Houston Rockets: Five Priorities in Wake of Elimination from Playoff Contention

April 9th, 2011 by Robert Kleeman Leave a reply »
Kyle Lowry watched his layup careen off the rim and collapsed as if the moment signaled the finality the Houston Rockets never wanted to come.

His would-be game-tying floater danced around the cylinder until gravity stopped the music and exterminated the team’s postseason hopes.

The New Orleans Hornets, unlike the Sacramento Kings the night before, were not in the mood to give away the game late. Led by Chris Paul’s near triple-double, the Big Easy bees rallied from 17 down to clinch a playoff spot after a 101-93 victory.

All the Rockets could do was watch the celebration and lament the many botched opportunities that necessitated they sweep April.

Even doing that guaranteed nothing. Houston needed help its competitors were not inclined to provide. The same fans who still covet Paul, a superstar floor general, wanted him to tank and not play hard, so the woebegone Rockets could taste mid-April action again.

The final week of postseason contention, much like the season, became a mess of mistakes and stirring runs too tardy to make the difference. The Rockets could still get in if they won out and the Memphi ...

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