The Houston Rockets made news this past off season with the signing of Dwight Howard. Expectations for the Rockets increased greatly, with some placing them 8th, others in the middle, and others as high as 1st in the West. Last year the Rockets were able to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
With that being said, here are five bold predictions for the Houston Rockets.
5. Dwight Howard will not be as good for the Rockets this year as Omer Asik was last year.
When Asik came to the team last year, I envisioned him as another wannabe star. I did not realize though that he would exceed my expectations . Howard, unlike Asik is coming to a team where he does not to have to play as hard as Asik did, and he has more pieces around him than Asik did last year. Let's face it, Asik had Patterson, Morris, Parson, Lin, and Harden all as big contributors when the season started. Howard on the other hand has Lin, Beverly, Harden, Parsons, Montiejunas, Asik, Casspi, and Garcia.
4 Jeremy Lin Silences Critics
Last year Lin came to the Rockets with too high expectations, and wasn't able to achieve them. This year, like two years ago, Jeremy Lin has something to prove. Lin has to prove that he should remain the starter over Beverly. Last year Lin averaged 13 points per game. In 2011 Lin averaged 14 points per game, but only in 35 games played. Both years, he averaged 6 assists per game. People criticize Lin because he did not match his sky high expectations. With a better cast of players than last year, Lin will hopefully become more of a pass first point guard. If Beverly takes Lin's spot, then Lin will likely be the spark off the bench.
3. Dwight Howard Will Get Injured
Rockets players seem to be injury prone. Howard had to have shoulder surgery during the 2012- 2013 season. Coaches will be monitoring Howard's health over the year more than any other Rocket. If Howard does get a season ending injury, then Asik will step in as center.
2. Omer Asik Will Not Get Traded This Season
Most fans speculate that Asik will be traded mid-season. I however don't believe he will be. (Yes I did write an article on this topic.) The Front office has said that they will not trade Asik. I believe them, but only because Morey and McHale know what they’re doing. If he is traded, then it will be next season when Asik has only one year of his contract remaining. Though Asik has voiced his frustration, the rest of the team seems intent on wanting him in Houston.
1. The Rockets Will Finish 6th in the West
It takes time for teams to develop. This year will be the year the Rockets learn how to mesh together, and figure out what works and what doesn't. Ahead of the Rockets (in no particular order) are the Thunder, Clippers, Grizzlies, Spurs, and the Warriors.