There are five games until the All Star Break, there is no reason the Rockets shouldn’t have a six game winning streak going into the break. Not one team they play has a winning record, so like I said, there is no reason the rockets shouldn’t have a six game winning streak. The thing the Rockets can’t seem to do is, BEAT THE TEAMS THEY SHOULD BE BEATING! The Rockets have lost to teams like the Grizzlies and Wizards, bottom of the league teams. They have been swept by the Pacers and 76ers, lost to the Knicks and struggled against numerous other poor teams. So can they have the six game streak heading into the break? If they can they have a good shot at rolling with a ten game winning streak, going for eleven against the Cavaliers on February 26. If they can win that game the Rockets have a good chance to run off another 6 to 8 games, seems a bit like last year huh? The key is to beat the teams that they are supposed to beat and win the games against top tier teams, to prove they are a legit contender. The exciting thing is that the Rockets will have more home games this second half of the season than away, since they played the second most road games in the NBA in the first half of the season. The Rockets schedule would seem to encourage them to make a push for the top seed in the Western Conference.
I think if you asked any Rockets fan that they would say that this season has been a disappointment. They are still on pace to win over 50 games but these days, 50 wins won’t cut it if you want to be considered a team to reckon with. We thought we would be a top five team in the NBA, some even my self thought we would be a top two team. Right now the Rockets are lucky to be considered in the top ten. Injuries have plagued the Rockets season, benching two of our stars, Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest. The Rocket though have fought hard with there deep bench and reserves. Von Wafer has stepped up with Carl Landry; Aaron Brooks was big early on though he is struggling with his shot as of late. Rafer Alstons’ play has also been erratic, he is the best choice at getting the Rockets into their offense, and he just needs to knock down his open shots. Yao Ming still is not getting consistent calls from the refs and it looks more and more like he never will. At times Yao is an unstoppable force in the paint, then the next game he seems to disappear. Part of this is the refs and part I think is that he just gets tired and can’t be as physical as the other teams. The hard part for a lot of fans is how the Rockets have seemed to play with McGrady out of the line up. McGrady took his time off to get his body back into shape. He hasn’t looked to bad but the the offense as a whole just doesn’t flow as well as when he was out. I don’t think the Rockets can make a push for the title this year with out him. I also don’t think that in this point in time we could get much for him. I have heard a lot of people calling for him to be traded. With Artests contract up at the end of the year I think we have to hope that McGrady can pick his game up for the remainder of the year and increase his trade value. Then the Rockets can re-evaluate at the end of the year if they can’t pull a championship out of this season.
For now the Rockets need to take one game at a time, don’t look ahead. Win the games you are supposed to win, play like champions when you are up against teams that have good records. We have to hope, along with the Rockets that they can stay healthy. Remember, it was the Warriors game last year on January 29th that the Rockets took off on their memorable 22 game winning streak. This year we beat them on the 31st, can we make it one more memorable season, with a trip to the finals this year? I think they have it in them, I really do.