Re: Realistic aspirations for the Rockets this season?
Again as I have stated before it really depends on what they get from who but knowing the players that have been there and assuming their meantality rubs off on those around them I believe they can make the playoffs. They need to keep T-Mac sidelined until he is completely ready though. This season he's gonna have to trust that his teammates can get it done.
With such a small team they are going to have to get out and run because their weakness is in the half court set. I actually think the defense will suffer less than a lot of people expect simply because one characteristic of most the players is determination on that side of the ball. Playing Chuck Hayes at center though many people scoff, actually means having their best healthy post defender on opposing bigs. He'll take the fouls and body around allowing Louis Scola and Carl Landry to focus on the offensive end where they will be sorely needed. But clearly they only have a few offensive weapons and none that can really create for themselves at will.
Plainly put they need to keep game's to the 95-90 type score lines because anything above that seems hard for them to do this year.
However given that a lot of young guys both new and old will see a lot of playing time so when the team is healthy again they will have been greatly improved.