BY: TYLER JOHNSON
The dark days for Houston Rockets basketball are coming to an end. The funny thing is that the rest of the nation thinks that the dark days are just beginning.
Every NBA team will tell you that their ball club has a lot of young talent, but what they don’t tell you is how good their young talent actually is. The Charlotte Bobcats have a lot of young talent. Is it good talent? Not at all. But the Rockets, on the other hand, have good talent and a ton of cap space to keep it.
Houston recently signed both point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik to a three-year, $25.1 million contract. Although, Asik is not officially with the team yet, it’s quite certain that the Chicago Bulls will not match the offer, thus, making Asik a Houston Rocket.
Both Lin and Asik will be inserted in the starting lineup immediately to go along with Kevin Martin, Chandler Parsons, and Patrick Patterson.I give those three the edge over the rookies because, well, they’re rookies. This lineup will be competitive this upcoming season, which may lead to a playoff berth, but I don’t think that it will be the future for the team.
The Rockets have a handful of rookies this season that are full of promise. I’m especially fond of Jeremy Lamb. He has a unique scoring ability and puts forth a lot of effort on defense. With Kevin Martin is in his last year of his contract, Lamb will definitely take over the starting position in his second year, if he hasn’t already done so. This will then create a dominating backcourt with Lamb and Lin for years to come.
As much as I like Patrick Patterson, I don’t think he is the long-term answer at the power forward position. He will have this season to prove that he does belong, because if he doesn’t, Donatas Motiejunas is looking to make a name for himself and would love to do so as quickly as possible. Motiejunas, a seven footer from Lithuania, can stroke it from behind the arc and already has a solid post game. The only thing he lacks is rebounding and strength, but both will get better over time, and Omer Asik will be doing the rebounding for the most part anyways.
Chandler Parsons is the long-term solution at the small forward position. Women love him, men love his put-back dunks, and Kobe Bryant hates playing against him. In his rookie season, Parsons showed that he has no problem taking on the opposing team’s best offensive perimeter player. And with the latest offseason moves, he is now the veteran for the Rockets franchise. In every championship team, you will find that one player that has no problem doing the “dirty work.” Parsons has no problem getting dirty.
If all that happens and the Rockets don’t trade away their young assets for a Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum, the starting lineup will be Lin, Lamb, Parsons, Motiejunas, and Asik, with Terrence Jones and Royce White coming off the bench. It doesn’t look very compelling now, but considering they’re all twenty-six years of age or younger the team has a huge upside. Houston can enjoy watching this team grow and develop into title contenders, and the dark days will be over before they even started.