Originally Posted by Rubio2Gasol
He did but the system you described ain't really what it was.
Firstly - the 4 out 1 in system you're describing wasn't run. Otis was a banger who hustled inside, rebounded well and complimented well on D because he could defend the post and let him freelance. He never set foot outside the 3 PT line. He was an amazing outlet passer as well.
Vernon - I love him - but people like to make him seem like more than he actually was. He was as inconsistent a scorer you will ever see and while he was a x-factor for some games in that Knicks series and won the personal battle with Starks....he was neither a great fit with Hakeem nor a legit 2nd option. He would launch 3's but he didn't make them and he was best taking people off the dribble - something Rudy really gave him the room to do.
Horry was a good compliment, he shot OK crashed the offensive boards and defended.
Kenny was effectively a shooter. Cassel was a rookie backup point so just steer clear of that.
But in alll reason - as far as talent besides Hakeem - these teams were bare bones compared to the Portland or Phoenix teams they beat - the Bulls being discussed now or any team that won a chip since . Then you factor in that the performance of the others depended on his own - it's really pretty clear cut.
So "stacked" is not a word I'd use to describe them.
To me that's a word that should be reserved for teams like Shaq and Kobe's Lakers - which had the two best players in the game + glove fitted role players. The Bulls who had the best defenders everywhere to go with Jordan and Pippen. Bird's Celtics and Magic's Lakers.
This team was perhaps well constructed - in the same vein a Indiana currently is..but so were the ones I outlined. The difference is they had 3x the talent.
I don't disagree with much of your assessment of the Rockets, but they still were running a 4 out/1 in type of offense. Otis obviously wasn't a 3 point shooter, and he rarely even took mid-range jumpers, but he'd often be away from the basket for spacing, and be used in screen/rolls, or he'd cut the basket. He'd get some touches inside as well, but a lot of his points by that point came in the way I described, or from running the floor.
But what's also true is that players such as Thorpe and Kenny Smith took on lesser roles, and didn't utilize their entire skill set to accommodate the offense revolving around Hakeem.
I never called Houston stacked either, but the Shaq/Kobe Lakers weren't either. Those teams relied as heavily on 2 players as any team I've seen. They had a few nice role players on each of the 3 championship teams, but they lacked a 3rd guy near all-star level, were a below average 3 point shooting team(one of the worst in the league in 2000), had some of the worst starting PFs in the league in 2000 and 2002, always had 2, if not 3 players starting who were below average starters at their position, and never had a 3rd scorer except for 2000 with Glen Rice who was past his prime, but even he didn't produce like one in the playoffs, didn't fit in the triangle at all, complained and was a liability defensively.
The team was special because of the duo and such a great coach, but stacked is definitely not the right word. An example of stacked teams would be the Portland and Sacramento teams they beat.