While those who aren’t consumed with the conference tournaments today are getting their lunch fixin’s ready for the Rockets/Lakers Clash Of The Titans, the New York Post’s Peter Vescey adds his voice to the anti-Rafer Alston chorus after ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy (above) called the Houston PG second only to Chris Paul amongst the Association’s best. “No disrespect to my Queens homie who’s enjoying his most productive and poised extensive stretch of success since being branded Skip To My Lou,” chortled Vescey, “but was Van Gundy serious or delirious?”
Nobody honestly could believe Alston is outperforming Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups and Baron Davis and think he could maintain sufficient credibility to be re-hired as an NBA head coach.
By all means, approve of Alston’s all you want for his stable (62 games, 62 starts) contribution to the conquering Rockets rousing 21-game salute (they play host to the Lakers today). Nonetheless, living off Tracy McGrady (and Yao Ming until his season-ending injury), he’s averaging an unexceptional 12.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting 66 percent from the line, .404 from two-point range and 34 percent from beyond the arc.
At the same time, Nash, Williams, Billups, and Davis (Paul, too, of course) are averaging highly crafted telephone numbers across the stats sheet while innumerable thriving teammates play off their acumen and ability to magnetize the defense.
If only Van Gundy had chosen self-effacement over self-promotion. Instead of going to extremes he simply should have admitted Rick Adelman is getting far more out of Alston than he ever did during his four years coaching Houston.
The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola points out if Isiah Thomas’ Knicks “drop five of the next 16 games he will become the second-fastest coach in franchise history to reach the century mark for losses.” Conversely, it took Pat Riley a full four seasons to lose 105 games. To be fair, working under the supervision of James Dolan and Steve Mills gives Zeke a massive advantage when it comes to setting these sort of career marks.