- Created on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 10:57
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
After a lackluster 0-5 start to the NBA season the Houston Rockets are still at the bottom of the division with a record of 8-13. Rather than be worries about the future of the team as the 2010-11 season unfolds fans should be encouraged. Subtract the poor 0-5 start and the Rockets have been a .500 team at 8-8.
While that would still not be good enough for the team to make the playoffs more than likely it shows that the team is on the verge of becoming a contender in spite of the roadblocks that they have faced, namely injuries to many of the team’s star players.
Yao Ming is back on the court for the Rockets, but the team has taken a very cautious approach to his minutes in order not to aggravate the injury that fueled retirement rumors over the last year and forced him to miss all of last season. As it is he has still missed most of this season logging time in only five games
Houston has also had to do without last year’s break out guard, Aaron Brooks. Brooks joined the Rockets as the team’s first round pick in 2007, but did not log significant time till the 2008-09 season (25 minutes a game over 80 games) when he averaged 11.2 points a game. Last season with over 35 minutes a game his scoring output jumped to almost 20 points a game. However, much like Yao Ming, Brooks has only logged time in five games due to injury.
Yao Ming had hoped to return to the court Tuesday night when the Rockets welcomed their former teammate Tracy McGrady to town when they took on the Detroit Pistons. Ming ended up not playing in the Rockets’ their third win in four games, a 97-83 win.
"I don't know yet," Yao said of when he might return. "There is no guarantee. I try. I'll try my best. I can guarantee that."
Luis Scola continued to have a stellar season scoring 35 points and accounting for 12 rebounds as the Rockets continued to do something they were not doing at the start of the season, close out games.
"We struggled early in the season closing these types of games and later on we were able to play harder and better when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter," said Scola, who scored 10 points in the last period.
If the Rockets can continue to improve on defense than a return to the post season could be in the cards this year. Houston is on its best scoring tear in recent years averaging over 105 points a game after 21 games. The problem has been their defense; the team has allowed opponents over 105 points a game, about a half a point more than they have scored.