There are some blatantly idiotic basketball players out there. As far as I can tell, none of them are Houston Rockets.
Under "idiotic", you can find a host of matching characteristics. Selfish, greedy, demanding, Darius Miles, indifferent, etc. And then there are those who are just idiotic, who lack a true basketball intelligence. Ron Artest may or may not be on that list - I can't decide if his defensive ability bumps him off.
Look at the Rockets roster. It's not going to win an NBA street-ball championship, but it will do a number of things that make sense for the team. Zach Randolph's pull-up threes do not make sense. Al Harrington's low conversion rates do not make sense. Stephon Marbury's overall selfishness does not make sense. And Kenny Thomas doesn't make sense in any way whatsoever.
Thus, none of these players are Houston Rockets. Credit our front office for that.
Speaking of the boys upstairs, all too often do people overuse the word "efficiency" when noting how Morey and Co. have built this roster. Yes, the Rockets would like efficient players. Statistically, it makes sense to have as many efficient players as possible. But what exactly does that mean?
I don't know a whole lot about basketball statistics, but I can tell you what the word "efficient" means, and then go from there. And don't skip out on reading the definition below, because while yes, it is an extremely generic move on my part, I want you to find a parallel between what the definition says and how any Houston Rocket plays the game of basketball.
1. Being effective without wasting time or effort or expense...
2. Able to accomplish a purpose; functioning effectively...
Being effective without wasting...what? Wasting possessions, perhaps? Or how about wasting energy? Whatever the Rockets don't waste, it makes them efficient. They get from point A to point B on a straighter line than a good chunk of NBA players. Their variance is much, much smaller.
Oddly enough, you can say this about nearly every player on the team. Talk about getting your way as a general manager. Normally, a GM can target a few player-types that he wants, not an entire 12-man roster.
Part two states that being efficient leads to the accomplishment of a purpose. Not a goal, but a purpose. The franchise hasn't accomplished its goal (a championship), but, currently, each Rocket does a great job of accomplishing a purpose, by filling a role. Being efficient is to accept a role and do the best you can in that role. If the purpose of each role is fulfilled, the ultimate goal will be accomplished. You may now refer to me as "Socrates."
I do think that "efficient" is often wrongly used instead of "smart" or "unselfish." Give these Rockets some credit - don't simply call them efficient. How about noting how unselfish Chuck Hayes is by committing 100% of his work to defense and rebounding? Or how smart a defender Shane Battier is? Or how smart Kyle Lowry is by attacking and getting to the free throw line? Or how determined Luis Scola is to win every lose ball or long rebound? None of these players play idiotic basketball. Not one.
We'll try a new word: commitment. With idiots on a team, collective commitment is minimized. With these Rockets, however, there is a rare sense of commitment and team-first play. They just want to win, and they're smart enough to realize what it will take from each of them. Some efficient thinking, don't you think?
In that sense, we've got a leg up on everyone else.
Post-article disclaimer: We're assuming the best from David Andersen.