The Rockets will probably be vying for a playoff spot this season, no doubt about that (unless of course Yao goes down with... *sigh* another injury). But if everything goes according to plan they will be in the playoffs. But here is an interesting prospect, if the Rockets were able to acquire say... Carmelo Anthony. Would they be better than the world champion Los Angeles Lakers? Well Lets do a head to head comparison of the PG, SG, SF, PF, C, bench and the coaches.
Let's say the trade is, Scola, Jeffries, Hill and draft picks. (Reportedly the Nuggets liked Scola and don't want Kevin Martin because of his big contract.)
Alright so you got the 2009-2010 NBA MIP going up against the veteran Derek Fisher.
Shooting: alright well this is the only category Fisher really matches up with Brooks, except... Fisher only shot 35% from three last year. Brooks shot 40%, this is easy Brooks wins in shooting.
Driving: Lets just say Fisher has lost his step a little bit. Brooks is one of the fastest players in the league. Easy pick, Brooks is by far the better driver.
Defense: Once again... Even though Brooks is probably a barely below average defender, Fisher is way way way way way way below average defender. Brooks is easily the better defender
Passing: Fisher had 2.5 assists per game in in 28 minutes per game... Brooks had 5.3 without many weapons, which is very good. Brooks easily takes this one.
The Verdict: Brooks is better hands down, really not much argument here.
Kobe, the future hall of famer going up against the scoring machine Kevin Martin.
Shooting: Alright Kobe is an amazing shooter from mid range, but from three? Eh.... Not so much, don't get me wrong though, 34% isn't bad but Kevin Martin is just a flat out better shooter. With a higher three point percentage, free throw percentage and true shooting percentage. Martin is the better shooter.
Driving: Ok well when Martin drives he's usually looking for a foul. when Kobe drives he's looking to dunk over you. While Martin is very good at getting to the rim; Kobe is, well Kobe. Yeah Kobe is better at driving.
Defense: Martin has a rep for being a poor defender, I can tell you why but it's going to take a lot of space so hit me up with a comment or an email if you want to know. But he has looked very good defensively and he averages a steal a game. But Kobe is one of the best defenders in the league, Martin is not. Kobe is the better defender.
The Verdict: Kobe is a future HOF and one of the best ever, hands down Kobe wins.
Two of the best defenders in the game. Shane Battier vs Ron Artest.
Shooting: Neither of them are very good scorers, but they can hit the three point shot. Battier has a significantly better true shooting percentage probably due to his free throw percentage being higher than Artest. Because of the TSP (true shooting percentage) Battier wins this one.
Driving: Neither of them are terrific at this, but I think Artest has a slight edge here because of his strength.
Defense: Alright, this is a tough one. But believe it or not, Battier is a better defender. He studies film for hours to know every offensive move the man who he is guarding might have. When the Rockets played the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs, they chose their best defender to guard Kobe. They chose Battier, not Artest. Battier proved them right and shut Kobe down.
The Verdict: I'd say it's about even, they both are elite defensive players who can shoot it.
Yes, Melo would probably star at PF if they were to trade away Scola. The big man Pau Gasol vs The prolific scoring forward Carmelo Anthony.
Shooting: Melo is probably one of the best mid range shooters in the game and he can shoot the three a little bit. Pau can hit the mid range but is not very good from three. Melo is definitely a better shooter.
Post Play: Both of them are very talent post players. Pau has the size but Melo has the quickness. This one is a draw.
Defense: Carmelo is not a poor defender but definitely could be better. I'm not really sure about Pau so if somebody could post a comment on how people think of him defensively that'd be great. I'm going to say Pau wins this mainly because Melo is a below average defender.
Rebounding: Melo is a bad rebounder plain and simple. I'm not sure if he doesn't try or if he just isn't very good at it. Pau is without a doubt the better player on the glass.
The Verdict: It's a toss up, both of them are very very talented players.
Two of the most injury prone players go head to head, Yao Ming vs Andrew Bynum.
Shooting: Yao has one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the NBA, Bynum can make it from midrange but just not like Yao. Yao's the better shooter.
Post up: Yao is the best center at putting the ball in the basket, and he does it mainly from the post. Bynum is a good post player, but Yao is a great post player. Yao wins this one.
Defense: Again, Yao is seven foot six. It's pretty hard to shoot over him. Bynum is once again a pretty good defensive center, but he's not seven foot six.
Rebounding: Yao is tall, thus he gets many rebounds. Bynum is shorter than Yao, thus he gets less than Yao. Yao is the better Rebounder.
The Verdict: Andrew Bynum is a really good center. But he's no match for Yao. Yao is better.
Point Guard: Kyle Lowry vs. Steve Blake. Lowry is a better passer, play maker and defender. But Blake is a better shooter. None the less, Lowry is better.
Shooting Guard: Courtney Lee vs. Shannon Brown. Shannon Brown can dunk, he's also a pretty good defender and can even shoot the jumper if he needs to. But then again Lee can shoot the jumper and defend better than Brown, but Brown can drive to the basket and dunk over whoever he wants. I'd say it's a toss up.
Small Forward: Chase Budinger vs. Matt Barnes. Chase is an up and coming rookie, he can jump, he can dunk and he can shoot. But Barnes is a better defender, but can't score as well as Budinger. Another toss up.
Power Forward: Patrick Patterson vs. Lamar Odom. Lamar is one of the best sixth men in the league. while Patterson is young and I think he is going to be a star in this league. He just isn't as good as the "candy man", unless of course he's on a sugar buzz.
Center: Brad MIller vs. Theo Ratilff. Miller can shoot, post up, score, pass better than Ratliff. But Ratliff is probably a better defender and I'd assume they both rebound the ball about the same. Miller has the edge though, a better player in a system he's thrived him.
The Other Guys:
Jermaine Taylor: Shooting Guard, He can throw it down with the best of them and every once and a while hit a outside shot.
Chuck Hayes: Power Forward/Center, One of the better post defenders in the game despite his size, Hayes hustles for every loose ball and plays with heart.
Ishmael Smith: Point Guard, fast point guard out of Wake Forrest. If the rockets decide to keep him on the roster (which I really hope they do) he'd be the best passer on the team and he's very good at driving to the rack and is a solid defender. But a poor outside shooter.
Sasha Vujacic: Shooting Guard, He used to be the Lakers best three point shooter, until last year he shot 25% from three. Not going to cut it, he needs to step up this year.
Luke Walton: Small Forward, He doesn't really play to much, and when he does. He doesn't really do to much.
Devin Ebanks: Small Forward, Second round pick for the Lakers, not really to sure what to expect out of him.
Derrick Caracter: Power Forward, Caracter is supposedly supposed to be a stud. I haven't watched any Lakers pre season games so I wouldn't know. He was the Lakers first round pick this year.
Who's got the better bench?
The Rockets take this one, they can go 10 deep on any given night. After the Pacers Rockets pre-season game Danny Granger said that the Rockets second unit could start for half of the NBA teams. That says it all.
Two of the best coaches in NBA history, Phil Jackson vs. Rick Adleman.
Ok Rick Adleman is one of the best coaches ever. But Phil Jackson IS the best coach ever. Not much to debate here, everyone already knows it.
Is that a Brian Cook sighting in the Background?????
Alright so here we go just to summarize it,
So who wins??? I'm going to say the Rockets would compete with the Lakers for the #1 spot in the west and it would be a close competition. I think it'd be to close to call, but the Lakers would probably find a way to take the #1 seed, they are the two time defending champs and in my opinion the best team in the league, better than the Heat. I couldn't tell you who would win a playoff series, but I can tell you it would likely go seven games.
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