The Rockets win was no fluke -- in fact, it was a triumph of intention. That leads today's SN column, and it is an homage to Rockets GM Daryl Morey.
The "Moneyball" stuff is not about stats -- it is about recognizing undervalued assets and market inefficiencies.
It is the same theories that allowed Morey to draft Aaron Brooks 26th (a 6-foot, 160-pound, shoot-first PG who allowed them to trade incumbent starting PG Rafer Alston); to swindle Luis Scola from the Spurs; to trade for consummate glue guy Shane Battier; to "take a chance" (myth) on Ron Artest; and to pull undrafted Chuck Hayes from the D-League into last night's starring role as Yao's replacement... all 6-foot-6 of him at center.
Put it all together, and you have the complementary parts that -- without Yao (or T-Mac) -- obliterated the presumptive favorites for the NBA championship. What's not to admire about that? It's easy to build around a superstar -- try building a winner around nothing. (Well, nothing except fantastic analysis and scouting.)
This win was the culmination of a multi-year project by Morey to take advantage of NBA inefficiencies. Can the Rockets win 2 of 3 against the Lakers, including 2 games in L.A.? The Lakers won't be surprised next time, but at least at this point, the Lakers have to stop the Rockets, not the other way around.
*Amazing parody video about the egregiously bad call in the Mavs game from Saturday.
*Big Baby as the hero? This is why the Celtics will get crushed by the Cavs.
*Papelbon mows down the Rays' chances last night.
*And a ton more.
Speaking of the Mavs officiating, how is it that the ref who blew the call on Derek Fisher vs. the Spurs was reffing in the playoffs again? I'm sure Mark Cuban is asking the same question.
Complete SN column here. More later.