MMPG: Team of the Week
The Houston Rockets are a case study in resilience. Take away one of their star players and they have enough role players to fill the void. Take away one of those role players -- heck, trade away the starting point guard -- and they will find somebody else to fill that void. The Rockets have dealt with injuries and terrible luck all season, but they somehow find themselves in first place in the Southwest Division after a week in which they won four in a row, including an impressive 87-85 win in San Antonio on Sunday.
The Rockets (47-25) truly are a wonder, although this surprising run doesn't compare to last season when they went on a 22-game winning streak, even after losing Yao Ming for the season. But this is quite remarkable. They are now 15-5 since Tracy McGrady's season ended and had to bounce back from even more adversity last week, with the unexpected injury to forward Carl Landry who was shot in the leg Tuesday morning.
Their week began in New Orleans, with a critical game without Yao (flu-like symptoms). What happened? The Rockets dusted off Dikembe Mutombo and beat the Hornets 95-84 as Ron Artest rebounded from missing his first 11 shots to score 18 second-half points. Landry was shot when the team returned to Houston and will miss one to three weeks. Yao came back, got a little selfish and scored 31 points with 15 rebounds in a 106-101 win against Detroit Pistons. After handing out a 29-point beatdown to Minnesota on Friday, the Rockets traveled to San Antonio and left town with a half-game lead over the Spurs as Luis Scola had 19 points, including two key baskets in the final minute.