I'm incredibly judgmental, perhaps to a fault. But my goodness, I have no idea what to write about this current Rockets team without asterisking literally every single sentence. I can't make any judgments without a variation of one of these*. It sucks, to say the least.
All these ankle braces, crutches, and flu-like symptoms, accompanied by the grenade thrown at our roster - there is too much variation and change to criticize at this point, and yet, I'd still like to win games. I'd like to point out what we've done wrong lately, and what requires improvement. I'm not pessimistic, but for a team that had a subpar February record, I think there are problems. But really, what's the point, if I have to include "that said' or "given that ___ is injured" every five minutes.
However, the majority of the problems lie in chaos, in a way that would affect any team. Is it difficult to quickly get acclimated with new teammates amidst all the trades and injuries? Yes. Are there too many rookies playing right now, too many 10-day contracts and NBDL call-ups seeing minutes? Absolutely.
That said (doh!), this team wouldn't be perfect even if everyone was healthy and if everyone had been playing together for a year or two. That's like rolling six pairs of dice and expecting each one to land on the same number.
But it would be close. I mean, it's a darn good roster. It just needs time. And perhaps a nice sign-and-trade in the future. If that's not possible, it's still a championship-level group, assuming that Yao Ming is back in the middle when it matters most. I firmly believe that.
I would, however, like to point out how enthused I am by the fact that the Rockets aren't thinking in the same way that I am. Either that, or they aren't admitting it. They know they're in shambles, and that there are plenty of growing pains to overcome. But they aren't about to roll over. And even if the Toronto and San Antonio wins were against incomplete rosters, aren't we in the same boat? Whose to say we should be winning at all right now?
So don't take those victories for granted, and don't take the losses too heavily. I know - I've worn this point down to the last thread. But I mean it sincerely. In fact, this might be one of the best times to be a fan. There is absolutely zero pressure on our team to win, and there's nowhere to go but up once everything falls into place. It's like watching your toddler learn to walk one year, and then enrolling for his senior year in high school the next.
* = Missing Lowry, Ariza, and Shane Battier
** = No Tony Parker.
*** = Missing that Yao fella, too. And our front court is like 6'7.
**** = It was essentially the the Raptors' B Team.