I’ll be honest about two things:
- I didn’t think the Rockets had any chance against the Thunder in this playoff series, and
- The last time I was into NBA basketball was in the late 80s/early 90s…
Since we’ve moved to the US, I’ve fallen in love with basketball again. It’s difficult not to when it really is the no.1 sport. People here grow up on basketball. It’s in their veins. It’s remarkable to watch.
When I was younger we’d watch the last night NBA games on Aussie TV and try mimic the moves of the great players of the Jordan, Bird, Magic era. I followed the San Antonio Spurs, as well as the Chicago Bulls (like everyone else). To us it was really superstardom. But it’s nothing compared to being in the US. Just walking around our neighbo(u)rhood you see mini hoops erected in many a backyard.
Living in Houston, I feel a responsibility to support the Rockets. I don’t really like their logo (although it could be worse), nor do I like the colours (red, white, silver (and yellow))1. but I gotta support my homies — especially in this playoff series.
My support for the Rockets deepened as the regular season progressed, to the point where I’d be apologetically checking my breakthrough internet communications device for scores during dinner with friends. In the latter games, the Rockets were desperately playing for one of the last spots in the playoffs, and doing so against a re-energised LA Lakers. If they failed the season was over.
But they made it.
Unfortunately they were paired up with Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, a best of seven series. I, along with many others I’m sure, didn’t give them much of a chance to do well against OKC. And true to prediction, they went down 0–3, with the fourth game potentially sealing their fate.
But they made it.
3–1 against OKC at home in Houston on Monday. I watched the game on telly. Never thought I’d see myself biting my nails at 11pm over a basketball game, yet there I was. The next game was in Oklahoma City, and despite the last encouraging performance, I thought they’d lose again OKC at home.
But last night, they made it. Again.
Post while the iron’s hot
I’m writing this post now, while the Rockets still have a chance to win this series. They need to win the last two games to best OKC 4–3 and advance to the next round. The next game is at home, and I’ll be checking in to the game from New Orleans electronically, if not at a bar watching on a big screen.
I’m pretty excited, and I’m starting to believe they can win the series. If they do, it will the first time in the history of the NBA a team has won a series from 0–3 down.
It’s time to break out my custom Rockets jersey3:
(tap to see the front side)
- These two are the two things which I loved — and still love — about The Spurs. ↩
- OKC were told by their coach to intentionally foul Ömer Aşık, and sent him to the free throw line because he’s Houston’s worst shooter from the line, hoping for missed shots, and defensive rebounds. ↩
- @bkpr on Instagram, @bkpr on Twitter, @bkpr on Last.fm. 4? Just my favourite number ;) ↩