Are the Rockets for Real?

Chris IrvinCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2008

An 18 game win streak and being the third best team in the West would make you say that this team is for real, but how long can the Houston Rockets keep on this tear? 

With the loss of their dominant center Yao Ming, who was averaging 22 points and 10 rebounds, can the Rockets continue their stellar play?

It's no question that the Rockets will be a playoff team this year, but the real question is how far can they go. They rely on their big man, and Yao Ming has suffered four leg injuries in the past two years.  This could be from the excessive use that the Rockets have on him. 

Can you blame them?—What's more attractive then a 7 foot 6 center.  What's not attractive is the fact that Houston will be without Ming for the rest of the season. 

You can't question Tracy McGrady.  Everyone knows he will come to play every night and try to keep this push going, but someone else needs to step up.  Luis Scola might just be that guy.  The rookie from Argentina is averaging 9 points and 5 rebounds per night—they are not Yao Ming numbers, but it is a start.

The Rockets championship hope is going to come down to who will step it up in the latter half of the season.  If the answer is no one, then the Houston rockets are a lost cause.