Houston went from trying to score Carmelo Anthony to losing Chandler Parsons to Dallas in the process. We later heard rumors that they were never going to offer him anywhere near the contract he got from Dallas, but that could be sour grapes. The consolation prize of Trevor Ariza is not bad at all. Let’s hope his second stint in Houston is much better than his first.
Last season was seen as a transition year in Houston. They had to see how Dwight Howard fit in their system and figure out the necessary moves they had to make around him. They tried to make a big splash with Anthony, but I feel they are better off with their current roster.
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Houston Rockets.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 54-28
Key Additions: SG Trevor Ariza, SG Jason Terry, SF Kostas Papanikolaou, PG Ish Smith, C Clint Capela, SF Jeff Adrien, SG Nick Johnson, PF Joey Dorsey, PF Tarik Black & SF Akil MItchell
Key Losses: SF Chandler Parsons, PG Jeremy Lin, SF Omri Casspi, C Omer Asik, SF Jordan Hamilton
Projected Starters: Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, Trevor Ariza, James Harden & Patrick Beverley
Fantasy Sleeper: PF Terrence Jones – Jones was a great PER guy in college at Kentucky and he has slowly turned into one in the NBA. He put up some nice defensive stats in college, but that hasn’t quite translated just yet. I expect him to improve on his .7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
Team Analysis: Like I said earlier, I think last year was a testing out process for Houston. They figured out that Aaron Brooks, Jeremy Lin and Omri Casspi weren’t a fit. As far as Parsons, I do think they would have signed him for a lot of money, but maybe not quite as much as Dallas offered. He was a cap casualty, but I loved Ariza last year. He was one of my favorite PER guys last season. I owned him in every fantasy league. Let’s hope he can keep up that production on a team with Harden & Howard, who need their touches to stay mentally in a game.
The elite teams in the West haven’t changed. San Antonio, L.A. Clippers, Oklahoma City, Houston and Golden State will all contend for the top four spots. Kevin Durant’s injury hurt the Thunder, but I don’t see them slipping below the fourth-seed. Houston will be a few games better and should end up with the third-seed
I expect a big year from Howard. If Harden continues to be an open gate on defense, I expect Howard to let him know that is unacceptable. He can’t be all smiles and giggles anymore. this team is good enough to contend, so it’s time to embrace a role as a villain.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 51 (Prediction: OVER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 55-27 (3rd in Western Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.