When Daryl Morey, the GM of the #Houston Rockets, brought Dwight Howard on board back in 2013, everyone expected that the Rockets were going to sky rocket to the very top of the Western Conference and the #NBA. However, after only three seasons and one Western Conference finals, Howard was shown to the Exit doors and Morey found himself looking for another star on the free agents market, someone who could compliment James "the Beard“ Harden.

Kevin Durant was on the very top of the list, but he never seriously considered even meeting with Morey and the Rockets. Al Horford denied the rumors of joining the Rockets, by signing with the Boston Celtics.

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After failing to sign the big dogs, Morey chose a different strategy offering long term contracts to Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, two players that would perfectly fit in the offensive-minded lineup led by head coach Mike D’Antoni. In recent history, the trade rumors stating that DeMarcus Cousins could pick the Houston Rockets as his next destination are becoming louder.

The Rockets Offensive Efficiency

How efficient the Rockets are offensively, shows through the fact that they are averaging 113.5 PPG (2nd best in the NBA) However, everyone knows that #James Harden and the Rockets are not the best defensive team (allowing 105.8 PPG). Coach D’Antoni is aware of that fact which is why he is optimizing the use of Harden and the pick and roll game offensively, especially between Harden and Clint Capela.

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Harden is going through the best start of the season in his entire NBA career and although I have not listed him as one of the top MVP contenders, I believe that he has (next to Russell Westbrook) been at the very TOP of the players list fighting for the MVP award. Most impressive are his assist averages per game. Harden leads the league in this category with 11.8 dishes per night, while he contributes in a 51% of the Rockets points scored with his assists.

Eric Gordon has struggled with injuries in the previous seasons, which is why he was far away from his best numbers (while playing for the Clippers), but in this season he has managed to stay healthy, averaging 17.5 PPG, while shooting 44% from beyond the arc. Considering the fact that he is coming off the bench, he is currently one of the most serious contenders for the 6th Man of the Year Award.

Ryan Anderson is averaging exactly 40% from the 3-point line, which is something that many forwards in the league are not capable of and many teams could use in order to stretch their game.

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Since he joined the Rockets, the team’s offensive rating has increased by 5.5 points. However, one thing he is not good defensively at is his defensive play, as he is not known as a guy capable of playing defense at a high level, while on the other hand, he lacks the capability of punishing smaller players guarding him at the low post.

How Far Can the Rockets Go in the Season

The Hoston Rockets can, by all means, be happy with the start of this season, but how long will they be able to keep up the tempo, is the real question? We have noted before that the Rockets are not the best defensive team in the league, mostly because they lack quality individual defenders, which means that they can win games only through perfectly executed offence. When Harden is not on the floor, the Rockets are struggling to score, but this improved recently when Beverly and Gordon took over the ball handling, while Brewer, Sam Dekker and Nene completed the lineup in these situations.

So what will the Rockets be able to do this season and will they be able to reach the Conference Finals once again? That is definitely something that the 2nd quarter of the season will show. There is no doubt that the Rockets will be able to handle the Utah Jazz, Portland Trailblazers or even the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it is hard to believe that they will be able to handle the Warriors, Spurs or the Clippers. However, Playoffs are far away, which means many things can still happen.