With Ron Artest now a Rocket, HOU will be one of the league's better defensive teams. Ron is incredibly powerful physically and has the ability to play both inside and outside.
Next to him is Shane Battier, one of the best team defenders I've ever been around. With Artest's skills as a one-on-one defender, the Rockets will be really tough on the defensive end.
The Rockets have a lot of versatility with their wing players and the 1-4 combo of McGrady, Battier, Artest, and Yao will defend and be able to put points on the board.
Battier's unselfish play will be a big key to HOU's on-court chemistry.
The Rockets won 55 games last year. With the addition of Artest and 3-point specialist Brent Barry, along with a healthy Yao, who opponents will now have to play more straight up, they'll be an elite team in the West.