Houston Rockets: A protest is admirable but should take loss and move on

Houston Rockets guard James Harden and head coach Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden and head coach Mike D'Antoni (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets are considering protesting the outcome of last night’s game against the Spurs with a crazy sequence of events. What’s the latest?

The Houston Rockets are right in the thick of things in the Western Conference as the season transitions to the month of December.  The team is off to a solid start, despite my misgivings of how quickly the chemistry between James Harden and Russell Westbrook would work.

The rapport has quickly come together and it’s apparent that both are working hard to be great without stepping on each other’s toes.  Russ and Beard are friends so you’re not going to see the multitude of conflict that you saw between Harden and Chris Paul during his short tenure with the Houston Rockets.

The Houston Rockets are 13-7 and have the fifth-best record in the West which is definitely nothing to sneeze at and I still feel that they will make a considerable run in the postseason but it remains to be seen how far they will go with this team.  But at least they have been fun to watch most of the time.

Speaking of the Houston Rockets‘ record, their 7th loss is currently being challenged by their brass for the outcome of a double-overtime thriller that took place at the AT&T Center last night against the San Antonio Spurs.

Although it wasn’t pretty for a lot of the game, things got captivating when the Spurs climb themselves back into the game to push the Houston Rockets to the brink of a loss.

Nonetheless, there’s controversy in the ranks.  According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Houston Rockets are challenging the call of James Harden’s breakaway dunk with 7:50 left to play in the 4th quarter.

The call was ruled as a missed basket as the Houston Rockets were already up 104-89 at that point in the game.  Mike D’Antoni requested twice that the play to be challenged but the referees wouldn’t allow him to do it because he didn’t request it in a timely manner.

However, one can clearly see that it was something he wanted; and after the 30-second window expired, he was denied the request.

James Capers, part of the officiating crew, went on the record in his report that D’Antoni missed the window.  But when you look at the game film at that moment, D’Antoni’s actions are on the contrary. 

We know D’Antoni like the back of our hands as far as his style of coaching and we damn well know that he NEVER misses an opportunity to argue/challenge an unjust call.  The fact that he wasn’t allowed to challenge it is a travesty and the Houston Rockets have a right to express their overtures to the league.

MacMahon also reported that the Houston Rockets want to either have the final 7:50 of the game replayed or for the NBA to award the team the win.  If the league doesn’t take action, they have threatened to file a protest to last night’s outcome.

As you know, the Spurs came back from 15 points down to tie the game at 115-all with 11 seconds left in regulation, fueling the fire to ultimately take down the Houston Rockets 135-133 through two overtime periods.

The last time the NBA replayed a segment of a game was back March 8, 2008, when the final 51.9 seconds were rehashed between the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks after a bookkeeping error incorrectly credited Shaquille O’Neal with a disqualifying sixth foul when it should’ve been awarded to Udonis Haslem during the original game Dec. 19, 2007.

Shaq did not participate in the replay as he was already traded to the Phoenix Suns and no team scored during those precious final seconds, indicating that the Hawks still won the game 117-111.

There hasn’t been a replayed game up until then since the 1982-83 season between the Los

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Angeles Lakers and Spurs which is actually quite ironic since they are once again are the opposing party in this scenario.

The Houston Rockets want the final 7:50 to replayed when they face the Spurs for the final time on their home court which will be April 12, with two games left to go in this season.

Listen, I totally understand that the Houston Rockets want to do this and I admire their ability to fight the good fight.

However, I think they should just take the loss and move on to the next opponent, the Toronto Raptors tomorrow night.

Because such a decision to replay is so unprecedented, I don’t think the NBA is going to allow it and considering the Hawks/Heat outcome, it likely won’t make a difference anyway.

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Honestly — let’s just move on the Raptors and keep trying to put more W’s on the left side of the column.  Ultimately, those will avenge their 7th loss and this will be a distant memory over time.

But despite what I’ve just said, it’ll be interesting to see where the league goes with this after the Houston Rockets have made their case.

I’ll be waiting — go Houston Rockets!