Houston Rockets: 1 Burning Question Facing Each Member

Vinny Hardy@http://twitter.com/VinnyHardyCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2012

Houston Rockets: 1 Burning Question Facing Each Member

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    Anticipation for the upcoming season continues to build. With increased anticipation comes increased speculation.

    Questions about every aspect of the team can't be answered soon enough. Players, coaches, roster makeup. You name itit's on everyone's mind.

    These questions pertain to the players. One question per player.

    Here we go, feel free to add yours as well. 

Will Omer Asik's Hard Work on His Offensive Game Pay Off?

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    The signing of Jeremy Lin received more attention and deservedly so, but having Omer Asik in the fold is very beneficial as well.

    At this point in his career he's forged his reputation on defense and rebounding. That's what was expected of him when he was with the Chicago Bulls. Anything on the offensive end was just gravy.

    In his young career (148 games) he's averaged 13.2 minutes per game, put up 297 shots (2 per game), and shot 52.9 percent from the field.

    His minutes and shots are guaranteed to rise, hopefully the scoring average does as well. It may take a while to see the results in games but it won't be for lack of effort.

Will Jon Brockman Start Any Games?

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    Jon Brockman may not be around when the season starts on October 31. If he is, he may not be in the rotation, much less a starter. It's a numbers game and the Rockets' numbers at power forward are incredibly high.

    Brockman's career doesn't provide a lot to go on. In his three years he's played 150 games for the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 10.5 minutes per game.

    Surprisingly, he has 10 starts under his belt. So, if he is around, you can't completely rule it out. A recent eye injury only lengthens his odds.

Can Carlos Delfino Continue to Be Effective Beyond the Arc?

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    Carlos Delfino was a little shaky the first three seasons of his career with the Detroit Pistons. Since then, in his one season with the Toronto Raptors and subsequent three with the Milwaukee Bucks he's been solid from deep.

    He's shot at least 36 percent from three-point range the last four seasons.

    He's very accurate when spotting up or coming off screens. He can get to the rim and has that deceptive, sneaky athleticism. He isn't afraid to mix it up defensively either.

    At 30, he is the resident graybeard on the team and will be looked upon to provide veteran leadership for the young guys.

Can Toney Douglas Provide Steady Play at the Backup Point Guard Spot?

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    Toney Douglas will be an asset to the Rockets all season long. As young as he is, he provides them with a dimension at point guard that no one else does.

    How young is this team? Here's how young they are. Douglas is the only point guard on the roster with playoff experience. As limited as it is, he's the only one.

    He has five games over the last two seasons under his belt, averaging nine points a game, just as he has in the regular season.

Is Gary Forbes Able to Pick Up Where He Left off at Season's End?

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    The Rockets received a first round pick when they traded Kyle Lowry to the Toronto Raptors. The player they got was Gary Forbes.

    The 26-year-old guard-forward has averaged 5.8 points, two rebounds, and 13.5 minutes a game in 111 games with the Denver Nuggets and the Raptors.

    It's just a very small window, but if Forbes gets the opportunity to start this season the way he finished last season, the potential is there. In the final three games he averaged 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists in 27.6 minutes.

    At the very least, he's coming in with the right mindset:


    This summer was great... Enjoyed & Learned a lot... Time for BUSINESS... #RedNation

    — Gary Forbes (@GForbz3) September 16, 2012

Will Courtney Fortson Make the Most of His Opportunity?

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    Courtney Fortson has had plenty of ups and downs in his career. While at Arkansas he recorded the second triple-double in Razorbacks history in 2008.

    Shortly thereafter, he went through some rough patches. He left Arkansas early, played in the NBDL, played overseas and then received a shot with the Los Angeles Clippers.

    He received another opportunity with Houston, and another one, and so far so good. He just wants to earn his keep.  

Will JaJuan Johnson Remain in the Mix?

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    JaJuan Johnson is the former 2011 Big Ten player of the year. The video lends support as to why.

    He also has a nice high arching jump shot and he shoots it with a nice touch. As mentioned earlier there is a huge traffic jam at the 4 spot. It's hard to know how many opportunities Johnson will have, to show what he can do.

Will Terrence Jones Be a Tweener?

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    At 6'9" and 252 pounds the first inclination might be to tell Terrence Jones to set up on either one of the low blocks and go to work. His game is much more versatile than that. 

    He is comfortable and capable of stepping out and shooting the three, slashing to the basket, or posting up. Stronger, bulkier power forwards will give him a little bit of trouble as will lightning quick small forwards.

    As long as he remains focused and keeps his cool, he'll be fine.

Could Jeremy Lamb Wind Up Being a More Athletic Reggie Miller?

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    I'm not suggesting that Jeremy Lamb will be the three-point shooter Reggie Miller was or that he will have Reggie's clutch flair for the dramatic. If he does, you won't hear a single complaint from me.

    His wiry strength brings back memories of Miller. He's smooth as silk, which is deceptive because underneath lies the killer instinct. It reveals itself on occasion when he gets a clear path to the rim.

    Maybe he's a little Reggie Miller, with a dash of George Gervin mixed in. Not a bad combination.

How Will Jeremy Lin Handle Everything?

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    Is everyone tired of waiting for the season to get here? In a word, most definitely. That was two words but you get the point.

    Time is flying by, summer is dwindling down but Jeremy Lin's debut in Houston Rockets gear can't get here fast enough. He will have a ton of expectations on him, the anticipation will push it to near impossible levels.

    It will be comparable to that of a certain New York Jets quarterback, the only difference being that Lin will have a game that's worth getting excited about.

Will Shaun Livingston's String of Improved Durability Continue?

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    Hopefully, the answer to this question is a loud and clear yes. Prior to last year's lockout-shortened season Shaun Livingston's games played had improved for three years in a row.

    He appeared in 12 games in 2008-09, 36 in 2009-10, and 73 in 2010-11. Last season he played in 58 of the Milwaukee Bucks' 66 games.

    Considering the horrific nature of his 2007 knee injury, this is good to see.

How Will Scott Machado Mesh with the Team?

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    Scott Machado isn't a household name. He's an undrafted guard out of Iona.

    That's not to say he doesn't have game; he led the nation in assists last season. He's gained more notoriety for what he's said than for what he's done.  

    So he thinks he's better than Jeremy Lin, that's fine. Guys need that self-confidence in order to make it.

    Now he gets his chance to prove it in camp, where he can just play ball and let his game speak.

How Much Longer Will Kevin Martin Be in Houston?

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    It's kind of surprising that Kevin Martin is still with the Rockets, especially since so many moves were made during the summer. Houston worked hard to put themselves in a position to acquire Dwight Howard.

    Martin is still a solid scorer and would definitely help a team out. His numbers were down but at 17.1 points per game they were still solid. Hope the trade works out well for both parties when it happens.

Can Marcus Morris Match His Brother's Production This Season?

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    Sometimes identical twins are inseparable and they love it, sometimes they want their own space. Either way it's hard for them to escape being compared to one another, which is what's fixing to happen now.

    Marcus Morris played in 17 games for the Rockets and averaged 2.4 points and 0.9 rebounds a game. His twin brother Markieff Morris appeared in 63 games with the Phoenix Suns and tallied 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and one assist a night. 

    Who will come out on top this year? The Rockets still have a log jam at power forward but Luis Scola is now a member of the Suns and that will definitely impact Markieff's numbers.

How Quickly Will Donatas Montiejunas Adjust?

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    Donatas Montiejunas' arrival is highly anticipated as well. At 7'0" and 222 pounds one can't help but think Ralph Sampson as far as slight builds are concerned.

    Sampson is four inches taller and was only six pounds heavier when he played.

    He can play both power forward and center, and provide some additional size for Omer Asik. His jumper is feathery soft and the big fella can drop dimes as well. It will be interesting to watch his transition.

How Much Improvement Will Chandler Parsons Make from Year 1 to Year 2?

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    Chandler Parsons had a solid rookie season. He averaged 9.5 points, 4.8 boards, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.5 blocks. He truly filled up the stat sheet in every since of the word. All of this in a lockout-shortened season.

    Now he's back for his second go-round and he's looking to do bigger and better things. Oh and that little thing called training camp will be a huge boost this time around.

Will Patrick Patterson Grab the Power Forward Spot?

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    Patrick Patterson is an interesting guy. He can go from being the man one instant, and seamlessly defer and give the spotlight up for others the next. He was a dominant high school player in the state of West Virginia.

    He was the primary player at Kentucky while playing for Billy Gillispie no less, which is something in itself.

    When John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins came to Lexington he took a step back and let them have the spotlight. Will he do the same thing now that Donatas Montiejunas has arrived? Patterson is no doubt aware of all the power forwards on the team. He may be a little more selfish for a change this time.

How Will Greg Smith Develop?

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    Greg Smith provides some more size and bulk. His .667 field goal percentage is the best in NBDL history for players who have played at least 400 minutes.

    If he blossoms and brings some of that success with him to the NBA he'll do alright for himself. 

Will Royce White Lead the Team in Rookie of the Year Votes?

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    Royce White is just another way of saying mismatch. Not everyone knows that yet, but it's only a matter of time. His unique blend of quickness, brute strength, and amazing passing ability are tough for anyone to deal with.

    He was a one-man team at Iowa State. The Kentucky fan in me kept fussing at the Cats for not being able to contain him when the two teams met in the NCAA tournament last spring. They were allowing him to dominate and do his best Magic Johnson impersonation, or so I thought.

    Turns out he did everyone that way. White, Lamb, and Jones will probably take ROY votes away from one another, but when the final numbers are tallied White will have the most.