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0.9 seconds to heartbreak.

“It’s over.”

“I cannot believe it was all over.” 

“Just like that, I’m screwed!”

In that kind of fashion, and way too early than I thought it would and I was not there to see it all. I was away from the buzz of the metropolis. I went to a place with no television screens and computers. All I had, was my phone and went browsing using the mobile internet out of insistence that I cannot miss this game no matter where I am. For after all, the season was on the line. A win would send this series to a 7th game, a loss would send my team home for the early offseason.

I did not saw the shot. As I saw each time I reload the NBA Game Time App just to see the score change every time. When it all mattered, 0.9 seconds was all it took from watching my team play a Game 7 today to right now with compelling thoughts on what just happened to my team.

In 0.9 seconds, it was all over. The 2013-14 Houston Rockets season is nothing but history. I did not see what happened afterwards at the Moda Center on the TV screen. I did not  saw the euphoric Portland crowd erupt with joy happiness as their Trail Blazers moved on to the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2000. 14 years of heartbreak for them finally ended. I did not saw the words their hero said to one of our guys after the game. I did not saw the whole team get down on their knees in sadness amidst the celebrations. Just like that, I’m a screwed fan.

I saw two scenes on social media, after the game. I kept the lines open even with the loss. Amidst the sadness I was experiencing as a fan.

On one side, people celebrating the Blazers win in that kind of fashion and saying the name of the hero who propelled the team into the second round. People who were glad and ecstatic to see the Rockets season come to an end all for different reasons. Like seeing a guy on the team fall short on the playoffs after his controversial move or the thought they do not like the team in the first place. Some would go out and post/tag me on my wall about what happened like my team got owned/upset, videos of other Rockets fan reactions on the loss and pictures of the game.  

I would not bother myself watching these things. But, I’ll keep it on my wall. Because someday it has it’s purpose. There is a good reason for me to keep it.

Then on the other side, were those who supported the team. The Red Nation! The people who were passionate about the team. Some of them, which I met in the last playoffs that have been fans of the team longer than I am. It was a mutual feeling throughout. Everyone was shocked and saddened with those 0.9 seconds that ended the season for the team we all love and die to root for. None of us thought our season will be ending early. Unfortunately, the basketball gods gave us the heartbreaking truth of not having to witness our team play forward for the season. But without them, I would be all alone in the healing process from this heartbreak. Something I have experienced for most of my years as a fan of the team.

We are all entitled to our own opinions and which teams to root for. You can root for a team that has a documented history and lore. You can root for a team because your favorite player is playing for it. You can root for a team for a lot of other reasons. We have our teams to root for with every season or for the long-term. Sometimes, that passion can lead us to crossing the line on those we trample with whenever our team wins against another team.

It just so happened in my case, I chose a team that did not have a large following in this country. Even with the player changes, the following was growing slowly but still smaller than other followings. I can count my fingers on my friends here who are as passionate to the team as I am. It was a weird feeling when I watched the team play in October last year for the pre-season. The crowd at hand was jeering one guy of the team, while they’re cheering the other guy who was his teammate. I had a thought, how many of these people in attendance were die-hard fans like me? I’m sure most of them came just to be a part of history. To be witness to the first NBA-sanctioned game in the Philippines. I’m sure most of them want another team playing. A team that has a huge following in this country. I can’t blame them for it for we know that this country is more passionate about this sport than any other place on the planet (take Lithuania with us also).

Now, if someone asks me “Are you gonna watch the rest of the Playoffs?”. Well, I will do my own best to keep updated with what’s happening. One thing is for sure though. I would not root for any other team still playing in this playoffs. I could care less, if one team gets the three-peat, or another team getting back on top of the mountain after a bitter loss last season, or another team driven by not just a city but an entire state to their first professional title, or a team whom we least expect to win it all shock the world and pull off a magical run. It’s going to be tough for me to watch a game from here on out until the season comes to an end with the NBA Finals next month.

Just like that, the “our” season is over. The most compelling season I have witnessed in my 12 years as a member of Red Nation is nothing but over. The team admitted on their page that they fell short of the fan base expectations. What most of us who believed, thought would be the rise of the team would turn out to be the collapse of biblical proportions. No one saw we’d go down in Round 1 of the playoffs. Yet we did in a fashion no one saw coming.

Even with all the heartbreak and sorrow, I’m still proud of what I stand for. I will always believe in the team that I have passionately rooted for more than half of my life so far. There will be journeys ahead with this team. Time will eventually heal all the wounds and heartbreaks I am having right now. I have learned a lot of things with every year that passed. I went through good times and experienced plenty of heartbreaks along the way.

It will be a long and cold wait until the next season begins. But, I always believe that one day, this team will raise the championship and I along with everyone in Red Nation will be witness to it.

Regardless, of what the people around me say. And the fact I’m 13,744 km (8,540 mi) away from Houston. My blood is RED, and I’m a member of Red Nation for Life from the Philippines!

Thank You for another season Houston Rockets!
K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog: Spurs secure top seed out West with win over the Trail Blazers at home 124-89. 76ers secure final playoff berth out East with win over the Nets in their final game in New Jersey 105-87.

Tim Duncan gets the rebound.
Photo ©NBA/Spurs.com

The San Antonio Spurs lock up the top seed in the Western Conference for the 2nd consecutive  year with a victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the AT&T Center 124-89. The Spurs improve to 48-16 with a 2 game advantage over the #2 seed Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Trail Blazers drop to 28-37 in 11th place out West.

The Spurs were led by Tim Duncan and Danny Green with both scoring 18 points each. Duncan also added 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Tony Parker added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal both off the bench each scored 12 points. Jackson added 5 steals and 2 blocks. James Anderson scored 11.

The Trail Blazers were led by Wesley Matthews with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. J.J. Hickson finished with a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds with 2 blocks. Raymond Felton added 13 points, 7 assists and 2 steals. Rookie Nolan Smith off the bench added 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
Jrue Holday shoots over Sundiata Gaines
Photo ©NBA/Sixers.com
The Philadelphia 76ers secure the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a victory over the New Jersey Nets who played their final game in New Jersey after 35 seasons at the Prudential Center as the Nets will move to Brooklyn, New York starting next season 105-87. With the win, the 76ers improve to 34-30 with a 3 game advantage over the Milwaukee Bucks whom with the 76ers win have been knocked out of playoff contention. While the Nets drop to 22-43 in 11th place out East.
The 76ers were led by Elton Brand, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young with each scoring 15 points. Brand added 6 rebounds and 4 blocks. Holiday added 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Andre Iguodala added 14 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Evan Turner added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists off the bench. Lou Williams scored 11.
The Nets were led by rookie MarShon Brooks with 18 points, 4 assists and 2 steals. Kris Humphries finished with a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds. Gerald Wallace added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Johan Petro and Armon Johnson off the bench each scored 10.

In Washington, DC, the Washington Wizards defeat the Charlotte Bobcats who have now lost their 21st consecutive game at the Verizon Center 101-73. Nene off the bench led the Wizards with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 blocks. John Wall finished with a double-double 16 points and 14 assists with 5 rebounds. Rookie Jan Vesely also scored 16 points with 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Kevin Seraphin added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 19 points and 5 rebounds. D.J. Augustin added 15 points and 6 assists.
In Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers pick up the win in a Central Division showdown over the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 103-97. The Pacers who played without their stars Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert were led by Paul George with a double-double 27 points and 10 rebounds with 3 steals. David West added 20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Leandro Barbosa and Tyler Hansbrough both off the bench each scored 13. Barbosa also added 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Hansbrough added 8 rebounds. Jeff Pendergraph added 10 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Greg Monroe led the Pistons with a double-double 18 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Brandon Knight scored 16. Tayshaun Prince scored 14. Charlie Villanueva off the bench scored 13. Austin Daye scored 11. Jason Maxiell added 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
In Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Bucks get the win over the Toronto Raptors at the Bradley Centeer 92-86. However, with the 76ers winning their game against the Nets in Newark. The Bucks have been knocked out of playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 25 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Ersan Ilyasova finished with a double-double 19 points and 15 rebounds. Monta Ellis added 17 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists with 4 steals. Ekpe Udoh added 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks off the bench. Mike Dunleavy Jr. added 10 points and 7 rebounds.
In Memphis, the Memphis Grizzlies win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the FedExForum 109-101. Marreese Speights led the Grizzlies with a double-double 17 points and 10 rebounds. Marc Gasol also scored 17 points with 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. Rudy Gay added 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. O.J. Mayo added 14 points and 5 assists off the bench. Tony Allen added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 8 steals. Mike Conley scored 12. Rookie Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 25 points and 3 steals. Antawn Jamison added 17 points and 9 rebounds. Another rookie Tristan Thompson added 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. Manny Harris off the bench scored 11.
STANDINGS AS OF 4/24/12 (12:16 PHT)
WEST:
1. Spurs (w) 48-16, 2. Thunder (nw) 46-18, 3. Lakers (x) 41-24, 4. Clippers (x) 40-24, 5. Grizzlies (x) 40-25, 6. Nuggets (x) 36-28, 7. Mavericks (x) 36-29, 8. Jazz 34-30, 9. Suns 33-31, 10. Rockets (o) 33-32, 11. Trail Blazers (o) 28-37, 12. Timberwolves (o) 26-39, 13. Warriors (o) 23-41, 14. Kings (o) 21-43, 15. Hornets (o) 20-44
EAST:
1. Bulls (c) 48-16, 2. Heat (se) 46-18, 3. Pacers (x) 42-23, 4. Celtics (a) 37-27, 5. Hawks (x) 38-26, 6. Magic (x) 36-28, 7. Knicks (x) 34-30, 8. 76ers (x) 34-30, 9. Bucks (o) 31-33, 10. Pistons (o) 24-41, 11. Nets (o) 22-43, 12. Raptors (o) 22-43, 13. Cavaliers (o) 21-43, 14. Wizards (o) 18-46, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-57
 
K-Smoove

NBA Daily Blog: Rockets beat the Blazers in Rip City 94-89.

 
 Marcus Camby takes a shot over LaMarcus Aldridge
 Photo ©NBA/Rockets.com
The Houston Rockets continue their road trip with another victory, this time against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden 94-89. The Rockets improve to 4-0 in their road trip as they maintain hold of the 6th seed at 32-25, 1 game ahead of the Mavericks and Nuggets, and 1.5 game behind the 5th seeded Grizzlies. The Trail Blazers drop to 27-31 and are 4.5 games behind the 8th seed.

Recently named Western Conference Player of the Week Goran Dragic led the Rockets with 22 points and 7 assists. Chase Budinger scored 15, Kyle Lowry scored 13. Luis Scola and Courtney Lee each scored 12. Former Blazer Marcus Camby added 9 points and 11 rebounds.

LaMarcus Aldrige led the Trail Blazers with 20 points. Jamal Crawford scored 18. Raymond Felton added 14 points and 8 assists. J.J. Hickson had a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds.
 

In Charlotte, the Washington Wizards take a blowout victory over the Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Cable Arena 113-85. 7 Washington players are in double figures led by Jordan Crawford with 20, Cartier Martin with 19, James Singleton with a double-double 18 points and 12 rebounds, Roger Mason Jr. with 17, Jan Veseley and Shelvin Mack with 11, and Kevin Seraphin with 10. John Wall dished out 12 assists. Corey Maggette led the Bocats with 23 points off the bench. Kemba Walker had 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists.


In Orlando, the Orlando Magic without their star Dwight Howard beat the Detroit Pistons in a blowout at the Amway Center 119-89. All Orlando starters finished in double figures with Jason Richardson leading the way with 22 points, J.J. Redick scored 20, Jameer Nelson added 18 points and 9 assists, Glen Davis had a double double 16 points and 16 rebounds, returning three-point marksman Ryan Anderson scored 14. Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Ben Gordon added 11.


In Indianapolis, the Indiana Pacers hold off the Toronto Raptors at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse 103-98. Danny Granger and Geroge Hill led the Pacers with each scoring 18 points. Paul George scored 15. Leandro Barbosa added 14. Linas Kleiza led the Raptors with 18 points off the bench. Rookie guard-forward Alan Anderson scored 17. Amir Johnson added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Jose Calderon dished out 14 assists.


In Milwaukee, the Oklahoma City Thunder cruise to a 20 point victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center 109-89. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 26 points and 7 rebounds. Kevin Durant added 19 points and 8 assists. James Harden scored 16. Thabo Sefolosha added 14 points and 7 steals. Serge Ibaka added 13 points and 5 blocks. Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 18 points. Drew Gooden scored 14 and Brandon Jennings added 13 points.


In Memphis, the Memphis Grizzlies knock off the Los Angeles Clippers at the FedExForum 94-85. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Rudy Gay added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo each scored 13. Marreese Speights added 12 points and 8 rebounds. Zach Randolph had a double-double 10 points and 12 rebounds. Chris Paul led the Clippers with 21 points. Blake Griffin added 19. DeAndre Jordan had a double-double 14 points and 14 rebounds (10 of them offensive rebounds).


In New Orleans, the Los Angeles Lakerswin a thriller against the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena 93-91. The Lakers were without Kobe Bryant as he misses his 2nd game in row with a shin injury. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Andrew Bynum with a double-double 18 points, and 11 rebounds. Ramon Sessions scored 17. Marco Belinelli and Carl Landry led the Hornets with each scoring 20 points. Greivis Vasquez had a double-double 18 points and 11 assists. Chris Kaman scored 16.


In Minneapolis, the Phoenix Suns win in a blowout against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center 114-90. Rookie Markieff Morris led the Suns with 21 points. Shannon Brown added 17 points and 7 rebounds. Steve Nash and Sebastian Telfair each scored 14. Michael Redd scored 13. Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with a double-double 25 points and 13 rebounds. J.J. Barea scored 16. Michael Beasley scored 12.


In Denver, the Denver Nuggets win by 39 points against the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center 123-84. Rookie forward Kenneth Faried led 7 Nuggets players in double figures with a season high and a double-double 27 points and 17 rebounds. Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari each scored 15. JaVale McGee and Corey Brewer each scored 13. Ty Lawson and Al Harrington each scored 10. Andre Miller dished out 12 assists. Rookie guard Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 17 points. Nate Robinson scored 16.


In Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz pulled an upset against the San Antonio Spurs at the EnergySolutions Arena 91-84. Devin Harris led the Jazz with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Paul Millsap had a double-double 18 points and 10 rebounds. Gordon Hayward scored 16. Al Jefferson also finished with a double-double 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Spurs who did not play their three stars Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were led by Tiago Splitter and Gary Neal who each scored 14 points. DeJuan Blair scored 13.


In other news, the Lamar Odom saga in Dallas has come to an end. The Mavericks and Odom who came to Dallas as the reigning Sixth Man of the Year have decided to part ways after the dismal stint with the Mavericks. Odom, just before the lockout last year, was brought to Dallas from the Los Angeles Lakers where he was part of two championships teams with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.


STANDINGS AS OF 4/10/12 (13:21 PHT)
WEST: 

1. Thunder (nw) 42-15, 2. Spurs (x) 40-15, 3. Lakers 36-22, 4. Clippers 34-23, 5. Grizzlies 33-23, 6. Rockets 32-25, 7. Mavericks 31-26, 8. Nuggets 31-26, 9. Suns 30-27, 10. Jazz 30-28, 11. Trail Blazers 27-31, 12. Timberwolves 25-33, 13. Warriors 22-34, 14. Kings (o) 19-38, 15. Hornets (o) 15-42
EAST:
1. Bulls (x) 43-14, 2. Heat (x) 40-15, 3. Pacers 35-22, 4. Celtics 32-24, 5. Hawks 34-23, 6. Magic 34-23, 7. Knicks 29-27, 8. 76ers 29-27, 9. Bucks 28-29, 10. Pistons 21-36, 11. Nets 21-37, 12. Raptors (o) 20-38, 13. Cavaliers 18-36, 14. Wizards (o) 13-44, 15. Bobcats (o) 7-48
K-Smoove