I'm not the average Houston sports fan by any means. I root for the teams, I get bummed out for ten seconds when they falter and then I move on with my life. It's part of being an adult. I don't burn jerseys, I don't attend a fan rally of any type and I don't call sports radio crying about how I could coach the team better than the current guy in charge.
Another thing that I differ from this group on is that I'm not the "we don't get any respect!" fan. I could give a damn if the national pundits think my team is any good or if they're hot garbage. I don't care if the ass clowns on First Take think that our team uniforms are pretty or not. I certainly am not bothered by the lack of nationally televised games.
I'm just not that guy.
So with high expectations for the 2013-14 Houston Rockets, I expected some backlash from Houston fans as soon as the season predictions began coming out and not a one of them would have the team winning it all this season. In fact, I'd be rather surprised if any publication did. But with team rankings starting to pour out, this one by David Aldridge caught my eye.
In it he says of Houston that they are indeed a top ten team in the league, but anything short of an MVP season from Dwight Howard is a failure. Actually, let's look at the exact quote:
Dwight Howard has all the money, a superstar entering his prime playing next to him (James Harden), a point guard who should thrive playing screen-roll with him (Jeremy Lin/Patrick Beverly), shooters that will surround him (pick one) and give him space to operate in the paint, a coach (Kevin McHale) who understands the plight of a big man and the low-post game better than anybody and a fan base that will adore his every move and utterance because he spurned the Lakers to come to Houston. Nothing less than an MVP-caliber season in return will suffice.
That's all well and good, except for one part that I have a problem with. We will love Dwight only because he spurned the Lakers? I know some fans feel that way, but having every superstar player in the league pretty much tell us we weren't pretty enough for the past five years was why I was thrilled with it, personally. He could have jumped from Toronto for all I care. But, the good old media always has to find a way to make it about L.A., I guess.
The sticking point here is that Aldridge has the Rockets as a top ten team; exactly number ten, to be precise.
A year ago, I think most of us would have been thrilled about that, but it seems like that would be underachieving now. Behind the likes of Brooklyn, New York and Golden State? Just sixth in the West? I mean, that's why they play the games, but I'm not so sure I'd agree with that. It's also kind of confusing Aldridge doesn't even have the Bulls in the top ten, but I digress.
Do you think these rankings are fair? With some time between now and the next preseason game, where you think the Rockets currently rank in the West, and the entire league, seems to be a good discussion point. What would you change about Aldridge's top ten below?