Houston Rockets to begin season Wednesday

HOUSTON – Chancellor Johnson checking in for NBA Tip-Off week! As the Astros continue to chase their quest for another World Series title it can be easy to forget their neighbors down the street, the Houston Rockets. They’ll begin their season on Wednesday.

For a second straight year, the Rockets roll into the season with a very young, but talented team. They’re headlined by first team All Rookie, Jalen Green who told reporters he’s looking to build on last year’s late-season success and make a push to be an All-Star.

His backcourt running mate, Kevin Porter Jr. is here to stay in Houston after signing a 4-year, 82.5 million dollar deal. Between “KPJ” and Green– the two make up one of the most athletic guard duos in the league.

The starting frontcourt will look a lot different this year. Talented big-man Alperen Sengun will take over the reins at center after Houston traded away Christian Wood to Dallas. Sengun had an excellent off-season playing with his Turkish national team.

He’ll be joined by the #3 overall pick Jabari Smith Jr. Coaches have raved about the Auburn rookie’s ability and assistant coach John Lucas III even likened his personality to Hall of Famer, David Robinson.

Keeping Tabs

There are a few storylines to watch over the course of the season.

Wing-man?

The Rockets have a bevy of wings that give them a lot of versatility, but there are only so many minutes available.

JaSean Tate just signed an extension and was at times the Rockets’ best defender last season, but his offensive game is somewhat limited.

Kenyon Martin Jr. was in the middle of a number of trade rumors over the off-season but he’s a talented forward with crazy athleticism and a smooth jumper.

Josh Christopher (Go Sun Devils) is a combo guy that can do a little bit of everything. Head coach Stephen Silas joked, because of his energy and effort he forced his way into the rotation.

Then there’s the rookie, Tari Eason. He’s been nabbed as an early steal of the draft thanks to his non-stop motor and his knack for making winning plays.

I don’t envy Stephen Silas trying to decide who gets what minutes and when.

To Trade or Not To Trade

The long jam at the wing position makes for potential trade bait. Kenyon Martin Jr. reportedly approached management about changing teams, but the Rockets have stood pat. Eric Gordon is one of their *few* vets, but contending teams have been calling Rafael Stone for months to inquire about his services.

Will the Rockets ultimately pull the trigger? If so, they could seek even more draft capital to use later on in the rebuild.

At the Buzzer

The Rockets *should* be a better product this year. While they might still be at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, I expect to be a lot more competitive this year. Players and coaches have talked at length about improving defensively and with the addition of Jabari Smith Jr and Tari Eason, I believe they’ll make a jump on that end of the floor.

It should be an exciting year! I look forward to chatting more Rockets basketball with you guys soon!


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