So far Houston Rockets fans are getting what they expected out of their young, up-and-coming team. We envisioned endless fast-breaks, self inflicted turnovers and fouls. Lots and lots of fouls. But what we failed to project was the time it would take for them to start to gel as a unit.
After the first five games of the ones that don’t count, these young guys are averaging over 26 assists per game. Jeremy Lin is leading the way with a 6.5 average. While the Rockets are very much sticking to the game plan that requires them to wear out the rubber on their sneakers, they are finding ways to feed the scoreboard using half-court sets as well. At 104.4 ppg, Houston is currently second in the league behind only the Philadelphia 76’ers. Not bad, right? Too bad their opponents score 104.2. Worst in the league.
That’s not exactly shocking news. The biggest concern throughout training camp was the Rockets paint-presence. Were they going to be D-Bo or Smokey? Instead they’re Craig. Holding their own. Although 45.4 rebounds a game is respectable and good for sixth in the NBA, Rockets opponents are getting their hands on the loose change at nearly the same rate, 44.8 each game. Newly acquired center, Omer Asik, is doing his part. The big man from Turkey is snatching over 11 rebounds per. The .80 blocks a game isn’t impressive though.
One could easily get the sense that this group genuinely likes playing with each other. All the ankle-biters on this team have something in common. They are all under-appreciated talents who want to prove themselves to their peers. Everything they have done, collegiate or otherwise, means nothing anymore. A time has come to establish a new goal. A goal that not even the NBA’s biggest “superstars” don’t have the testicular fortitude to attempt to accomplish. Take a squad, that has no business doing anything, and do something with it. Forty wins from this Rockets bunch will turn heads. Finishing above .500 will have them whispering. But, of course, your goal should always be to exceed your goals. That would actually be the most appropriate slogan for “A New Age.”