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Game 82 Preview: Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Ah, the last preview. It's finally here. Along with some mourning.

I wanted to be able to do at least 70 previews this year, and I did far more. Again, thanks to Patrick for one in the middle of the year, and Tom for a couple as well. Unfortunately, a bunch of mine were short and even shorter on any sort of analysis, especially when I had a test coming up or when we were playing four games in five nights. But through the year, you guys have made me a better writer.

I'm not looking to go into journalism like Tom, so I need your help more than someone like he does. Certainly, you guys have delivered. I love hearing your opinions on matchups and predictions and the like. I love the interactions. I want to know what you guys think. And if you knew me personally, you would find that odd.

I generally don't care what people think of me. I have my friends. I have my family. I'm a nice guy (I think). Sometimes there are people you just don't get along with, and when I was younger and in my teenage years, I obsessed about how others perceived me. Did Girl X think I was cool? (Probably not). Did the faculty sponsor of my high school newspaper think I had what it took to be Editor-in-Chief? (He didn't). Did teachers hate me? Did my coaches like me? Were my friends really my friends? (Some, No, and some). Luckily, I got over myself in a hurry in college.

Except, it's different here. I love reading your comments. They invigorate me, somehow. I'm like a stupid teenager again after I post a game preview. I'm always wondering, "Do they like it? Do they think I sound like an idiot? Do they think they could have written a better preview?" I know I shouldn't care, but I'm constantly refreshing the page to see if there are any new comments. Most of you come to TDS a couple times a day, maximum. I'm here practically 24/7. You may see a fanpost or story that says "28 comments, 28 new." All I see is "28 comments." If there's a new comment, it isn't new for very long. And those comments make me better, I think. So, apparently, I'm sensitive and lacking in confidence. Sue me. No, that was not an invitation Dave.

So, as we get ready for tonight's game against the Timberwolves (see how there's no analysis for the game at all?), I'm going to remember all the times I laughed this season at comments in game threads. I'm going to remember the hours I spent looking up depth charts and stories for other teams. I'll remember banning my first poster (a Jazz fan, natch). And I'll definitely remember the times I nearly pulled out my hair, the times I wanted to swing a baseball bat at something, and those few precious moments of elation that makes all of the other crap worth it.

So thanks TDS readers. I can't wait for next year. It's going to be great.