The team has improved, despite some errors.
Last year just proved that 1 or 2 people are not enough to win.
You need the basic scoring to stay in game, and then someone stepping up at critical times. That someone could be a superstar like Yao or T-Mac many times, but not each time, and it could be anyone in the team defending a ball and scoring points. This year it happens more often than last year, even just for 6 games so far. For the two games they lost, they fought hard and had a chance. I personally do not care about a champiagnship, as long as the team does it best and each memeber has contrubutions or sparks at different times, and never give up. Winning title is talents and efforts, but a lot of luck as well. Last year Heat and Dallas deserved a lot, especially Dallas, but so many games went to game 7 - you just never know.
T-Mac will change some of his roles, but I predict that he could become equally respectable - his strength and versatility will continue to help.
Battier is good. Alston has shining times. Head is fine. A few forwards and centers are quite good as well.
Mostly, Yao appears to be the first option of Rockets for the years to come, and with his hard work, nice attitude, real skills on shooting, what a guy !
He will be a celebrated sportman worldwide, regardless how high he will achieve ? Many women will sream to love him from all races, and I am going to be a little jealous on that, as I am only 5'8" high. But unlike some stars getting into trouble with women, I predict that Yao will not screw up with women. He will be the most respected sportman in the world.