Houston Rockets: Keys to Success

Michael DembyCorrespondent IJune 24, 2008

My hometown Houston Rockets have not made it out of the first round of the playoffs this century.  So, I’m serving as an honorary consultant and have four suggestions that can help the team make it to at least the conference semifinals.


Trade Tracy McGrady.  I like T-Mac. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the most unstoppable players in the NBA because he can score from anywhere on the court and is an underrated passer. 


However, the man cannot lead a team out the first round of the playoffs.  I know the stories. Yao Ming was hurt last year. He had no help in Orlando. 


The man is cursed.


As much as he is talented, T-Mac is not a leader or a motivator.  I’ve heard rumors of a trade sending him to Detroit for Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace.  If the Rockets can pull that off, DO IT!!!


Acquire another scorer.  Too many times have my Rockets gone into seemingly never-ending scoring droughts when Yao and T-Mac are not in the game. 


Rafer Alston is the only other player on the roster who can create his own shot, and he is an average shooter at best.  Rockets management needs to look for a perimeter player who can put up points.


Get a backup center that has some type of offensive game.  I love Dikembe Mutombo.  Even at his old age, he is still a great defender and you have to love his dedication and commitment to improving the conditions in his native Congo. 


However, Deke has no offensive game and should log no more than ten minutes a game at this stage of his career.  There has got be a big man out there who can take up space and has a serviceable post game.


Keep playing good defense.  The Rockets are not going to put up D'antoni-era Suns points or Lakers numbers. However, as the Celtics showed in the Finals, defense wins championships. 


Jeff Van Gundy, to his credit, established a defensive mindset in the Rockets during his coaching stint and fortunately, they stayed committed to working hard on that end of the court. Keep doing it.


These are just my thoughts. Honestly, I don’t see the Rockets winning a title next year. But, a trip past the first round of the playoffs would be nice.