News » Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Houston Rockets Getting Inside 2009-11-01There will be other teams that make the Rockets look overmatched. The next two on the schedule, the Jazz and the Lakers, have that potential. But few seem to be a more daunting task than the Trail Blazers and their collection of oversized centers and forwards, and even physical guards.

In that sense, they are perfect for the Rockets' determination to ignore all that seems against them.

Going with a 6-foot-6 center, they kept Chuck Hayes on Greg Oden rather than shifting a power forward over to body him. With a sub 6-foot point guard, they not only played Aaron Brooks for 38 minutes, they paired him with another mini point guard, Kyle Lowry, for much of the game in a small and smaller backcourt.

Most of all, when faced with doubts about them and their ability to compete without Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, they ignore the critiques, as if they are too convinced of their own abilities to even consider the doubts enough to be offended by them.

"Outsiders looking in, they look at us and they figure we're taking a year off because we don't have Yao, or Tracy is coming back later in the season," Hayes said. "The guys on this team, the guys in this locker room, we know what we have. We know what we can do. We're a hard-playing team. If you play hard, you give you a chance to win."

By halftime of the Rockets' season opener, Charles Barkley declared that the Rockets would finish last in the Western Conference. The Rockets would have seemed to have ample material to play the "no respect" card. Instead, they spoke again about their own confidence and ignored those that disagreed.

"Everybody is counting us out, everybody thinks we're a 'whatever' team," Trevor Ariza said. "Charles Barkley? What did he say -- we were going to win 13 games? Everybody has an opinion. We don't feel that way. We feel we'll win more than that. That's cool -- they can keep their opinion. It doesn't bother anybody."

ROCKETS 111, TRAIL BLAZERS 107: The week began with the Rockets seeming horribly overmatched in Portland, struggling to reach 56 points three quarters into their opener. It ended with the Rockets scoring rapidly, and consistently, building their fourth-quarter lead to 11 before holding on for the win. Trevor Ariza, who had trouble controlling his new, elevated role in the Rockets offense, not only had a career-high 33 points but committed just two turnovers in his 43 minutes, while Aaron Brooks added 28 points and eight assists to offset Brandon Roy's 42 points.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 1, 2009


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