The start to this season for my Rockets has been a little up and down, but much more up lately. We (I say ‘We’ because I’m a part of this team damn it, I spend my hard earned money going to games and rooting my butt off for them) limped out of the gates to an 0-3 record, but have ripped off 4 straight wins, and are starting to look good recently. At first, we looked like an old, rusty stretch limo that hadn’t had an oil change in about 200,000 miles, but lately, we look like the pimped out sedan going with the small ball lineup. I can’t remember the last time I saw a team excel minus Dwight Howard in the lineup, but the Rockets have been doing it lately. We’ve got a pretty good core group of guys, and any time you have one of the top 5 players in the league, in James Harden, running the show, you’re going to be in just about every game.
One thing I can’t quite figure out is if we are going to have a chance to compete in the western conference. We have the tools to do so, but the Warriors are so good right now, and there’s so many pundits around the league wondering if they are going to break the Bulls 72 win record back when Michael, Scotty, and the Worm were running the league. It’s still very early, and I’m very hopeful that McHale can get these boys running on all cylinders come playoff time, because we’ll make the playoffs (if we don’t make the playoffs with all that talent, then something’s wrong).
The western conference in the NBA is really interesting at the moment. There’s really 5 very good teams that could all compete for the title. Right now the Warriors are leading the pack, and they don’t look like they are going to back down at all. Next are the Clippers, who have an incredible amount of talent on their squad, and can play small, big, and kill other teams from the outside. Their coach, Doc Rivers, is really just too good, and he’s led a team to a championship so you know they have some pretty good coaching. Even though they crapped the bed in the semifinals against my Rockets last year, they still have what it takes to get all the way to the Finals. The Spurs and Thunder also have a plethora of talent, and can fire up the engines at any given point to make a run at the title. The Thunder really interest me this year because of Billy Donovan running the show. That offense is always going to score a lot of points, but the real question is can they defend at a high level when it’s crunch time and you have to get a stop late in a playoff game. That’s the big question with them. The Spurs, well, they have Pop, and everyone knows that if they get hot they can win it all like they’ve done 6 times with Timmy Duncan (I think it’s six times, too lazy to research it right meow).
But I’ll take my Rockets against just about anyone. I’m still very curious to see if Ty Lawson is going to have an impact, or if he’s just going to be a thorn in our side. So far he’s done well in the small ball scheme, and he can push the ball with the best of ’em.
The schedule looks pretty good the next 5 or 6 games with some pretty weak competition, but it’s still early to tell which teams are going to give anyone a ton of competition. Heck, the T-Wolves just beat the Bulls on the road, and I don’t know the last time that happened.
In the east, there appears to be some competition to go up against Lebron and the Cavs, but in the end, they should make the Finals again.
I’m going to the game tomorrow night against the Nets, so that should be a good one (hopefully it’s a blowout!)