In the NBA teams are very aware that they are working with very small margins.
The difference between being a playoff team versus a lottery team is a very thin margin. A few games lost here or there and you are sitting home during the playoffs.
That same razor thin margin also exists between teams that make the playoffs and the teams that make the NBA Finals.
It appears that folks in Houston believe are the Houston Rockets have joined the elite teams in the NBA. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are among the group of teams who are serious contenders for the NBA title.
In an article written by Moise Kapenda Bower of Houston.culturemap.com, victories over the Portland Trailblazers and the San Antonio Spurs the Houston Rockets have officially cemented their place among the NBA elite for the 2013-2014 season.
Now those are quality victories but victories in November carry very little weight come playoff time.
Dwight Howard has the right train of thought by focusing on how the team can improve rather than listening to the press:
“Everybody is learning how to still play together,”
“It’s going to take time. We’re going to be a lot better team come February than we are now. The more time we have together the better we’ll get, and the better we’ll be as individuals.”
The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder can attest to how thin the margin is between a team just making the playoffs and seriously contending for a title.
During the regular season, they were seen as the cream of the Western conference on a collision course to a NBA Finals rematch against the Miami Heat. Then Russell Westbrook gets injured and the title hopes go down the tube.
The Lakers were a team fighting to make the playoffs with the hope that Kobe Bryant would be the deciding factor that would take them over the top for the title.
During the last few games, Bryant tears his ACL and the Lakers limp in to the playoffs and get swept in the first round.
The NBA had the opposite view of the Spurs last season.
During the regular season, the Spurs were viewed as an over the hill team that no longer had had what it takes to compete for the title or even be considered elite.
The experts were writing off Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili as two guys who were getting ready to ride off in to the sunset. The Spurs were a team that getting ready to rebuild via the lottery or deal off parts of their core.
The Lakers and Thunder get their injuries and the Spurs are given a golden opportunity that had the Spurs two minutes from hoisting another championship banner to the rafters.
Fate is always a single turn away from either going in or against a team.
So Spurs’ fans, how do you feel about the Rockets declaring their presence among the NBA’s elite teams during the first month of the young season?