Thursday, November 29, 2007

Finally I Can Mention Steve Francis

I have been wanting to do an entry about Steve Francis, but could never find the right moment to mention him because the Rockets have only used him 3 times this year! Steve Francis has been my favorite basketball pl;ayer since he entered the league and in tonight's game against the Suns, he provided a huge spark to ignite their victory 100-94.

The seldom-used Francis didn't have huge numbers -- nine points, three rebounds and seven assists -- but his play off the bench gave the Rockets a big lift. Steve Francis explained, "I try to get myself ready when I'm called upon. I still have a long way to go; I still don't have my rhythm and timing. Me and the coach (Rick Adelman) have been having conversations about me coming in and giving the team a spark."

He did that Wednesday night. Francis, who played a season-high 27 minutes, led a 19-7 run in the opening 5:43 of the quarter to give Houston a 46-35 advantage. During that span, Francis had seven points, three assists and one steal. Towards the end, he landed a block on an Amare Stoudemire's jumper with 16.9 seconds remaining and Houston clinging to a 98-94 lead.

Hopefully this is a sign that Steve Francis will be used more. He is a decent shooter, but more importantly, he is so quick and explosive that when the tempo of a game speeds up you can be sure he's making the big play. He also fires his team up with his aggressive nature. No wonder he seems to lead the league every year in technical fouls.

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