Rockets at a glance

Updated: October 26, 2004, 12:49 PM ET
ESPN The Magazine

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Fantasy tip
Yao Ming
Yao
Why take Yao before Shaq? Oh, 32 reasons -- one for each percentage point Yao was better than Shaq at the stripe.

They've got a guy who could go for 40 on any given night, and we're not talking about Tracy McGrady. With Shaq gone, Yao Ming becomes the West's best center, but he has to bring it.

TMac will get his, and Juwan Howard, Mo Taylor and Jim Jackson make up a strong supporting cast. But it's Yao who dictates the fortune of this team.

Party's over, big fella -- it's time to start dominating.

Roster analysis
The starters: Best one-two punch in the league. Hands down.
Pos. Player Comment Grade*
PF Juwan Howard Fab Five? More like fab two and three old guys 7
SF Jim Jackson Averaged 39 mpg last season. No relief in sight 8
C Yao Ming Hasn't missed a game since joining the Rockets 10
SG Tracy McGrady He got his wish. Orlando now has a strong supporting cast 10
PG Charlie Ward Like filling a Rolls-Royce with 87-octane gas 6
BENCH Starters need to stay healthy. Mo Taylor is good. But Tyronn Lue, Bob Sura, Clarence Weatherspoon and Bostjan Nachbar ... see where we're going? 7
TOTAL 47
*-out of 10