Could the Houston Rockets Have Still Been a Playoff Team without James Harden Acquistition?

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April 03, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale speaks with shooting guard James Harden (13) during the second quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

But whether the Rockets go with Millsap, Gasol or Smith, the focus right now will be on seeing how the team does in its first postseason together. Chandler Parsons is the only starter from the 2011-12 Rockets squad, as Lin and Asik came via free agency and Beard Man was the trade of the season.

Starting power forward Greg Smith wasn’t even drafted, but just walked on after summer league. It’s a team that has come together in a haphazard fashion, but Morey would never suggest it were anything of the sort.

GMs like Morey and Oklahoma City’s Rob Presti have a knack for spotting guys who are already good and then making them even better by giving them full time jobs. Continuing to employ this plan, and being opportunistic (both the Thomas Robinson and Harden trades were vulture-like), will help Morey have this team contending for a long time.

Harden is the kind of talent who will draw other premier names, and the Rockets have the league’s youngest starting five. The thing is, quite unlike the other really young teams like Charlotte, Sacramento and Orlando, the Rockets are playoff bound and are becoming a league pass favorite for fans around the country. The team isn’t expected to get by either the Denver Nuggets or Oklahoma City Thunder, but the possibility of stealing a game or two is there.

And just that, just getting their feet wet and building on that experience for next season, is really all that is needed right now in Houston. Rockets fans are excited to see the team back in the posteason, and Kevin McHale has brought a lot of excitement to fan base languishing in the pain of Yao Ming’s early retirement.