Rockets 119, Knicks 97 - Overshadowed by Glory

The Houston Rockets had one of their best games of the young NBA season in their total rout of the New York Knicks, and it wasn't even close to the most important event of the night for most Rockets fans. It wouldn't be fair to the momentousness of tonight's occasion to ignore the elephant in the room. The Rockets' spiritual sibling and fellow Houston sports team, the Houston Astros, clinched game 7 of the World Series to become world champions. For the first time in franchise history, the Houston Astros are the champions. The city celebrates their first big four sports championship since the Rockets repeated in 1995, over twenty years ago. There's only room for celebration tonight for fans of Houston sports.

James Harden led the way with 31 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds and the Rockets steamrolled a truly inferior team. The Knicks stayed close in the first half, but the Rockets came alive in the second half and asserted their superiority to the tune of a 29-point lead before garbage time began at the start of the fourth quarter. Head coach Mike D'antoni had to sub in his starters for a few minutes in the fourth when the lead shrank to 19, quickly re-cementing the deficit. The Rockets come out of this with a huge win, one game closer to Chris Paul's return, and D'antoni even said that he thinks Chris will return in a couple weeks. It was a fantastic evening for the Rockets by any accounting.

It was nowhere near as good as what happened across the country in Los Angeles.

In a destiny somehow predicted by Sports Illustrated years ago, the Houston Astros clinched their first ever World Series win with a wire to wire victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is a Rockets blog, but there's no way this can be left by the wayside. The Astros have lent credence to analytics, forward thinking and self-actualization just as much as the Houston Rockets. Their victory is a victory for the Rockets, and their shared ethos. Their victory is a victory for the city of Houston, recently underwater but never cowed, always strong. Their victory is well-earned and much deserved.

The Astros give us a shining example of the power of advanced metrics, coherent goals, and organizational competence. They won by standing on the same bedrock as the Rockets. Now, the Rockets will try to do their part, as well. After the parties, the champagne, the masses of joyous fans in the streets, the Astros will remain MLB Champions, and the Rockets will continue their battle to prove that their brand of analytics works. It may be too much to ask for one town, but the Rockets can do nothing but ask for another championship, this time in June.  We celebrate the victory of the Astros while we celebrate a smaller win for the Rockets. We hope for the moon and stars, and tonight it seems like those all got just a little closer to our reach.

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