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The Houston Rockets made a ton of moves in the offseason. The one that best exemplifies this squad, though, was……..

Ha! The 80s. Anyways, the Rockets did re-sign a Bobby Brown to a $1.5 million contract. This Brown is a 33 year old point guard that played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton and actually played in 25 games last season. Now, he will make no impact from a basketball perspective. Maybe he’s a good dancer and can provide energy on the bench perhaps? Maybe he performs on the court during timeouts and halftime? It would be an efficient use of resources. Honestly, the only reason I mention Bobby at all is because I chuckled when I saw his name on the depth chart and immediately thought of the song above. It’s an apt song, if you don’t take the lyrics literally. EVERY. LITTLE. STEP. I grew up playing Kung Fu on the NES. Basically, you start on a floor, kick and punch a bunch of things, then climb a set of stairs….rinse and repeat until you get to the top. That’s how I view this Rockets team. They’ve made improvements and EVERY. LITTLE. STEP. will be spent towards one goal. How quickly they can figure out things and traverse the landscape will determine how high they can go.

2016 record: 55-27

Key acquisitions:

Key losses:

Outlook:

This team is going to be really, really good. They played at the third-fastest pace and were second in offensive rating. It will be the second season for most of the players in the Mike D’Antoni system so there should increased familiarity. Now, they add CP3 to the mix, who basically shores up the weakness that the Spurs exposed in last year’s playoffs; stay with the three-point shooters and make the Rockets shoot from the mid-range. CP3 just happens to be one the league’s best mid-range scorers. In addition, D’Antoni coached some guy named Steve Nash, so he knows how to accentuate the skills of crafty point guards. Two sneaky acquisitions were P. J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute, both of whom play good defense on the wing and should help improve the 18th-ranked defensive rating. A contender, for sure. How high they go depends on what they learn EVERY. LITTLE. STEP. of the way.

PG – CP3 is the leader of this team. James Harden is still the face of the franchise, but CP3 is the alpha. That’s his personality and he has seniority over Harden, as they’ve had experience on Olympic teams in the past. When both Paul and Harden are on the floor, the offense is going to flow through Paul with Harden spotting up. With the increase in pace and offensive system that is in place, it really wouldn’t surprise to see a MVP-caliber season from Paul. He shot 41% from three-land last season, will grab around five boards, should dish out over 10 assists and game, and pilfer around two a game. I’m very excited to see him operate in this system with all the offensive talent surrounding him. Bobby Brown and Isaiah Taylor are the backups. Both are irrelevant, as the Rockets will just stagger minutes and use Harden at the point and Eric Gordon at the 2 when Paul needs a breather.

SGJames Harden is still going to have plenty of run during games when he’s the guy on offense. It’s really the ideal scenario for him. He’s going to get a ton of open looks when CP3 is on the court and will have some of the pressure and burden taken off him. When he’s the guy, he should be a little more fresh and defenses will not have seen his moves with as much regularity. I think his usage rate comes down a bit as well as the assists. With that said, the shooting percentage could get better and the turnovers could decrease. He’s going to be fine. Eric Gordon will get plenty of minutes backing up Harden. Did you see the depth chart behind CP3? Gordon has one job and one job only: score. He shoots 37% from three-land but won’t contribute much, if any, in the ancillary categories.

SFTrevor Ariza will start at small forward. Ariza is the poor man’s version of Otto Porter and Robert Covington. He will contribute across the board, except in blocks. His shooting percentages aren’t as good, though. With that said, he plays a ton of minutes in a high-paced environment. P. J. Tucker will back up Ariza. A really good signing for the Rockets, as he shot 40% from three-land last season, will contribute on the boards, pilfer over one a game, and play solid, tough defense on the wing. An interesting nugget is that he’s been playing multiple positions, with some time at center in small-ball lineups. How many minutes he gets is the question.

PFRyan Anderson is still the starter, but the Rockets have been trying to unload him for a while now. He’s a pure stretch 4, as he shot 40% from three-land last season and did little else. Interestingly, he was a much better shooter on the road than at home. Shout out to all you DFSers. He should get plenty of open looks with CP3 in town. Luc Mbah a Moute was another great signing for the Rockets. He may not get a ton of minutes and probably won’t be fantasy relevant, but he shot 39% from three-land last season and plays very good defense.

CClint Capela is the starter and should feast with CP3. He’s only 22 years old, so he can still improve. I noticed plays in the preseason where he would catch the ball at the high post, pivot, then drive past his defender and finish with the left hand. Just saying. Anyways, the field goal percentage is going to be super-high with a ton of boards and blocks. As with most centers, the free throw percentage is putrid. Nene Hilario will be the backup. He won’t get many minutes, so not fantasy viable. Tarik Black is the backup center/forward. He probably won’t get many minutes, but he has potential. He’s very athletic and plays hard. This system could be the perfect environment for him. Per 36 last season with the Lakers, 12.6 points, 11.3 boards, 1 steal, and 1.5 blocks.

  1. kalone says:
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    Man, I tried to get Clint cheap but he went for more than 10 percent of the budget in my auction. Would you take a quick gander? 12-team, 9-cat, H2H…

    G – Steph Curry
    G – Jrue Holiday
    F – Otto Porter
    F – Myles Turner
    C – Al Horford
    U – Serge Ibaka
    U – Brook Lopez
    U – George Hill
    U – Harrison Barnes
    U – Jeremy Lin
    Bench – Derrick Favors
    Bench – Willy Hernangomez
    Bench – Taurean Prince

    I’m just super uninspired by Favors. What do you think I might try to chase in a trade/waiver add? Thinking I’m pretty good at the percentages, 3s, blocks and points. Probably could use assists and steals. I’m going to lose TOs based on usage no matter what. What’s your take? Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @kalone: Agree. I like Favors. If healthy, he’s a beast. He looks good so far. I wouldn’t worry too much about the TOs. Ringer has written a “punt assist” article, so keep an eye out for it soon. Should help you out

      • kalone says:
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        @Son: Cool, thanks! So you most definitely would not drop Favors for Dejounte Murray? As a Spurs fan, my drop finger is a twitchin. I’m just looking for an excuse.

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @kalone: I wouldn’t, but at the end of the day, it’s your squad. Do what makes you happy

  2. Dante Green says:
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    Capela has been doing well this preseason, and even went 5-5 from the line yesterday if I’m not mistaken. Hah.

    Right after we snagged Richardson from the wire Mcgruder suffers a serious injury. Though we are not the type who will wish bad things to happen to others, man, Rodney’s injury bodes well for Josh’s minutes and fantasy outlook for the rest of the season. One thing though, I hate how Olynyk is taking minutes away from JJ. Ugh

    • James says:
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      @Dante Green: would you drop g harris for j rich?

      • Son

        Son says:
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        @James: No

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Dante Green: He has been. I don’t buy the free throw shooting improvement, but he’s definitely developing other facets of his game. He’s still only like 22 years old. Crazy. Sucks for McGruder, and I hate rooting or talking positively about injuries. The situation only helps JRich, but he was balling out so I don’t know if it really would’ve made a difference. I hear you on Olynyk, but I think JJ will be fine.

      • Dante Green says:
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        @Son:

        Ugh, Spo is nuts!

        Would you drop Colly for Jrich tho? I had joined another league, 12-team, 10-cat (d/o reb). This is my squad:

        PG1 Wall
        PG2 DSJ
        PG3 Murray
        PG4 Collison
        SG1 Oladipo
        SG2 Harris
        SF1 AGordon
        PF1 Love
        C1 Gobert
        C2 MGasol
        IR Batum

        What do you think bud? It’s a very shallow league. The commissioner limited the number of players to just 11, instead of the standard 13! Ugh I hate it

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Dante Green: Yeah, I like deeper rosters myself. In a vacuum, I’d probably prefer JRich, but you may need those assists.

          • Dante Green says:
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            @Son:

            Yea, with Colly we may have locked up the assist cat. Then Gobert, Love, Gordon, and Gasol will take care of the boards and blocks with Love providing the threes. Harris and Murray should help with the threes too, and maybe Dipo.

            I don’t think I have an awful FT shooter, but I don’t have someone to anchor it either. My TOs are going to be all over the place though with John Wall there.

            My steals, points and FG should be just fine. But my stronger cats should be really the–AST, BLK, 3PM, REB am I right?

  3. I am the Walrus says:
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    Two keeper questions – 1- A.Davis or Towns. Davis is better but his injury history makes we wonder if Towns might be better. Plus its H2H so the end of the year is the most critical.

    2-Also I might be able to flip AD for Westbrook? I think Westbrook here right?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Towns for me. I’d rather have AD.

      • I am the Walrus says:
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        So Towns over AD but AD over Westbrook?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          yes

          • I am the Walrus says:
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            What about AD for Porzingis and Paul? AD just seems to kill me with games missed.

            • Son

              Son says:
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              I’m good with that. I want guys I want on my squad. I’m not a strictly by the numbers guy

  4. Jerry says:
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    Hey, Son. In a head to head points league, would you rather: Jordan Clarkson, Reggie Jackson or Marcus Smart? Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Jerry: Smart

  5. Brent

    The Fantasy Dick says:
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    Son,

    Just did a 12tm money league draft. I had the 5th pick. No positions, No turnovers. Roto. Where do you think I can improve? What is my strength? I lack a true point guard, so assists could be my weak spot. But I’m pretty happy with my team:

    UT – Giannis Antetokounmpo
    UT – Jimmy Butler
    UT – Kevin Love
    UT – Al Horford
    UT – Victor Oladipo
    UT – Avery Bradley
    UT – Gary Harris
    UT – Danilo Gallinari
    UT – Jeremy Lin
    UT – TJ Warren
    Bench – Dwayne Dedmon
    Bench – Rodney Hood
    Bench – Josh Richardson
    Bench – Yogi Ferrel
    Bench – Norman Powell

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Yeah, assists are lacking. I like the squad a lot, though. Very balanced. I like every player on your roster.

      • Brent

        The Fantasy Dick says:
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        @Son: cool. Maybe I can fund a team lacking in 3s who can spare assists…trade for rubio…lol

        • Son

          Son says:
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          I’m good with that. 3s are easier to find than assists me thinks

      • Brent

        The Fantasy Dick says:
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        @Son: There is a team in the league stacked with point guards…should I offer Bradley for Rubio? Or Bradley for Dragic? He may want a better player…I could offer oladipo for dragic? Or do I have enough 4-5 apg guys to be good there?

        Thanks!

        • Son

          Son says:
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          Hmmm, I really like Bradley. I think I’d hold onto him. I like Dipo as well, but the range of outcomes is more wide for him. Out of the two, I’d probably deal him. If you are hunting for assists, have to go with Rubio

          • Brent

            The Fantasy Dick says:
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            @Son: Yeah. I like my team, I think I have enough 4-5 apg guys to do fine in that category and I think some of those guys’ assist numbers will come up, like bradley and love and harris.

            The guy’s team who I was looking at trading with is stacked with point guards tho. He has:

            Rubio, Dragic, Simmons, George Hill, Collison, Dejonte Murray, Rondo, Rose, Harrison….LOL

            Any trade ideas looking at my team? he obviously has too many guards…

            • Son

              Son says:
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              @The Fantasy Dick: For what you’re looking to do, I’d only be interested in Rubio and Simmons. Where is that team lacking?

              • Brent

                The Fantasy Dick says:
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                @Son: Rebounding, 3s, FT%, blocks…their 1st 2 picks were KAT and Whiteside, but otherwise they have no height. Next best rebounder is ariza. The rest of his team is point guards

              • Brent

                The Fantasy Dick says:
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                @Son: Gallinari/Warren for Simmons/Rondo? Simmons/taurian prince?

                • Son

                  Son says:
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                  You can try. Every owner is different. You know what he needs. Now, it’s the fun part. Delving deep into his psyche. Or just use the force if you have that power.

  6. Puddle Stomp says:
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    This is my first year with fantasy bball. I draft 4th in a 10-team 9-cat league.

    I’m planning on punting assists. My targets right now are:
    (4) KAT
    (17) Turner / George
    (24) CJ
    (37) Millsap
    (44) Oladipo
    (57) Covington
    (64) Harris / L.Williams / Noel
    (77) Dieng / Chriss
    (84) LaVine
    (97) Warren

    Anything you’d change there? Where is the team weak? Any late round picks to target?

    • Son

      Son says:
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      Ringer wrote a “punt assist” article, so keep an eye on when it gets published. Should be very beneficial for you. I don’t like the Dieng and LaVine picks. Dieng losing minutes to Taj and injury for LaVine

      • Puddle Stomp says:
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        @Son: Draft is on Sunday. Any idea when that article will be posted?

        • Son

          Son says:
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          @Puddle Stomp: It’s been submitted so I just need to edit it. Probably later today

          • Puddle Stomp says:
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            @Son: Great, thanks! I figured with my luck in general, it would be posted immediately following my draft 😛

            • Son

              Son says:
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              @Puddle Stomp: I guess I am your God now. Bow, pray, and summon 10 virgins into my chambers immediately!!!

    • Brent

      The Fantasy Dick says:
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      @Puddle Stomp: I worry about Covington too. His FG% will be terrible and he’s like the 5th option on that team. In my opinion. I’d look for Otto Porter there if he drops or Avery Bradley

  7. Miles Proudfoot says:
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    Hey, thanks for all the good advice. I drafted RJax and Ryan Anderson with my last two picks. In a vacuum, would you drop one or both for any of Rose, Barton, DMitchell, Justin Holiday, Lamb, or Tedosic? Thanks!

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @Miles Proudfoot: I’d drop Anderson for all of them! HA!

      • Miles Proudfoot says:
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        @Son: word! Last pick, late draft…I think I’ll wait and see what Jackson looks like this season. Thank you!

        • Miles Proudfoot says:
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          @Miles Proudfoot: any preference out of those listed? Kinda feeling Tedosic…maybe Lamb.

          • Son

            Son says:
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            @Miles Proudfoot: I like Teodosic. Assists are a commodity and he’s going to rack up a grip of them.

  8. spo says:
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    How did I draft? (H2H 9 Cat)
    (2) Kevin Durant (GS – SF,PF)
    (23)Jimmy Butler (Min – SG,SF)
    (26)C.J. McCollum (Por – PG,SG)
    (47)Serge Ibaka (Tor – PF,C)
    (50)Nikola Vucevic (Orl – PF,C)
    (71)Harrison Barnes (Dal – SF,PF)
    (74)Tobias Harris (Det – SF,PF)
    (95)Malcolm Brogdon (Mil – PG,SG)
    (98)Derrick Favors (Uta – PF,C)
    (119Willy Hernangomez (NY – C)
    (122)Josh Richardson (Mia – PG,SG,SF)
    (143)Terrence Ross (Orl – SG,SF)
    (146)Seth Curry (Dal – PG,SG)

    • Son

      Son says:
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      @spo: Light on assists and some question marks with your bigs.

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