Rockets: The key difference between the 2001-02 team and this one

Houston Rockets Steve Francis Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez /Allsport
Houston Rockets Steve Francis Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez /Allsport /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis (3) (Photo by Mike FIALA / AFP) (Photo by MIKE FIALA/AFP via Getty Images) /

The 2001-02 Houston Rockets

The 2001-02 Houston Rockets were interesting for a lot of reasons. Not only was it the first year since 1984 that Hakeem Olajuwon, the greatest player in franchise history, was not on the roster, but it was also the worst year for Rudy Tomjanovich, who is the greatest coach in Houston sports history.

Olajuwon’s departure marked the beginning of a new era, and even with one of the most exciting players in the league in Steve Francis. But in spite of that, it was one of the most dreadful years in Houston Rockets history.

The top two players on that team were Francis, who averaged 21.6 points and Cuttino Mobley, who averaged 21.7 points a game. That team consisted of Rockets legends like Oscar Torres and Dan Langhi.

The Rockets that year were last in defensive rating and assists per game, while also being next to last in pace and attendance. At the time the Rockets were a fun team to watch, but with very few impactful players and the fourth-hardest schedule that year, making it unsurprising where they finished in the standings.

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