Flashback to July 5th: Rockets fans like myself are on pins and needles. Dwight Howard is going to make his decision. Reports have him trying to decide between LA and Houston. The Golden State Warriors just traded for Andre Igoudala; is that going to sway D12? Even as I'm with friends I'm on my phone checking twitter every 30 seconds hoping, waiting, praying.. It's almost too much to handle. Then that one beautiful sentence flashes across my screen, "Dwight Howard has decided to sign with the Houston Rockets". "We fucking got him", I yell. In the blink of an eye the Rockets have gone from young, scrappy upstarts to title contenders. Everything changed.
Come back to the present. 6-4 is where this team stands. The record isn't discouraging. We knew it would take some time to figure this team out. What it discouraging is the way this team has played. Turnovers, missed free throws, perimeter defense that has somehow seemed to regress from last year's poor effort, inability to close out games. Harden is hurt, Chandler apparently forgot how to shoot, and Dwight is being Dwight. Oh, Dwight. Lakers fans said we'd hate you and the prophecy seems to be coming true. Your 15 boards and 3 blocks per game are great but how long can we put up with you missing 3 foot jump hooks and bricking free throws?
Expectations breed lofty goals. Last season's team was fun because very little was expected from them. We had hope for a championship but that hope was for the future. As long as the team competed we swept mistakes under the rug. Now those same mistakes are incredibly frustrating. Losses like the ones to the Sixers or Lakers wouldn't have bothered me last season but this season they just aren't acceptable.
I hate this team. They haven't been fun to watch. Even the wins are painful to watch. You can say I'm being too hard on them but we should be hard on them. Championship aspirations should make us hard on them. They can get better but right now they're nowhere near the team that will bring home the title we all so dearly covet.