Sunday, April 29, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Do me a favor real quick: Pretend its hours before the Rockets season opening game in Orlando on December 26. Got it? Now I’m going to run through ten things that will happen to the Rockets this season. You with me so far? Yes, all of these things will happen to the 2011-12 Houston Rockets. Ready?
- The Rockets biggest in-season acquisition will be Marcus Camby. They will get him from Portland for Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet. Turns out they suck. Camby will replace Jordan Hill, who is traded to the Lakers for a first round pick.
- Terrence Williams will be released at the trade deadline. Apparently it wasn’t Rick Adelman’s fault last season.
You with me so far? K, good.
- Chandler Parson will be your starting small forward for all but 6 games during the season. Ya, the guy who played a Florida. Yep, he was a second round pick. I didn’t think he was that good in college either. Just 11 points a game his senior year, but he was SEC Player of the Year and.....wait we are getting off track. Just listen and stop asking questions.
- Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin will be out for a long time at the same time, so your starting backcourt for most of the second half will be Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee.
- Oh, and since you will trade Flynn you have to sign Earl Boykins to be your backup point guard.... Wait, who are you talking about??? Oooooh, you mean Jeremy Lin??? Ya, don’t ask, for God sake don’t ask.
- As it turns out Patrick Patterson will not be a good player. That isn’t nice, just because he went to Kentucky doesn’t mean he can’t read. Well, no I’ve never seen him read anything, but I’m sure he can. No, I wouldn’t bet my life on it, but we’re getting off track again.
- Coach Kelvin Sampson will be fired in February for once again making impermissible phone calls. Dan Dakic will replace him, even though the players want Ray McCallum to be the coach. After not getting their way, half the team will threaten to boycott the rest of the season. Even though they play, a once promising season is torn to shreds. Whoops......wrong team.
- Luis Scola will play in every game, except one, but he won’t be able to repeat his great 2010-11 season. His numbers will be down across the board, except for turnovers.
- The Rockets will be the third best free throw shooting team in the league, but be just 26th in free throw’s attempted, averaging 5 less a game than last season.
- The Rockets will have every call go against them in every road game and most home games throughout the season. When they lose, it was because the officials wanted them to lose. Sorry, ignore that one. Not sure how Bill Worrell and Matt Bullard entered this conversation.
Now, lets comeback to the present. Why are people treating the last week like some colossal collapse? During this four-game losing skid, the Rockets have not been very good, but could it be because the Rockets just simply aren’t very good and they are playing teams that are just better than them?
Instead of focusing on the bad of the last four games, I say let’s be grateful for the first 57 where we saw a badly undermanned team go 32-25. Over an 82 game season, that win percentage would get them to 46-36, the team’s best record in 3 years. They were able to do it without an All-Star; without a player averaging close to 20 points a game or even ten rebounds. The team overachieved, now they have come back down to Earth.
Aside from the scenarios I mentioned earlier, look at what else this team has dealt with: An average roster with a brand new coaching staff without a training camp, a trade that was cancelled by David Stern, and being stuck in the best division in the Western Conference. The fact that this team even has a chance to make the playoff with five games to play should be considered a minor miracle, so instead of ripping it and demanding everyone be fired or traded, let’s appreciate it for what it is.
Smart, tough, feisty, resilient, and any other synonyms of those words you can think of. They have shown up to play almost every night in a league where that doesn’t happen, especially this season. Have they lost to some bad teams? Of course they have, but they have also beaten teams they had no business beating. In 12 games against the Bulls, Thunder, Lakers, and Spurs they are 7-5, three of those wins coming on the road.
This team has five games left in the regular season. It no longer is in control of its own destiny. Regardless of how it ends, appreciate what it accomplished, which on the surface might not seem like much, but if you look a little deeper you would see that this team did something most people thought it had no chance of doing on December 26 in Orlando.