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One Key Player Can Turn the Houston Rockets Into Contenders

Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are currently sitting in the third spot in the western conference, becoming the most surprising team in the NBA. MVP candidate, James Harden, is putting up a terrific campaign for MVP voting. He’s averaging 28.2 PPG, 8.2 REB, 11.8 AST, and his play reminds everyone a little bit of Magic Johnson. Harden proved his MVP campaign by winning without Eric Gordon and Clint Capela against the Toronto Raptors. He posted a triple-double in that game and scored 40 points. The Rockets are having a great start, sitting at 31–10.

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It’s not only the Rockets MVP, but it’s co-players that are grinding and playing as hard as he does. For Example, you have Ryan Anderson, one of the best additions this offseason, shooting a career high from the 3 point line at 41%. Eric Gordon, who’s proving why he should be the sixth man and even earn some all-star votes, is averaging 17.8 PPG, and shooting 41% from 3. And they have Nene, who’s taking up the Capela role nicely.

Mike D’Antoni was the perfect fit for this team. His play style and how he runs his offense is exactly what the Houston Rockets needed all along. D’Antoni’s style is a high-scoring, 3 point style that involves a 7 second or less offense. This is not the same Rockets we have seen in the past, this a different team that’s ready to move past the 1st and 2nd round. But the scary part about it is, they can still get better.

Yes, the Houston Rockets can get better. Houston just has to find an upgrade at the backup PF. Right now, the Rockets have a rookie that’s only averaging 1.1 PPG. That’s a lack of productivity in that position. A few names that could flourish in that backup role is Tyler Hansbrough. He’s more of a physical basketball player. Quincy Acy. who could fill another glaring hole in the Rockets team, which is perimeter defense. They are 16th in defensive efficiency and allowing opponents to shoot 36% from the 3. Clint Capela was their big rebounder, and he averaged 8 REB since he left from injury. So, the Rockets do have a slight rebounding issue.

The key player to help Houston get to the Finals is Tony Allen. He’s a player that can complete and solve any team's defensive problems. With Tony Allen on the Rockets, he doesn’t have to worry about offense. Having Patrick Beverly and Tony Allen in at the same time would cause good offense bad problems.


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