How Each New Acquisition Will Fit into Houston Rockets' 2013-14 Rotation
The Houston Rockets have a ton of new players to fit into their 2013-14 rotation after an expensive offseason by general manager Daryl Morey.
Head coach Kevin McHale was questioned for his rotations late in the 2012-13 season, but the players brought aboard by Morey should help to make his decisions less controversial. He now has players that clearly fit each role on the team, theoretically making his job a lot easier.
With significant depth at nearly every position, Houston can put quality talent on the floor with every substitution. This is what will make them a Western Conference contender.
Training camp will be where it all starts, though, and McHale will have to iron out a few minor rotational issues prior to the regular season. Once he does that, it should be smooth sailing if everyone performs as expected.
Starting with the player that has the most obvious role on the team seems logical (at least to me, anyway).
Howard will come to Houston as the unquestioned starting center, leader on defense and missing piece to the championship puzzle. Having played 36.1 minutes per game over the course of his career, Howard will have a ton of opportunities to make an impact.
He'll be on the court for nearly the entire game and will make his mark on both ends of the floor. He and James Harden should form a formidable inside-outside duo.
Marcus Camby's role with the team will be largely connected to the role McHale gives to Omer Asik. Asik could either play as the team's starting power forward or reserve center.
ESPN.com's depth charts for the upcoming season have him playing the 4 ahead of Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones, though the popular opinion is that Jones will be given the opportunity to start.
If Asik plays the 4 with some regularity, then Camby will be the first big man coming off the bench when Howard needs a breather (however brief that may be).
For a player at the end of his career, that type of role is perfect. If Asik plays behind Howard, though, then Camby will play minimally.
He'll be the third center on a team with two starting-caliber centers. That equals almost zero playing time for one of the better defensive centers of the past 20 years.
Omri Casspi only played 11.7 minutes per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, but he'll see an increased role with the Rockets. He'll be the primary reserve playing behind Chandler Parsons, making him a near-lock to play 15-plus minutes a night.
Casspi isn't the most effective of scorers, having shot just 39.4 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three and 53.7 percent from the charity stripe last season. He won't be asked to score, though. All he needs to do is play solid defense and provide energy off the bench.
While it's unclear as to whether or not he'll be an upgrade from Carlos Delfino, Casspi shouldn't be asked to play roles that he's unaccustomed to. This is something that Delfino was forced to do last season due to various injuries. Look for Casspi to have a solid, if un-fabulous, impact on the team.
While slotted on the ESPN depth charts as the No. 3 shooting guard, Reggie Williams has the potential to make a huge impact on the team. He may not play much at first with Harden and Francisco Garcia ahead of him, but Williams has had some success in the NBA before.
He played just 24 games in his rookie season, but averaged 15.2 points on 49.5 percent shooting. The following season, he shot an astounding 42.3 percent from downtown.
This makes him extremely valuable to a Rockets team that loves to shoot from outside.
Williams has the size at 6'6" to play at small forward on occasion, so don't be surprised if he averages around 12 minutes a night between both positions.
Not all that much will be expected of him early on, but Williams could become a valuable, late-game rotational player for McHale when the team needs help shooting the ball.
Isaiah Canaan/B.J. Young/Robert Covington
This trio of rookies can be grouped together as players who will see limited minutes next season. While all three have potential, there's simply too much depth in front of them.
Canaan has to deal with Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks. Canaan, the only rookie actually selected by the Rockets in the NBA draft, has the scoring potential to play a role with the team down the line.
This season just seems unrealistic.
Both Young and Covington were signed out of the Orlando Summer League as undrafted rookies. Young has Harden, Garcia and Williams ahead of him, while Covington has Parsons, Casspi and potentially Williams to deal with.
This makes the chances of them playing consistent minutes slim to none.
The rookies will have to look towards improving, learning the system and getting prepared for the season to follow.
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