(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

It’s 8:05 AM and LaMarcus Aldridge is still scoring on the Rockets.

It’s 8:06 AM and Chicago Bulls fans are having to run back to the 2006 NBA Draft and yell at their television screens not to trade the #2 overall pick to Tyrus Thomas.

It’s 8:07 AM and New York Knick fans are still wondering how the slander can revolve back to them seeing that the Aldridge pick in 2006 originally belonged to them but they dealt it away to acquire Eddy Curry the year prior.

It’s 8:08 AM and Kevin McHale still hasn’t figured out a game plan where Aldridge, a 6’11 beast who has turned every Rockets defensive setting that already seemed like it was at starter down to rec league can be seemingly made human. This wasn’t supposed to be the surprising series of the opening round of the playoffs, that distincting was to belong to Washington and Chicago. However, the Wiz Kids are proving that as a team, you can take down another squad incapable of putting up big numbers. The Blazers? Proving that a one man army can destroy a team’s psyche a jumper at a time.

It’s 8:09 AM and James Harden, thought to be a superstar for the entire season due to earned pedigree and clutch shot making, keeps forgetting that his assignment is Wesley Matthews. He’s also failed to realize that Fran Blinebury, one of the more esteemed basketball writers on the planet has been covering the sport longer than he’s been alive and is correct is questioning while an All-NBA guard, the “best two guard in the league” according to most experts is shooting 28% from the field.

It’s 8:10 AM and Dwight Howard, who used Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series as a sign that all of the moves and footwork he picked up at Hakeem Olajuwon’s Summer Fantasy Camp For Big Men worked, acted like he was the only Rocket star who gave a damn. His game (32-14-4 blocks), as big as it was for the second consecutive contest, couldn’t shroud Harden’s ineffectiveness. Also Olajuwon could be quoted courtside after Dwight’s 19-point first quarter saying, “Price of the brick goin’ up.”

It’s 8:11 AM and Damian Lillard is proving the argument that staying in school for four years to become an unflappable scoring guard in this league right. Lillard, for as much grief as he may be given for his shot selection, stepped up when Aldridge hit the bench and ice grills everything in his way, including Patrick Beverly tackling him before a foul.

It’s 8:12 AM and Rockets fans feel like they’re looking at a horror show. There are memories starting to flood in, of prior NBA seasons where everything seemed aligned for them to do something deep – reach the penultimate perch to a title, a step they haven’t slipped and fell from since 1997 where their “win now” manifesto included aging veterans.

It’s 8:13 AM and LaMarcus Aldridge’s shooting chart still looks like it couldn’t be believed. I mean look at it.


Wait, sorry – that’s the sort of correct one. Here’s the real one.


There’s shots from Third Ward, East Downtown, South Park and any neighborhood in Houston that could be more than a 30 minute drive from Toyota Center. He may not have openly told us that he was the best power forward in the league, an abuser of the low block that has toyed with Rockets defenders from Terrence Jones to Omer Asik for two games but he’s announcing it with every made shot.

It’s 8:14 AM and the growing concern for the Rockets woes, those gaps which fans all season have noticed and hoped held together like duct tape on an ark for at leas the first round are showing. “Could we even win a game?” they’re asking themselves. “Do we blame YG, the Bloods, the Mohawks, any sort of symbol that much like those damn Letterman jackets and that Pacers self-sabotaging R&B photo is a metaphor for this implosion? Why is Kevin McHale Sway to the answers? Why are we Sway to the answers? Wait, do we even know Sway to even say that?”

It’s 8:15 AM and immediately all signs point towards a massacre in Game 3, in the Rose Garden but as these first 16 playoff basketball games have shown us, false confidence may be the biggest façade running.

It’s 8:16 AM and I feel like a zombie for even watching 16 consecutive basketball games – with a possible 89 more on the horizon. This is playoff basketball, a 40 day and 40 night odyssey I surely thought I could be prepared for but obviously not.

It’s 8:17 AM and my head is Sway to the answers about the Rockets season and all I can hear is “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”