A year ago, the Houston Rockets had Jeremy Lin and not much else in terms of star power or even recognizable names on a young and inexperienced team.
Things are much different entering the 2013 season.
Houston traded for James Harden days before the start of last season and he helped the Rockets return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Their offseason acquisition of prized free agent Dwight Howard combined with Harden's development has catapulted the Rockets from an afterthought in the Western Conference to a contender far quicker than most anyone expected.
The challenge, of course, is for the Rockets to live up to expectations.
Howard is healthy and happy and has a simple goal, saying: "I just want to win."