One year ago. That's all it was.
One year ago the Chicago press was dishing out articles about how unbelievably lucky the Bulls were that the Rockets would take future "stiff" Yao Ming, leaving the true draft prize, Jay Williams, on the board for Chicago.
It's amazing how quickly that decision has sent two franchises in completely different directions.
Yao simply dominated Bulls center Eddy Curry, holding him to 1 point (0-8 shooting) and 4 boards before fouling out, while
Steve Francis led the way with 19 points as the Rockets humiliated the Bulls 98-66 Monday night in Chicago.
The win puts the Rockets at 2-1 on the young season as they head in to New Jersey to face the Nets Tuesday.
Much like the Bulls, this game was a joke. By halftime the Rockets were up 20 and they never looked back, leading by as much as 80-48 in the fourth.
While the offense wasn't run perfectly and the Bulls have a way of making opponents' flaws seem like they have disappeared, the Rockets shot the ball extremely well Monday. Francis hit 9-14 shots, Yao was 5-9 and Jim Jackson was 5-8 from the floor. And hold the presses, but Bostjan Nachbar was 4-4 from long range, one shy of the total amount of threes Boki hit all of last season.
Scott Padgett even came off the bench to hit all 3 of his shots.
Granted, it's only been 3 games, but already it seems Van Gundy has had a large impact on the defensive end. Houston is holding opponents to under 77 points a game, tops in the NBA so far.
The Rockets held the Bulls to just 26.6% shooting (21-79 from the floor), an awesome feat. The Bulls starters were a combined 11-50 from the floor, with Kendall Gill and Curry missing 15 attempts combined. This was no contest.
But a contest is coming up: The Nets. While Chicago presents little challenge, the Nets have made it to the NBA Finals out of the East the past two seasons. They will be without Kenyon Martin, but Alonzo Mourning is on the squad this year, making for a good matchup to watch against Yao.