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Midseason Report Card Header

Houston

Rockets

Southwest

2011-12 Team Rating
OffenseDefense
101.899.7
9th Overall15th Overall
Team Pic

Stats through Feb. 16

W

17

L

13

PCT

.567

GB

5.5

CONF

11-11

DIV

3-4

HOME

11-3

ROAD

6-10

Report Card Header

Category

Grade
FrnCourt
Starting forwards Luis Scola and Chandler Parsons give the Rockets a nice mix of veteran wiles and rookie enthusiasm around the basket. Center Samuel Dalembert has been a nice pickup with his play in the paint at both ends.

B

BckCourt
You could have made the argument -- and the Rockets did -- that Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin both merited All-Star recognition. The bulldog Lowry has quietly become a top-flight point guard and a leader you'd follow into battle.

A

Defense
The biggest difference from last year was supposed to be getting big man Dalembert in the middle to replace 6-foot-6 Chuck Hayes. But the Rockets have also had success trapping and forcing turnovers with their small lineup.

C

Bench
From Patrick Patterson to Chase Budinger to Courtney Lee to Goran Dragic, the Rockets' bench is solid, together and of late has been a key to their run up through the West standings. Athleticism and enthusiasm abound.

B

Coaching
In his first year on the job in Houston, Kevin McHale has wasted no time putting his stamp on the Rockets. He demands effort and is willing to sit anyone at anytime who doesn't deliver it.

B

Grade Footer

B

Summary

The Rockets have seemingly been a team in transition for several years. Ever since Tracy McGrady checked out and Yao Ming was lost again to injury and retirement, they've been seeking an identity.

On the sidelines that identity has come from the Hall of Famer McHale, who knows what it takes to win and cuts no corners or makes no excuses in that pursuit. The on-court identity has come from Lowry, who has embraced his role as starter and team leader in a bear hug and is now squeezing every ounce of production out of his teammates.

After failing in their attempt to remake the team around Pau Gasol, the Rockets have succeeded with a combination of Dalembert and Jordan Hill in the middle. While neither is complete, together they defend the paint and can score around the basket.

The second-year forward Patterson has come back from ankle surgery to show that he can become everything the Rockets hoped when they drafted him and another key to the future.

The Rockets are still not ready to enter the conversation with the real championship contenders. That's going to take a move or two by G.M. Daryl Morey. But in the meantime, this can be a competitive, athletic, entertaining bunch to watch and potentially dangerous first-round playoff opponent.

-- Fran Blinebury

Explanation of Marking System

  • A - Superior
  • B - Above Average
  • C - Average
  • D - Below Average
  • F - Failing
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