The Houston Rockets were second in fast break points last year, ranking behind only the Denver Nuggets. Just one year earlier, before the arrivals of Jeremy Lin and James Harden, they ranked 10th in the league.
It goes without saying that given the athleticism and youth on their roster, an up-tempo approach makes a lot of sense for this team.
Now, with the ultra-athletic Dwight Howard having been added to the equation, it stands to reason that Kevin McHale and Co. will turn things up even more in 2013-14.
According to the Houston Chronicle, two days into workouts, there is a clear emphases on “running” and “a lot of transition” basketball being played. Lin, specifically, seemed excited about what that meant for the way that the Rockets would be playing this year.
“We played a little bit of 5-on-5 full court and it was a lot of transition,” Lin said. “We were running and I think some of the guys we brought in love running too so hopefully it will become pretty natural. I think it already is.”
The addition of Howard has opened up a lot of avenues in the middle that didn’t exist with Omer Asik playing center. Even though Lin didn’t come right out and expressly say that, the emphasis on ‘different options’ when it comes to how this team will play is clearly a direct byproduct of Howard’s skill set.
“I am seeing a lot of different options in our offense,” Lin said. “I think it has been pretty cool to see everybody come together. We are working hard and having fun.”
If they come out of the gate firing on all cylinders, given the changes that the Nuggets underwent this summer, Houston could be the most exciting team in the NBA this year.