By Seth Payne

[Editor’s Note: Seth Payne (Mad Radio 10a-2p Mon-Fri) takes notes while he watches every Rockets games.  These are his thoughts, his ideas and his brain written on paper, typed on a phone and e-mailed to us to share with you. Enjoy.]

Pre-game — Spurs are mopping the floor with the Heat, and Kevin McHale is in studio with the Inside the NBA crew.

• Oh boy, the Spurs 7’3” big man Marjonovic is at the line. I hope Mike Meltser’s not watching. He’s terrified of Marjonovic. I need him well rested tomorrow, and the haunting image of that big goon will mess up Mike’s REM’s.
• Kevin McHale’s firing sounds like a mob hit. Walked into a room with people he thought were his friends, and then, BAM
• The March Madness commercial where Charles Barkley sings and fakes playing piano–I don’t sound that bad when I sing on-air, do I? A little bit of bad singing is funny, but not when it’s that bad and it lasts that long. I promise I’ll stop if I sound that bad.
• Random thought: I wonder how Mike Meltser would be on The Bachelor. Bear with me, here. He is brilliantly blunt in breaking up with women. He drops women the way Bill O’Brien cuts players–brutal honesty. I’d watch.

First Quarter

• Okay, here we go! Now’s as good a time as any to turn this season arouuunnnnd.
• Kevin Harlan and Brent Barry have the call. Brent Barry starts off with some metaphor about how the rest of the league is waiting for the Warriors to take their foot off the gas, but they’re driving an electric car, and they’re not looking in the rear view mirror. That doesn’t make any sense at all. The electric car will die in 2 hours. He should have said a diesel or a hybrid. He continues the car analogy with the Houston Rockets, but by now he’s lost all car analogy credibility.
• Bogut with a floater. I had a floater that looked like Bogut last week. I’ve really been upping the fiber.
• Harden steals, Brewer scores! Here we go!
• Curry hits a 3 and a layup. Here we go. Warriors 9-2 with nine minutes and infinity seconds remaining.
• Sideline reporter says something about keeping their foot on the gas. I guess it was Curry that started the gas pedal talk. Some regular Hemingways up in here.
• Bogut with a tip-in and some other solid plays early on. If Trump makes xenophobic comments about Australians, he’s got my vote.
• Bogut knocks the ball out of Dwight’s hands, sparks a Curry drive on Harden. The great thing about banning Australians is that you don’t even have to build a wall, which is cost effective because Bogut would require an extra big wall.
• The pace is increasing, Rockets pull within one, but Warriors stretch it to 15-12 and JBB takes a timeout.
• Commercial. Steph Curry sucks at speaking Chinese and also at giving toasts. Harumpf.
• Josh Smith with a missed Josh Smith (that’s what I call long 2’s)
• Dwight gets called for travelling, cuz refs can’t even comprehend a big man Euro step.
• Steph Curry hits a flurry of 3’s. I wonder if they saw that on the scouting report.
• Out of nowhere, great ball movement by the Rockets when they’re down by 12, and Dwight gets an easy dunk after everybody vacates the paint. That was pretty. I can’t wait to see it again sometime after the All-Sstar break.
• It’s still weird to hear “interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff”.
• Steph Curry hits a three over Clint Capella. My goodness. Curry hit that shot with all of mainland Switzerland in his face.
• Steph Curry had 19 points in the first quarter. He missed one shot.

Second Quarter

• In the sideline interview, JBB suggests that one key to stopping Steph Curry is “you gotta know where he is”. Oh what the bloody hell?
• Who is this young rapper in the Westbrook commercial? I like that kid. He’s not like Kanye, trying to tear down our basketball legends.
• Steve Kerr says there’s never a day where these guys come in and don’t compete. I wonder what JBB would say about the Rockets. There’s never a two-week period in which they don’t make a couple stabs at it?
• Rockets down, 50-36 with 8:09 remaining. James Harden checks in. He hasn’t scored yet.
• All-Star game mention. It’s in Toronto this year. I don’t want to hear any more bellyaching from NFL writers about cold weather Super Bowls. NBA deals with it all the time. Plus, this year Toronto’s gonna have to deal with not just the All-Star commotion, but the influx Democrats checking out their potential future home.
• Dwight in the post. Why are you dribbling? Stop dribbling. Dwight loses the ball.
• Harden knocks in a few threes to pull within 7.
• Draymond Green fouls Beverly. Let me revise that–Draymond Green called for a foul. Horrible call. Bev hits a FT to make it 58-52
• Bogut looks like a lumberjack, but not the good kind. He looks like the dopey lumberjack that cuts off his own toes and cries uncontrollably the entire ambulance ride. No matter how many times the paramedic tells him he’s not gonna die, Bogut refuses to believe it. You’ll never be my lumberjack, Andy Bogut.
• Hack-a-Dwight begins. I think every NBA broadcast should go to JVG via satellite when the hacking begins. He’s the only one that brings fresh energy and perspective every time he’s disgusted by hacking.
• Warriors miss 11 of their last 13 shots. Rockets pull within three at the end of the half.


• McHale points out several instances of the Rockets losing track of Curry or giving him too much space. Shows Harden with his head turned. Then Steph hits a long 3 and Kevin calls it a blindfolded with a cigarette in your mouth type of shot.
• They’re not egging McHale on to trash the Rockets, so I’m guessing a conversation was had beforehand. I’m intrigued that they’re not debating analytics at all. Is it because McHale would thrash Barkley? That’s how I will choose to see it.

Third Quarter
• Brent Barry points out that Houston doesn’t box out much. What am I gonna get angry? It’s true. The Rockets watch the ball in the air like they’re adorable YouTube kittens.
• Wait a minute, Brewer hit a three to take a 71-69 lead. Then Ariza hit a 3 to make it 74-69. Warriors timeout.
• Draymond Green takes a hand to the face, gets pissy about it, gives Dwight a mini-shove, ANNNND, Dwight does nothing! Good job, Dwight! (Positive reinforcement works better than negative, Mike)
• Luke Walton is much better looking than his father. Bill Walton looks like a character from Doonsbury, while Luke looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch big and tall model. His mom must be pretty hot. Note to self: “Google Bill Walton’s wife” during commercial.
• Steph Curry with a brilliant drive to make it 74-73, Rockets. He’s the only Warrior to score in the last 12 ½ minutes. The Rockets strategy of praying to several gods that the Warriors go cold seems to be working.
• Bogut draws a charge on Dwight. Dwight isn’t happy, but he’s not melting down. There you go, big fellah. Steaaddyy as she goes. He waits until the next possesssion to calmly have a chat with the official
• Ariza hits a three to take a 4 point lead with 5 minutes left i the third
• Golden state hits the Rockets with a 3 punch combo, with Curry delivering a behind the back pass while running at full speed, and it sets oracle Arena off. Warriors 83-81 with 4 minutes left
• Harden draws a foul. He’s much leaner than he was in November. You can see his shoulder muscles. In November it looked like he was wearing a flesh colored wool sweater.
• After 7 lead changes, the third quarter ends tied up at 93-all! Houston, we haz basketball! Harden with 27, Curry with 35
• I googled Bill Walton’s wife. That’s definitely not Luke’s mom. Too young. Kudos to Bill for keeping up with a younger woman despite decades of veganism and what I assume is a heavy marijuana habit. His first wife, the mother of his children, was Susan Guth. There are a surprising number of Susan Guths on the internet, but none of them are the one I am looking for.

Fourth Quarter
• Warriors open the quarter with a couple 3’s, and they’re up 6
• I still can’t find Susan Guth. Bogut fouls Dwight. FU Bogut.
• Shaun Livingston bears a weird resemblance to Nick Wright. Not in facial features, but in body type and the way his head sits on his neck like a Pez dispenser.
• Warriors are really picking up their defense in the paint.
• Iguodola called for a BS travel. But the refs are out to get the Rockets, right? Is that what I’m supposed to say? SCREW THAT! This is where you come for REAL ROCKETS TALK, BABY!!!!
• Goldens State on an 18-3 run. It’s 108-96 Warriors.
• The Rockets aren’t gonna win this game, but the Harden-Capela pick and roll brings me joy. Gotta live in the moment for now. It’s like laying on your back and staring at the sky, appreciating the beauty of the clouds as a steam roller slowly rolls over your shin bones.
• Steph Curry wears his towel over his head like his best bud, Cam. That’s cute. Curry would have gone for the fumble, and he’s got a history of ankle problems. You know what Cam needs? USA Basketball. Spend some time around those dudes and Coach K, and he’ll come back the picture of stability.
• I’ll credit the Rockets for looking sharper on defense after the first quarter, and playing with good energy throughout. They rose to the occasion, but like almost every other team in the NBA this year, they’re fighting up a weight class when they face the Warriors. This is where we are as Rockets fans this season, rationalizing a way to be happy with scraps.
• If any of you know Susan Guth, please tell her I’m looking for her in a non-stalky type of way.


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