HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets have been the talk of the offseason after the acquisition of veteran point guard Chris Paul and, more recently, a change in ownership as Tilman J. Fertitta takes over the team.
With the addition of other defensive-minded veterans, the new-look Rockets have a compelling argument to become one of the NBA’s top teams.
The pairing of Paul with James Harden potentially gives the Rockets the best backcourt in the NBA, which can combat all of the other acquisition made in the stout Western Conference.
After the All-Star break, Paul single-handedly attempted more mid-range shots than the entire Houston roster, 149-147.
He shot 48 percent from mid-range distance last year and was the league's second-best mid-range scorer.
The Rockets collectively have shot eight percent of their shots from mid-range distance, while 42 percent of Paul’s shots have come from mid-range.
Current NBA defenses are built to prevent teams that love to shoot and make three-pointers at a high percentage. The addition of Paul adds another dynamic to this team, which makes them more dangerous, as Paul has the ability to take advantage of what the defense gives him.
Another benefactor for the Rockets' future success can be made due to the signings of veterans P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah A Moute. These defensive-minded veterans can bring a strong backbone to the Rockets, and they will be great help in guarding some of the league's best perimeter players.
The Rockets have one of the league's elite offenses, but they also have had past tendencies to lack on defense. These two additions will help the Rockets put on defensive pressure, with the safety net of Clint Capela waiting in the paint.
The addition of these three key players will put less pressure Harden.
The MVP runner-up looks to have another career-best season after revolutionizing the point-guard position. Last year, he averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game.
This number of assists is staggering, as Harden generally plays shooting guard. The addition of Paul will make Harden more efficient and will help him play extended minutes, as Paul will take the burden of taking the ball up the court.