A D’Antoni-led team with multiple superstars in tow has nothing to prove on offense during the regular season. But if defense is a product of timing, repetition, and familiarity, the regular season still offers the necessary reps to develop a consistent presence on that side of the ball. As impressive as the Rockets’ 22-4 start has been, the team is still dogged by the confluence of negative perceptions that has plagued D’Antoni, Harden, and Paul all their careers; each of them carrying a unique scent of a perennial postseason underachievement. The Rockets can’t do anything about that now, but their showing on defense this season is more than enough evidence that this team is unlike any the trio has been a part of.
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