In the world of gambling, odds rule. They determine that which is most important: how much paper you win if you get lucky.
Certain events and games are less risky than others to put your hard earned cash on the line. Poker is a game that, if you know how to play, you have a very good chance of winning.
Similarly, in sports, if you really know your stuff you will have a good success rate, betting on individual games or award winners etc.
It is teams like the Houston Rockets who turn reason-based betting upside down, making the majority of gamblers pull their hair out. Many have been ushered onto the road to insanity by Rick Adelman and co.
Nobody gave them a prayer in game 4 of their Conference Semi Final match up with the LA Lakers.
Despite home court advantage, the Rockets were playing with the knowledge that their All Star Center, Yao Ming, would miss the rest of the post-season.
The hairline fracture in his foot that he suffered during LA’s game 3 victory has confined Yao to the bench and effectively thrown out any chance of Houston progressing to the Conference Finals. Yeah…
There is some strange magical force working deep in Texas which keeps the Rockets winning when the entire world has written them off.
They shouldn’t have gotten past the first round. Teams do not lose All Star players like Tracy McGrady and then actually play better. What sort of warped mindset is that?
It’s kind of like George Bush declaring his candidacy for the Presidency again. And winning.
As if McGrady’s absence wasn’t enough, Yao goes down with an injury and the Lakers must have been rubbing their collective hands with glee.
But game 4 came along and the Rockets won. Minus their two best players. Oh, and they are also without Dikembe Mutombo, there only real back up big man.
Let’s recap. No presence in the paint? Check. No All-Star scorer on the perimeter? Check. Tied series against the best team out West? Check.
If any GMs around the League are watching, this is what you call a team. Look it up. There is not a franchise in the League that could survive the absence of TWO All Star players and still win games of this magnitude.
Imagine the Lakers without Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. Uh, no.
Imagine the Celtics without Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Uh, no.
How about the Denver Nuggets minus Chauncey Billups and Carmelo Anthony. Definitely not.
Dallas without Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd. Portland with no Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. Phoenix with no Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.
The same goes for every other team in the NBA. Except for the Rockets who quite simply defy all logic.
The Boston Celtics might champion their ‘Ubuntu’ team philosophy, but there is truly only one franchise that represents ‘The Team’.
The Houston Rockets.