News » Houston Rockets Roster Report 2008-10-18


Houston Rockets Roster Report 2008-10-18


Houston Rockets Roster Report 2008-10-18

The Rockets will likely keep one or none of their three non-guaranteed players -- Mike Harris, Von Wafer and D.J. Strawberry. All three have made a strong case to making the roster, but the Rockets want to trim salary to move under the luxury tax line in case they eventually want to bring back Dikembe Mutombo.

ANALYZING STARTERS:

G Rafer Alston held off a variety of challengers for his starting point guard spot and had a solid season. He offers a strong on-the-ball defender at the front of his defense, and runs the offense well while making just enough three-pointers to make up for his otherwise poor shooting.

G Tracy McGrady's shooting slumped last season, but once he came back from a stubborn knee injury in mid-January, he had a strong season, leading the Rockets to their 22-game winning streak and 55-win season. Still looking for his first playoff series win, he had a strong series against the Jazz and remains the biggest key to the Rockets' chances.

F Ron Artest might have been more likely to come off the bench, where he can more often be featured in the Rockets' offense than with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady. But with Shane Battier missing the preseason with a foot injury, Artest's defense makes him an obvious starter to open the season and a difference-maker for the Rockets in a variety of roles and positions.

F Luis Scola was a first-team All-Rookie pick, helping the Rockets to a 31-8 record once he became a starter. He still shares the position, but his hustle and abilities to hit a mid-range shot and put the ball on the floor makes him the best of the Rockets' collection of power forwards.

C Yao Ming seems fully recovered from last season's foot injury and the issues that still bothered him through the Olympics. He was one of just five 20-point, 10-rebound players in the NBA last season and the top scorer among them, but has had his last three seasons ended or interrupted by serious injuries.

ANALYZING KEY RESERVES:

G Aaron Brooks was expected to eventually supplant Bobby Jackson as the primary backup at the point, but the schedule moved up when Jackson was sent to Sacramento. Brooks, getting a better handle on his quickness, generally looks up to the job.

F Brent Barry, who brings much-needed shooting range off the bench, fit in with the Rockets' offense as if he had run it throughout his career.

F Carl Landry, an above-the-rim key to the start of the Rockets' winning streak, but much less a force after he returned from his knee injury, seems to have regained his explosiveness while improving his perimeter game.

F Chuck Hayes has seemed to have been pushed out of the rotation many times, but his defense and rebounding always seems to get him back on the court.

MEDICAL WATCH:

F Shane Battier (bruised foot) missed the preseason because of swelling he developed during his rehabilitation, but is still expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

G Steve Francis (right knee) has not been able to go through full practices through most of the preseason and did not accompany the team on its week-long preseason trip.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 18, 2008

 

 
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