|2012-13 Team Rating|
|9th Overall||20th Overall|
Stats through Jan. 22
In his first year as a starter, Omer Asik is a virtual double-double machine. Chandler Parsons is still an unrefined, uncontrolled talent and Patrick Patterson must not be afraid to rebound.
James Harden was as welcome as air conditioning in a Houston summer for the way he came and took over as the main man. Jeremy Lin shows flashes that make his inconsistency more frustrating.
To paraphrase the famous line from The Wild Ones, "We don't need no stinkin' defense." The Rockets give good lip service night after night, but rarely get up in faces and shut anyone down.
Toney Douglas and Carlos Delfino have had their moments to shine. Greg Smith has been the poster boy for the NBA D-League. Keep an eye on little-used Donatas Motiejunas down the line.
Nobody in the NBA has had to battle the hardship of Kevin McHale, who lost daughter Sasha in November. It's been a struggle to keep heads above water with the youngest roster in the NBA.
The Rockets want to play every game with the urgency of a fire drill. The trouble is that with the youngest team in the league, their helter-skelter, fastest-pace-in-the-league style often makes it appear that the house is burning down. Too often they don't think before they shoot. They shoot way too many 3-pointers. And they frequently take stretches of games off.
For a franchise that has been mired in the middle of the standings, been the last team to miss the playoffs and mind-numbingly boring for the past three seasons, this Phoenix Suns Lite approach perhaps makes sense from an entertainment point of view, but hasn't really improved the Rockets when it comes to wins and losses.
There is no question that the acquisition of Harden and the free-agent signing of Asik gives them a nice 1-2 combination upon which to build for the future. However, it remains to be seen if Lin can take his game to the next level as a top flight offensive leader and distributor on a consistent basis. This is a bunch that is far too careless with the ball, evidenced by the fact that they dubiously lead the league in committing turnovers.
More than anything, right now the Rockets need somebody at the power forward spot who can gobble up rebounds, especially on the offensive glass, and block shots or be a stretch shooter.
They're a team that's made strides for the future, but still lacks the smarts and consistency in the present.
-- Fran Blinebury
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||B+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||A-|
|Los Angeles Lakers||C-|
|New Orleans Hornets||C-|
|New York Knicks||A-|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||B-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B+|