Houston

Rockets

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

9.5

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

9.5

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

10.0

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Ethan Rothstein of SB Nation’s Rockets site The Dream Shake.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Rockets fans?

The Western Conference Finals and a minimal amount of drama.

Houston Rockets
Position Starters Bench
Guards Chris Paul James Harden Tim Quarterman Bobby Brown
Wings Trevor Ariza Eric Gordon P.J. Tucker Luc Mbah a Moute Troy Williams
Bigs Clint Capela Ryan Anderson Nene Tarik Black Chinanu Onuaku Zhou Qi

What makes Rockets fans most excited about this year? What makes Rockets fans most nervous?

The addition of Chris Paul is enough to make any fan base giddy. Adding him to James Harden seems like a slam dunk.

What makes us nervous is that we've seen superstar pairings in Houston before, and we've seen them with Mike D'Antoni before. They don't always go swimmingly. This feels different because of the people and circumstances involved, but nothing is ever certain.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Rockets?

The defense. The Beard/CP3 combo is going to bend space and time on the offensive end on the court, and the Rockets will score and shoot at historic clips yet again.

But with Paul, P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah a Moute, and, perhaps most importantly, a Harden who is not exerting maximum effort on offense every possession, the defense should be vastly improved. The team has set high defensive goals this season, and that will be how they improve on last year's finish.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Rockets this year?

People can ooh and ahh at the moves the Thunder and Celtics made, but only one team in the league has the Hall of Fame, MVP-level talent to really give the Warriors a run for their money.

And although we don't endorse this way of thinking, neutrals always love a good case of Chris Paul-James Harden schadenfreude. We happen to think you'll be disappointed, but we'd be lying if we said watching the body language of these two temperamental players will be fun to hate-watch if you aren’t a fan of the team.

What's your prediction for the season?

59-23, No. 2 seed, lose in six games to the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.