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(Insidehoops.com) Rockets Season Preview

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by bigbodymoe, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. bigbodymoe

    bigbodymoe Contributing Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    Likes Received:
    I was browsing through insidehoops and found this about our rockets. please lock if this thread already exists.

    InsideHoops NBA [Home]

    Houston Rockets Preview

    By Travis Heath | Oct. 3, 2005
    Coach: Jeff Van Gundy (10th year, 344-240)

    Last Season: 51-31, lost to Dallas in Western Conference Semifinals

    Projected Starters: C Yao Ming, F Stromile Swift, F Tracy McGrady, G David Welsey, G Bob Sura*

    Key Subs: G/F Derek Anderson, G Mike James, F Juwan Howard, C Dikembe Mutombo, F Ryan Bowen, G Luther Head, G Jon Barry, F Vin Baker, G Charlie Ward, G Moochie Norris.

    New Faces: Swift, Anderson, Head, F Lonny Baxter.

    Key Losses: F Scott Padgett, F Clarence Weatherspoon, F Torraye Braggs.

    Strengths: McGrady is as close to unstoppable on the offensive end as any player in the game today, and Yao has the size and skill to become a dominant center in the league for many years to come. They have the potential to form one of the most devastating 1-2 punches in NBA history. The additions of Swift and Anderson give Van Gundy more versatility than he had with last year’s roster. Intelligent and high-energy veteran role players like Barry, James, and Bowen could pay dividends for the Rockets on those nights when the team’s starters appear to be lacking energy.

    Weaknesses: Yao has yet to dominate the way many people projected he would, and for the Rockets to take the proverbial next step, Yao must first step up his game. While the Rockets roster is packed with a variety of guards, it still lacks a dynamic point guard. Up front, despite his premier athletic ability, Swift was inconsistent at best during his tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies. You can bet that Van Gundy and the Rockets are hoping this trend doesn’t continue in Houston. If Anderson and Sura -- who have both been injury prone in the past -- can’t stay on the court for an extended period of time, this could drastically affect Houston’s chances. Note that Sura is hurt as we speak, healing from knee surgery, and will miss the start of the season. Mike James will likely start in his place.

    Outlook: Houston will again be one of the premier teams in the Western Conference. Look for them to finish with between 50-55 wins next season. Of course that’s in the regular season, and the regular season has not been a problem for this team the past couple of years. If the team can get Yao to dominate for a consistent stretch during the regular season, perhaps this will translate into a change of fortunes for the Rockets come playoff time. If Yao and McGrady both achieve peak performance in the playoffs, a trip to the NBA finals for the Rockets for the first time in a decade is quite possible.

    Sure Sign of Trouble: If the Rockets fail to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs again this season, the team may not be able to recover psychologically. The last thing that Clutch City wants to see happen, is for this to turn into a situation similar to the one that happened in Minnesota -- where the city felt compelled to do everything short of stage a parade, when the team finally got out of the first round of the playoffs two years ago.


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