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NBA Houston Rockets

Top 5 Players to Watch for the Houston Rockets

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Top 5 Players to Watch for the Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets Top Five
Kyle Terada - USA TODAY SPORTS

The NBA has recently become a race to acquire the top superstars in the league, pay them ungodly amounts of money, and put them together on the same team in hopes of winning a championship. The Houston Rockets proved this was their plan this offseason when they chased down and then painstakingly courted the drama queen Dwight Howard and convinced him to join the team. Howard brings a love/hate relationship in Houston, but few can deny he's the most talented center currently in the NBA. Whether or not this is a good move has yet to be seen, but the Rockets finally have a superstar duo in D12 and James "The Beard" Harden with some budding stars in Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin.

The Rockets managed to squeak into the playoffs last year and threatened to take down an Oklahoma City Thunder team that was up on the series a quick three games to none. The Thunder are clearly missing Harden and the Rockets are quickly proving they are fighting back to their perennial playoff ways. This was before signing Dwight Howard this offseason and before having a fully healthy team with plenty of chemistry playing together.

The Rockets are definitely going to stroll into the Western Conference Playoffs this season, but it's a long road to the Finals once the playoffs begin. These five will make or break that playoff run for this Rockets squad that is on their way to proving they are worth being called a yearly contender to make the NBA playoffs.

As Chandler Parsons put it last year: "I think the world saw that we have a chance to be really good."

This year the world will get that chance.

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5. Omer Asik

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Omer Asik was a fantastic defensive addition for the Houston Rockets two years ago, and he had a fantastic campaign starting at center last season. Then the Rockets acquired Dwight Howard. Once D12 came to Houston, Asik quickly asked to be traded and was promptly told no. Asik will be playing with a chip on his shoulder all season long leading to exciting plays and a strong defensive presence as he has been demoted to a bench roll behind D12 this year.

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4. Jeremy Lin

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The "Linsanity" that swept the nation while Jeremy Lin took over the New York Knicks two years ago led Lin to be one of the more overpaid athletes in the NBA as he is clearly not worth the three years and $25 million that he signed for with the Houston Rockets. Regardless, he is talented at the pick and roll game, and so is Dwight Howard. There will be plenty of SportsCenter Top Ten highlights from this duo.

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3. Chandler Parsons

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Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports Images

One of the most underrated rising talents in the NBA, Chandler Parsons is a thrill to watch on both ends of the court. His length at the small forward position allows him to cover both smaller and larger players and gives him a unique offensive skill set with his ability to not only get to the lane but to shoot the corner three point shot. Parsons will have many many chances to light up the scoreboard from the corner three this year with opposing teams having to worry about the James Harden and Dwight Howard tandem.

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2. Dwight Howard

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The drama is over and Dwight Howard is happy being with the Houston Rockets, for now. Regardless of how much drama he brings to the team the Rockets are clearly happy to have him, and for good reason. D12 is currently one of the best centers in the NBA, and coming into a season where he is actually healthy his numbers should immediately improve from last year's performance with the Los Angeles Lakers. Both guards in Jeremy Lin and James Harden are talented pick and roll players which will lead to Houston's very own lob city.

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1. James Harden

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are still James "The Beard" Harden's team even though Dwight Howard has joined them. Harden went from sixth-man fan favorite in Oklahoma City to an internationally known superstar partially for his impressive offensive ability and also for his easily recognizable beard. Harden is easily one of the top five if not top there shooting guards in the NBA, and this year he will dazzle basketball fans everywhere with his high flying dunks and dirty three pointers. The addition of Howard puts less pressure on Harden as well, keeping the double teams away and allowing him to do his thing. This will be a big year for both the Rockets and The Beard.