a completely re-tooled rotation, what can we expect out of the Houston Rockets
this season? Houston certainly has been busy this offseason, taking a swing at
Dwight Howard and missing among other interesting activities. Here's a look at
how the roster is shaping up.
Jeremy Lin's back in Houston and is the undisputed starting
point guard for the franchise going forward. The Rockets dished out a crazy
offer sheet, and it worked as the New York Knicks decided not to match.
Toney Douglas and Shaun Livingston will be competing for
backup minutes, but considering Livingston can be plugged in at the two or
three, Douglas is likely to get most of the minutes at point.
Shooting Guard Even though his contract is expiring, it's being assumed
that Kevin Martin will stay on with the Rockets. If so, he's the clear starter
at the two.
Still, it was no secret that Kevin McHale and Martin had
their problems last season, leaving the door wide open for first round draft
pick Jeremy Lamb to get significant playing time at shooting guard and perhaps
even outright win the starting job later on in the season.
Another interesting piece of business for the Rockets was
bringing in Carlos Delfino. Delfino has missed a lot of time over the past
couple seasons due to injuries, but was excellent during the Olympics.
There's a ton of depth at the three, though. Chandler Parsons
should get a lot of minutes while Royce White, Terrence Jones and JaJuan
Johnson are all capable of playing on the wing too.
McHale could go a number of different ways here, and it all
depends on what kind of rotation he ends up rolling with. White, Jones, Patrick
Patterson, and Donatas Motiejunas could all slot in and start depending on how
However, it seems likely that Patterson will open the season
in the starting role, assuming no other roster changes are made. This will be a
great competition throughout camp though.
Though completely unproven as a starting big man in this
league, Omer Asik was handed a hefty $25 million contract during the offseason.
Asik is an outstanding defensive presence but needs to work on his offensive
game if he wants to be a reliable starter.
Motiejunas will likely get some PT at center on top of power
forward duties and is essentially the exact opposite as Asik. He's a much more
gifted offensive player but is lacking on the defensive end.
The Rockets have one of the most interesting squads out
there right now. There's been a lot of moving pieces, but what remains is a
young and hungry nucleus that should be able to build and improve together.
Lin will get his chance at leading a team without a lot of
unnecessary distractions and ultimately his play will decide how far Houston
Clearly, though, this team
has enough talent to compete for one of the last postseason spots. Don't be
shocked to see them slide in.