Basketball Prospectus just released the 2009-2010 Pro Basketball Prospectus, and, fortunately for cheap Rockets fans, their favorite team's chapter is available as a free preview. So, what does BPro have to say about the Rox?
Are fans and analysts missing something? According to SCHOENE, they are right on the money. SCHOENE sees Houston slipping to 37-45, finishing 19th in Offensive Rating and 18th at the defensive end. However, the other system we use at Basketball Prospectus, NBAPET, tells an entirely different story. NBAPET sees the Rockets going 52-30 and capturing the fourth seed in the West. This more optimistic forecast has Houston finishing 21st in Offensive Rating, but still succeeding by leading the league in Defensive Rating. Now, we point these things out not to pit our systems against each other, but to underscore how interesting this year’s Rockets are going to be. McGrady could mess all of this up by coming back, of course, and his availability--let alone his effectiveness--is very much a question mark.
However, what we know and expect right now is that the Rockets will play the bulk of this season with $38.8 million worth of star power watching from the sidelines. What is left is a collection of role players. Ordinarily, that would be a prescription for disaster. However, the Rockets don’t just have role players. They have a roster full of really good role players.
So, as usual, the answer is up in the air. Thanks, Pelton; I could have told you that.
Anyways, I heartily recommend the Prospectus, particularly if you're into basketball stats or play fantasy basketball. Oh, and Morey writes the forward (and he says you're not a real fan if you don't read this book - so read it!).