The Rockets are 12-7 and lead the Southwest Division by 1/2 game over the New Orleans Hornets. Why do I feel like they are a mediocre team? Is it the inconsistency, winning against a good team one day and losing to a bad one the next?
Is it the injuries? T-Mac is out for a few weeks. In the press, everyone that should know says that McGrady's pain must be a booger to keep him off the court. OK. I guess I believe them. Shane Battier is back, but Shane and the coaches are limiting his minutes and games played for safety's sake. We've all seen him limp through games that mattered and ones that didn't. If he can play, Shane will be there. Brent Barry will miss a couple more weeks with a muscle tear in his leg. That won't do anything to help his 30% shooting percentage for the season. Ron Artest is nursing an ankle sprain. There is little doubt that Ron gives his all in every game. The concern is that he has had a reputation of playing offense as he sees fit rather than trying to blend into a system. Coach Adelman has not complained publicly about it, but one has to wonder if that isn't the reason for Artest's 34% shooting to date with the Rockets. In Adelman's system, teamwork counts in getting open shots.
I say we speak kindly of the injured and be glad that the Rockets that are available are on a pace to get good playoff seeding. If everyone gets healthy by mid-season... Well, look out, NBA!