2014-15 Record: 56-26
2014-15 Offense: 103.9 PPG (6th)
2014-15 Defense: 100.5 PPG (17th)
Key Additions: Ty Lawson (PG), Sam Dekker (SF), Montrezl Harrell (PF)
Key Losses: Josh Smith (PF), Pablo Prigioni (PG), Nick Johnson (PG)
The Rockets are a hard team to judge. They finished with the second best record in the west and made it to the Western Conference Finals last year. However, they never seemed all that impressive. If you look at last year’s offense and defense they don’t look like one of the NBA’s elite. Will they be this year?
The big addition to the Rockets is point guard Ty Lawson. Lawson isn’t quite an All-Star but he’s been a really good player for the Nuggets for many years now. He’s incredibly quick and is also an underrated playmaker at the point. However, there’s a reason Denver was willing to give him up for almost nothing. He’s had some real off the court issues that may end up affecting his on the court performance. We’ve written about these issues already.
Houston didn’t lose much from last year’s team. The only key losses were Josh Smith and Pablo Prigioni, a couple of bench guys. They don’t make it to the conference finals last year without those guys though. They won’t miss either guy that much but you need decent bench guys to contribute. It’s a good thing they got Lawson to replace Prigioni.
The Rockets seem like a good team that got better. There’s a lot of reasons to think they could be the best team in the west. They won 56 games even with a ton of injuries. If they’re healthier and Lawson stays out of trouble they could win 60. I don’t think that’s going to happen. They had injuries because their players are injury prone. Howard can’t stay healthy for a full year. Injuries will sink this team again.