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P.J. Tucker says Rockets aim to crack top-3 in defense

The Houston Rockets’ improvement in defense has been one of the revelations of the season. From a mediocre 18th in defensive efficiency last season, they’ve jumped up to the top-five this year. The additions of versatile veteran defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute have been a huge factor for their marked improvement on that end of the floor.

However, Tucker is not satisfied with being in the top five. Instead, he has his sights set even higher for his team defensively, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.

“When (we got top five in defense), we were like, ‘Forget that. We want top three,'” Tucker said. “We want to take it to another level. We have guys who are bull-headed guys on defense, guys who care about meeting our goals defensively and knowing that if we’re a top-five defensive team, with our offense, then we’re the best team in the NBA – (or at least) one of the best.”

The Rockets have been in outstanding form to start the season. They have a league-leading 20-4 record and have been blowing teams out during their nine-game winning streak, in large part due to their terrific defense.

But despite their early-season dominance, the Rockets can’t afford to get complacent just yet. That’s why shooting for an even higher ranking defensively should be a good goal for them to have in order to keep their focus and maintain good defensive habits throughout the regular-season grind.