This fanpost is meant to be a gauge of how everyone is feeling leading up to the season opener. It's also me getting into basketball gear and getting pumped up for what could be a great season for the Rockets.
First of all how is everyone feeling about the team we have right now? Was everone encouraged or discouraged by the moves we've made in the off-season? What about pre-season play, good or bad? I think we've kind of stood pat even with moving Ariza and acquiring Lee. Our depth is as good as it's been in years especially with getting Yao back and even with him in a limited role.
Where does everyone think we'll finish? Seems like the consensus of the analysts is that we're about the 6th-8th best team in the West. I think that's a little low. After everything is said as done I think we'll end up being the 4th-6th best team in the West going into the playoffs. The way I see it is barring any injuries we have the talent to win every game we play and we'll never be that out of a game unless it's just a bad night. I'll put us at the 5th seed going into the playoffs with about 50 to 55 wins. I think between us, San Antonio, and Dallas it might be a toss up as to who wins the division but San Antonio could start declining this year. Dallas will probably be in the hunt for the division title.
What about mid-season trades? Anyone want to see something big go down? Anyone want to see us go with the flow and keep our young talent for development and future championship runs? I'm encouraged by our depth at point guard and the trade chips we have there. If Ish Smith can be big for us it wouldn't hurt to lose either ABZ or Lowry. Especially if we get an established scorer to compliment Martin somehwere else. I don't care if that's Melo or someone else. Just saying. In addition to that we've got good depth at PF too, but if it were me I would keep our talent there and develop it. We could get by with giving up Patterson or Hill, although if we're grooming Hill to be a C then we have to keep him. There's no guarantee that we'll have Yao after or even during this season especially if he get's injured. I would like to see some improvement at SF. I'm big on chemistry and I think Battier is an invaluable piece but only for this and maybe next year. After that I believe he won't be as big of a trade piece and will begin to really decline even if I really like him as a player. I love Bud and I hope he continues to blossom into a great player. I was happy to see Ariza go as I thought he was a little overrated. I don't know if Lee was as good as Ariza but getting quality depth at SG is good for the team as a whole.
Lasty does this team make a run at a championship? Given that we've seen them play with big heart the last two seasons, I don't see any reason for that to change and I'm encouraged by our ability to rise to the occasion. Even if we were the eighth seed playing the Lakers or whoever in the first round you gotta feel good about our chances when we're always the team that's not supposed to be there. That shouldn't be competing with the big dogs. I don't know if this is our year or not, but as long as we get to the playoffs we have as good a shot as anyone regardless of seeding.
So Let's Go! It's the freaking start of the NBA season! Beat the Lakers on Tuesday and let's start this season out right! Go Rockets!