We were thinking of starting (countdown of all-time Starting 5 for every team) something like this for some time. But we didn’t know what so we decided to the All-Time Starting 5. We will try to this everyday with different team for the next 30 days. We continue the All time Starting 5 with the Houston Rockets.
Point Guard – Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy played 13 years in Houston, averaging 17.9 points and 4.4 assists. The diminutive 5’9” point guard is the shortest member of the Hall of the Fame. He was also the all-time leading scorer for the Rockets when he retired with 17,949 points; that’s still good for second-most in Rockets history.
He’s the franchise leader in assists with 4,402. He’s second in games (1002), minutes (30,607), field goals (7,247), field goal attempts (15,030), free throws (3,445), steals (1,165), Offensive Win Shares (67.6) and Win Shares (84.1). He’s in the top 10 in 21 of the 51 categories tracked by Basketball-Reference.
Murphy was more of a scoring point guard than a facilitator, but with the passing on this team, that shouldn’t be a principle concern. He only had 10 threes in his career, but that was more the product of the age he played in than his ability. The “Mighty Might” was a pure shooter who would be lighting up the world from behind the arc if he were playing today. He was Nate Robinson before there was a Nate Robinson.
Shooting Guard – James Harden
In just a few seasons with the Rockets, James Harden is already leaving his mark on the franchise history books. He already has more Win Shares than any 2-guard in their history, and only six players have exceeded the 42.1 he accumulated with the Rockets in just three seasons.
Additionally, he’s the all-time leader in points per game with 26.3. Only John Lucas has more assists than Harden’s 7.3. No Rocket with at least 1,500 attempts tops Harden’s true shooting percentage of 60.7 percent.
Harden should work well alongside Murphy precisely because Murphy was more of a scorer than a passer. Offensively, it would be so hard to challenge them because anyone coming off Murphy to defend Harden would have to deal with Murphy’s deadly jumper. And if no one helped, Harden would drive to the rim unabated.
Defensively, there might be some issues with that backcourt, or at least it would be were it not for the phenomenal defense of the frontcourt.
Small Forward – Tracy McGrady
Before the “LeBron vs. Kobe” arguments, there were the “T-Mac vs. Kobe” debates. While Tracy McGrady’s best years were in Orlando, he was still a beast his first three years in Houston before he became one of the victims of the Injury Monster.
In that span, McGrady averaged 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists to 1.5 steals and .7 blocks. And while he had Yao Ming to take some of the burden off him, like Harden last season, he was the only true ball-handler for much of his time with the Rockets.
And frankly, having Harden and prime McGrady working together is utterly frightening because of McGrady’s unreal pre-injury athleticism. Defenses wouldn’t get broken down. They’d get shattered in a million-billion pieces of tiny dust fragments and blown away by the wind created the Rockets violently beating wings.
Again, defense is only a cursory concern. McGrady was never on a All-Defensive team, but he wasn’t a bad defensive player. His Defensive Box Plus-Minus was a healthy 1.4 during his prime Houston years. Harden resolved most of his defensive woes from 2013-14 last year. He wasn’t a plus defender, but he wasn’t a liability either.
Most importantly, the fellas backing them up are pretty solid defenders.
Continued on the next page……