Monday, August 28, 2006

The New NBA Season

Well, the World Championships are now over, at least for China, anyway, and it's time to start looking ahead to the new NBA season. It's only 44 days until the start of the preseason for the Rockets.

On the topic of the Rockets and the NBA, has anyone noticed how Carroll Dawson has quietly put together several good drafts? For example, in the 2002 draft, there was the "base" pick of Yao Ming. From there, he has done a very good job of building on him.

In 2004, he traded the Rockets 56th pick, Luis Flores, to the Mavs for the 51st, who was Vassilis Spanoulis. Spanoulis, who is now signed at a pretty reasonable price, has a good chance of becoming a very good role player for the Rockets.

The following year, with the 24th pick, he got Luther Head, who was, I think, is very impressive, and should have been a lottery pick, even top 10 maybe. But I'm just as glad he fell to us.

Then, in the most recent draft, he got Shane Battier and Steve Novick. Technically, he didn't draft Battier, but using the 8th pick, he traded for Battier.

So, over 5 drafts and 8 picks, he has gotten Yao, Spanoulis, Head, Batter and Novick. That would actually be a pretty nice starting lineup. And have you noticed how all those players are role players that are made to play around Yao? This team is being built on the assumption that Yao is going to stay a long time, not that T-Mac is going to play here a while. One advantage for Yao, which was not available for Wang ZhiZhi or Mengke Bateer, is that, from the very first, the Rockets strove to build around Yao, and made it very obvious they were doing so.

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