The Rockets’ 2016-2017 schedule was released, and it’s never too early for season predictions.
Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report made a disappointingly neutral prediction of the Houston Rockets‘ 2016-2017 season. His reasoning is that the Rockets won’t have a chance to catch Western Conference powerhouses like the San Antonio Spurs and will likely be entrenched in the most competitive division in the league.
Do the Rockets have the star power of the Warriors, Spurs or Clippers? No. Do they have a well-rounded roster like the Grizzlies or Utah Jazz? No.
But will they score a ton of points? Will they be exciting to watch? And will they probably sneak into the postseason as a low seed?
Yes, yes and yes.
James Harden and company will have their work cut out for them but I’d like to see at least a 45 win season.
Aaron Reiss of the Houston Chronicle noted that Houston’s schedule features a very road-heavy start, which could only worsen the learning curve that will certainly plague the team during the first few weeks of the season. Last season’s issues were partly due to the team getting down on themselves after a slow start, so that could be even more of a negative than the team’s six pairs of back-to-backs.
Houston opens the season in Los Angeles against the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers on Oct. 26 on ESPN. After that, the Rockets will head to Dallas to play the Mavericks. The Rockets will then play the Mavericks two days later in Houston. Then they’ll head to Cleveland to play the defending champion Cavaliers and begin a five-game road trip.
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In non-schedule news, the Rockets may be interested in the Sacramento Kings‘ Rudy Gay, according to Matt Moore of CBS Sports. He could come at a reasonable price due to his upcoming free agency after this season. After Trevor Ariza, Houston is spread fairly thin at small forward, and Gay could come in handy.
Even though Gay’s shot selection on the floor has been nightmarish for most of his career and he’s never asserted himself on the boards or on the defensive end to his best capacity, Gay remains popular with teammates, has no injury concerns, and has had the best seasons of his career the past two seasons. (The fact that they came for an abysmal Kings team probably means something, but let’s move on.)
The Rockets will have plenty of prep work to do before they get started with their road-trip-filled November, so keep up with Space City Scoop for updates on how that progresses.
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