Last season: 43-39, which is not bad but in the deep West sends you to the lottery.
Head Coach: Kevin McHale, last seen on the bench in Minnesota where he was forced, in a fit of poetic justice, to coach the team he had built as GM. A team that wasn’t very good. He replaces Rick Adelman, who ironically ends up in Minnesota.
If nothing else McHale will tell great stories, he has amazing ones from the 80s Celtics.
Key Departures: Yao Ming is officially gone, although he wasn’t really there much. (Bitter Lakers fans would like you to know they think Kevin Martin and Luis Scola should be here.)
Key Additions: Jonny Flynn
Best case scenario: The back court of Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin make this a fun team to watch and a tough one to defend, they get enough dirty work out of Luis Scola and Chase Budinger can make some high flying plays and they can get one of the last seeds in the West.
For that to happen: To be honest, the best case scenario in Houston would be GM Daryl Morey finding someone who wants to send him a center. He went hard after Nene, Tyson Chandler and every other big he could think of to fill that void — that void is named Jordan Hill and Hasheem Thabeet.
In a West loaded with big men of substance the Rockets cannot go far without a real big man in the middle.
More likely the Rockets will: If they don’t make a big move, the Rockets this season will be a lot like the Rockets last season — good but in a deep West not good enough.
What Rockets fans should hope for is a bold move — something that brings them the true star they need to go with the quality role players they have. Or a move that jump starts them on a total rebuild. They need a star, a franchise anchor. Right now they are living in the league’s middle ground, not bad enough to totally rebuild and not good enough to really be a threat.
Prediction: 32-34, missing the playoffs again.