NBA Offseason Buzz: Houston Rockets
Without Yao, Rockets hope for a boost from an emerging force at power forward
They've already been ticketed for Lotteryville with Yao Ming expected to miss the entire season recovering from foot surgery, Ron Artest going to the Lakers and Tracy McGrady coming back from microfracture surgery on his knee. Understandable, perhaps, but it's a stance that completely ignores the toughness and versatility coach Rick Adelman and his plucky band of role players have developed in the intermittent absence of their stars the past two years. As dominant as Yao can be and as integral as he was to both their offense and defense last season, their small lineup was equally dangerous at times. It was that style, after all, that produced 16 of their 22 consecutive wins two seasons ago. The big question will be McGrady and whether he embraces the chance to make the Rockets his team again or maintains the same "forget-you" attitude that prompted him to abruptly have surgery when rumors abounded that he was about to be traded. It won't take long to find out.
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2009 NBA OFFSEASON BUZZ
Note: For definitions of all of John Hollinger's advanced statistics, click here.