The Water Cooler Playbook - Wednesday Nov. 22

Why doesn't Houston have an NHL team?

Most of the time people give you an answer that in one form or another boils down to: "It's too hot in Houston so nobody plays it there." With last week's news report indicating Houston Rockets Owner Tilman Fertitta and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met to discuss the potential viability of the NHL in Houston, we can remind those people that sports are typically played indoors here in the H anyway.

Three NHL franchises are currently having issues with securing a new stadium deal - the New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators - which means one of these four teams will be the lucky franchise to call Toyota Center home in the hopefully-not-too-distant future. Which one should you be pulling for? My pick goes to the Flames and here's why:

  • To me any team Houston gets needs to be in the same conference as the Dallas Stars for obvious reasons. That eliminates the Senators and the Islanders off the top.
  • I'm no hockey expert, but after a quick glance at the current NHL standings it appears the Coyotes are bad. Like last place bad. 
  • The Flames have a ketchup and mustard color scheme similar to the "Clutch City" Rockets.

Bring the Flames to Houston, give them a space-themed name (I say we call them the "Houston Gravity") and let's add another sport for us to be better at than Dallas. In other news...

Chris Paul fitting in nicely

2017 Roc Nation Pre-Grammy Brunch

Remember when everyone said Chris Paul coming back to the (still first-place) Rockets would disrupt the chemistry they built without him? Well, a full-strength Paul made his debut this past Thursday in Phoenix and the Rockets responded by putting up 90 points in the first half before finishing with 142. Yes 1-4-2. As in fourteen points shy of breaking the most points scored by a Rockets team...ever.

This came against a totally over-matched Suns team so I wouldn't sound any alarms just yet, but the Rockets followed that with a 22-point victory in Memphis against the pesky Grizzlies. Let's say things are trending in the right direction.

Despite the historic night in Phoenix, I'd say the 90-point half was only the second most important stat from the game. The most important takeaway occurred at the 9:33 mark of the second quarter when James Harden checked back into the game with a 22-point lead - twelve points higher than it was when he left the game in the first quarter. 

With Paul back in the mix, the Rockets won't only hold on to leads but build on them while Harden rests. That bodes well for their hopes to hold on to the top seed in the Western Conference, at least before the schedule gets really tough in January and February.

Shouts to Dre and Tuve

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans

As you might remember from last week, the Deshaun Watson-less Houston Texans are a sore subject for me. One thing that can get that sour taste out of my mouth but for one week at least the Texans honoring Andre Johnson as the first ever member of the Texans Ring of Honor.

Nobody can argue Dre is the most deserving Texan to start the Ring of Honor with. Three things you could always count on Dre for: 1500 yard seasons (only Jerry Rice had more), big games against AFC South opponents (his top three receiving games came against the Jags/Colts/Titans)  and nothing but pure class.

Of course, we couldn't mention class without mentioning the current god of Houston - Jose Altuve being named MVP. 

It was a good week. Be thankful for Chris Paul, Dre, Tuve and make sure to put the Calgary Flames on your Christmas list.

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