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The Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets - Looking for Sleepers
September 3, 2009

Of the top five offensive players from last seasonís Houston Rockets, four of them will either not be present or are projected to have limited availability.  They are Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest, and Rafer Alston.  McGrady is expected to return, and even reported to be healthy, but he is a player who has shown time and time again he cannot be trusted to log heavy minutes for an extended period of time.  For those in weekly transaction leagues, he is in particular a player to avoid.

Luis Scola will return and will likely be called upon to play as minutes as he can handle in the thin Rocketís front court. Last season in 30 minutes per game, he averaged 13 points and 9 rebounds.  The Rockets would like to see improvements in both categories.  This potential could make him a decent late round selection but weakness in steals and blocks prevents him from being much more than that. He is coming off a successful offseason where he did well in International competition so his confidence should be high coming into training camp.

As of writing this article, Yahoo is projecting the following as the Rocketís starting five:  Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, Trevor Ariza, Shane Battier, and Aaron Brooks.  It makes one wonder where the Rockets will get some scoring. This is fertile ground for sleepers as someone needs to emerge.

Of the projected Rocketís starting five, Trevor Ariza has intriguing fantasy possibilities.  He signed as a free agent from the Los Angeles Lakers.  While not a big per minute scorer similar to his fellow starting Rocketís, it is possible he can step it up.  What makes him attractive as a fantasy player is his steal potential.  Last season he averaged 1.7 steals in only 24 minutes per game.  The combination of expected playing time and steal capabilities make him a sleeper for next season as he is a prime candidate to lead the league in steals


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