News » Houston Rockets Roster Report 2009-06-12


Houston Rockets Roster Report 2009-06-12


Houston Rockets Roster Report 2009-06-12
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: C Yao Ming came back from foot surgery to play in 77 games, leading the Rockets in scoring (19.9 points) and rebounding (9.9) in the regular season and playoffs (17.1 points, 10.9 rebounds).

Opponents usually built their defense around swarming Yao, especially after Tracy McGrady went out for the season. But when the Rockets could still get him the ball, they usually won, going 32-4 when Yao scored 20 or more points, including a 7-0 record when he topped 30.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: G Tracy McGrady spent the season going in and out of the lineup, back-and-forth from seeming to recover from his offseason arthroscopic knee surgery to unable to play.

He averaged 15.6 points on just 38.8 percent shooting, with the uncertainty about his ability and availability to play seeming to hamper the Rockets even more than his diminished abilities. Even when he chose to end the season with microfracture surgery, he caused issues, announcing his decision on ESPN before discussing it with the team.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: The Rockets have just two free agents, want both back, and both have been outspoken in saying they want to return.

Keeping Ron Artest and Von Wafer would dramatically change the team's free agent plans. Though the Rockets would still have their mid-level exception, they are expected to hold that until signing Artest and Wafer so they can use it to find replacements if necessary.

If they do not need to add a free agent at the shooting guard and small forward spots, they likely could spend a portion of their mid-level allowance on a backup center to replace the retired Dikembe Mutombo.

PLAYER NEWS:

--G Aaron Brooks was one of five point guards in his first training camp and a summer-league project for two seasons. By the end of his second season, however, he had become the Rockets' second-leading postseason scorer (after Yao Ming) and a key to their postseason success against the Trail Blazers and Lakers.

"You always have questions about yourself, about the starting point guard thing, if you're ready," Brooks said. "I think I answered that. I can compete at a high level. I'm looking forward to playing again.

"I'll work on getting stronger, work on my defense, watch a lot of film, work on my passing. What don't I want to work on? I want to work on everything and get better in every area."

--G Von Wafer was a longshot to make the Rockets before he beat out Mike Harris and D.J. Strawberry for the last spot. He became a key scorer for the team, especially when Tracy McGrady went out, and said that he was ready to end his tour of NBA franchises with his fifth team.

"I love it here, love the fans, love the organization, love Yao Ming, love where the franchise is headed," Wafer said. "I just hope we can get it done as soon as possible so I will be here and get to work.

"I'm not satisfied. I still have a lot I can show to everybody and I can get a lot better at. I'm happy with the progress I made, but I'm going to try to work the hardest I've ever worked this summer."

--C Dikembe Mutombo faces a long rehab after his knee surgery, but he said that even had he not been hurt in the first round of the playoffs, he was content with his decision to retire, with none of the second thoughts he had heading into previous offseasons.

MEDICAL WATCH:

--F Tracy McGrady, weeks away from moving his rehab from microfracture knee surgery to the court, also had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder to ease the discomfort he had in the shoulder the past two seasons. That procedure is not expect to keep him from offseason workouts as long as the rehab from the knee surgery.

--C Yao Ming progressed as expected from the hairline fracture in his left foot and returned to China with no rehab necessary.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 12, 2009

 

 
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