The Rockets are coming off their deepest playoff run since The Dream was going back to back in 94/95. To me this is the best Rockets team since then although I will always hold Yao/T-Mac teams close to my heart because they provided so many memories, such as T-Mac scoring 13 in 35 seconds against the Spurs and the 22 win game streak. Alright enough for the trip down memory lane lets get into the this year’s team.
- Ty Lawson-Pat Beverly-Jet
- Ariza-Brewer-Dekker (rookie)
- T. Jones-Donatas Motiejunas-Harrell (rookie)
The team has added the missing piece in Lawson to give them a balanced team so Harden doesn’t have to pound the rock and create for others as well as himself. With Lawson there is another ball handler/creator out there that has proven to be a very above average player that can knock down the deep ball to go along with the 3 point barrage that is the rockets. But his biggest asset will be creating for others. Now being able to have Beverly come off the bench as one of the peskiest defenders in the game who can score on his own will help the depth problem at point guard that has plagued the team the past few seasons.
Now onto Harden who will be in the MVP race again, will be more refreshed especially with the addition of Lawson as the grind of the season starts wear on everyone leading into the playoff. Because in the playoffs last year you could tell the guy was spent against the warriors and you can’t blame him, he was responsible for the whole offense. So I cannot stress this enough because he will get more open looks and have better lanes to the rim on offense. Just stay away from Klhoe and you’ll be gucci.
I love the Ariza/Brewer combo at small forward and how can you not?! These guys are the perfect role players you need on a championship team who will defend the other team’s best player and run the lanes , knock down threes and just leave it all out there every night. I don’t expect Dekker to play much this year with those two ahead of him.
Now onto the 4’s of the team with Jones, Donta, and Harrell. Donta is still recovering from surgery this past April and has yet to practice yet so its likely we won’t be seeing him until Dec/Jan if I had to guess. But he is a guy that started coming on very strong before the injury showing that he can score back to the basket along with being able to hit the 3 at a high %. Making him one of the better stretch 4’s in the game. In his place starting is Terrance jones a capable ball handler and strong rebounder and finisher who’s shooting leaves something to be desired. Finally there is the rook Harrell out of Louisville who is a very bouncy kind of player that is a strong finisher around the rim. (One positive about Donatas being out is getting Harrell some playing time which will benefit them in long term if any more injuries arise)
Finally onto the centers Dwight and Capela. Howard is still an elite rebounder/defender who can score. One of my pet peeves about Dwight is that he hasn’t developed much finesse on offense since he’s been in the league but the guy is a absolute beast everywhere else on the floor. Now onto Capela the second yr player from Switzerland. The kid was only 19 last year and was getting big minutes in the playoffs and producing. Now with a full offseason under his belt, more time in the weight room he will look to come in and produce even more with a bigger role. This kid reminds of me a lot of a young Tyson Chandler, and many teams would kill for him to coming off the bench for them.
Finally barring injuries the expectations should be high for this team and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them top 60 wins and compete for the one seed again this year.