It’s not always easy to keep perspective. Like when the 410 lb. orca whale purchasing $30-worth of Burger King for himself double-checks with the cashier that the soda he was served is Diet. But we here at Razzball know how difficult maintaining perspective can be, especially when you’re drunk and trying to sketch moving objects. So from now until the start of the season, we’re bringing you the 2010 Fantasy Team Previews, which will focus on each NBA team in hopes of painting a clearer fantasy picture. Who’s starting over whom? Who might surprise you and who might make you want to hurl yourself off a bridge in a few months. Enjoy! Next up – The Houston Rockets.
Gained – Courtney Lee, Brad Miller, a healthy Yao Ming? <– note the question mark at the end.
Lost – Trevor Ariza
Probable position depth -
PG – Aaron Brooks, Kyle Lowry
SG – Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee
SF – Shane Battier, Chase Budinger, Jared Jeffries
PF – Luis Scola, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, Jordan Hill
C – Yao Ming, Brad Miller
Probable D-Leaguers -
G – Ishmael Smith, Antonio Anderson, Jermaine Taylor
F – Mike Harris, Alexander Johnson
3 Concerns Heading Into the Season -
1. Yao Ming. Yao Ming. Yao Ming! – Stop shouting and that only counts as one concern.
Pre-teens with posters on their wall of Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner and Taylor Hicks and Lawrence Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor and Mary Tyler Moore (close!) haven’t spent as much of their summer as I have thinking about Yao Ming. And I can’t help but feel as if my thinking is directly contributing to the bad news wafting out of Houston. First Yao’s slow-going, then he might not be 100 percent on opening day, then it doesn’t matter if he’s 100 percent because he’s only playing limited minutes in a limited number of games. And if Yao has another serback? Retirement. Sad to say, but you should treat Yao this season as you treated Shaq last season.
2. Might it be a good thing that Trevor Ariza is gone?
No. Mostly because the über-hyped Ariza (German!) that went from L.A. to Houston wasn’t the Ariza Houston put on the floor most of last season. Losing “Team Leader Ariza” (now with kung-fu grip and life-like hair) is a good thing, but they also got rid of “Third-Option Utility Ariza,” which is who the Rockets wanted when they traded away Ron Artest. They demanded too much too soon and when they finally put together a time in which Andalay, Andalay Ariza could thrive, he went to the Hornets. After Kevin Martin joined the team, five mpgs were shaved off Ariza’s averages yet his efficiency, assists and rebounds all improved. In his place is Courtney Lee. And that’s all I have to say about that.
3. Have we heard the last of Courtney Lee?
With Speed Racer aboard, I kinda think not. That said, I’m fine letting someone else run to waivers to pick him up whenever Lee rises again.
Fantasy Disappointment in ’10 – Yao Ming. Unless of course you’re not expecting anything from Yao Ming, in which case you’re probably hoping for something good from Brad Miller. Which you should also not do.
Biggest Fantasy Contributor in ’10 - Luis Scola. Brooks or Martin are being drafted sooner, but if Yao plays as little as it looks as he might, Scola will have another season of heavy lifting. I’m pretty sure “scola” is Spanish for “poor blocker.”
Deep Sleeper - Chase Budinger. He sounds like a beat reporter for the 1940 St. Louis Browns. Speaking of which, I think Chase number twos all over 2010 and wipes up in 2011.