Reporting Mike Williams
With the Rockets making several moves over the course of the past week, we have yet to get our first real chance to see what the Rockets actually look like with three new faces added to the team and another in the starting line up. I am going to lay out my big three things to watch for in tonight’s game (assuming you can watch it…damn you CSN).
1. How the other starting 4 adapts to to having a true power forward on the court.?
Carlos Delfino has been stepping in of late, and Marcus Morris had been playing the 4 well until his departure to Pheonix, but now having a seven footer on the court is a bit of a game changer. The extra size will give the Rockets a boost in the rebound and defensive departments, but the skyward Lithuanian also adds the ability to shoot from the mid and three point range as well. There will be the inevitable blunders and turnovers that come from adding a new guy into the lineup from lack of chemistry, but how Harden and Lin adapt to having him on the court is key.
2. How much will we see Thomas Robinson and how will he fit into McHale’s system?
This will be the first time Rockets fans will have to see, not only Thomas Robinson, but the newly acquired wing man Francisco Garcia in a Rockets uni. It’s official. Daryl Morey won the Sacramento trade. What they got is better than they gave up. The only question now is how well will the rookie center will work into the defensive scheme. The outlook is pretty good, he’s a high motor guy that hustles. How quickly will be be able to grasp McHale’s coverages and defensive responsibilities?
3. Will we see Tim Ohlbrecht?
The Rockets are in a position to sign another player to a max contract during this off season. While this will undoubtedly lead to endless Dwight Howard talk for the third year in a row with a little Andrew Bynum chatter sprinkled into the mix, here’s where Tim Ohlbrecht matters. If the 6’10″ German can learn to play off the bench in the Association half as well as he did as a starter in the D-League, this might allow other GMs to take a look at him in the coming off season or allow Morey to feel comfortable dealing Greg Smith (who is, in my opinion, one of the best undrafted players in the NBA today) for more pieces of the championship puzzle.
Either way tonight shakes down, it should be a good game to catch.
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