From the bottom of the standings

The Rockets sit now at 1-6, at the bottom of the standings.  Where I once felt hope, things are looking pretty bad with injuries to key players.  Honestly, I’m not even sure I have the energy to dig through all of our problems and assess the situation.  We’re horrendous defensively and given the personnel on this team, I’m not sure that’s something that will change.  Another thought regards our trade prospects, the lone light of hope I had been touting for months: if Yao continues with his injury problems, and there’s no reason so far for a reasonable person to feel that he won’t, why would any elite player with leverage in the situation agree to a trade?

Bright spots so far have been Ish Smith and Jordan Hill.  We’ve touched a lot on Ish, but Jordan has showed tremendous promise in recent outings, even sporting a moderately fluid jumphook in the paint. If he hasn’t been already, Hill needs to be entrenched in this lineup as a mainstay at center.  I would actually just advocate starting him permanently even when Yao returns, just to shake things up.

The big issue on everyone’s mind concerns Yao Ming.  After his latest injury scare, one which left many, including myself, expecting the worst, what should the team do with the big man this offseason?  Let’s suppose the initial injury from the surgery shows itself to have healed adequately but he continues to miss games throughout this year due to other non-related foot injuries (further establishing that his feet in general just can’t take the pounding.)  Do you re-sign him?  Even if the injuries are never serious, and he still plays over 50% of the team’s games, can you ever develop chemistry to an optimal level with such an extended absence?  On top of that, there’s still the real possibility that a serious injury (like last year’s) returns/develops.  Can you really build a team based on such a high degree of risk?  My head knows that were it not for the lucrative sponsorships Yao’s presence on the team attracts, this decision would have been a lot easier.  Not an enviable position Daryl Morey finds himself in.

I’ll move on from the Rockets to more general topics just because the former matter can be rather depressing to consider.  Ben Heller made a point earlier this week which needs to be underscored and does not seem to be fully grasped by everyone.  When a normal person drives in to the basket, he sees, for the most part, one thing: the basket.  He goes in with one goal and that’s to get to the hoop.  If he passes out, it’s as a recovery to the defense’s response.  But when a point guard (and I italicize that to emphasize the distinction between a true point guard and an imposter) drives in, he advances with a previously developed plan in his head, already having identified potential targets.  He doesn’t see just the basket but rather, each one of his teammates and their positions relative to the defense.  That’s why true point guards rarely have that awkward moment where they’ve driven in, gotten cut-off, and have to recover by jumping to pass.  True point guards don’t just put their heads down and drive-in at full speed. The characteristics of the true point guard which I’ve just described can be seen demonstrated by Ish Smith.

A final, unrelated point: many thanks to all who offered their advice earlier in the preseason. Since that post, and the follow-up on dining habits, I’ve felt much closer to you all on a personal level.  As for the suggestions, the 15-20 minute naps seemed most in line with my ideals.  (My ideals including ‘sleep’). In all seriousness, prior to that post, I had been taking 30 minute naps per the suggestion of various sleep-related blogs and still woke up groggy beyond belief.  It was said that 30 minutes is the cut-off before one’s body enters REM, but I’ve found that for me, 15-20 is the threshold.  I wake up feeling very refreshed.  The only downside to this strategy is that while one doesn’t always immediately fall asleep, it’s difficult to set my alarm for an adequate amount of time.  (ie: if I set it for 20, but it takes me 10 minutes to fall asleep, I’ve only slept for 10).  Also, I would suggest you all try napping with ear plugs in: I can’t even begin to do justice in emphasize the effects.

Final point on this before I sign off for today: someone had suggested taking B vitamins throughout the day as an alternative to caffeine.  Is this just regular B-complex vitamins?  Is this even safe?  From what little I remember from my high school science courses, don’t vitamins build up to dangerous levels in the body if over-consumed?  Or is B-vitamin the class that doesn’t do that?  Thoughts on this topic would be greatly appreciated as I do feel this would be the best route to attack my dilemma.

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