Hiring Mike D’Antoni as your head coach, naming James Harden your primary point guard, and replacing Dwight Howard with Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon; it does not take a rocket scientist to see what side of the ball really matters to Houston.
To say Houston had a “trying” year last season would be putting things lightly. Coming from a Western Conference Finals appearance a year prior, Houston was thought to be a championship caliber team that could rival that of the Golden State Warriors.
Those ideas where quickly put to bed last season.
Where do I start with the Rockets? I could start with just how awful Houston was on defense (ranked 21 last season). I could start with Houston bailing on former head coach Kevin McHale just 11 games into the season. Ie could start with the nightmarish relationship between Harden and Dwight Howard, which effected the whole team. I could start with GM Daryl Morey openly viewing his players as “assets” in stead of people. I could start with the disaster Ty Lawson was.
Sorry. Let me catch my breath for a second.
The only bright spot Houston can hang it’s hat on last season was newly appointed point guard James Harden. Finishing season second in scoring (29 PPG) , Harden night-after-night carried Houston to a 41-41 record with his brilliant shooting and ability to get to the free throw line (fun stat: Harden has attempted more free throws in the last two seasons than four TEAMS). Harden is one of the best scorers in the NBA period, but the same can not be said for his defense.
Harden (along with the entire Rockets team) is one of the worst defenders in the NBA period! Whether it is a lack of care about defense or whatever it is, Harden’s defense was terrible.
Anderson and Gordon does not help Houston defensively either; nor does new head coach D’Antoni.
Houston will be one of the best offensive teams in the league this season. With D’Antoni’s revolutionary “seven seconds or less” offense, Harden and the Rockets will flourish… offensively.
Defensively however, Hmmmm.