By: Forrest Walker
This is a recap of a Rockets game but does it really matter? It's the same old game over again so let's find a link to another game that was close enough. Here, this should do. It was a bad game, they gave up piles of open shots to a more talented, better coached, and more coordinated team. That doesn't even count Blake Griffin, who remains out. The Rockets showed us they can pound a D-League team when the Memphis Grizzlies' mash unit came into town, but tonight showed us that they're not an NBA team. Let's move on from this game, then.
Let's talk about how miserable this all is.
There's basically nothing to like about this team. People hated them with a passion last season, more than any of us expected. It was a slow burn that only accelerated when Houston took the division and actually succeeded int he playoffs. It can be fun to be the bad guys when the bad guys are so good. Then the playoffs came, and the cracks turned into fissures. The Rockets survived the Clippers somehow, but it was luck as much as anything. We were too high on a conference finals appearance to notice, but the engine was shot.
Somehow, the critics were right. They were right about everything. If you had predicted that the Blazers and Mavs would be neck and neck with the Rockets, you would have been laughed out of town this offseason, and rightly so. There's no way the Rockets could be this bad, nor the Mavs and Blazers so good. Yet, here we are, in a season seemingly designed to appease everyone who drank deep of Houston schadenfreude in the conference finals last season.
Over and over, the Rockets come out of the gates disinterested and a step slow. Eventually they pick it up, but they still can't catch up to the step age has taken from Dwight Howard, the chemistry and defensive fallout still wafting down around their heads. It's beyond predictable. Everyone says they don't know what to expect from this team, but we all know exactly what to expect from this team. They will fall short of expectations and then they will remind everyone of why the expectations were so high right before failing to meet them. It's an amazing formula, but it's not a formula for winning.
Instead, the Rockets have managed to discover the recipe for frustration and are bottling it up as fast as they can. Every game is a fresh descent into the same horrible well, and it never becomes less miserable. Every time they turn a corner, they will absolutely turn right back. If anyone gives them any credit, even for a second, they jump into their pajamas and take the next week off. It's an absolute nightmare to watch on a regular basis, and makes one wonder what the Rockets haters knew that we didn't. It makes one wonder why they got to be right.
And as horrible as it's been to watch them clank open shots and miss rotations, there's no way it's any better on the inside. I wonder if Michael Beasley isn't too good for this team. He doesn't deserve to have to live in that locker room, does he? A merciful general manager would waive all the players except James Harden, and then send Harden to drive tanks in Siberia for a decade. These players all deserve better. Let them be free to find it.
I'm glad the season is almost over. There's no fun in these games, and nothing new to be learned. History keeps repeating itself, and the Rockets are exactly who we hoped they weren't in week two. The only thing that's changed is how tired I am of it. Good night.