2009-10 Houston Rockets Predictions
by Justin Johnson - 10/10/2009
2008-09 Record: 53-29
Home: 20-20-1 Away: 20-21
Home: 18-23 Away: 22-19
Projected Starting Five: PG, Kyle Lowry. SG, Aaron Brooks. SF, Trevor Ariza. PF, Luis Scola. C, David Anderson.
Breakdown: Maybe only die-hard Houston Rockets fans would know the names of players that will take the court for the opening tip in Houston. The roster has almost completely turned over from the one it fielded when the season opened in 2008-09.
Tracy McGrady is out until sometime in 2010 with microfracture surgery. And with an expiring contract his days may be numbered in Houston.
The Rockets are also so thin at the shooting guard spot they may have to use mighty mite Aaron Brooks, or even worse for Houston, second round pick Jermaine Taylor could see time on the court.
Yao Ming is also out indefinitely and his return this season is in question. Signed to man the middle is Australian center David Anderson. At 6-foot-11 his size is not similar to Yao's but his passing and perimeter shooting may be better.
Ron Artest was essentially traded for Trevor Ariza following the NBA Finals as the two players swapped teams in free agent deals. Ariza has yet to show he can be a featured player on a team despite a sterling post season in 2008-09. Rookie Chase Budinger could force some playing time here or at the shooting guard position.
Luis Scola is rounding into a complete player, but is not a franchise type guy. As the inside presence for the Rockets as the season starts he will need to be more physical.
Carl Landy is an explosive player that can jump out of the gym. His ability from the power forward spot to bring energy to the team is invaluable.
2009-10 Houston Rockets Predictions: Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola are going to be the main guys as the season unfolds with a healthy dose of Trevor Ariza as well. Rick Adelman is a well-liked coach so he may be able to get more out of the roster than people might expect. Hitting the 50-win total appears to be near impossible with the turnover on the roster and the rest of the West really improving. A realistic expectation may be 30-35 wins and a fourth place finish in the division.
Futures consideration - BetUS
Apparently oddsmakers have a different view of the tattered and torn roster of the Rockets than most media pundits. The Rockets odds to win the West is set in the early going at +1400 - which compared to the +1600 of the Mavericks is certainly a head scratcher. There is no value in that number. The roster is not that strong and even if Tracy McGrady comes back 100 percent, which he won't, it is not a situation where the Rockets will scare anyone in the West, let alone win the NBA title.
The +4000 to win the NBA Finals, while very rewarding, does not seem worth a gamble in 2009-10.
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