John Schuhmann of NBA.com does a yearly survey involving all 30 NBA general managers. They all answer 56 different questions about players, coaches, and fans. The Houston Rockets were mentioned several times throughout the whole survey. Let’s take a look at how NBA’s general managers feel the Houston Rockets place amongst the rest of the NBA.
Note: To see the whole survey click here.
The Questions And Answers
1. Which team will win the Western Conference?
- San Antonio – 40.0%
- Oklahoma City -36.7%
- L.A. Clippers – 20.0%
- Houston – 3.3%
Last year: L.A. Lakers – 60.0%
2. Which team will win the Southwest Division
- San Antonio – 70.0%
- Houston - 30.0%
Last year: San Antonio – 96.7%
3. Who is the best shooting guard in the NBA?
- James Harden, Houston – 56.7%
- Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers – 20.0%
- Stephen Curry, Golden State; Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City; Paul George, Indiana – 6.7%
- Dwyane Wade, Miami – 3.3%
Last year: Kobe Bryant – 66.7%
4. Who is the best center in the NBA?
- Dwight Howard, Houston – 65.5%
- Marc Gasol, Memphis – 20.7%
- Tim Duncan, San Antonio – 10.3%
- Roy Hibbert, Indiana – 3.4%
Last year: Dwight Howard – 93.3%
5. Which team made the best overall moves in the offseason?
- Houston – 55.2%
- Brooklyn – 24.1%
- L.A. Clippers – 10.3%
Last year: L.A. Lakers – 86.2%
6. Which one player acquisition will make the biggest impact?
- Dwight Howard, Houston – 86.2%
Last year: Dwight Howard – 70.0%
7. Which team will be most improved in 2013-2014?
- Detroit – 16.7%
- Brooklyn, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota, New Orleans, Washington – 13.3%
- L.A. Clippers – 3.3%
Last year: Brooklyn – 62.1%
8. What was the most surprising move of the offseason?
- Nets-Celtics trade; Andre Iguodala to Golden State – 21.4%
- Andrei Kirilenko to Brooklyn – 14.3%
- Dwight Howard to Houston – 10.7%
- Jrue Holiday to New Orleans; Doc Rivers to the Clippers – 7.1%
Last year: Steve Nash to the Lakers – 39.3%
9. Who is the best defensive player in the NBA?
- Dwight Howard, Houston – 34.5%
- LeBron James, Miami – 27.6%
- Tony Allen, Memphis – 13.8%
- Andre Iguodala, Golden State – 6.9%
Last year: Dwight Howard – 60.0%
- Dwight Howard, Houston – 46.7%
- Joakim Noah, Chicago – 16.7%
- Marc Gasol, Memphis; Roy Hibbert, Indiana; Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City – 10.0%
Last year: Dwight Howard – 66.7%
11. Which head coach runs the best offense?
- Gregg Popovich, San Antonio – 37.9%
- Rick Adelman, Minnesota – 20.7%
- Kevin McHale, Houston – 10.3%
- Mike D’Antoni, L.A. Lakers; Erik Spoelstra, Miami – 6.9%
Last year: George Karl – 31.0%
Other questions where Rockets players/coaches mentioned in the “Also received votes” section
1. Which player is most likely to have a breakout season? – James Harden
2. Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the Draft? – Isaiah Canaan
3. Which head coach makes the best in-game adjustments? – Kevin McHale
4. Who is the best assistant coach in the NBA? – J.B. Bickerstaff, Kelvin Sampson
5. Which team is the most fun to watch? – Houston
6. Which player is the best pure shooter? – James Harden
7. Which player is the best at getting his own shot? – James Harden
8. Which player is the best offensive rebounder? – Dwight Howard
9. Which player is the best finisher at the rim? – Dwight Howard
Rounding these up we see that most NBA GM’s feel the Rockets have the best shooting guard and center in the game and the best defensive player in the NBA. Harden’s taken a huge jump from last season and these two have the potential to be one of the greatest combo in franchise history.
The Rockets coaching staff was given lots of love in the NBA survey. Kevin McHale was voted one of the best offensive coaches in the NBA as well as one of the best coaches in making timely in-game adjustments. The assistants also received some love with Bickerstaff and Sampson being mentioned as some of the best assistant coaches around. Both Bickerstaff and Sampson were brought in for interview for jobs over the offseason but thankfully they stayed with the Rockets.
It was a bit surprising to not see the Rockets on top of the “most fun team to watch” list. To me, the Rockets and the Warriors are the two most fun teams to watch with the ability to drain threes all day long. Also, apparently several GM’s thought Howard would never come to Houston. It’s possible there’s still some sort of question about whether or not Houston is a popular place for free agents, but that question is mute now that the Rockets are championship contenders.
It’s a great time to be a Rockets fans as this survey portrays. With the Texans struggling and the Astros in rebuilding mode, Houston sports fans are hoping for a big season from the Rockets and hopefully an NBA Finals appearance in year one of the Harden/Howard combo.