After the Rockets' 89-79 win over the Trail Blazers last Friday, Tracy McGrady said, "I think we've found ourselves."
And he can hardly believe how they've done it.
Sparked by their trio of rookies -- fowards Luis Scola and Carl Landry and guard Aaron Brooks -- the Rockets entered the week having won nine of 12, and coach Rick Adelman has begun to trust more and more in his young players.
In the victory at Portland, Brooks and Landry had season highs for minutes played (28 and 23, respectively), and those two and Scola accounted for the team's final 12 points. Brooks, a backup point guard and Oregon alum who received a warm ovation, played the entire fourth quarter and finished with eight points. Landry, taken 31st overall by the Sonics before being traded to the Rockets, had 12 points and eight rebounds. And Scola, the most regular of the rookies, finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
"One thing about our young guys -- they aren't afraid," McGrady said. "I didn't expect after 11 years to be out there in crucial situations with three rookies. I can't fathom that right now."
Believe it, T-Mac.
Send comments, complaints or hype for your favorite rookie to Drew Packham at firstname.lastname@example.org.)