Friday, May 15, 2009

Tango Lesson

The Houston Rockets lost Yao Ming to a broken foot before Game four of the western conference semi-finals. To almost everyone's surprise, the Rockets rallied around their fallen big man to win game four in a convincing fashion. Then, with two days to prepare and adjust to Houston's strategy, the Lakers laid a brutal 40-point beatdown on the Lakers on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Last night, the shorthanded Houston Rockets upset the heavily favored Los Angels Lakers in Houston last night, forcing game 7 in Los Angeles for the right to face the Denver Nuggets in the western conference finals. Do you know what that means? It means that in Game 7, its on. Because when one team blows you out and you blow them out right back, its on. Don't you know anything?

Luis Scola led the Rockets with 24 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists and no turnovers. I've been a fan of Scola since he drank Jermaine O'Neal's milkshake in Argentina's victory over the United States in the 2002 World Championships, and I drove my friends up the wall talking and writing about good he was. Eventually the Spurs - who drafted him in 2002 but were unable to bring him over from Europe for contractual reasons- traded him to the Houston Rockets for cap space, at which point he immediately became a starter on a playoff team and, in the words of Shane Battier, the Rockets' MVP. Forgive me for rambling on about him, but I sort of adopted him seven years ago and enjoying seeing him shine at the NBA level. When friends text you after Rockets games with comments like "Your Luis Scola is one crafty son of a bitch," and "your boy Scola just killed us tonight," it might be time to reassess the life choices you've made and stop spending so much time watching basketball. But that would make life so much less fun.

I'm excited about Game 7. It could go down to the wire. The Lakers could win by twenty-five. Jack Nicholson could have a heart attack in the first row of the stands. Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo will probably exchange a few dozen of the highest high-fives ever recorded. But the Lakers-Rockets and Celtics-Magic serieses are two of the more compelling game 7's we've seen in years.

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