The Rockets will be an improved team next year. It won’t show much in their record, but the anticipation going into 2023-24 with loads of cap space and young talent will give outside audiences something to keep an eye on. Tari Eason will storm the palace and cement himself as a franchise cornerstone going forward. I believe Houston is in a great place to be a league-pass favorite, yet still stink enough to maintain bottom-six lottery odds.
Record Prediction: Smashing the over at 24-58.
The Houston Rockets enter 2022-23 with a renewed sense of hope. Will they compete for a playoff spot? Probably not, but they will be a much-improved team this upcoming season. With an improved backcourt and another high draft pick who can fit with any lineup and who should help improve the league's worst defense in Jabari Smith, the Rockets should show improvements on both ends of the court. The question is how much of an improvement. The Rockets have had the worst record two years running, but this year will be different.
Record Prediction: 28-54.
Tank. Play Hard. Why not both? That’s probably what’s going to happen, but it’s possible that the Rockets vastly improve their record, and still stay relevant in the draft sweepstakes. With flat odds, it’s possible to win 30 games and still have a reasonable shot at the first pick. Just as it’s very difficult to actually get the first pick with a 14 percent chance, it’s also somewhat difficult to escape the gravity of the flattened lottery odds landscape. I believe the Rockets vastly improve, win 31 games, and have a 10 percent shot at the top pick, and are primed to compete for a playoff spot in 23-24. In any case, I believe they will be a far more watchable, coherent and fun team than last season.
Of course we all know, if the Knicks are in the picture, it’s the Knicks picking Wemby. Or Portland, where he will be cursed.
Record Prediction: 31-51
The Rockets should be better this season. Of course, I said the same thing last season in this space and the good guys finished dead last once again. Defense is once again the obvious bugaboo for this squad, specifically inside. Alperen Sengun, Bruno Fernando, and Boban Marjanovich will be fun to watch, but none are feared rim protectors. The good news is that on the perimeter, Tari and Jabari should form their own version of the Bash Brothers and steal everyone’s lunch money. I think Jalen Green will struggle to adjust to NBA defenses gameplanning against him, but he’ll find his way by mid-December. Finally, Eric Gordon gets traded for a late first round pick to a contender who loses a key piece due to injury.
Record prediction: 29-53. There are too many tanking teams this season for Houston to be the worst team in the league again.
The Rockets are gonna be bad, the question is how BAD. Welp, It doesn’t help that the Rockets are projected to have the third-hardest schedule. The month of November isn’t doing this team any favors either. November features tough opponents such as the L.A. Clippers (twice), Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets (twice).
Although, I do admit the team will be better by addition by subtraction for swapping out Christian Wood and drafting Jabari Smith & Tari Eason, who play defense with their long arms that can be confused for shoelaces. Then, add the natural progression of the young core being together. They should be a better product to watch. However, the fact of the matter is young teams don’t play defense. Neither do young teams know how to play winning basketball.
At the end of the day, none of this matters. Let's enjoy this team be dreadful as a family, and cherish the memories we’re going to make.
Record Prediction: 24 - 58
Eric Jay Santos
For those familiar with the Dallas Cowboys, you may have heard of the saying “This is our year”. This may be Houston’s year, to not finish with the worst record in the NBA. They could even squeak their way into the play-in tournament. There are numerous players on the roster with great potential, especially Jalen Green. I predict that Green will be seriously considered for an All-Star selection.
Record Prediction: 36-46
The Rockets will be more exciting and more cohesive this year. They will also be a better team. Expect Jalen Green to take that leap and Jabari Smith, despite the occasional growing pain, look like the guy most expected to go first overall leading up to the draft. They’re going to surprise some teams with their length, speed and athleticism. That being said, they’ll still be in the back half of the standings, but I don’t think pushing 30 wins is out of the range of possibility.
Record Prediction: 29-53
Your turn. How many wins will the Rockets have?
This poll is closed
Less than 20
More than 30