Welcome to another season of Houston Rockets basketball here on The Dream Shake. We’ll have previews before every game, as well as a game thread for discussion during the game and a recap for afterwards. We allow cursing and disagreements, but no personal attacks. You will get banned. Don’t make us ban you. Let’s have some fun instead.
For most of last season, the Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves were the worst teams in the NBA. As the year wound down, the T-Wolves got healthy and reeled off some wins. That landed them outside the top 3 in the lottery, and they lost their first round pick to the Golden State Warriors (who drafted Jonathan Kuminga). Time will tell if those meaningless wins will come back to hurt the Wolves.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets went through a mini-makeover. The team drafted Jalen Green second overall and Alperen Sengun 16th. They signed Daniel Theis in free agency. The rest of the names should be at least somewhat familiar if you watched the team last season.
On the one hand, the Rockets probably feel that they were done in by injuries last year more than talent level. Therefore, they might be inclined to push for a play-in spot. On the other hand, the Rockets now own their own pick, so they won’t need to sweat out the lottery this season. There are a couple of potential unicorns in the upcoming draft, and it’s tempting to imagine inserting Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero into this lineup next season. But it will behoove Houston to develop their talent and see where it takes them.
Houston has a lot of questions to answer this year. Are Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood legit cornerstones, or did they put up empty calorie stats on a bad team? Is Jalen Green a superstar in waiting, or a bust? Is Stephen Silas a good coach? Could Eric Gordon or John Wall be traded? Is Alperen Sengun actually as good as he seems?
Anyway, tonight should be a fun introduction to the 2021-22 season. And if the Astros can’t keep your attention, maybe consider watching a young and hungry basketball team instead.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT on AT&T SportsNet Southwest