5 Reasons the Houston Rockets Are Surprising

Vinny Hardy@http://twitter.com/VinnyHardyCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2013

5 Reasons the Houston Rockets Are Surprising

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    The Houston Rockets continue to grind through January.

    Things have gotten a little bit rough for them and they are nurturing a five-game losing streak at the moment..

    For those who watch the team closely, this is neither surprising or unexpected. The NBA's youngest team will have moments like this.

    Some last longer than others, and the good and bad must be taken in stride. Overall, they are where we thought they would be.

    For those who don't watch them closely, here's why they are surprising.

    All stats are accurate as of 1/18/13. 

Omer Asik

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    The big fella continues to be a surprising and underrated acquisition for the Houston Rockets. He does his best to help on the defensive end. This is a tough task, as the Rockets are beyond porous on that end of the floor.

    Asik is good for a steady 10.3 points and 11.2 rebounds a game. As always, the points from him are gravy.

    His rebounds are down this month when compared to December. He is only playing 29.9 minutes a game, but as a first-time full-time starter, that is still taking some getting used to.

Jeremy Lin

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    Expecting Jeremy Lin to pick right up with Linsanity in Houston the way it was when he was with the New York Knicks was a bit much. However, his initial struggles weren't anticipated either.

    He's gradually rounding things into shape now. 

    Lin has had nine games where he has scored 15 or more points in the last month. Out of those nine, he's gone for 20 in four of those games. 

    His increased contributions continue to help the surprising Rockets.

James Harden

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    James Harden continues to be the consistent first option the Houston Rockets need.

    Even after a bad shooting night (5-23) in Houston's last game against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 16, he did other things.

    He hit the glass and grabbed eight rebounds. He dished out seven assists and grabbed three steals. He did everything short of scoring the 25 or so points we've come to expect of him in every game this season. 

    It wasn't enough as Houston came up short again, but that's what you want to see when the team is trying to play itself out of a midseason slump.

Chandler Parsons

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    Chandler Parsons stat-stuffing second season has been another nice help for the Rockets.

    His 14.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists averages are nice improvements from his rookie season and speaks to his versatility and drive to get better.

    Lately, he has been even more locked in, averaging 18 points a game in his last four outings.

Offensive Ease

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    The fact that the Houston Rockets want to run and get up and down is not surprising. They are the youngest team in the league after all. 

    The fact that they (for the most part) put up 105 points a game, is. They force teams to outscore them to beat them.

    Houston's defense, or lack thereof, makes it easier for opponents to come out on top in a lot of the shootouts. Let's focus on the positive for now though.

    The firepower is there, Asik's points are gravy as we said. If the power forward spot can come alive, this team could really be something this season.