This has not been a banner year for Houston's top pro sports teams. The Dynamo failed to win the MLS Championship for the first time in the team's history; neither the Texans nor the Astros made the playoffs (though at least the Texans appear headed in the right direction); and the Houston Comets topped them all in ignominy by vanishing from the face of the Earth. Which leaves us with the Rockets, who limped into the postseason minus one of their superstars and yet still managed to do something the Rockets haven't done since 1997: They won a playoff series, easily dispatching the Portland Trail Blazers four games to two, despite the loss of backup center Dikembe Mutombo. And while we aren't ones to hang our hats on moral victories, the Rockets did us all proud in the ensuing series against the L.A. Lakers. Yao Ming, the Rockets' last superstar, went down early in the series with another stress fracture in his foot, and yet the scrappy Rockets extended the eventual NBA champions out to a full seven games. Not bad for a bunch of no-names.