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Houston Rockets Daily Rocket Science: Blast from the Past

Dec 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) protects the ball from San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) in the second half of a NBA basketball game on Christmas at Toyota Center. Rockets won 88 to 84. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) protects the ball from San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) in the second half of a NBA basketball game on Christmas at Toyota Center. Rockets won 88 to 84. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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The future of the Rockets is uncertain, given the shakiness of their recent history. Hopefully the team will be able to learn from its mistakes and make next season better than the most recent one.

The Houston Rockets are an interesting franchise. The team has been great on multiple occasions and has many current and former players who are headed for the hall of fame. However, the team is almost infamous for coming up short in times when it’s mattered most.

The Yao Ming/Tracy McGrady era was cut short by injuries, and most recently the James Harden/Dwight Howard reign is near its end due to chemistry issues. The Rockets are a team that has been successful in years past, but doesn’t have all that much hardware to show for it.

Houston Rockets news and notes from around the web

Phil Watson of Hoops Habit put together a list of the 50 greatest players with no championship rings, and a disheartening five Rockets players cracked the top 20. That goes to show how often the Rockets have had the necessary pieces in place but couldn’t put it all together.

With the Rockets, McGrady earned three more All-NBA bids, bringing him to seven, and was picked for his fifth, sixth and seventh All-Star games.

But Houston lost a first-round Game 7 to the Dallas Mavericks in 2005, missed the playoffs in 2006 and lost a first-round Game 7 at home to the Utah Jazz in 2007.

In 2008, the Rockets again lost in the first round to Utah and in 2009, Houston beat the Portland Trail Blazers before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers—but McGrady was out with an injury and missed the postseason.

For a more positive look into the more recent past, Space City Scoop’s Andre Cantalogo provided a summary of the five best games for Red Nation from the 2015-2016 campaign. The Rockets were unbelievably unpredictable this past season, and at times looked like a team poised to make a title run.

Arguably the best game of the season was when the Rockets handed the San Antonio Spurs their 6th defeat of the season after a masterclass performance from H-Town’s defense.

This was the Rockets single victory against their Texan rivals Spurs and to beat a team that only lost 15 games this past season in itself is a feat worthy of a place in this list.

But the manner of the win with the Rockets playing a pleasant game of basketball in which Harden shot only 5 free-throws, holding the Spurs to a season low in points and snapping a 7-game win streak gives even more appeal to this victory.

More from Space City Scoop

Sometimes the past can play a large role in determining what the future looks like, and led Chris Roling of Bleacher Report to make predictions on where the major free agents will sign this summer. If he’s correct, then Dwight’s time in Houston will have officially come to an end before next season rolls around.

"How about an unexpected contender such as the Dallas Mavericks? The team has Chandler Parsons and   heading to free agency, meaning owner Mark Cuban has plenty of cash to spend this summer. Presuming Nowitzki stays around, Cuban won’t blink at throwing max cash and whatever promises Howard demands at the star center’s feet. Dirk Nowitzki"

That’s it for the flashbacks today. Though there is much to learn from the past, we should hope that the Rockets are looking to the future rather than staring at the rearview mirror. Stay tuned to Space City Scoop for updates on the Rockets’ future as the summer wears on.

Send our Editor any Rockets-related article/video/tweet/gram/vine that we may have missed via Twitter direct message to @TTOTambz.

NEXT: Complete 2016 and 2017 Free Agents List

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