Glad to see he decided talking about us, and its positive this time!
It's probably long overdue that we mention the Rockets, given that they enter the All-Star break with 20 wins. Did you know they're tied with the Lakers for fifth in the West? Or that they started the season 3-7 and have gone 17-7 since? Things may get better too, as seven of their first 10 games coming out of the break are against sub-.500 teams.
So how exactly are they doing this? The Rockets aren't a very sexy team -- they have no All-Stars and two of their best players (Luis Scola and Kevin Martin) have to be appreciated for their technical efficiency rather than their athletic exploits.
But they are deep, and depth can win you a lot of games this season. Houston's 10 rotation players all have a PER of 12.5 or better, so the Rockets are ninth in offensive efficiency, despite lacking a single All-Star. (I don't mean just this year either: None of the players on Houston's roster has ever appeared in an All-Star Game.) Moreover, point guard Kyle Lowry has emerged as the league's most underrated player. He has a 20.36 PER and ranks seventh among point guards in EWA; the six players ahead of him are all in Orlando this morning.
However, a bigger story is at the other end. Kevin McHale vowed to improve the defense when he took over as coach, but the first two weeks were a train wreck. Since then, Houston has cleaned things up considerably. The Rockets were once near the bottom of the charts, but now rank 15th in defensive efficiency.
The trade deadline could offer more bounty too -- Houston has a strong cap position and a lot of trade assets, including a first-round pick (Marcus Morris) who is hardly playing, and several expiring contracts. Nobody is talking about the Rockets, at least yet, but it's high time we started.
Good find. Yes, it's pretty amazing that we've done as well as we have. Considering that I've suffered through several loses this season that we should have won, our record could be even better. Remarkable.
"When in danger or in doubt, run in circles... scream & shout."
About time we get some love. And you know what? We can still get better with the 8 man rotation we have, especially on the defensive end. Then, we can be even more better if we upgrade Bud and Hill and expand our rotation to 10 solid players.
I was excited about us tanking and getting the possible #1 entering this season. And then we started winning, which caused a bit of confusion and mixed feelings. However it's clear we're no where near contention. I hope we can still find a really good (super) star(s) to build around for next season.
__________________ Jontro's Fantasy Roster:
PG - Mike Bibby / Monta Ellis
SG - Reggie Miller / Steve Smith
SF - Robert Parish / Shane Battier
PF - Zach Randolph / Larry Johnson
C - Yao Ming / Robert Parish
Speak the truth, but leave immediately after -Slovenian proverb
Just looked it up. The Rockets are one of six teams in the NBA with no players on their team to ever make the all-star team. Rockets, Bobcats, Nuggets, Bucks, Kings, and Raptors.
Rockets: Lowry will someday
Bobcats: Nobody worthy on that team
Nuggets: Someone like Gallinari or Ty Lawson could someday
Bucks: Jennings and Bogut both are worthy
Kings: Demarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans both have chances
Raptors: Nobody worthy on that team really
Just thought it'd be cool to point out that we're the best team in the NBA without any all-stars.