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Houston Rockets Preview: A Yao-Less Team's Goals and Dreams

Denton Ramsey@DentonRamseySenior Analyst IOctober 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Aaron Brooks #0 of the Houston Rockets moves the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 12, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

It’s tough to come up with a reasonable set of goals and dreams when the two pinnacles of the Houston Rockets franchise seem to be lost in terms of "when" or "if" they will return this season.

The 2010 NBA season will begin with a giant question mark surrounding the return of Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately, the year will also begin without Yao Ming at the center (as he is currently slated to miss the entire season with his foot injury).

For the Rockets, that means it’s time to make some changes—beginning with switching to a more fast-paced, score-quickly offense—as Rick Adelman aims to right the ship in Houston.

Regardless of the Rockets beginning the season without Yao or T-Mac, Adelman still has a strong nucleus of players with Shane Battier in the middle.

The surrounding cast looks both young and impressive, with future stars such as Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry, as well as newcomers such as Trevor Ariza.

Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, and Kyle Lowry will also be back for the Rockets. Add that with the addition of players—such as Chase Budinger (forward) and David Anderson (center)—and Adelman now has some size on his side as well.

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Through two preseason games (yes, I know they are really just warm-up games), the Rockets are 2-0 with notable wins over San Antonio and Boston—all without Yao, McGrady, or Battier.

Houston returns to the hardwood tomorrow evening (Friday, Oct. 9) against the Orlando Magic in hopes of keeping their preseason record at a perfect 3-0.

It’s way too early to begin putting estimations or guesses out there in terms of what this team will really do this year in the NBA, but I will say this—I’ve been very impressed that far with what Adelman can do at the helm.

And I have complete faith that he knows what he’s doing.

Not to say that we are playoff bound this season, because I think it will be VERY difficult for us to do so—though not impossible.

These Rockets could very well make a run in the Western Conference, even without Yao or T-Mac; though it’s realistic to say that this season will be the beginning of a new and up-and-coming Houston basketball team.

It may take some time, some trials, and some heartaches.

But we have the right pieces in place to do a lot of damage in the near future, if we can just keep our guys healthy and injury-free (an NBA dream for all owners and coaches, right?)

The regular season is right around the corner, and I’m pumped about the young gun Rockets hitting the hardwood this year.

We’ve got a great team and a great coach.

Which means great things are in store for this franchise…


Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

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