Houston Rockets: Promising Future

Elliot Eyring ’16

With the beginning of the NBA season Houston’s sports fans have directed their attention to the Rockets. After losing in the playoffs to the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets are looking to build on their deepest postseason run under Head Coach Kevin McHale.

The team’s optimistic attitude revolves around their biggest offseason acquisition, Ty Lawson from the Denver Nuggets. By signing Lawson, the Rockets have shown a desire to do even better than making Western Conference Finals. Last year Lawson racked up over nine assists and fifteen points per game and should be able to take loads of pressure off superstar James Harden. Being a primary ball handler, Lawson will allow “Chef Harden” to become more of a “catch and shoot” player this year, an improvement over the isolation offense we’re used to seeing.

But does this mean beloved Point Guard Patrick Beverly will be seeing more bench time? Throughout the preseason, the answer seemed to be no. McHale has attempted to adopt a much higher-paced offense than last year, which often includes the trio of Harden, Beverly, and Lawson on the court at the same time. This fast-paced offense bodes well for spot-up shooter Trevor Ariza, who made over fifty percent from three point range in the preseason.

This approach coincides with what McHale has been preaching to his team throughout the offseason. McHale says he wants his team to attempt over forty 3’s per game, which should lead to an entertaining year for us viewers.

But does this mean Dwight Howard’s involvement will lessen? After missing more than forty games last year, Howard looks to bounce back from an injury-deprived season. Although missing most of the preseason, Howard has started the first three regular season games, and has told reporters he does not want to be known as a “playoff player” only. He has said that he intends to be more focused throughout the year and prove himself as a consistent threat. The addition of Lawson should also benefit Howard. Lawson’s experience with the pick and roll in Denver should bode well for Howard, who has proven time and time again that there is no better center under such circumstances. The team’s offseason seems to have convinced fans that this will be another great year.

I interviewed a couple Jesuit students to see their take on the upcoming season. Douglas Moore ‘17 said, “I have tremendous expectations for the season. I plan on attending as many games as I can and supporting Red Nation.” Mauricio Chapa ‘17 added, “The way we played towards the end of last year, despite so many injuries, leads me to believe we will have another strong season. I hope the players come out with a chip on their shoulder and continue to provide the fans with quality basketball.”

The Houston Rockets’ season is just underway and looks to be a good one. If they remain healthy and our fans continue to be the best in the country, there is no limit to how far the Rockets can advance in the playoffs this year.