For years he complained about not having enough around him, then it was gelling with Yao and a new team, then it was injuries. This year he looks like he's ready for prime time. Welcome to the show!
2. You wouldn't like him when he's angry. If you're Brad Miller.: Josh Howard came back for the Mavs, off of his wrist injury and that unfortunate incident with Mr. Miller in the preseason. The result? 33 minutes, and the highest PER in the land. There's been talk for a long time that Howard was the real MVP of the Mavs. This may be the year he shows it.
3. Dirk Dirk Dirk of Earl Earl Earl Dirk of Earl Earl Earl Dirk of Earl...: Every May I convince myself to hate Dirk Nowitski, and every November I see his interviews and watch him play and start to like him again. It's as regular as the seasons. If anybody should have a chip on his shoulder, it should be Dirk. Which means he'll probably end up missing the game winner tonight. Woo-hoo!
4. The Unstoppable Force Versus the Unflappable Perimeter Trap: Dallas is shooting .518 from the field, good for 2nd best in the league. The Rockets are holding their opponents to .425, good for 9th best in the league. Something's gotta give. It's a lot like Colts-Patriots, in a lot of ways. Only without the hype. Or interest. Or Bill Bellichek's black, black heart.
5. Mike James! Who?! Mike James!: No, we're not getting tired of that gag any time soon. And the Rockets aren't getting tired of his play so far. He's hit 7 of 13 from three point land, and is producing all over the court. He's got a 3.33 assist to turnover ratio. He's third in points. They're going to need great play from him tonight, because...
6. "When It's Time To Rock A Funky Jam, I'm on Point.": So. The Mavs? They're pretty good. Yeah, we know. They're 2-1. They lost to the Hawks. But they're shooting the lights out (.510, best in the NBA), and they've been led by three separate players at the point. Jason Terry is averaging 20 and 5, Devon Harris is averaging 12 and 3 with 1 steal, and then there's Jose Juan Barea, who had 13 points in 14 minutes the other night, and shot 78% from the floor. You may be wondering along with us here at HP who in the holy hell he is. Well, let's tell you.
7. "It's Best In A Silent Context... Jub-Jub." We're calling him Jub-Jub, until he falls back to the D-League. Now, try and follow along kids. He was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and moved to Miami when he was 17. He then went to Northeastern, where he kicked a lot of ass. He ended up winning an award named after Allen Iverson. He then played for
And kicked more ass. And by kicked more ass, we sort of mean 2.1 pts a game. But he was undeterred!
On to the NBA draft, where he went undrafted. The Warriors picked him up and dropped him like he was nothing. But then the Mavs found him, and he got good again. Now he's the backup and is back to kicking ass. He also has a Gold Medal. So that's Jub-Jub.
8. He Might Try to Cha-Cha On An Official's Head: An inherent bonus to any Mavs game is the Mark Cuban show. It's not just that he actually gives a crap and complains about the referees like all of us do (yet gets criticized 10 times as much because he's the owner), but there's just something about him being out there that makes it more fun. Even if you're feverishly rooting for the inevitable collapse of his MVP, who he loves, and yelling at him to shut the hell up, it's still more fun with him there. Cuban is a blessing to the NBA, liabilities and all.
9. Old Man Invierno: There are a lot of folks looking to push Luis Scola as a ROY in case KDu doesn't. Dude's 27. Much like Chris Weinke, you should not be a rookie over the age of 25. I don't even care about the logical reasons in favor of it. It's just like Olson porn, wrong, wrong, wrong. The guy's a banger down low, though, so it'll be interesting with him and Diop down low. Oh, money...
10. "Diop It Like It's Hot, Diop It Like It's Hot...": Let's review. Senegalese. 7 feet tall. Speaks 5 languages. Can we just have him say "Who wants to sex DeSagana?!" and get it over with? Diop is averaging 8 rebounds and 3.3 blocked shots.
11. Stack the Mack: Jerry Stackhouse once worked washing dishes at a Surf & Turf in high school. We imagine he was terrifying and grizzled even then. Did you know that he scored more points in a game at the United Center in Chicago than Jordan did? It's true! He scored 57 against the Bulls. Jordan's high at the United center was 53. So that's one thing he did better than Jordan. Another would be not having photos of him dancing with 15 year olds, but that's another post.
12. Tonight's Player to Watch Their Career Get Piledriven As If By Zangief: Eddie Jones is 36. He's also shooting .214 from the field. That's not so good. But you know who was good? Zangief. I don't care if you could beat the crap out of him with projectiles. Or that his moves were harder to pull off than the Soulja Boy. When you saw him grab that little bitch Ken and jump in the air for the Piledriver, you knew you owned his ass. So what if his best easy move was a big hug? Spread the love, man. Spread the love. No, we're not reaching at all. Why do you ask?
13. Let's All Get Blackout (via the Corndogg): Not only was this my every night theme in college, it is also the mantra by which that most epic, epicureal of players lives by, Bonzi Wells. If only I could say something greater than Free Darko (All Hail FD!) has , then you would know of the mythic, Lochness-ian creature which we speak ( and yes, Bonzi Wells playing great, team first basketball, is at the very least, Lochness-ian -- I think I just made that up). Anywho, when the point comes that T-Mac gets tired of dropping 45 point games or his entire body breaks down (i'm hard pressed to say which I think will happen first), then Adelman will need to keep the heat blazin', which is something Bonzi can do. At least, according to some no name rapper called Trife. Yes, you read that correctly, Bonzi Wells gets his named dropped in a song called "Biscuits." Oh, the irony.
14. You Say Toyota, I Say Toyata(via the Corndogg): So, we are all aware that there is some weird, albeit great chemistry, going on in the Rockets Dome. Adelman is mixing countries (China, Argentina, Zaire, Rucker Park), abilities (the washed out Steve Franchise, the "why are they here" Chuck Hayes and Luther Head, the part-time dominating Yao and T-Mac), and personalities (the saintly Battier, the ludicrous Wells, and the sleepy Rafer Alston) and is somehow turning them into a legit team. I don't think Adelman has any idea what most of them are talking about during practice breaks, but when these guys hear the whistle, they are making some sweet harmonies on the court. They are just so delightfully watchable in that potent offense. It's like the Real World, only without the nudity, sex, drunkeness, and flatulence. But just wait.
15. It's the only damn game on!
Suck it, Stern!