An experiment: subjective reality

Yahoo! Sports:

Coach Phil Jackson said that Bynum and Bryant likely wouldn’t be ready to go when the season kicks off, adding, ”So we have to bring up the game and have a concept on how we want to play the game. That will be done during these next preseason games in the next week and a half.”

I’ve maintained for some time, much to the chagrin of many readers, that this Rockets team had little if any chance for contention this season.  It’s a prediction with which I don’t think many objective observers would take issue, after taking into account various factors (which I’ve exhaustively explored.)

But faith is requisite to fandom and I am ultimately someone whose hopes are tied in this team.  Science does not uninterruptedly prevail; that magic captured in 1995 can catch fire at odd moments, sprinkling down the essence of what has led cause for numerous improbable runs.

What happens if the stars align, bestowing upon us retribution for recent injustices.  What if Yao recovers, perhaps not to the level of former years, but sufficiently to bolster what has become a porous defense and to give us the low-post efficiency we lacked.

What if Scola maintains production, a not too far-fetched proposition, cementing his status as the quintessential quasi-All-Star.  What if Brooks truly has emerged, contrary to my critiques, taking steps as a playmaker and emerging as a true late-game option, the only man on this team upon whom one can conceivably place hope for such a critical role.

What if Martin stays healthy and absorbs the defensive culture around him, like Ray Allen, propelling himself to respectability in that department.  What if Lowry finally develops a shot and raises his play with a plush new contract or Lee emerges as a defensive stopper at the wings for those times when K-Mart just won’t suffice.

What if Budinger makes “the jump”, harnessing his impressive talents to feast upon teams while within the system, channeling his inner Peja.  It could certainly happen, most would agree.  Chase is the one Rocket most primed for a breakout, his skillset so impeccably suited for this team.  In some ways, Budinger’s existence is microcosmic of Rocketball, with consideration that if even emerging as a 20-point-scorer, the majority of that production would come within the flow of the game off of the offensive scheme; the Rockets’ strength is and has been that they are a team without individuals.

Could the lottery 4′s mature to adulthood and provide the muscle needed for deep forays into the playoffs?  Hill has looked impressive in spots and while Patterson has struggled, so did Carl Landry at this stage.  The scenario that sees Jordan Hill realizing his full potential would have more impact on this team’s success than the maturation of any other current player.

Can lightning strike upon this merry band?  Can they recapture the chemistry through which they were so highly held in esteem?  Can the giant and an additional year reinstill the defense for which they had been known?

Readers have been quick to remind me that in an 82 game campaign, anything can happen.  The Lakers could collapse with all hopes resting upon one leg.  Already they seem late in reaching the start line and perhaps more vulnerable than prior years.  Maybe this is the year Kobe takes the plunge to ‘old’?  If Bynum never recovers, and with an aging Bryant, could the Rockets overwhelm with a savaging glut of talent?  Could “the Pistons” happen again, in a red way?

Anything can happen, as you the reader have noted.  Sometimes such simple reminder serves useful, especially in wake of opening day.

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