The Rockets are off today, but it's the biggest day of the NBA regular season. Most of us are home with our families -- in my case, I am home with more than a case of delicious beer -- but hopefully everyone's family is tolerant enough to let the NBA play in the background at least.
Rockets fans hope that Daryl Morey has given us the ultimate Christmas present: a championship roster. Here's where we stand:
PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: James Harden
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Josh Smith
C: Dwight Howard
Bench (in relative order of expected playing time: Donatas Motiejunas, Corey Brewer, Jason Terry, Terrence Jones, Kostas Papanikolaou, Isaiah Canaan, Joey Dorsey, Nick Johnson and Clint Capela.
(For simplicity purposes, I think Tarik Black is the odd man out for the Rockets. Yes, I would like the Rockets to keep him over Joey Dorsey, but for monetary reasons, he's way easier to move. Considering the Rockets need to get a deal done quickly, it just makes more sense that Black is out of here at this point. One man's guess.)
Two of the 10 best players in the league are on that roster. A team with the potential for the best defense in the league is on that roster. A team with passing, shooting, rebounding, and the ability to create turnovers is on that roster.
It's widely assumed Morey will make another move before the trade deadline. That may be true; after a year where the bench depth was a concern, the Rockets now have an embarrassment of riches and the flexibility to swap for another upgrade. Here's what the Rockets have lost since June, and here are there replacements:
Lost: Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik, Troy Daniels, Francisco Garcia, Tarik Black(?), hobbled Dwight Howard, one-dimensional James Harden, inconsistent shooting Patrick Beverley, undeveloped Donatas Motiejunas
Gained: Trevor Ariza, Corey Brewer, Jason Terry, Josh Smith, Kostas Papanikolaou, Alexey Shved, MVP-worthy James Harden, a healthier-looking Dwight, 42 percent three-point shooter Patrick Beverley, two-way contributor Donatas Motiejunas.
Merry Christmas, everyone.