Defense, explosive shooting fuel Rockets

Originally Published: March 3, 2005
By Brian James | ESPN Insider
After struggling out of the gate, the Houston Rockets are headed in the right direction.

Twenty-two different players have played for the Rockets this season — the most roster changes for this franchise in almost 20 years. There was the major summer blockbuster involving perennial All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Steve Francis, and there has been an endless effort to upgrade the backcourt to get the right mix coach Jeff Van Gundy needs to succeed in his defense-oriented system. In fact, no less than six point guards have been given a chance to run the team.

Fans were thinking Orlando got the better end of the deal with Houston, but now that the dust has settled, the Rockets keep getting better and better. Van Gundy makes quick decisions on what this team needs to improve, and GM Carroll Dawson has not hesitated to keep the revolving door in motion. Houston has veteran players who have been on winning playoff teams and who bring toughness to the squad. They are playing to win now — which I like, especially since the Rockets are the oldest collective group in the league.