Re: Is this finally the year that T-Mac and Yao get out of the first round?
The Rockets are easily a WCF capable team, if they don't draw Utah or Denver.
They did add depth adding Scola, but there is an x-factor that will emerge as a key component of Adelman's offense, Luther Head. Head can provide the pure shooting and is almost a perfect fit for the perimeter oriented offense, if he becomes a consistent 3 point threat, the Rockets will go far. Adding Steve Francis provides a nice spark, as does Mike James, and if they get hot in the playoffs this team has the capability of beating anyone.
I beleive Utah did improve also, they are a very young team, especially off the bench. Deron is a third year point guard, and is seemingly getting exponentially better. Millsap and Brewer are second year player, with Millsap contributing heavily last year as a rookie, I can only see his production rising. They also drafted a shooter in Almond. As for losing playoff experience in Fisher, the whole team gained a lot from last years WCF run. They played against the two extremes when it comes to style of play and performed fairly well.
I predict a rematch this year with Utah having homecourt. Most likely, it will be another 7 game series going down to the wire. But, T-Mac and Yao still have plenty of good years together, if they don't get out this year they will have a full year under Adelman's system and become even more of a threat the following year.