OK, we got good news and bad news.
The bad? The Rockets have lost 5 straight and are now 16 games below .500.
The good? Hey, the prospects are bright over at Lottery Race 2000.
The now 24-40 Rockets dropped their fifth straight game Thursday as Ray Allen scored 28 points to lead a second half resurgence for the Bucks, who won 106-96 in the Bradley Center.
Allen also added 7 assists and 6 boards. Sam Cassell knocked down 22 points and Glenn "Medium-sized Dog" Robinson scored 19.
Steve Francis, who before the game said he was going to "light up" Retro Rock Sammy, basically cancelled out Cassell's contributions. Francis also scored 22 points, handed out 6 assists (Cassell: 7) and grabbed 3 boards (Cassell: 2). He did hit 4-9 from long range and turned it over just twice (Cassell: 5 times).
All in all though, probably should have kept his mouth shut given the numbers... but got to love the kid's fire.
Cuttino Mobley, playing his first game as a "daddy", scored 20 points and grabbed 5 boards. Mobley was 2-9 from 2-point territory and 3-4 stroking the ball from Candy Land. Go figure.
Walt Williams, starting in place of the injured Kenny Thomas, scored 19 points, grabbed 6 boards and dished 3 assists, but shot just 6-18 from the field.
That seemed to be the Rockets' problem most of the night: shooting. The team shot under 42% from the field while the Bucks tickled the twines at an over 55% clip.
Starting out hot was Moochie Norris, who hit his first 4 shots and finished with 11 points. Unfortunately he missed his last 5.
Carlos Rogers added 8 points and 6 boards while Shandon Anderson chipped in 7. Hakeem Olajuwon had another off night, playing a grand total of 16 minutes for 4 points and 2 boards. Kelvin Cato, backing up Dream, added 5 points, 7 boards and a pair of blocks.
In the second quarter the Rockets picked it up, leading by as much as 11 points (45-34). The Bucks cut it to 48-40 at half.
In the second half however the Bucks exploded offensively, scoring 66 points and outscoring Houston by 18. In the fourth quarter the Bucks shot something like 80%. Offensive execution for the Rockets in the second half wasn't good -- and that's being kind.
You can see progress in the Rockets players and you can look at guys like Francis, Mobley and Anderson and know they're just going to get better and better, but right now we're just .... well, we're just not good. That's OK -- all part of the rebuilding process.
We believe this offseason is going to be a big step in shaping this team's future.
But for now... losses are happenin' at Lottery Race 2000