November 6, 2009 in The Good Stuff
Lots of links the last week about Chuck… here are some of the highlights.
Jonathon Feigen on Chuck’s Battle Against the Lakers
Ariza, however, had an answer. He won a jump ball and then nailed his 3 with 14.2 seconds left to tie the game. The Lakers went to Bryant, but Hayes switched on a screen and smacked the ball free with seven-tenths of a second remaining. When the Lakers tried to inbounds to Andrew Bynum, Hayes slapped that away, too.
“Chuck being Chuck,” Battier said. “If you want a treat, watch Chuck Hayes for a game. He is fantastic at what he does.”
In overtime, the Rockets had a few minutes of Hayes being Bryant. After a Bryant free throw for a one-point lead, Hayes finished a drive. After a Bryant jumper, Hayes scored again, giving him 14 points on 7 of 9 shooting to go with 14 rebounds.
Ball Don’t Lie’s Kelly Dwyer Loves the Rockets
The Rockets? They’re just a joy.
Chuck Hayes is a 6-6 Kevin Garnett. His footwork belongs on Mt. Rushmore. His hands belong in the Smithsonian. He had two steals tonight, and caused as many jump balls. He’s a center that’s in the top five in steals, per game, in barely half a game. His defense is unbelievable. And now (7-9 shooting, no hesitation around the hoop) you have to pay attention to him when someone drives and dishes.
Chron’s Justice says that Hayes fever has gripped the Rockets
Don’t believe me? Let’s check in at Toyota Center and run it past some people who should know.
“Luis Scola and I were talking in the weight room this morning,” Shane Battier said, “and we both agreed Chuck Hayes is our favorite player in the NBA.”
“It’s pretty amazing what he does,” Battier said. “He’s a huge reason we’ve been one of the best defensive teams in the league the last few years.”
How about you, Carl Landry? Do you love Hayes as much as the rest of us?
“He’s the perfect player,” Landry said. “He rebounds, plays defense, takes charges, gets steals. He does the dirty work.”
Is that right, Scola?
“It’s a pleasure to play with him,” Scola said. “He plays hard. He does everything a basketball player should do. He’s a great teammate.”
Surely someone disagrees. Coach Rick Adelman, are you ready to get rid of the Chuck Wagon?
“He’s incredible,” Adelman said. “You watch him play that game (against the Lakers on Wednesday) against a 7-1 guy (Andrew Bynum). That guy is a really good young player. He gets 17 points and 17 rebounds. Chuck ends up with 14 and 14.
“When he’s on the court, we’re so different. Right now, he’s confident and making some plays for himself. He’s playing with a lot of freedom. I marvel at what he gets done against certain people in this league.”
Once upon a time, Hayes was one of the NBA’s best-kept secrets. Only the Rockets seemed to know how good he was. Jeff Van Gundy fell in love with him midway through about one practice, and then Adelman arrived and did the same thing.