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Ralph Sampson says Rockets have built a “good foundation”

Aug 6, 2013, 11:04 AM EDT

ralph-sampson Getty Images

Ralph Sampson was part of the pitch to bring Dwight Howard to Houston — he’s a Hall of Famer and part of the Rockets history of big men.

But like a guy who has been through the long grind of an NBA season, Sampson knows assembling good players is like having all the ingredients to make Pad Thai — putting it together in a way that works is something else entirely.

“You got a good start (in Houston), you got the makings of a good foundation, now the coaching staff and everybody’s got to put it together,” Sampson told ProBasketballTalk during the adidas Nations high school showcase, where Sampson was a coach. “The pieces are coming together but it’s an 82-game season a lot of things can happen as far as injuries or other situations.”

Keeping Howard healthy and getting him back to playing — particularly defending and rebounding — like he did in Orlando would be key. Sampson said he thought if the systems are set up right he thinks Howard and Amir Asik could work together.

In offense, the Rockets should have a killer pick-and-roll with Howard (and he’ll get the ball more on the roll from James Harden than he did from Jameer Nelson back in the day) but it will take more than that.

“You got to have more than a pick-and-roll,” Sampson said. “You got to have a lot more offense. They have more offense with Harden, and (Jeremy) Lin and others guys. They should have a good squad.”

Should be. It’s just a matter of how it comes together.

  1. shockexchange - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    This guy’s a regular Sherlock Holmes

  2. cornbreadbbqred - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Was he ever known for carrying a team as a pro? Don’t think so.

    • cornbreadbbqred - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Boo to you! Check the facts; it’s true. Except for one lucky upside down shot against the Lakers, he never did any thing in the post season except mail it in against the Celtics.

      Disgruntled Laker Fan

  3. ulaanbaatarscot - Aug 6, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    *omer asik. It should be a basic to get the names of players right

  4. 1historian - Aug 7, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    He had everything to make it but the mental toughness. Granted playing basketball is not the most important thing in the world but when you’re paid $2 mil (back in those days) a year to do it it damn well better be, and he never seemed to get that. That’s the biggest reason Bird was as good as he was IMO.

    I saw him in the airport in San Francisco in April of 1989. The dude is seriously tall.

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