WATERCOOLER CHAT: ROCKETS AND HORNETS ON FIRE

The Houston Rockets season has jumped off to a beautiful start.   In the off-season, they decided that they would be a title contender.  You must remember that they went on an electrifying 22 game winning streak last season.  So what could they do if they were fully healthy and added some star power.  Well, the Rockets wanted to find out, so they signed all-star Ron Artest to play the pivotal supporting role they were missing, and boy is it working out.  They beat the Memphis Grizzlies in their opener, but could they beat a tougher opponent in the Dallas Mavericks? The answer:  Yes.  And more importantly, their big man, Yao Ming, looks amazing.  He’s playing with real grit, and had 30 points and 13 rebounds against the Mavs.  Dirk Nowitski put in the 36 points for the Mavericks, but many experts predict that this will be the year that Mavericks slip, and are unable to compete for a title.  Either way, Houston looks like they plan to be a big force come playoff time.  Houston 112, Dallas 102.

Another team on fire in the West:  The New Orleans Hornets.  They took on the Suns, and it was a symbolic game considering that many feel that the Suns’ Steve Nash is no longer the best point-guard in the league.  That title belongs to Hornets point-guard, Chris Paul.  The Hornets are a beautiful cohesive unit to watch, and they added veteran (and former Celtic champion from last season) James Posey to the mix.  And he looks great. He stepped in for Peja Stojakovic, and hit 3 three-pointers in the 4th quarter.  They’re going to need his help come playoff time.  New Orleans 108, Phoenix 95.

And finally, the Lakers have agreed to a 4 year deal with their big man, Andrew Bynum.  The Lakers drafted Bynum 3 years ago to fill the void left by Shaq in the middle.  They drafted him right out of High School, and a lot of Laker fans weren’t comfortable drafting a “work-in-progress” when Kobe was in his prime and trying to win a championship.  Kobe even said, in that famous Internet video, that they should ‘ship Andrew Bynum outta here for Jason Kidd’.  Well, Kidd isn’t playing so well over in Dallas, and Bynum looks fantastic.  With Bynum and Pau Gasol down low, the Lakers are extremely intimidating.  And remember that the Lakers were without Bynum for the playoffs last year.  This season… things will be different.  Looks like Kobe was 100% wrong about Bynum.  But hey, nobody’s perfect.

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