The Houston Rockets - Looking for
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