After watching Tracy McGrady dissect Dallas for 34 and 28 points in games 1 and 2 of the Rockets’ first round series with the Mavericks, all I can say is, it’s nice that someone other than Jose Reyes and Nick Swisher could own Tuesday morning’s highlights. Jeff Van Gundy seemed to have trouble earlier in the season defining T-Mac’s role, but it is becoming clear that the rest of the Rockets have learned theirs —- get McGrady the ball and then get out of the way.

That said, Yao Ming (13 of 14 from the field) had an awesome first half, Bob Sura continues to show why he was such a valuable addition (a combined 8 for 11 with the gutty Jon Barry)….and who isn’t dying to see to the quote machine Van Gundy brothers facing each other in the finals?

How soon do the posters of T-Mac slaughtering Shawn Bradley go on sale?

Ming wasn’t called for a moving pick on the Rockets’ final possession. But rather than blame the officials for Dallas looking at an 0-2 deficit, let’s give some of the credit to Keith Van Horn, who at this very minute might be deciding just when and if he should bother guarding McGrady closely with the game on the line. The results of this decision should be available online sometime in the next several hours.

ESPN’s Ric Bucher was on the idiot box this evening claiming that Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson are meeting later in the week, presumably to discuss the Lakers’ coaching vacancy. Bucher says that L.A. want to wait until the new collective bargaining agreement is signed prior to hiring the Zen Master, for fear they might be paying Phil somc sick money to do nothing in the event of a work stoppage. This could present a window of opportunity for the Knicks, were they to guarantee Phil’s salary, lockout or not. Jim Dolan is already paying Don Chaney, Lenny Wilkens and Herb Williams, what’s one more big check?

No sign of Stephen A. Smith on “NBA Fastbreak”, perhaps because he’s researching which other dead-for-a-half-decade Houston DJ’s he can send ’round to Michael Corcoran’s house first thing in the morning.