I don’t like the feeling of settling for mediocrity. This feeling has engulfed me after the last two NBA seasons. There were highs (blowing out a Carmelo led Nuggets out of their own arena) and cavernous lows (losing to the T-Wolves at home).
I find myself making more excuses to defend a team that I love: “They didn’t have all the pieces together,” “Injuries killed us this year,” “We still had a better record than 3 Eastern Playoff Teams,” “We did the best we could with the talent we have,” but when push comes the shove the Rockets missed the playoffs for a second consecutive year. Yes, we all understand the Rockets had the best record of any team to not make the playoffs, but that is like being the least attractive Kardashian (Khloe).
You’re name can only get you so far before you have to look back and see your more successful siblings. I remember how happy I was just to get out of the First Round against the Blazers back in 2009, but as Ron Artest greatly put it in the post-game presser: “The fans were just so happy to get out of the first round and I’m like, ‘I’m just not happy to just be out of the first round. That’s just not our goal here.
That’s not LA’s goal, that’s not Boston’s goal, that is not Cleveland’s goal. That is not our goal.” Rockets fans have had to settle for mediocrity for the last decade. The only remembrance of the championship years are my ‘Clutch City’ and ‘Double Clutch’ DVD’s I bought off of Amazon this past year. We as fans shouldn’t settle for mediocrity because this is a team with a championship winning history.
The franchise is in a curious position. There are a lot of questions needed to be evaluated like will Rick Adelman return as head coach? Will the team part ways with Yao Ming? How will the myriad of draft picks be utilized in the upcoming NBA Draft? The Rockets have great pieces and are in a much better position than most NBA squads, but they are stuck in the mediocrity black hole. The Rockets are like the TV show, “Chuck,” just mediocre enough to still be on the air but not bad enough to cancel.
Morey and crew need to make a decision ONCE AND FOR ALL whether or not to blow up the entire team and start new or keep riding out the current roster to just barely escape being a sub .500 team. There have been talks about acquiring Tyson Chandler, Kyrylo Fesenko, or Samuel Dalembert. The Rockets’ current free agents, Yao Ming and Chuck Hayes, have stated they want to return to the team. Knowing Morey, anything can happen so I have just started to expect the unexpected.
Luis Scola put it best when he said:
We were able to pull out winning seasons. We were able to compete the last two seasons. That was great for the situation, but at some point, we need to find a way to push through and go back to fighting for championships, to get far in the playoffs, to get to the NBA Finals. I’m happy because the year was winning again, with all the situations. Right now, we are 43 wins. The 60 wins, 57, 58 like the Lakers, Dallas, Chicago and San Antonio, those are 15 to 20 more wins. That’s a lot. I don’t think 43 wins is close to what we all want to be.
The next time someone asks me about how I though the Rockets did this past year I am going to straight up tell them my disappointment in the team. I hope it is a memorable off-season because it is about time they get back to their winning ways.