Watch out, basketball world.
The Houston Rockets are entering the 2010-11 season with high hopes and great expectations as the team embarks on what promises to be a very exciting and eventful year.
With All-Star caliber names such as Aaron Brooks, and a hopefully healthy Yao Ming returning to the team, along with newcomers such as Courtney Lee and rookie Patrick Patterson joining the squad, look for the Rockets to make some serious noise on the NBA hardwood this season.
“I like our depth all the way through,” Houston head coach Rick Adelman told Rockets.com writer Jason Friedman.
“The team Daryl put together, every one of these guys I really like. We really enjoy coaching this team—they play hard, they’re competitive and we’re better than we were last year, talent-wise. I think we’re better in a lot of areas." Adelman said.
And what about Yao?
"I think we have to give Yao a chance to fit in with what we have with him getting healthy again," Adelman said. "If he can do that, it makes an unbelievable difference to this team because it just adds that weapon that you need on both ends of the court.” Adelman said.
Houston held an open practice at Toyota Center this past weekend, giving the team an opportunity to relax and have some fun on the hardwood in front of die-hard fans eagerly awaiting the upcoming season.
“It’s a good group—they’re concentration is good,” Adelman told Friedman following Sunday’s workout. “I think we’re in a good position to do what we want to do."
“We have a lot of guys who can hurt the other team in the open court. We’ve got to concentrate on that. I said it before: everybody’s got to play to their strengths and what we’re doing. You’ve got to know what your strength is and what we’re trying to do. That’s what we’re trying to point out now.” Adelman said.
And defense will definitely be a focal-point for the Rockets this season, as the team aims to improve it’s habits on the hardwood.
“I think some guys get into the habit of just relaxing at the defensive end and we’re trying to break those habits right now. Aaron [Brooks] and Kyle [Lowry] have got to put pressure on the ball up the court. We don’t want to just let teams dictate what they want to do—we want to take them out of their offense a little bit. I think they’re very receptive and that’s half the battle. Your mindset has to be there.“ Adelman said.
Halfway there works.
And with the 2010-11 season looming around the corner, that half-full glass still has a few more weeks to be filled to the brim…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org