2007 Houston Rockets Season Preview
2007 Houston Rockets preview from the Maddux Sports experts. In addition to the free seasonal outlooks we provide, Maddux offers NBA predictions against the NBA pointspread throughout the hoops season.
Veteran coach Jeff Van Gundy is out and veteran coach Rick Adelman is in. Why the coaching change for a team that has made the playoffs three of the past four years? At the top of every season, the Rockets look like they are ready to soar to the championship, and it seems by the end of the season, they’re fizzling like a five-cent firecracker.
It’s unfair to blame center Yao Ming (.516 FG%, .000 3P%, .862 FT%, 9.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 25.0 PPG) for this team’s inability to reach expectations. The fact is that Ming has become one of the finest point producers in the league, a quality center and a solid defender. His problem is that it often seems as though he’s the only frontcourt player on the team. However, the Rockets may have found some help in rookie power forward Luis Scola. Scola, from Argentinia, can ball handle and pass, play the pick and role and finish at the basket. Defensively forward Shane Battier (.446 FG%, .421 3P%, .779 FT%, 4.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 10.1 PPG) is a very fine player.
Guard Tracy McGrady (.431 FG%, .331 3P%, .707 FT%, 5.3 RPG, 6.5 APG, 24.6 PPG) has been asked to do a lot over the years. This year, with new coach Adelman, things may certainly be different. Look for new coach Adelman to toss the ball around more, creating more motion and scoring opportunities. That will take some of the pressure off of McGrady. Steve Francis (.408 FG%, .378 3P%, .829 FT%, 3.6 RPG, 3.9 APG, 11.3 PPG) and Mike James (FG%, 3P%, FT%, RPG, APG, PPG) have been added from Portland and Minnesota respectively. They give the backcourt a whole lot of depth when teamed up with Rafer Alston and Luther Head.
This team’s got more point scorers this season but a bit less defense. Still, they may be more balanced than they have been in years. This season the Rockets may make it past the initial playoff round—that would be a welcome surprise. Getting to the finals is not out of the question but certainly not a given.