Starting on Wednesday, over the course of one week, the Rockets will play the Clippers and Cavaliers at home (with a breather against Brooklyn in between), a road game in Atlanta, before coming back home to take on the Memphis Grizzlies. There's not much arguable about it -- that is the most brutal and crucial five-game patch of schedule this season.
And when you're trying to do it without Dwight Howard (which they will be), it makes games like Monday's against the Minnesota Timberwolves that much more critical. When bad teams come in, you have to put the stake in their heart early and ruin their will to live.
Well, the Rockets didn't exactly do that. They let the Timberwolves jump out to an early seven-point lead, let them hang round in the fourth quarter, before eventually notching a 113-102 win at Toyota Center Monday night.
But the game itself was not the biggest story coming out of Monday's tussle. There was a figurative career death on the floor Monday night.
The blood of Ricky Rubio's basketball existence is on James Harden's hands. And I am not saying that because Rubio was partially responsible for allowing Harden's second triple double of the season (31 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists). I'm not saying that because Rubio went 2 for 9 from the field (Rubio does that all the time, and still manages to live.).
I'm saying that because of this play to close out the third quarter....
I mean.....wow. That highlight should come with a graphic simply saying "#bullying."
A lot of players have certain signatures that are so scintillating that you could create a YouTube video to music with instances of said signature strung together. Michael Jordan sailing through the air to dunk, Kevin Durant raining down quick-release threes, LeBron doing everything LeBron does. Well, Harden is quickly assembling enough of these ankle-breaking crossover dribbles to fill four or five minutes to some hip-hop jam.
Thankfully, while someone assembles all those bites and uploads them to YouTube (and honestly, someone should...the Internet owes Harden after last year's 11-minute "no defense" video that wound up on Deadspin), the Internet is already turning Rubio into a meme.
Rubio playing Twister....
— SB Nation (@SBNation) February 24, 2015
And this Boyz N The Hood-themed Vin is hysterical...
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Now, if the "RKO out of nowhere" and "Jim Ross" people could get top work on this highlight, I'd appreciate it. Also, the people who handle "Lance Stephenson blowing on things," where the hell are you people? Do you all live on the West Coast and haven't woken up yet or something?
Meanwhile, no word yet on when services for Rubio's career will be held, but in lieu of flowers, his family would like you to send all donations to Minnesota owner Glen Taylor so that he can eventually buy out Rubio's corpse and get a new point guard.