2005 Houston Rockets Preview
At the time of publish the NBA regular season is around the corner. What better way to get you locked and loaded for a winning season than a free season preview from Maddux Sports. We remind you that MadduxSports.com is an expert NBA handicapper and offers NBA Picks against the point spread. For more information on this years basketball package click here. Onto the individual team preview for this years Houston Rockets.
2005 Houston Rockets Team Preview
The Houston Rockets, a team looking for a solution to their power forward problem, may have solved it by signing free agent Stromile Swift; then again, maybe they haven’t. Swift is a good player and he brings a lot to the court, including speed, athleticism, and a solid shot. But can he be intimidating? Can Swift mix it up and be physical when it’s needed? The answer is probably “no” and that means Houston has not quite solved their problem at power forward.
Still, Swift is an upgrade and along with Tracy McGrady, who they acquired last season from Orlando in a controversial trade, and fifth-year center Yao Ming, the Rockets are on track to land in the playoff mix again. But can they go further than they did last year when Dallas eliminated them in the first round? Some things will have to change if the Rockets expect to improve their post-season performance.
With Tracy McGrady they have a true shooter, for five consecutive NBA seasons the small forward has averaged at least 25 points per game! McGrady is an expert at driving the lane and when he’s in the paint he’s lethal. But when he’s not able to drive the lane, McGrady will often go for the three-pointer. Last season he shot over 400-threes, and that meant he was not going to his strength—the lane where he might be fouled and make an almost sure foul shot. Pushing the ball inside or passing off to Ming may be more productive for the small forward.
Yao Ming remains an enigma. Ming is an extremely talented player—he’s an excellent outlet passer and has the best shooting percentage on the team (55.2%). Although he put in 18.3 points per game in 2004-05, Ming had problems with stamina—playing only 30.6 minutes per game-- and fouls—averaging more than 4 per game. Also, his defensive abilities are good but not great. There are questions regarding whether Ming, at 7’6”, will ever be a dominant center. He’s working on a hook shot from both the left and the right and has been conditioning himself for the long season ahead. Can this be his breakout season?
If Ming does reach his full potential and if McGrady can play the lane more than the perimeter, and if Swift can pound it inside, the Rockets could be on a trajectory for a Championship. But those are a lot of “ifs” in a very long season.
For more information on the 2005 Houston Rockets Team, click here to visit their official team website.