NBA Season Preview: Houston Rockets

James Harden and the Rockets seem to be more at ease this season.


Camp Location: Toyota Center, Houston.

Coach: Mike D’Antoni, 12 years, 455-426 overall; first year with Rockets; .

Last Season: 41-41, lost to Golden State in first round of playoffs.

Key Returnees: James Harden, Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, Corey Brewer, Clint Capela, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, KJ McDaniels.

Key Additions: Ryan Anderson (New Orleans), NenĂª (Washington), Eric Gordon (New Orleans), Tyler Ennis (Milwaukee), Pablo Prigioni (LA Clippers), PJ Hairston (Memphis), Bobby Brown (Turkey), Chinanu Onuaku (Louisville), Gary Payton II (Oregon State), Isaiah Taylor (Texas), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga).

Key Losses: Dwight Howard (Atlanta), Michael Beasley (Milwaukee), Terrence Jones (New Orleans), Donatas Motiejunas (free agent), Jason Terry (Milwaukee), Josh Smith (free agent), Marcus Thornton (Washington).

Outlook: Like so many places, life just seems better now that Dwight Howard is gone. Like so many stars, James Harden didn’t appear to care for or be a good fit with Howard. So happiness abounds as Mike D’Antoni and his high-speed offense will put the ball in Harden’s hands even more. Also, newcomers Nene, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon are nice veterans, and could benefit from the system. Bottom line: With D’Antonio here and Harden setting everything up, this may suddenly be a more joyful (and successful) place to be.