After 82 regular season games and 6 playoff games, the 2012-13 season is over for my favorite team in the NBA, the Houston Rockets. Well in this blog entry, we look back on what has been one season for the books for these “Youngbloods” and what to look forward come next season.
After three seasons of sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference standings despite having winning seasons in all three of those season, the off-season began when Rockets GM Daryl Morey making a large roster overhaul. He brought in players like Jeremy Lin who was coming off the “Linsanity” fare in New York, Omer Asik who was playing as the back-up center for the Bulls. He also brought in players like Toney Douglas, Carlos Delfinoas well as drafting Jeremy Lamb, Terrence Jones and Royce White in the draft. Gone were players like Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola, Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger, Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Camby. However, all that was overshadowed when the Rockets pulled a trade with the Thunder sending Kevin Martin and Lamb to Oklahoma City for Sixth Man of the Year awardee James Harden, together with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward. When the dust settled, only Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, Greg Smith and Marcus Morris remained from last year’s roster as the season began. The Rockets would make moves during the off-season as Patterson, Douglasand Morris were sent elsewhere and they brought in players like Francisco Garciaand Thomas Robinson. They also signed players like Patrick Beverleyand Donatas Motiejunas as well as bringing back 2010 Most Improved Player awardee Aaron Brooks who was a part of that 2009 Playoff run.
James Harden had a breakout year for the Rockets, from a sixth man in Oklahoma City to becoming the face of the franchise in Houston. He finished the season 5th in scoring in the NBA. He alsois one of the league leaders in free throws made and attempted. He was named to his first All-Star selection at homeand is on track to become a part of this year’s All-NBA team.
Jeremy Lin had a nice season with the Rockets on his first full year playing starter‘s minutes. He showed his durability as he was able to play all 82 regular season games while putting up respectable numbers. He also came out as one of the league leaders in steals as well as keeping his turnovers down which has been a problem throughout his entire career. He participated in All-Star weekend at the Skills Challenge.
Chandler Parsons came out big in his sophomore campaign. Being one of the two guys (Greg Smith) left from last year’s roster, Parsons came out as the second leading scorer for the Rockets this season behind Harden. He also shot the ball better from three point range as he led the Rockets this season in 3 point percentage. He also played in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend.
Omer Asik also came out hugewhen he got starter’s minutes for the Rockets. He finishes the season as one of the leaders in rebounding, as well as providing a defensive presence for the Rockets all season long. Like Lin, he was able to play into all 82 games during the regular season and was able to play in all six playoff games.
Carlos Delfino and Francisco Garcia provided a veteran presence on a very young team. These two players live and die with the three pointer. They also have been great elder statesmen as they have been in the league for a long time now. Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks brought along speed and pure heart on a season which they never played from start to finish. It would be great to see them back in a Rockets uniform for a full year. Greg Smith, Terrence Jones, James Anderson and Donatas Motiejunas will have time to develop their game in the seasons to come.
Give a ton of credit also to head coach Kevin McHale who in his second year as the man calling the shots for the Rockets. He was able to find a style of play which made the Rocketsa very exciting team during the course of the regular season despite going through a large roster overhaul during the off-season and the regular season.
The Rockets finished 45-37 this season and were seeded 8th in the Western Conference ending a four year playoff drought. They would push the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder to six games before bowing out.
So yeah, it’s been a great time being part of Red Nation this season. This is a a season to remember for me in the 10 years I’ve been a part of Red Nation. No one else though that this team, the youngest team in the NBA today would come up with a ton of heart and grit all season long. Now the off-season begins for them. With a cap space large enough to lure a big name in. These “Youngbloods” will be out to make a ton of noise come next season.
To cap this blog entry, let me share to you this banner made by the Rockets for the Red Nation. Truly the New Age has only just begun.
RED NATION for LIFE.
See you in October here in the Philippines.