The Houston Rockets were one of those teams last NBA season that quietly flew under the radar. Having finished the regular season with a 53-29 overall record, the Rockets just missed the number two seed in the playoffs by a mere game.
Many wondered whether the Rockets could quietly emerge as a sleeper in the West, possibly one of the only teams with the ability to upset the Lakers in a series.
This nearly happened, as the Houston Rockets took the Los Angeles Lakers to a full seven games during the Western Conference semifinals last season. While the Lakers won this game 7 by a whole 19 points, the Rockets had LA’s number during a few of these games, leaving many wondering just how dangerous this efficient basketball team was.
Under the effective leadership of head coach Rick Adelman, the Rockets team from last year will return for another season of basketball; only one thing has changed. Ron Artest, an integral part of this team, will no longer be a Houston Rocket. In fact, he’s now with the very team that put an end to Houston’s season last year.
Will the Rockets still be the same, pesky team that scared so many NBA clubs last season? Or will Ron Artest’s move to the Lakers bridge the gap between the two franchises by that much more?
Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Aaron Brooks, and the rest of the team have a lot of work cut out for them. These guys do like a challenge.