When it comes to betting, people wager on everything from the Super Bowl coin flip to baby names—so what's stopping us from predicting the stats for all of the newly acquired Houston Rockets?
That's right, instead of playing over/under on baseball or NFL totals, we're going to take a look at all of the personnel the Rockets snagged. We'll try and formulate what their upcoming lines will look like.
Relax, though—this is just a friendly exercise—don't go risking your life savings on whether or not Dwight Howard will average over one-and-a-half blocks or not...then again, that might be safe bet.
Brand new city, brand new jersey, brand new teammates and most importantly a renewed sense of confidence and time to rest up will mean a lot for Howard.
Yes, great teams tend to make great players "better" in certain categories, but will his role on Houston hurt or help his stats overall?
Let's look at his line from last season, but pay attention to a few slots in particular.
D12 averaged 17 points, 12 boards and 2 blocks—decent numbers for a guy of his caliber.
As a Los Angeles Laker, Dwight's role in the offense was undefined. He dealt with a bad back and had to watch Kobe Bryant chuck up a lot of shots, some of them bad ones.
Don't expect his points per game to hang around 17 points like last season. This year, he'll probably see a lot more pick-and-roll looks in conjunction with James Harden. A faster pace will translate into a lot more transition opportunities.
For an athletic freak like Dwight, transition is where he feasts, and feast he will.
Scoring aside, Dwight also has to be cognizant of the defensive side of the ball as well rebounding—two things that tend to go hand in hand.
Rebounding has a lot to do with effort and positioning, the former of which was something that Howard seemed to be lacking a times.
His enthusiasm and desire for the ball will be a lot higher on this team, and improved numbers will likely reflect it. If he's a little quicker to the ball and doesn't hack and commit as many silly fouls, we might even see a slight increase in his blocked shots, but hey, don't count on it.
New teams can fix attitudes, but bad habits die hard.
Also, expect his free-throw percentage to be just as atrocious as it's usually been.
Projected Stats Per Game: 21.7 points, 14 boards, 2.6 blocks and 53 percent from the charity stripe
The Rockets added another big man to flank Howard in the frontcourt, but the only problem is this guy is one hard fall away from shattering his knee in three places.
That's the thing about Marcus Camby; he's menacing and made up of heart and grit, but he's made of glass, too.
At 39 years old, it's likely that retirement is imminent for Mr. Camby, but that doesn't mean he can't ease the transition into the coaching ranks (should he choose to do so) by being a veteran presence in the locker room.
Marcus averaged barely two measly points last season in only 24 appearances before succumbing to various injuries.
It's not the fear of one big injury necessarily, but rather, it's the tiny nicks and bruises that tend to wear people down that might hinder Camby the most this season.
Don't expect much from him aside from an occasional mid range jump shot, or a help-side block in garbage time that elicits a semi-sarcastic 20-second long ovation.
Projected Stats Per Game: 1.5 points, 2 rebounds 1.0 blocks and 36 total games played
Aaron Brooks is one of those guys you're either screaming vitriol or praise at depending on the particular night. Regardless, you're going to end up screaming at him.
You're either yelling in joy after he nails consecutive transition three-pointers from 28 feet, or you're screaming at him in fury for jacking up a terrible shot when your squad had a three-on-one break and he could've made the easy play.
Brooks is a gunner, and he's not much of a floor general, but hey, he's not exactly a terrible player by any means.
The Rockets just need him to be smart and selective, then again, that would be like asking Dwight Howard to not make corny jokes.
This isn't to say that Brooks is some horrific affliction cast upon this squad, however.
Expect him to be a bargain of sorts. He will bring solid production off the bench for a low-risk, high-reward one year contract. He could very well fit inside the Rockets' system that favors a lot of fast-break opportunities and spreading the floor with shooters.
Projected Stats Per Game: 5.3 points, 2.5 assists and 31 percent from beyond the three-point line
Not much to say here—Williams is your run-of-the-mill, streaky jump-shooter.
He's a guy you can plug in anywhere, and you can count on him to do his job to the best of his ability. His game involves shooting the ball from behind that line that gives you three points if it goes in.
He can get really, really hot though, and if he does, it can set off a little mini-run here or there which could prove resourceful. But overall, don't expect much from Mr. Williams.
Projected Stats Per Game: 5.7 points, 31 percent from deep and 1.8 three-point attempts
Similar to Reggie Williams, Garcia is being brought in for his ability to stretch the floor. He's a decent wing defender, but he's by no means a lockdown threat on the other end.
He's going to do his thing, which involves running to the corner and spotting up.
Don't expect a lot of hoopla for his production; he's more or less completely interchangeable with any other 6'6" or 6'7" swingman who can shoot the ball decently in this league.
As an added bonus, he's a familiar face from last season and veteran voice in the huddle.
Projected Stats Per Game: 3.1 points , 29 percent from three, 1.0 three-point attempts
Omri Casspi came into the league as an intriguing prospect due to his versatility and size.
He's established himself in the league as a serviceable point-forward who has a nice stroke, but he's yet another guy brought in for his ability to shoot the long ball.
With Dwight Howard newly added to the roster, it helps to have what is essentially a poor man's Hedo Turkoglu—a swingman who can shoot as well as put the ball on the floor.
While that isn't necessarily his role here, Casspi is more than capable of being a productive addition as far as helping keep the floor spaced no matter what lineup is on the floor for Houston.
All of these guys—Casspi, Garcia, Williams and Brooks—are going to get more looks thanks to double-teams predicated off of Howard's presence.
Projected Stats Per Game: 4.8 points , 1.3 assists and 2.6 boards
The Rooks—Isaiah Canaan, Robert Covington and Jordan Henriquez:
If the aforementioned names are unfamiliar, well, they should be. They're all rookies and they're all unlikely to have any major impact whatsoever.
The Rockets have a deep rotation that is ready to win now, and frankly, none of these guys are ready to make a major impact at this juncture. Even if they were, no one would know considering the the logjams that exist at various positions on this roster.
They'll see stints in the D-League, or they'll enjoy courtside seats whilst getting paid to watch.
Projected Stats: 5 combined points per game, under 12.5 total combined games played and 13.7 spirited high fives in street clothes given per game