After an incredible offseason, the Houston Rockets have hurdles to overcome this upcoming campaign.
Houston has plenty of newcomers on its roster, and it will take time for the team to create chemistry. The coaching staff must find a good rotation that utilizes the players' talents.
The Rockets are legitimate contenders this year, but they are still a young team and new to the national spotlight.
There are high expectations in Houston, but the Rockets will have to deal with these hurdles before they can think about winning in the postseason.
With nine new players on the roster at training camp, the Rockets have to develop together. A team can look good on paper, but it takes time to mesh. Players learn each other's tendencies only by playing with each other frequently, and the Rockets will need some time before they can compete at their highest level.
Teams that win championships always have terrific chemistry, but they can't just create that bond right away. There will be moments early in the season when the Rockets aren't on the same page. The only remedy for this is time and practice.
By the end of the season, the Rockets should be ready to go.
Finding the Right Rotation
This hurdle is more of a burden for the coaching staff than it is for the players. When you have a handful of new players, you also have to figure out the most effective lineups and combinations.
During preseason and early during the regular season, the coaches will have to experiment with different lineups to find best balance.
Coach Kevin McHale and his staff could take a lot of different routes with such a deep roster. They could play small ball with a stretch 4 or play big with twin towers Omer Asik and Dwight Howard. They should also try staggering Jeremy Lin's minutes so he can run the pick-and-roll while Harden is resting on the bench.
Like chemistry, finding the right rotation will take some time. The coaching staff will have to tinker with several lineups before it finds the best way to utilize each player's talents.
Over time, the rotation will become set in stone.
The National Spotlight
Last season, the Rockets exceeded expectations by making the playoffs before a first-round exit. This year things will be different. After barely any national publicity last season, Houston will have at least 26 nationally televised games this year.
The Dwight Howard signing made the Rockets a popular team. The players will have to get accustomed to more reporters and cameras than usual.
Dwight Howard and Co. will have a lot to prove this season. Hopefully, all of the extra attention won't affect the team on the court.