What a difference a year makes. Last July, the Rockets’ summer league roster figured to look a heck of a lot like the regular season roster they’d be sporting come the fall. The team was in the process of undergoing a massive transformation and, at the time anyway, it didn’t seem farfetched to assume that many of the same faces hitting the floor in Vegas were also going to figure prominently in Houston when the real games began. Of course, that was before the arrival of Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik. Carlos Delfino, too. And oh yeah, that bearded fellow who went on to become an All-Star. In other words, four of the Rockets five most impactful players during the 2012-13 season weren’t even on the team yet when summer league began (Chandler Parsons being the lone exception, of course).
Fast-forward to the present day and the team doesn’t just look dramatically different, it’s also changed up its summer hoops locale. The Rockets traded desert dwelling for Disney this year while making their initial foray into Orlando summer league basketball. Some things, however, do actually stay the same. Houston’s annual summer league domination tour continued Sunday morning when the Rockets raced out to a 19-point first half lead before ultimately recording an 88-80 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers – a win that improves Houston’s summer league record to a ridiculous 30-6 since 2005.
Terrence Jones was positively beastly en route to pouring in 24 points and corralling a game-high 12 rebounds. Patrick Beverley looked as composed and in control as one would expect after seeing the way he performed down the stretch and during the playoffs last season. And “veterans” Greg Smith and James Anderson provided positive contributions as well.