Following up on Alex's recap, here are my knee-jerk reactions to the Rockets' win last night:
- Recaps: JS / AP
- Video: Game Highlights / Yao/Yi
- Yi Jianlian's performance will provide a fair amount of solace to Bucks fans disappointed with the team's execution down the stretch. After taking a little while to settle into the game's flow--a rushed 22-footer on the first possession was followed by an airball with the shot clock running down--Yi played with the sort of icy confidence that you love to see in a young player. We also saw him showing confidence from deep for the first time. Maybe those Dirk Nowitzki comparisons weren't quite so unfounded after all.
- Michael Redd kept the Bucks in the game in the first half, but unfortunately he came up empty too often in the fourth. And I could be wrong, but the last couple games have reiterated something I've always thought about Redd: while he's among the absolute best in the league at shooting with a hand in his face, he's relatively average when he's wide open.
- Interestingly, Krystkowiak chose to play Mo Williams and Charlie Bell together in the backcourt for much of the fourth, leaving Desmond Mason and Bobby Simmons curiously uninvolved for most of the second half. That was after Mason against started out hot, shooting 5/7 fg including another one of those ridiculous 15-foot hook shots. Mo and Redd played a combined 88 minutes, so it was good to see LK after the game acknowledge that he should have spread the minutes out a little more.
- I wasn't always thrilled with how Mo ran the offense, as he still holds onto the ball a shade too long for my taste. But lo and behold he ended up with quite the stat sheet, nearly racking up a triple double.
- In discussing the fact that six continents were being represented for the first time in an NBA game, Rockets' color commentator Clyde Drexler joked that we should find an NBA player in Iceland. Huh? I guess Phi Slamma Jamma didn't place much of an emphasis on geography.
- The Rockets' broadcast team was probably even worse at pronouncing Yi's name than Matt Guokas and David Steele. Drexler called him "Yee Gin-Lynn" most of the game, though Bill Worrell at least got the "Yi" part right.