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GAME 2 REPORT

From The Other Side

May 12, 1999

What papers in the Houston area are saying about the series:

JEROME SOLOMON, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

An NBA question: Can you name the team?

It enters the season with championship aspirations, but not everything goes as planned.

The big man in the middle dominates, playing well enough to at least be mentioned in most-valuable-player discussions. . . .

No, the team's problems are not the big man's fault. It is a chemistry issue. So the team makes a move and trades a starter for a starter, giving away a quiet but solid contributor to bring in a veteran scoring machine who has never won a championship.

Next, the team runs off a volatile free spirit. Though the wild man has made a significant contribution, the cancer needs to be removed for two reasons.

First, he can't handle the addition of another star. Second, he is just plain nutty.

As the team limps into the playoffs, the most important questions are, "Can the veteran and his new teammates jell in time to make a nice postseason run?" and "Will a less-than-desirable playoff seeding brought about by a sluggish regular season be too much to overcome?"

You may not know the answer, but Robert Horry surely knows. He played for that team, and he plays for that team--the 1994-95 Houston Rockets and the 1999 Los Angeles Lakers.

"It's the same situation," Horry said. "We [the Rockets] got rid of a starter in Otis [Thorpe] and brought in Clyde [Drexler], who was a great player that was used to having a bunch of plays run for him, and all of a sudden they weren't, and he had to play second fiddle. And it's the same thing when we [the Lakers] got Glen [Rice]. He had a lot of plays run for him when he was in Charlotte. Now, he's really second, sometimes third fiddle."

That Rocket team overcame all of the obstacles to claim the NBA title. Horry is hoping to be involved in a similar run this season.

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