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Midseason Report Cards
Houston
Rockets
B
Stats Through Jan. 20
W-L 28-15
PCT .651
DIV 7-2
CONF 15-12
HOME 17-6
ROAD 11-9
Team Pic
Frontcourt
A
Dwight Howard is healthy, happy and productive in the middle, Chandler Parsons on the verge of stardom, Terrence Jones surprisingly steady and only Omer Asik unhappy.
Backcourt
B+
An improved Jeremy Lin filled in capably until the injured Patrick Beverley returned, and James Harden is still the best two guard in the league.
Defense
C-
Howard protects the rim and blocks shots, but the Rockets collectively and inexcusably do a horrible job of giving up offensive rebounds to opponents, ranking 29th.
Bench
B-
While Asik has been in a full-court pout and Francisco Garcia has lost shooting touch, Aaron Brooks has been a lifesaver and Omri Casspi solid.
Coaching
B
Kevin McHale's attempt to play Howard and Asik together as a "Twin Towers" tandem failed, and injuries have kept him scrambling to cut and paste from the start.
Summary

The Rockets will have a puncher's chance in any best-of-seven playoff series as long as they've got the 1-2 inside-outside combo of Howard and Harden. When that constant barrage of 3-pointers is finding the bottom of the net they are exciting, entertaining and almost impossible to guard. They take more shots behind the arc than any team in the league, but rank just 22nd in percentage of makes.

The injury and sulking of Asik has left the Rockets lacking in size up front off the bench and Francisco Garcia's fall-off has had them searching for another wing shooter. But the biggest problem has a lack of a consistent energy level. There are too many nights when they come out with little sense of urgency and that's why it's unwise to label the Rockets true championship contenders.

-- Fran Blinebury

2013-14 Team Rating
Offense Defense
107.6 102.4
4th Overall 11th Overall