The Houston Rockets were the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference this season, but their chances of contention were bleak. They were matched against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the West's No. 1-seeded team and the heavily favored club.
The Rockets lacked both consistency and defensive presence at times this season (let alone the playoffs). While consistency isn't always something that can be fixed during the offseason, defense certainly can.
General manager Daryl Morey should focus on defense and defense alone during the offseason. His team has the pieces in place make a run at a title in the near future if reinforcements come via free agency or trades.
The current roster could use some tweaking (a starting point guard swap, perhaps?), but a team led by James Harden on the perimeter and Omer Asik underneath is in good hands.
I foresee three players who could come to Houston and make an immediate impact, one of whom is a star and two of whom are role players. Should these pieces by brought in by Morey, the Rockets could quickly move up the ranks of Western Conference powerhouses.