For 7 straight seasons the Rockets were in the top 5 in defensive field goal percentage, establishing a reputation as a tough, gritty team capable of beating any squad, any night.
After losing both Ron Artest and Yao Ming last season, that changed in a hurry. Houston slipped to 23rd after allowing opponents to shoot 47.5% for the year, and even worse (48.7%) in the 24 games Kevin Martin was with the team.
Luis Scola believes the Rockets need to get back to what they once did best.
“I believe we need to get back to the first three years,” said Scola, referring to the team’s defense-first philosophy. “It’s an easier way to play and an easier way to win. We need to get back to being a good defensive team and from there build our offense and our system.”
Scola thinks it can happen, in large part because of his faith in what Yao Ming will eventually be able to do — even under a 24-minute per game time limit.
“Yao in 24 minutes can do a lot of things on the court,” said Scola. “He can be very productive. And I don’t think that’s definite. Hopefully while the games start going by he’s going to be able to play a little bit more minutes and eventually get to the spot that he was before the injury.”