Houston Rockets Final Report Card

By Joe Booker
Updated: May 21, 2005

HOUSTON, TX.—The Houston Rockets Final Report Card does not look good. This is an old and slow team. Several veteran players were brought in and spent most of the season injured. A veteran team should not lose in the first round of the playoffs. They had role players in the starting lineup. Now you know why they lost in the first round.

They got rid of Jim Jackson and kept players that could not carry Jackson’s jock. Jimmy Hoffa will be found before we learned why they got rid of Jackson.

Where does the team go from here? First, they must get rid of their aging and slow players and go with a younger and quicker team. They must find a true point guard and a power forward.


Vin Baker: Best years are behind him. He was injured most of the time and was not used when he was healthy. He cannot be brought back.


Jon Barry: Has had some good games, but his age and lack of quickness have been a liability. He should not be brought back.


Ryan Bowen: Has not done the job expected of a role player. He is a stand up shooter and cannot create. He should not be invited back. Why was he signed?


Juan Howard: Played a key role before injuries. When healthy he is a compliment to Tracy McGrady. He is getting older and you don’t know how he will respond to his injury. If he is healthy he will take pressure of McGrady.


Mike James: This was a good addition. He plays better as a starter and did a great job when he replaced an injured Bob Sura. He is quicker and a better shooter than Sura.


Tracy McGrady: He is the Rockets. His performances explain everything. Without McGrady the Rockets would have been a lottery pick.


Dikembe Mutombo: Did an outstanding job filling in for Yao Ming. He is almost 40-years old and his best years are behind him. Team seems to play better when he is in the game. He should be brought back.


Moochie Norris: He played a little more than the trainers. Can’t figure out why he is on the team. Can you believe they brought him back a second time? Stop laughing!


Scott Padgett: He is a stand up shooter and cannot create. He is too slow to matchup with most players on defense. He should not be invited back.


Bob Sura: He has a lot of energy. Plays hard and tough, but is more of a role player than a starter. He is not a true point guard and at age 33, will be better coming off the bench.


Charlie Ward: I am still trying to figure out why he was brought here. He has been injured most of the time. He should not be brought back. He just laughs all the way to the bank. He is under contract for two more years. I would like to be his agent. Stop laughing!


Clarence Weatherspoon: This is another player I cannot figure why he was brought here. He should not be brought back. He was paid to sit.


David Westley: He has been valuable as a defensive player, but disappeared in the playoffs. He is 35 and his best years as a starter are behind him. He would be better coming off the bench.


Yao Ming: This is his third year in the league. For a player of his height, more is expected of him. He gets tired early and often. He seldom put together back-to-back good games. He plays in China during the off season and it takes its toll on him.



Jeff Van Gundy has not gotten the team beyond the first round. I question how he used some of his players and some of the players he brought in. Did he let a rookie out-coach him in the playoffs? Why was Rockets owner Les Alexander so anxious to extend his contract for one more year? He had two years left on his old contract. Did he think other teams would be knocking down his door calling for Van Gundy’s service? Don’t laugh.


Houston Rockets Final Report Card booker page 3 5-21-05


Carroll Dawson. The Rockets general manager did a good job when he traded for Tracy McGrady. Getting McGrady was a no-brainer. He brought in several questionable players and over-paid them. He has brought in role players as starters. He pays mediocre players superstar money. Hey, charity starts at home.

The entire town laughed when Rod Strickland was signed. Did Strickland really look like Red Foxx running down the court?