Aaron Brooks On Artest, LA’s Respect, And Hayes’ Free Throws
They’ve only reached the second round but these Rockets are a heck of a story. No T-Mac, no problem. No Yao, even less of a problem. If you like hard working basketball teams, then you like watching the Rockets. They have tied up this series with the Lakers because they are a dedicated team at both ends – they live by the old cliche: ‘We don’t take nights off.’ Many skeptics wondered whether or not they were giving up on the year when they traded their starting point guard, Rafer Alston, to the Magic. They gave up on Rafe because they were very comfortable with Aaron Brooks taking the reins and he’s showed up with some big-time playoff performances. None bigger than the 34-point showing he had in game four on Sunday to tie the series with LA at two. Brooks joined KILT to discuss Ron Artest’s temper, Chuck Hayes’ free throw hitch, and if he cares whether or not LA gives the Rockets respect.
Are the Rockets looking for the Lakers’ respect:
“We’re not looking for their respect, honestly, I think we just wanna come out there and play and have fun. What they do is on them, we can only control what we can control. They can respect or not respect us, we still gotta come out there and play how we been playing and having fun.”
How did you guys react so well to Yao’s injury?
“When Mac (Tracy McGrady) went out we had 20 more shots, when Deke (Dikembe Mutombo) went out we had two, when Yao went out, we had another 20 more shots, so, everyone’s been stepping in and taking those and taking advantage of it.”
Shouldn’t you be used to the way Chuck Hayes shoots free throws? Why do you guys commit lane violations when he’s at the line?
“Because in practice he doesn’t do that. We forget that that’s like that ’cause he doesn’t shoot free throws in a game that often, but in practice it’s pretty fluid. It’s just jitters – if you watch, I think once he goes in and he shoots more than four free throws, if he ever does it, I think he’ll get a little bit more comfortable at the line and the hitch will fade away.”
Are you concerned with Ron’s emotions on the court?
“It’s not a concern. I didn’t agree with any of the ejections, me personally. But, you know, Ron is his own man. Like I said, we’re used to stars being out, so, you know, maybe if Ron goes out, maybe we win a game, I don’t know, maybe that’s our luck, I don’t know. Who knows? We definitely need Ron. He’s our glue, he’s our defender. He’s his own man. Once he gets started, I’m not gonna stand in his way.”