NBA FANTASY BASKETBALL DRAFT NEWS 10-15-2015
A HEALTHY HOUSTON ROCKETS TEAM ARE PLAYOFF WORTHY IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE
The Houston Rockets were decimated by injuries last season, but were able to collect the second spot in the western conference ranking. It’s all thanks to their star player and 2015 MVP runner up James Harden. With the return of Dwight Howard, Donatas Motiejunas and Patrick Beverley in the lineup, Houston will have the fire power and the depth to challenge for a playoff spot.
The Rockets completed the year with a 56 victories and 26 defeats to grab the number two spot in the western conference. They began their playoff drive with a first round win over the fellow state rival Dallas Mavericks. They followed up with an intense series against the Los Angeles Clippers, in which they had to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the series to win the last 3 games. The Texan team hit a brick wall against eventual NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors, in the western conference finals.
During the offseason, they’ve lost their spark plug in Josh Smith to the Clippers. But the Rockets needs relied elsewhere, a starting point guard was top priority this offseason. They got Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets in the summer. Lawson burned his bridges with Denver being arrested by the police too many times.
Houston Rockets PG
His talent is undeniable, but Houston has a problem in their hand now. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey traded a bunch of his bench players for him. The Denver Nuggets needed to get rid of Lawson because of his constant problems with the law, especially with drunk driving. Despite his off the court issues, he can be an excellent asset for them on the court. The former college standout is one of the better passers in the NBA. He finished third in the league for assist last year with 720.
Houston Rockets SG
Harden was the best scorer in the NBA in the 2014/15 season. He finished with 2217 points, the most in the league. It’s 300 more than his closest pursuer Stephen Curry. He also led in free throws, with 715, and turnovers, with 321. Yet, Harden lost the MVP award to Curry. The Rockets shooting guard carried the team last year, due to the injuries suffered by Houston’s core players. A fully recovered team may go a long way this season. Fear the beard!
Houston Rockets SF
Ariza can do pretty much everything. He’s good defensively and can support the offense when he needs to. The small forward scored 1048 points and 194 three pointers last year, with both stats ranking him second in the team behind Harden, of course.
Houston Rockets PF
With Josh Smith departure, Houston turns to Motiejunas to fill the spot of power forward. The Lithuanian saw his season cut short after suffering from lower back pain. Before the injury, he showed that he’s a great shooter from the outside. He has raised his three-point success rate by 1 percent over the amount he had in the two previous season’s. Motiejunas is an original center man, so both him and Howard will make for one of the biggest duos to contend with in the front end.
Houston Rockets C
Howard lost his mojo and the grace of the fans since he left Orlando in 2012, and has yet to get it back. His stint with the Los Angeles Lakers was unsuccessful and has since then tried to find himself in Houston. He had knee problems during the 2014/15 season and missed over 40 games because of it. “Superman” is a skilled defensive player who can charge the rim with force using his big body. Rebounds has been his strength throughout his career. If he’s able to stay healthy, Howard could become the NBA rebound leader for the sixth time.