I cleaned up the heading just a bit, but, why am I quoting possibly the worst song ever written? To ponder the question of the absurd, you must understand the absurd.
I understand neither. Which leads me to another absurd question. How are the Houston Rockets winning games?
Denver: 19-17 (9-9 on the road)
Streak: Won 1
Houston: 21-15 (15-4 at home)
Streak: Lost 1
Season Series: 1-0 Houston
Opposition's Take: The Dream Shake
There's many absurd things on this planet. Among them is the existence of a duckbill platypus. How people consider NASCAR a sport. People who like Insane Clown Posse. Most of all how wearing Steve Urkel outfits and carrying a backpack suddenly became a style. Yet, what perplexes me the most at the moment is how on earth the Houston Rockets are winning games.
You look at the Rockets, and you aren't seeing anything remarkable. Sure, they have Louis Scola, a man who can be tough and flop at the same time (mostly flop). Kevin Martin who can score with the best of them (and, like Scola, flop with the best of them). One of my least favorite players in the NBA Kyle Lowry (who is both good and highly irritating, like Russel Westbrook) who is having a career year. Beyond that, however, you struggle to come up with something tangible to point to as to why this Rockets team is winning.
I was fortunate enough to catch the Rockets last two games, at home against the Raptors (a win) and on the road against the Jazz (a loss). There's just something, dunno, wrong with this team. They look like they should lose these games. In the Toronto game, they lost their lead, and were in danger of losing before the Raptors remembered they are the Raptors and lost. Against the Jazz, it was a second night of a back to back ... but you never got the feeling the Rockets were going to win. They lost by a large margin. Often times, the Rockets end up winning and afterword (like the when they played the Nuggets on the 6th of February) you scratch your head and wonder what you just saw.
Sure, Chandler Parsons (the person who's foot Danilo Gallinari stepped on to severely sprain his ankle) can shoot threes. Sure Chase Buddinger can ... umm ... dunk and shoot the three. Samuel Dalembert can clog up the lane a bit. Yet there's just this nagging feeling in the back of your brain that something is not right. Kevin McHale has done a very admirable job in replacing the fired (and current Timberwolves head coach) Rick Adelman. He's brought a "play together as a team" element that seems to be working. Team defense and hard, lunch pail work ethic.
In reality, maybe that is why the Rockets have won as they have. A team attitude that the Nuggets need to rekindle and can learn from. I didn't come away from the Rockets victory over the Nuggets earlier in the month thinking "hey, this team is just better". I came away thinking "if Gallo doesn't get injured, we would have won this game". Hindsight is 20/20 and quite frankly that night the Rockets just played better and deserved to win. The better team? I don't think so.
Nuggets of Wisdom
The Nuggets regained the "winning spirit" in their victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. They also found that they could rely on, and get crucial minutes from a trio of big men. Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos and Kenneth Faried all played quality minutes and each showed something they didn't before. Moz showed he can be a somewhat reliable scorer if fed the ball consistently. K2 showed that he is BY FAR the best Nuggets pick and roll defender (and his defense of LaMarcus Aldridge down the stretch was amazing). Kenneth Faried just played crazy athletic ball for the 17 minutes he was on the court. Leaping for rebounds and lobs. Dunks and layup. Manimal was everywhere. Very heartening to see.
One slight negative was the continued over-reliance on Al Harrington and Andre Miller. Both seemed gassed at the end of the game, but (along with Ty Lawson) the rest of the players picked them up and it didn't hurt the Nuggets this time. Tonight's game will have no Nene Hilario and Gallo. Rudy Fernandez is a game time decision, but we may have another scenario where Al Harrington is playing big minutes at the end.
Hopefully the still-shorthanded Nuggets can steal another victory.
Also, that Miracles song by ICP actually made me dumber for listening to that one brief clip. Dear lord. That's bad ... and not in an ironic way either.
Twitter: @jmorton78 https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78