I used to be a ton more active on this blog before I started grad school 2 years ago, but lately I've been resorting to just reading and occasionally commenting here and there. Yet, I have to say something.
Its been about 24 hours since we pronounced our playoff status as "deceased" and while we've been mourning another promising season turned bad, we have to say this: all hope is not lost. I feel like we learned a few things here this season:
1.) We have some playa's in Goran Dragic and Chandler Parsons: And I'm not saying this because my girlfriend thinks they're both hot, but they both came to play. Along with Courtney Lee, Chase Budinger and Patrick Patterson (who will be better next season), that's an excellent foundation of solid role players who have their flaws but also can play nicely out on the floor.
2.) The Scola/Martin/Lowry trio cannot be our best 3 players going into next year: Or else say hello to a 43-39 record and 9th in the West. Morey, GET CREATIVE. We have a good 1-2 PG punch, but neither guy is a top 5 "Chris Paul" type PG. They're what I'd call "good starters" who can morph into star mode for stretches, but they're not your "closer". Luis Scola is what he is: a mid-teens scorer who is solid but not spectacular. I totally think San Antonio would have won 2 more titles EASY had they not shipped Scola here. As for K-Mart...
3.) K-Mart special...he has to go: Kevin Martin is like a Honda Accord, a quality ride that gets good mileage, but someone who cannot be your lead luxury vehicle. And guys, K-Mart is the best offensive player on this team, but he's no closer. Martin has to be used to get the Rockets next "it" guy. Guys like Dream and Yao were "it" guys, and so was T-Mac, but K-Mart is just a sound #2 at best.
4.) We need to trade into the top 5 of THIS draft: This feels like one of those 2003 draft classes. Davis, Kidd-Gilcrist and Co. look like legit NBA players. The Rockets need to make a gamble and get an "it" guy. We have our lotto pick, the Dallas Pick (hopefully) plus another 1st rounder from the Knicks. Package those 3 plus K-Mart or Lowry (or both even) and see if we can get into the top of the Lottery and come away with our "golden ticket". Standing pat and adding depth won't cut it this year. We have to do it.
5.) Look for Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson to have good seasons next year: And yes, after this year they looked so-so, I see big things from these two. Patterson regressed, but he missed all of training camp with an injury, was rushed back to the court and struggled getting into game shape in a compressed lockout season. Morris had no time to train with the team, and when he went to the D-League his game and talent destroyed opponents out there. Look for these two to step up next year and play giant roles.
I have more optimism for next year's team, even more so than I did last offseason. The key is to get someone who could turn into that "it" guy.
Oh, and to keep Lee and Dragic while we're at it as well.
What grade would you give to the Rockets this season
A: they played well above expectations, especially after injuries hit (11 votes)
B: solid work, impressed with team cohesion (36 votes)
C: they are who we THOUGHT they were (62 votes)
D: disappointed; this team was a playoff squad that fell flat on their faces (39 votes)
F: hello mediocrity and another crappy lottery pick (24 votes)
172 total votes