With the 2013-14 Houston Rockets making their preseason debut this Saturday, paired with another disappointment from the local football team, folks around town are finally starting to talk about the team again. Not a moment too soon, either, because after a few things of importance happened in free agency this summer, it's been pretty much the longest offseason for Rockets fans since they traded for Tracy McGrady almost a decade ago.
But there is one thing that has bothered me with this recent Rockets talk and that is why every keeps saying "oh, well we need to temper our expectations for this year." Let's take a deeper look at this now, because it's bothering the hell out of me.
I mentioned the recent shortcomings of the Texans and that has a lot of Houston sports fans not thinking clearly for the past couple of years. Combine that with the fact that the Rockets had years of coming up short due to inconsistent play and/or health during the Yao/McGrady era. In the end, this leads to everyone expecting the worst.
For example, just look at the Dwight Howard recruitment. In hindsight, it was beyond a no brainer that he was going to pick the Rockets. It didn't just make the most sense, it was the only option that made any sense for him. Yet we all sat around hand wringing about how Houston was going to come up short again because we just expect it.
Naturally, this has bled over into fans saying that they're excited about this Rockets season, but that they aren't expecting the team to compete for a title. My only question is WHY NOT?
They have two of the top 10 players in the game right now, arguably. They have a general manager that is one of the best I've ever seen in rounding out a roster with the right role players. They have a coach that players love to play for and has won at the highest level in his playing career. They're also young and said general manager has probably the best trade chip out of any contending team at the moment. Other than your own insecurity as a Houston sports fan, why the hell should we not look at this team as a title contender in 2013-14?
I have heard a few people say anything short of a Western Conference Finals appearance would be a disappointment and I agree. With this roster, regardless of how good the Western Conference is, simply winning a playoff series shouldn't be the goal, and ceiling, anymore.
I want to believe it's just the history of Houston sports that have Rockets fans constantly telling me to temper my expectations for the team because of their own sense of failures in the past. This isn't the Yao and Tracy Rockets anymore and looking at it like that is just...well, dumb.
So put on your big boy pants, Houston, and let's embrace success for a change.