Doctor MJ wrote:1. '93-94 Hakeem Olajuwon - clearly
2. '17-18 James Harden - 2nd best player in Rockets history
3. '78-79 Moses Malone - the end of the top tier
4. '17-18 Chris Paul - as always, very good
5. '76-77 Rudy Tomjanovich - really a shame how his career got shattered after this year
Noisy measure and career wide, versus single year but does his worst in the sample WoWY (671st in "prime" - though prime given as career in his case - and career) cause any concern? Admittedly '80 and '81 seem likely doing significant harm based on the earlier spreadsheet version.
Any reason on the year? Other years look better by the boxscore ('74 RS or '75 if one is a really heavy playoff weighter) on Reference box composites.
'76-77 was the last year of Rudy T developing his all-star career naturally. The following year Kermit Washington would almost kill him with that legendary punch. Also the following year the Rockets would be much worse, only to be good again the next year with Rudy.
My guess is that if Rudy's looking weak by WOWY it's because of a tendency to compare how a particular season's team did with and without the player rather than looking to compare year vs year, and there's a reasonable logic for that, but we are talking about a team who effectively had the only offensive dynasty of the '70s whose clearly fell off in the year without Rudy, and I don't think that's a coincidence.
Beyond this what I'll say is that I really respect the combination of team offensive effectiveness and Rudy's clear nose for efficiency. By contrast guys like Hayes & TMac are essentially flying blind.
Yao? Never healthy all year, typically broken when you needed him in the playoffs.
Stevie Franchise? Maybe in this era he'd be stronger, but back then, overrated.
My main debate was between Rudy and teammate Calvin Murphy. When with Rudy because this is about single seasons, and '76-77 was peak Rockets until the Twin Towers came along. (I know they made the finals later, but I consider that fluky.)
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.