I'm going to pull back the curtain for you, the readers, so you can see what I, the writer/editor, just saw in our publishing platform, because it is a thing of beauty:
This is the last Game Thread — and by extension the last game — of the 2015 preseason before the 2015-2016 NBA season actually begins for the Houston Rockets. I've been telling everyone I know that the Rockets should be taken seriously as championship contenders.
My favorite NBA writer, Grantland's Zach Lowe, used his annual "Crazy Predictions" column to predict the Rockets coming out of the Western Conference this year. He's been saying on podcasts for weeks that he's very tempted to pick the Rockets to win the whole goshdarn thing for the first time since I was in grade school.
This is all almost too much. My chest is getting tight. I'm not used to such confident proclamations of success. Some fans have been predicting Rockets championships every year since Steve Francis was rocking the pajama jerseys. I have not once — not once — predicted the Rockets to win it all since I was old enough to make anything like an educated guess.
This year is different. It's different today just like we hope it'll be different in June. The Rockets aren't one or two players/years away from legitimate contention. They are here. Or rather, after tonight, they will be here. Because tonight is the last preseason game. I can hardly control my excitement.