Well. Raise your hand if you thought Von Wafer missing a game would ever be significant? All jokes aside, this isn’t quite a complete momentum swing in the Blazers favor but I will tilt it towards the game-changer category. No doubt about it, Wafer has been the key guy off of Houston’s bench this series, giving them quality minutes every game. His ability to slash to the basket and score have been key to the Rockets offense. He has given them production and allowed them to rest Artest and Yao. He’s a guy who can create his own shot and get to the basket. With him gone, the perimeter responsibility weighs even heavier on Ron Artest and Aaron Brooks’ shoulders. I’m definitely a-ok with Ron-Ron having to stay on the court more or thinking he needs to take more shots. Ditto for Brooks unless he comes out hot, at which point I want Nate to sub in Michael Ruffin with the instruction “Clothesline him.” And I’m only a quarter kidding, the thought crossed my mind. Replacing him in the Rockets rotation will more than likely be (the ghost of) Brent Barry. Brent scares me, and not just because no one knows how he wont the Slam Dunk Contest with a bowl cut and warmup jacket. No, no. He scares me for a couple reasons, 1. because he’ll run the offense and 2. because of his ability to shoot the ball. Barry will throw it to Yao 82391 times early in the 4th, we are going to miss Von Wafer putting his head down and sprinting like a bull. Tell me Brent Barry doesn’t have unsung hero written all over his face? These are the moments he lives for, I’m just seeing him nailing big three pointers and the season crumbling for some reason. Don’t ask me why. On the positive side, he should be exposed on the other end. I hate Travis vs. Battier with a passion but I’ll take Travis vs. Brent Barry everyday of the week. Even more if Barry guards Rudy. I honestly like anyone vs. Brent Barry.
Someone has to replace Wafer’s points, he’s averaged 10 in the series. Brooks and Artest have the ability, but we all secretly want Artest shooting. Brent Barry scares me. Kyle Lowry…hah. We give up 10-12 to Kyle Lowry, we deserve to be watching the playoffs. I’m just saying.