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Houston Rockets vs. Phoenix Suns game preview

The Rockets look to finish the season on a 4-game winning streak, starting tonight against the Phoenix Suns.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

You know what sucks?

Everyone hating something you love. Like when someone tells you that your favorite movie is garbage. It shouldn't affect you, but they're essentially insulting you and your core as a human being. That's YOUR movie. It's YOU.

I love the Rockets. As much as it's possible for a man in his mid-20s to love a group of millionaires who simply get paid to dress up in a costume and place a sphere in a cylinder, I love these fools. And that's never going to change. It survived the Steve Francis years and it survived Rafer Alston. It's going to take something catastrophic for me to stop, like finding out the players are actually professional kidnappers or that they believe Hitler did nothing wrong.

Much like hearing crap about my favorite movie, it wears on me when I have to read anything in the media about the Rockets. My new year's resolution was to stop watching ESPN when it wasn't showing an actual sporting event (brilliant decision by the way; my quality of life has increased tremendously by not having to watch or listen to their garbage), but Rockets hate has permeated every space of Internet. You cannot follow a game on Twitter or go to a sports website after the game without seeing the Rockets bashed for whatever reason. The hatred for James Harden and Dwight Howard is so powerful that you can just sense the vindication that people must feel when they fail.

I talked about this with a friend last year and I'll never forget what he said. His words were, "It's not fun when everyone hates your team, but proving them wrong will be the greatest feeling in the world."

He's right. At least, last year I discovered that Houston's postseason run was great for a number of reasons, but mostly because it was a chance to shove in the face of everyone that my team didn't blow. Houston wasn't "ripe for an upset," as Jalen Rose wanted you to believe. The writers who said Houston was a bunch of fuckbois could choke on their words or at least on a piece of male genitalia. That Mavs fan that wears a mask and acts like a 12-year-old if 12-year-olds were even stupider than 12-year-olds had to eat his words too. All of the haters had to live with the fact that they were wrong and that the Rockets were actually a really good basketball team. We were right, and they were wrong. That feeling was the best I've had since Houston won the titles in 1994 and 1995.

So this year's pain is even harder to process. I had my spot in the sunlight last season, so now I have to cede that ground to Mavs fans and Jazz fans? I have to hear about how James Harden is a ballhog and then in the same breath hear about how the rest of the Rockets suck when Harden isn't running the show (the paradox or irony of the dueling statements seems to be lost on everyone in the journalism world, which is hilarious).

Maybe one day there will be a member of the national media that doesn' treat the Houston Rockets like the team raped their mother. Maybe one day people will look at the team objectively. Maybe one day James Harden's innate brilliance will be appreciated. That day isn't today.

So we just have to wait until the Rockets can prove everyone wrong and have that feeling again of vindication and justice.

Oh, and I guess the Rockets are playing the Suns tonight. Worst preview ever, I know. Don't worry, because there's only three more after this one.

Tip-off is at 7pm Central.

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