the Rockets were too bad, then they got too good
Off-peak times oblige, TrashTalk has taken the habit each summer of making you relive with emotion the greatest moments of the past season. Even in 2021, moreover, despite a summer that had then put all of our vital forces in PLS, but that’s another story. So we go back to our good old formula, we take a few steps back, a few months, and we remember that this 2021-22 season was crazy, from the first day to the last. Today ? We remember that the Rockets became the best team in the League for two weeks.
It’s November 23, 2021, and after a big month in the regular season the Houston Rockets look more like a tasteless joke than an NBA franchise. Jalen Green is struggling to find his place, John Wall pumps 80% of Texas GDP and Stephen Silas – almost rookie coach of this young team – is on the verge of reorienting himself towards shelving at Auchan. In effect, his team has just lost a… fifteenth match in a row and validated, oh so rare, an entire month of competition without the slightest victory. The record of the Rockets that evening, after this logical defeat against the Celtics? A victory (against the Thunder at the very beginning of the season) and sixteen defeats. Ok the objective remains the Draft, but there are limits to shame and they are about to be exceeded. The worst part of it all? It is that the upcoming calendar leaves little doubt at this time: the Texas franchise will continue its descent into hell and fetch us historic records of nullity. End of chapter 1, because you know, in the NBA nothing ever happens as we would have imagined.
November 25, 48 hours later therefore, and it is against Chicago that the series of shame must continue. Opposite the Bulls are one of the surprise teams at the start of the season, Lonzo Ball has become a real sniper, Alex Caruso is close to the Hall Of Fame and Nikola Vucevic is back in shape, among others. Rather good news against a Texas franchise that has made second-class players its leaders and whose future franchise player – Jalen Green – had to come out injured in the first half, but who knows? then (we don’t say it at all). The game ? A match among many others, nothing really crazy we mean, but a match that will – finally – show us that these Rockets have heart. Danuel House Jr. plays the firefighters on duty in the second half, Garrison Matthews takes the shots at the right time, and the almost full Toyota Center (how is that possible?) will therefore experience an incredible event that evening: a victoire. The hchouma for the Bulls, the big party in Houston, the world does not stop turning but we breathe very hard on the Rockets side, after 31 days of scarcity all the same. End of chapter 2, no one is ready for the rest.
Jump made two weeks later, and after this victory as rare as it is miraculous against the Bulls, the Rockets have just chained… six consecutive victories? Eh ? Yes, six straight wins. The Hornets fell after an incredible marathon, the Thunder were defeated twice and regained the coveted place of worst team in the League, the Magic and the Pelicans also went to the Texas mill. On this November 8, the planet basketball has its eyes riveted on a certain Stephen C. who has planned to become that evening the most productive sniper in history, but it is this rascal Stephen S. who will also help yourself to the buffet. Stephen S. like Stephen Silas, coach whose methods are no longer questioned, and for good reason because the evening match against Brooklyn will be synonymous with… seventh consecutive victory. The Rockets is Nadal at Roland, the Rockets is Schumi in the 2000s, the Rockets is the Galactics, and if ever in history a team had in the same season lost fifteen games in a row before winning seven consecutively, the Rockets have pushed the vice by linking the two series squarely. The icing on the cake is the former idol turned enemy James Harden who will take the sauce that evening, extinguished in particular by a duo from elsewhere for Houston. Josh Christopher, absolutely perfect and sexy as fu*k on the evening of his twenties, and Garrison Matthews, a kind of tattooed sniper diving on everything that moves in defense and transforming into attack everything he touches into gold.
The sweet life will end two days later against the Bucks, the Rockets will follow very quickly with a 1-11 and even a 1-15 at the end of winter, before punctuating their season with seven consecutive defeats. A “series” team, some would say, a completely WTF season, we would prefer to say. NBA, where amazing happens.