2010 Houston Rockets Preview
Last year the Rockets lost in the conference semi-finals but they put up one heck of a fight. The Rockets looked great in the first round with great play by Yao Ming and a cast of young players joining the other veterans in a team effort. After getting by Portland it looked like the Houston Rockets would challenge anyone. Then Ming got hurt and it looked like all hope was lost. Even without Ming they took the Lakers to seven games showing they had toughness and heart. Depending on the off-season it looked like this year would have a lot of promise.
Rick Adelman got the Rockets through the first round of the playoffs and that is really all the Rocket fans needed to prove that he was a good coach. Around the league he was always revered as a good coach, but this year could provide to be one of his biggest challenges as he takes on a ever changing Rocket team.
The Yao Ming injury made front page news in the off-season and the news was not good. His injury is going to keep him out for the entire season. There are some optimistic reports that he will be able to play at some point but the Rockets are planning for a year without him. Ron Artest left to play with the Lakers and Tracy McGrady is a question mark on the season. His exit seems near but is always up in the air. They managed to lure Trevor Ariza to the team but did not get anyone else in a rich free agent market. They had no picks in the first round but in the second round drafted Chase Budinger, Sergio Lull, and Jermaine Taylor. The Rockets lost more than they gained and should put a different team on the floor from last year.
The Rockets have a good core of players even without Yao Ming. At times last year without him (and sometimes McGrady) they still played well as a unit. They play with toughness on defense and have seen the emergence of several young players such as Luis Scola and Aaron Brooks. If they could dump the big contract from T-Mac they would have flexibility to build around the team. This year don’t expect too much from them although they should make the playoffs. In the next couple of years they should emerge as a major player in the west if they make the right moves.