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Really, the key matchup is the Houston bigs vs. the Oklahoma City bigs. If the Thunder are going to have a chance, they will need to rebound the hell out of the offensive glass, and clog up the Houston rollers to prevent easy dunks. Threes may or may not fall; the Thunder can only pray they get lucky. But preventing the cascade of players to the rim is a must.
Harden is so good with his two primary centers, Capela and Nene. For Capela, he’ll toss lobs, while he hits Nene with pocket bounce passes in the exact same situation. He knows their tendencies and where to find them. The offensive glass and how much the Rockets can score easy buckets could swing this series more than anything else.
And below you, others are making their way through the system, learning the same “culture” and ways of thinking that guided you. The accepted way. The “hockey man” way.
The Birth of the Hockey Man
The “hockey man” is an interesting archetype and rhetorical device in the NHL and the hockey media as a whole. It’s a two-word phrase that contains multitudes.
In its traditional form, to call someone a “hockey man” implies that they have developed knowledge and insight that is somehow not available to the “layman” simply through being around the game a long time.